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Volume 44 - No. 4

IN THIS ISSUE • Memorizing Scripture • I Took My Stand • Opening My Wardrobe • Recipe for Disaster REGULAR FEATURES • Puzzle Page • Question Box • Youth Update • Children’s Corner

Opening My

Wardrobe


CONTENTS

Teen Life 4

TELEVISION VS. SPIRITUAL LIFE Seeing it from a Christian’s viewpoint

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SOUL FOR SALE What is a soul worth

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FOXES AND VINEYARDS Watch out for the little foxes, little sins

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LONGING FOR HEAVEN - Poem

Gifted

Youth Challenger aims to prepare all youth for the soon coming of Christ. It is published by the Australasian Union Conference Young People’s Department of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement. Annual Subscription for 2009 is AU$23.00. All money orders, cheques or donations should be sent to: Youth Challenger PO Box 132 Riverstone NSW 2765 Australia

e-mail address: youth_challenger@sdarm.org.au Editor Gerson Robles Associate Editor Csongor Matyas Design Tabitha Hauptmann Images www.stockxpert.com www.sxc.hu

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MEMORIZING SCRIPTURE A crucial weapon of Christian warfare

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MY SOUL WAS IN THE MARKET PLACE - Poem

At The Cross 20

WHY I WAS BAPTISED Called to wear a soldier’s armour

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I TOOK MY STAND All my “what if’s” melted away

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MY FATHER’S CARE - Poem

Relationships 24

OPENING MY WARDROBE Please don’t take modesty lightly

Youth Update 27

RECIPE FOR DISASTER By Alyssia Thiel

Question Box 29

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME TEMPTATION? A way of escape

Puzzle Page 31

IT IS WRITTEN —Memorizing Scripture

Children’s Corner 32

DID YOU KNOW The Box Turtle Youth ChalleNger


Editorial

Is God Your

Friend? by Gerson Robles

Today I was reading in my Bible from Matthew 17 where Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John. It says His face shone as the sun and His raiment was bright as the light. But what caught my attention was that He appeared together with Moses and Elijah, and they were talking with Him. Moses and Elijah appeared to be having a conversation with the glorified Christ! It reminded me of how the patriarchs and holy men of God spoke with Him as to a friend in the Old Testament. Abraham was called the friend of God. There are numerous dialogues found in the Scriptures between these men and God. You can read about how Moses pleaded with God for Israel, but what amazes me is how Jehovah stooped to talk with sinful men. He spoke with them, reasoned with them, pleaded with them, comforted them and gave them instruction – as a friend to a friend. God, our exalted Creator stoops to talk with sinners! This same Jehovah that spoke with Moses and all the patriarchs, talked with Moses and Elijah again in the mount of transfiguration. Jesus Christ is that same Jehovah of the Old Testament. He is our God, who walked this earth to talk with His disciples as to friends. Volume 44, Number 4

He says, “I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” John 15:15 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. He desires and is anxious to talk with you as to a friend. Are you aware of this fact? Have you tried opening your heart to God as to a friend? Telling Him all your wants, cares, burdens – telling Him everything? Try it. Go to Him who says, “Come now, and let us reason together…though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isa. 1:18 y

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Teen Life

Television vs

Spiritual Life by Alessandro Frige

Let our mind rest upon the work of Jesus our Lord for a moment. Our Faithful Pattern never used pretension in His teachings. Christ’s parables are examples of effective methods our Lord used to help us understand divine lessons. They are not pretensions, or an act; rather, they are enlightening symbols. What a wonderful revelation is the parable of the ten virgins! Have you read it? It’s found in Matthew 25. Through it, Jesus revealed the mystery of the opening of the door to the Most Holy place in heaven, and that His people should keep their Christian life filled with prayer and God’s Spirit lest they were caught ‘sleeping’ (wavering or destitute of faith) and left outside (without knowledge and salvation). They are true warnings, given for our correction and salvation. Knowing the hardness of the human heart, Jesus, through the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, showed the disciples that the only chance of being delivered from destruction was by following the counsels recorded in His word. Even the act of Christ raising someone from the dead would not have power to soften the heart hardened by sin (Luke 16:23-31).



