May 29, 2021
When Benjamin Franklin was a child, an adult friend gave him a small amount of change as a gift. Young Ben used all the money to buy a whistle from a playmate. Benjamin went all through his house blowing on his whistle. He thoroughly enjoyed his new whistle till someone advised him that he had paid four times what it was worth. Instantly that whistle lost all its value to young Benjamin.
In later years Franklin remembered the bad bargain he had made in buying the whistle from his playmate. Whenever he observed someone sacrificing family for fame or fortune, he would say, “He pays too much for his whistle.”
Satan designs the things of this world to be attractive and pleasurable. There is nothing really wrong with wealth and fame unless we give up Jesus in the bargain to get them. For a child like young Benjamin Franklin, a lowly whistle may be the most desirable thing he can think of. As we grow up, however, we tend to become drawn to more sophisticated things. —Gary B. Swanson, The Moose, the Goose, and the Kingdom of God, pp. 118, 119.
How do we determine what is most worthwhile? How do we establish our priorities? Is the chase after the things we desire in line with God’s will for our lives? Where is Jesus and His kingdom in the order of our priorities? You are no longer a child. Where you are in life is a transition between childhood and adulthood, and it begins now, in your early teen years. It’s a time you learn to take responsibility for the decisions you make. You will have to face the consequences of your choices. If you make wrong choices, they could change the course of your life for the worse. That’s why making wise choices is so important: they could change the rest of your life for the better. Every choice has a consequence, and it behooves you to think of the end result before making any decision. King Solomon advised in the book of Ecclesiastes: “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment” (Ecclesiastes 11:9).
Memory Text: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13, 14).
Our Beliefs, no. 19, The Law of God: “The great principles of God’s law are embodied in the Ten Commandments and exemplified in the life of Christ. They express God’s love, will, and purposes concerning human conduct and relationships and are binding upon all people in every age.”
Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 138-141
Read 1 Corinthians 16:13.
It’s Sunday afternoon. Nothing much to do. You and your friends are just hanging out in the mall. It’s boring. You’ve done this a thousand times.
Then someone dares another to do something stupid. Everyone has a good laugh. But then the dares escalate. Each new one gets tougher and more dangerous. Excitement builds. It’s your turn. You are dared to to do something you know is against the law.
How will you respond? How will your choice affect your friendships? How will your decision affect the way you feel about yourself? How will your choice affect your relationship with God?
Read Psalm 19:7-9; Revelation 14:12.
God’s law is the standard of how we should live. It helps us make right choices. As we endeavor to keep God’s law, the Ten Commandments, He prepares us to live eternally.
How has knowing and loving God helped you make right decisions?
Match the right choices with the correct commandment. See Exodus 20:1-17. Commandments are from the New King James Version.
|A||Always tell the truth.|
|B||Be committed to your spouse.|
|C||Not making idols of earthly things.|
|D||Be content with what you have.|
|E||Honoring the Sabbath.|
|F||Respect what belongs to others|
|G||Putting God first.|
|H||Be respectful to your parents.|
|I||Showing reverence to God.|
|“Honor your father and your mother . . .”|
|“You shall have no other gods before me.”|
|“You shall not steal.”|
|“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain . . .”|
|“You shall not bear false witness . . .”|
|“You shall not murder.”|
|“You shall not make for yourself a carved image. . .”|
|“You shall not commit adultery.”|
|“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. . . “|
|“You shall not covet . . . anything that is your neighbor’s.”|
Read James 1:5. It can be difficult to make decisions, especially if you feel torn between two parties. You’ve got parents expecting one thing of you and friends expecting another. You know what is right and what is wrong— usually it’s obvious. But life is so much easier if you can just keep everyone happy. Right?
So how do you make your own decisions? Are there times you feel as if you could use some help, but you can’t admit that to your friends or your parents? The truth is that everyone needs guidance— someone they can talk to who knows what they’re talking about. Sometimes it is helpful for someone to say, “This is what will happen if you go through Door A. But Door B will get you in deep trouble.” You can safely let God and His Word be your adviser.
Who better to take into your confidence? Who better to trust? Who else really knows you? Try God as your personal adviser. Your choices may not always be easy or may not always feel right. But, you can trust God to help you make the right decisions.
“The tempted one needs to understand the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man—the power of decision, of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will” (Ellen G. White, Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, p. 685).
Look up the following texts. Write the text next to the correct verse. All the verses are from the New King James Version.
John 14:15; Joshua 24:15; Proverbs 8:10; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:15; 1 John 5:3.
|1||“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”|
|2||“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”|
|3||“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”|
|4||“If you love Me, keep My commandments.”|
|5||“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise.”|
|6||“Receive my instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold.”|
Read Romans 8:3, 4.
Review the memory text.
Remember the story of Jonah? He made some really bad choices. But in spite of Jonah’s choices, God didn’t give up on him. God chased after him in a storm.
Jesus loves you so much that even when you are in the middle of something that you know you shouldn’t be involved in, He is right there—ready to help you when you call. He does this because He understands your nature. He knows your weaknesses. He has been tempted more than any of us and yet He resisted temptation and overcame.
All He’s asking you to do is to take that big, courageous step and try to do things His way.
Jesus promises to help you when you call on Him. He has already paid the price for your sins. All you have to do is ask Him to forgive you and show you a better way to live. The decision is yours. Won’t you choose Him as your Savior?
“Every act of obedience to Christ, every victory obtained over self, is a step in the march to glory and final victory. Take Christ for your Guide and He will lead you safely along” (Ellen G. White, Our High Calling, p. 25).
Read Isaiah 30:21.
With God’s help and some simple guidelines, you can make good decisions. Try the simple decision-making plan in your Bible Study Guide. It is the product of an early teen and his dad—to help make good decisions. It works for them; maybe it’ll work for you as well.