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12

Someone to Talk To

December 22, 2018

A friend like that

You’ve probably heard of Helen Keller. She was born a normal, healthy child near the end of the nineteenth century, but before her second birthday a severe illness left her both blind and deaf. Unable to hear, she couldn’t develop the ability to speak normally, either. Her parents loved her dearly, but they had no idea how to communicate with a child who couldn’t see, hear, or speak—much less how to discipline her. Helen became wild and unmanageable, and her parents were afraid she would have to spend her life in an institution.

Then, when Helen was almost 7 years old, a young woman named Annie Sullivan came to be her teacher. Annie was still quite young herself and was also visually impaired. Though she didn’t share Helen’s deafness, she had some idea of how difficult life was for a blind child. She immediately began trying to teach Helen simple words by spelling the sign language alphabet into her hand. Although Helen didn’t understand at first, she responded to the love, structure, and discipline Annie introduced into her young life.

As Helen later described it herself, the breakthrough came one day when Annie took Helen’s hand and ran it under the water pump, while at the same time spelling “water.” For the first time Helen realized that the spelling and the water were connected—that she could give names to things by learning the sign language alphabet. From then on she grew and learned by leaps and bounds as she constantly asked her teacher for more and more words.

Helen Keller became the first deaf and blind person to graduate from university, and went on to have a long career as a writer and public speaker. Throughout it all, her teacher, Annie Sullivan, remained her closest friend, companion, and translator—for Helen never learned to speak well enough for people to understand. Helen and Annie remained inseparable until Annie’s death.

The wall of darkness and silence that separated young Helen from the rest of the world seemed impossible to get past. But all it took was a loving, caring friend—one who had experienced some of the same difficulties and come through them, who was willing to guide, to teach, and to show the way. Doesn’t everyone need a friend like that?

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Sabbath

FOR STUDY

Memory Text: “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6, NKJV).

Our Beliefs, no. 5, The Holy Spirit: “God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He is as much a person as are the Father and the Son. . . . Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth.”

Ellen G. White, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, pp. 76-78

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Sunday

RESPONDING

Read John 15:26.

You have an important choice to make: You’ve been chosen to be on a high-profile city sports team, the all-stars for your age group. Being on this team will give you the opportunity to compete nationally and maybe even play professionally someday. You know joining the team will mean a huge time commitment, and there may be problems with competing on Sabbath. But it’s the chance of a lifetime.

You ask for advice. Your best friends say, “Go for it!” Your favorite teacher says, “If you join this team, your schoolwork will probably suffer.” Your youth pastor says, “Pray about this. Ask God to show you His plan for you. Put God first in making a decision. Follow His leading! I will pray for you as well.” Your mom and dad say, “Think of this opportunity in light of your relationship with God. Would your relationship with God improve or suffer as a result of accepting to be on this sports team? Would you be able to continue keeping the Sabbath once you become involved in sports activities?”

Do you listen to other people’s advice? Or do you think a decision like this has to be made all on your own without anyone’s input? If you choose to ask others for their advice, how do you know whom to trust?

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Monday

BIBLE ANSWERS ON THE HOLY SPIRIT

Read John 14:16-18; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Whom did Jesus leave with us when He ascended to heaven? How is it encouraging to know that the Holy Spirit is our helper who is always ready to comfort us and lead us into all truth? What does that mean to you?

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Tuesday

REFLECTING

Read John 16:7-13. What are some names and attributes that Jesus used to describe the Holy Spirit?

How can you benefit from the privilege of prayer when you need guidance in making decisions? You can trust the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to guide you according to God’s will.

You know how it is when you just have to talk to someone. Things are going badly, and you need to let off some steam. Or you have a really big decision to make, and you just have to talk it through with someone. Whom do you turn to?

Sometimes when you’re trying to find your way in the woods, it helps to climb a tree or a hill and get a different perspective. The same is true with trying to find your way through life.

Open up to the possibility that a mature and experienced adult who loves God—a teacher, a pastor, even your parents—might have a wider perspective and can offer you guidance so that you make the best decisions in life.

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Wednesday

BIBLE INSIGHTS

Fill in the blanks. Texts are from the New International Version of the Bible.

1. “Let the listen and add to their, and let the get guidance” (Proverbs 1:5).

2. “Do not speak to, for they will your words” (Proverbs 23:9).

3. “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be of God’s flock that is under your care, over them—not because you must, but because you are, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to.” “In the same way, you who are younger, yourselves to your elders. of you, clothe yourselves with toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows to the humble’ ” (1 Peter 5:1-3, 5).

4. “Wounds from a friend can be, but an enemy multiplies” (Proverbs 27:6).

5. “Listen, my, to your father’s and do not forsake your mother’s” (Proverbs 1:8).

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Thursday

CONNECTING

Read John 14:26.

The Holy Spirit has your best interest at heart. He longs to guide you according to the plan that God has for your life. How will you be open to the influence of the Holy Spirit?

God wants to help you through the tough times in life.

God loves to help you. Ask Him for guidance in finding someone trustworthy who can offer you wise advice and can lead you closer to Jesus. When you find someone, test that person’s words and actions against the truths of God’s Word. A genuine Christian mentor will walk the walk and talk the talk. He or she won’t be perfect, but will be a humble person who is learning to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, the Master.

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Friday

APPLYING

Read Romans 5:5. Why is it important that first you tell God all your joys and sorrows? How does the memory text remind you that the power to accomplish anything is found in the Holy Spirit?

Next, ask God to show you who would be a Christian adult (i.e., parent, adult family member, church leader) who could mentor you and give you advice. Ask this person if they will pray for you, or maybe even pray with you, about things that are going on in your life right now.

Finding the right trustworthy Christian adult to share your concerns with, and who will maybe give you a little well-placed advice, can make a big difference. If there’s no one you trust on the horizon right now, open your heart to Jesus as to a friend and He will work through the Holy Spirit to respond to your needs according to His will.

Possible Mentor
Name

What Christlike character traits I see in this person

How this person can mentor me

Possible Mentor
Name

What Christlike character traits I see in this person

How this person can mentor me