Part 2

Again, there is no deception here, it is not an act. The characters employed by Jesus illustrate the work of the Father and heavenly beings in the salvation of the human race. These parables were used to illustrate important truths. We may apply the same analysis to the earthly sanctuary which was an “example and shadow of heavenly things” and made “according to the pattern showed” (Hebrew 8:2-5), and also to the visions of Daniel and Revelation. All these are great object lessons that shed light on the real plan of redemption. Symbols employed in instruction are approved by heaven and confirmed in the works of Jesus Christ. Does this mean then, that all cartoons, fairy tales and puppet shows are harmless?

Cartoons, fairy tales and puppet shows These are one of the cruelest forms of education given to children. Without knowing the fantastic nature of these stories and plays, children with fragile minds develop false expectations in the real world. When they try to apply any of the false lessons they’ve learned, they Youth Challenger


Teen Life Without knowing the fantastic nature suffer the terrible consequences of these stories and plays, children of the false teaching upon their with fragile minds develop false expeccharacters and have to face the tations in the real world. sad reality that they have been deceived. Such waste of energy is a sin Soap operas against God and against our children. All These are one of the most powerful this effort could be employed in learning methods used by Satan to deceive and perthe truth. Learning the sweetest stories ever vert the principles and behaviour of youth. told, as found in the Bible and in the book Mothers who spend most of their time of nature; stories about our Saviour, His at home are also targets of Satan. If their love, lessons of kindness, obedience and lives are not filled with useful and rewardforgiveness. The great stories of the Old ing labour, they are made an easy prey to Testament would inspire these children this type of moral pollution. As they are to trust in God when in difficulties and daily fed on such poisonous food, they increase in love for their parents and God. become weak and discontented with their Learning the secrets of nature would tell own life and completely forget the blessthem of the great power of God in creating ings and provisions of God. Many marall those wonderful and amazing creatures, riage disasters and discordances between plants, the human being and the eco-syshusband and wife have their origin in the tems with all their diversity and complexdebasing content of soap operas. ity. How much more would children profit Immorality and from simple explanations and displays unfaithfulness in of how these mechanisms work and how marriage are not the God keeps them living. Children would only things taught certainly be far more blessed with the truth in soap operas. instead of being taught to give animals and other inanimate and non-existent things voices or human-like attributes, thus following Satan in his work when he gave a voice to the serpent, to deceive Eve. The same enchantment experienced by Eve in Eden controls the poor little ones who are exposed to such idolatry. The truth, presented in simple and refreshing ways will prove infinitely more beneficial to young brains than all the fabricated lies and excitement of theatrical teaching methods.

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Teen Life Can you bear the thought that your name might be in review right now? Worldly fashions and spiritualism in its most developed and deceiving form are also upheld and promoted. Everyone who has not become intimately acquainted with the Word of God will fall prey to such terrible and satanic teachings. May the Lord touch every heart lest their faith be completely destroyed!

Comedy Shows Think for a moment of the solemn service that our precious Saviour is executing in the Most Holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. Are you aware of His work? Can you bear the thought that your name might be in review right now? God has covered all our repented of and confessed sins that we may be rescued from eternal death! Before such a solemn and wonderful scene, can we question whether unholy laughs, jests, jokes, mockery, swearing, making fun of others, and even mockery of divine themes are welcome before the throne of God? Beloved youth, the angels weep at such behaviour, for all who practise this will suffer God’s consuming fire.

Movies On the same scale as soap operas are movies, which instigate the desire for the unreal, and excite evil passions, anger, hate, revenge, violence and other lusts. Apart from this, they tend to substitute the genuine with the false, and here it’s satanic stamp is found. When a story is told through a movie, a lot of its usefulness and real information is lost. The ‘flickering of the screen’ prevents the brain from creating images about what is being said.



