Download PDF


Family Matters

September 25, 2021


“Peter Marshall, born in Scotland, was one of America’s well-known ministers. He allowed God’s voice to guide him throughout his life. One night in his childhood he decided to take a shortcut across the moors on his way home. The area was noted for limestone quarries. He was familiar with the terrain and felt he could safely navigate his way.

“Though the night was starless and inky-black, he set out through the rock and heather. He could sometimes hear the far-off bleating of a sheep and the wind rustling through the heather. Occasionally a moor fowl fluttered up noisily. Otherwise, he was very much alone in the night. “Suddenly he heard a voice call out with urgency: ‘Peter!’

“Halting, he called back into the dark, ‘Yes, who is it? What do you want?’

“There was no response, just a bit of wind over the deserted moorland. He concluded he’d been mistaken and walked on a few more steps.

‘Peter!’ he heard again, this time with an even greater urgency. ‘Peter!’

“He stopped in his tracks, squinted into the blackness of the night.

Who was there? He leaned forward, stumbled, and fell to his knees.

Reaching out a hand to the ground before him, Peter felt nothing but thin air. A quarry! Sure enough, as he carefully felt around in a semicircle, he discovered that he was on the brink of a limestone pit. One more step and he would have plummeted to his death. One more step—if he hadn’t heeded God’s voice, his life would have ended. Out there on the desolate moor Someone knew him, and Someone cared.

“God knows our name. We are not some cosmic blur in the universe. God fashioned us. God made us. We are His. He cares. He loves. He knows us personally. We matter to Him. At times we may feel alone, but He is always there, calling our name, calling us into the security of His arms. Calling us home.

“Ellen White writes, ‘Jesus knows us individually, and is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He knows us all by name. He knows the very house in which we live, the name of each occupant. He has at times given directions to His servants to go to a certain street in a certain city, to such a house, to find one of His sheep’ (Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 479).

“Jesus love us that much. What troubles us troubles Him. What bothers us bothers Him. What hurts us hurts Him. We are His children. His interests are linked with ours. Nothing that in any way concerns us escapes His notice. Let your heart rejoice in His personal, intimate, loving concern today” (Mark Finley, Solid Ground, p. 22).

How amazing that we are children of God! May we live each day in such a way that others may see and recognize who our Father is.




Memory Text: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11, NKJV).

Our Beliefs, no. 12, The Church: “The church is God’s family: adopted by Him as children, its members live on the basis of the new covenant.”

Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 103-106




Read 1 Timothy 4:12.

When Fred was 14, his mother suddenly died. Fred had been very close to his mother and felt lost without her. Two years later Fred’s dad remarried. His stepmother was nothing like his own mother. The teenager didn’t want a replacement and didn’t want anything to do with the new woman in his house.

1. What advice can you give Fred for dealing with this difficult situation?

2. Whom can Fred turn to for help in his community?

3. If you were Fred, what would you do to make life better for the family?

Log on to to post your responses. Be upfront and honest. Say what you think.




Read Exodus 19:3-7; Acts 2:38-42; 1 Peter 2:9.

When we accept Christ, we become a part of God’s family. As children of God we have a responsibility to live lives obedient to His Word and plan for our lives. How we live will not only affect us but will also affect how others see us and God.

How does your life represent being a child of God?

How do others see Jesus in your life?


Unscramble the words in the word box. Then use the words to fill in the missing words in the verse below the word bank. The verse is from the New King James Version.

“Now, therefore, you are no __________ __________ and __________, but _________ _________ with the saints and __________ of the __________ of God” (__________ 2:19, NKJV).




Read John 3:16.

Almost everyone grows up in a family of some type. The word “family” can be looked at to include: your immediate family, your extended family, your church family, your community, and the world as in God’s eyes (humanity). We are responsible to set good examples, to be loving to all, and represent Jesus to everyone we meet. Jesus gave clear guidelines about how we should treat everyone.

We shouldn’t judge others or determine how we will treat them by their outward appearance—we can’t see what’s in their minds and hearts. Only God can look on a person’s heart and know what that person is like.

Within the human family there are cultural, ethnic, financial, and religious differences, and their family life might seem foreign to us. However, what is important is their relationship with our Father in heaven. Being part of humanity makes them part of the family of the King. God loves all of us and wants all of us to be saved. Unfortunately, not everyone wants to acknowledge God as their Father.

How we interact with those in our earthly family and Christian family should be determined by what the Bible tells us. The Bible is clear in how we should interact with others.

“Our work for Christ is to begin with the family, in the home. . . . There is no missionary field more important than this” (Ellen G. White, The Adventist Home, p. 35).




Match the text with the correct phrase.

Exodus 20:5, Message Ephesians 6:1, KJV Luke 18:16, NKJV Matthew 7:11, NIV Ephesians 6:4, NASB John 3:16, NLT

1. “ For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

2. “ Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

3. “ But Jesus called them to Him and said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of God.’”

4. “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

5. “ Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”

6. “ Don’t bow down to them [idols] and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous God, punishing the children for any sins their parents pass on to them to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation of those who hate me.”




Read Ephesians 6:1, 4; Proverbs 16:6.

Review the memory text.

God hasn’t put us in a family situation that is unfamiliar to Him. We have all been born into a less-than-perfect world, but nothing we are facing is happening for the first time on this earth. Others have lived through similar experiences. The Bible is full of stories of people who have experienced difficult family lives.

The instructions on getting along with family can also apply for getting along with others. In the Bible we learn the steps we should take when we don’t agree with someone.

By following the Bible’s principles, we will be able to make our family a happier group to live with and our interactions with others more agreeable.




Read Luke 18:16.

How do we look at the people around us? Do we see them as children of God also?

1. How can you help the widow or widower in your church?

2. Can you think of activities to help with the children in your community that may have lost a parent?

3. What can you do to help the young person at school that is dealing with a stepparent?

4. List a couple of things you can do to help your grandparents.

5. What project are you involved in at church or school that is mission- oriented?

6. How can God use you as an agent of His kingdom in your home? What are you able to do for your family?