Once ‘everything’ is shown, the mind has no chance of properly reviewing and processing everything. The result is a ridiculous passiveness, and the brain succumbs to an involuntary acceptance of whatever is presented, without restriction or choice as to what it accepts. Christian movies are a snare the deceiver has created to reach those who seek to substitute the fire from the altar with strange fire. Many think that they are very well equipped with such movies and that they can even dismiss the study of the Bible, just so long as they get fed by a ‘Bible film’. They do not know how Satan works greatly with these movies, filling them with lies and false conceptions based just on emotions which prevent the spectator from receiving lessons of reproof and warning so essential to character building; lessons that are found in every page of the Sacred Book. Some Christian movies which seem to be perfect, omit important passages of the Bible and pass by precious pearls which are recorded for our instruction and correction. The wisdom of man cannot be compared with God’s. When we go through the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, God Himself will speak to us, and while we are attentive to His voice, nothing that concerns the work of our salvation will be lost. This is the methodology that God’s providence has prepared. Anything that prevents this miracle from happening in human hearts does not come from the throne of grace. Besides, we have been clearly warned against the use of such art in the work of enlightening the world with the gospel:

Youth Challenger


Teen Life “I have a message for those in charge of our work [proclamation of the gospel]. Do not encourage the men who are to engage in this work to think that they must proclaim the solemn, sacred message in a theatrical style. Not one jot or tittle of anything theatrical is to be brought into our work. God’s cause is to have a sacred, heavenly mould. Let everything connected with the giving of the message for this time bear the divine impress. Let nothing of a theatrical nature be permitted, for this would spoil the sacredness of the work.� (Manuscript Releases, Vol. 19, p.125) Documentaries which do not include theatrics as well as filmed sermons and filmed teachings are examples of the use of technology for the glory of God. In them Jesus is pleased and honoured. y

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Volume 44, Number 4

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Teen Life

by Kaylene Matyas

On Friday, 27th July 2008, a crazy yet fascinating story hit news headlines around the world. A 24-year-old young man from Wanganui, New Zealand, had sold his soul for $5001 to the fast food chain Hell Pizza. His reason for selling it was that “...I can’t see it, touch it, or feel it, but I can sell it.” Hell Pizza was delighted at the purchase, saying “The soul belongs to Hell; there is simply no better place for it. We’d love to get his soul in the virtual world—to keep it immortal.” Hell Pizza received a contract outlining details of ownership and a signed certificate. This may seem like a silly story, but it didn’t stop there. Hell Pizza then used this to create a new marketing campaign, with disgusting and horrifying results. The next month, August 2008, Hell Pizza offered an easy and simple way to sell them your soul. Their logic seemed simple enough: “Your soul is something that sits there and doesn’t do a thing. You can’t see it. You can’t feel it. It can’t keep you warm at night, and when you’re out of milk, it won’t run down to the dairy and grab you more. Souls are pretty much useless, so let us take yours off your hands.” So far, over 7,000 people have responded. You may ask: why is this such a concern to me? Why should it shock me the way

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it did? Because I believe that God has a design for your soul. Let me share what I have come to understand about God’s design for your soul.

What is a soul? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a soul as: “...the moral and emotional nature of human beings; spiritual and moral force.” Hell Pizza would like us to think that “…your soul is pointless. No one knows what it’s supposed to do and frankly, no one cares.” Is your soul pointless? Does no one know what it’s supposed to do? Does no one care? Thankfully I can answer all these questions with a resounding “NO!” There is Someone who knows and cares. Let us go to the Bible to see Who this is. In the very beginning of the Bible, it tells us what the soul is, and how it came into existence. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” 1 Dust (body) + breath (spirit) = soul. Basically put, a soul is you in entirety; not a ghost, not something that can be sold. What happens if you take one of these elements away? Psalms 104:29 tells us: “Thou Youth ChalleNger


Teen Life hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.” If you take away one element of this equation, the soul no longer exists.

Don’t you think that is a very high price to pay, a life for a life?

What is a soul worth? Walter Scott, the young man who sold his soul, thought that his soul was worth at least the $5001 that Hell Pizza gave him. Is that really all your soul is worth? You can search selling your soul on the internet, and each site will give you a different value, but is that the value that God puts on your soul? The psalmist David tells us “My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.” Psa 71:23 Your soul is worth so much that God has redeemed it, with the blood of his only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. John 3:16 reminds us that “…God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Don’t you think that is a very high price to pay; a life for a life? “The soul is of infinite value. Its worth can be estimated only by the price paid to ransom it. Calvary! Calvary! Calvary! will explain the true value of the soul.”2 God regards the soul as more precious than gold. How much would you sell your soul

Volume 44, Number 4

for? Do you know someone who has sold their soul, not necessarily for money, but for some pleasure of this world; smoking, drinking, taking drugs, going out with worldly friends, disobeying their parents? The Bible is full of stories of people who sold their souls for something they thought was worthwhile. Let us consider a few of these stories, and ask ourselves whether they really got the good end of the bargain. 1. Achan – when the children of Israel overthrew the city of Jericho, they were commanded that everything in the city was cursed, except the gold, silver etc, which was to be used for the tabernacle. There was one man, however, who saw something he wanted and ignoring the command, took it and hid it in his tent. He was the only one who took something against God’s instructions, yet the whole nation

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Teen Life Did you think that your soul was the most valuable object in the world? suffered as a result. What had he taken? What had he sold his soul for? A goodly Babylonish garment, 200 shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold! We are also told how he lost his soul. His family, all his goods, his tent, and himself were taken to the valley of Achor, and stoned to death. 3 2. Judas – Luke tells us that Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, and he went to the chief priests offering to betray Jesus to them. Of course the priests were happy about that, and offered him 30 pieces of silver for doing this for them. Judas ‘successfully’ betrayed Jesus to the soldiers, but when he saw that Jesus would not defend himself and was condemned, he repented and took the silver back to the priests. By that time, they had what they wanted, and didn’t care if Judas was sorry for what he had done. Judas cast the money on the floor before them, went out to a field and hanged himself. A soul for 30 pieces of silver!!4 3. Lot’s wife – shortly after Lot moved away from living with Abraham, he moved into the wicked city of Sodom. His family became accustomed to the comforts and luxuries of living in a city, and when the angels of God came and told them they must flee because God was going to destroy the city, it was too much for them. Yet God was merciful to them, and He led them out to safety. The saddest thing about this story is that even though she had been saved from the destruction of the city, Lot’s wife really didn’t want to leave all the luxuries behind her. Her heart was still in the city, and she turned back to see the destruction of what she had loved so much.

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The Bible tells us she became a pillar of salt. All for some little comforts that could have been earned again.5 4. Ananias & Sapphira – this couple had a piece of land which they had pledged to sell, and give the money to the Lord. But when they sold it, it seemed just too hard to part with that much money, so they only brought a part of the amount they had received and laid it at the apostle’s feet for their offering. Peter, instructed by the Holy Spirit, asked them why Satan had filled their hearts to lie to the Holy Ghost and keep back part of the price. This must have been an absolute shock to Ananias, and he fell down, died, and was buried. About three hours later, Sapphira, not knowing what had happened to her husband, came to where the disciples were, and Peter asked her whether the property had sold for such an amount. And she answered yes! Peter then accused her of tempting the Holy Ghost, and told her that the young men who had buried her husband were also waiting outside to bury her too. Of course you would be shocked to hear that, and so was Sapphira. She fell down and died, and the young men came and carried

Youth Challenger


Teen Life her out and buried her beside her husband. Two souls lost because of a sum of money!6 5. The rich young ruler – a certain young ruler came to Jesus one day, asking “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He wanted to save his soul, and wanted to know what he needed to do. Jesus reminded him about the commandments, and the young man replied, “All these have I kept from my youth up.” He had done the right thing, according to the law, but Jesus gave him one more test. “One thing thou lackest...” He was instructed to go and sell what he had, give to the poor and come and follow Jesus. What was his reaction? We are told that he went away sorrowful, for he was very rich. Riches kept him from saving his soul. Jesus was very sorrowful too, because he loved this young man. Jesus valued his soul.7 “Very precious to Jesus are the souls for whom He has given His life. Jesus knows the value of the human soul...When the soul is lost through sin, the most valuable object in the world is lost.”8 Did you get that: these souls that were lost were the most valuable objects in the world. Did you think that your soul was the most valuable object in the world? Well, now you know that it is. If it is the most valuable object, more valuable than gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, even platinum, what do we need to do to keep this soul safe? There are a few things that we can do to work together with God for the saving of our souls. Moses instructed the children of Israel to take heed to themselves, and keep their souls diligently.9 In Matthew, Jesus is recorded having a conversation with His disciples, and He told them that

Volume 44, Number 4

if any man wanted to come after Him, he should deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Him. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”10 “The soul is of more value than the whole world. Jesus has said: ‘What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’“ 11 Is your soul for sale? What price are you expecting to get for it? A little worldly pleasure, a good time, some fun, riches, fame, a few luxuries, the whole world? Or do you want the highest price that has ever been paid? The life of Jesus is offered as your purchase price, eternal life is promised. Which will you choose? I ask you to consider today. What value is it to you to gain the world, but lose your soul and eternal life? I am asking you this question, but ultimately, Jesus is asking you this question. He wants to buy your soul. Are you willing to give it to him? y

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References 1. Genesis 2:7 2. Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 3, p. 188 3. Joshua 7 4. Luke 22 & Matthew 27 5. Genesis 19 6. Acts 5 7. Luke 18 & Mark 10 8. Manuscript Releases, Vol. 14, p. 72 9. Deuteronomy 4:9 10. Matthew 16:24-26 11. Signs of the Times, August 1, 1892

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Teen Life

Foxes and

Vineyards by Gerson Robles

On the 1st of September, 2008 the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries and Water published the following on its website: “The Red Fox was introduced into Australia in the 1870’s for recreational hunting. Their subsequent spread was rapid and they are now responsible for environmental and agricultural impacts valued at over $200 million per annum. “Horticultural enterprises, such as vineyards and orchards, may experience losses of fruit to foxes, either from fruit eaten directly, or through damage to, for example, grape bunches, which are then unsaleable. Foxes also have an unusual habit of chewing on irrigation emitters such as plastic drippers, and can destroy thousands of dollars of irrigation infrastructure in this manner.”

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Spoiling the vines Foxes haven’t changed much since Bible times. There’s an interesting verse found in Song of Solomon 2:15, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” It seems these little foxes were creating havoc in King Solomon’s vineyard. If you were a journalist living in that time, you might think this could be news worthy. Perhaps your story would read something like this:

LITTLE FOXES – A PEST TO ROYAL VINEYARD The king and his bride are not leaving anything to chance today after it was discovered that their world-renowned vineyard was under threat. The royal vineyard, famous for its quality of fruit around the world, is not under threat for lack of water or sunshine, but from a pesky little fox known to cause injury to crops wherever it is introduced. The little foxes are nocturnal which means they sleep during the day. They dig holes for themselves under the earth, often around a place

Youth Challenger


Teen Life

abounding with its favourite food. Hence, they have made themselves right at home at the royal vineyard this spring. With these little foxes prying around, the vineyard’s tender grapes are in danger of being eaten—thus destroying the whole crop this season. Experts believe the whole vineyard is in danger from these foxes, pointing out that the foxes’ burrows under the root system of the vine are making the whole vine weak—the tender grapes failing to get the required nourishment at the most critical stage of growth. These dangers have caused Solomon’s bride to declare, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Song of Solomon 2:15

Biblical foxes Search the Bible everywhere and you won’t find a single favourable reference to foxes. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word shual (a name derived from its digging or burrowing under-ground) rendered fox in our King James Version undoubtedly includes the jackal. There’s the story of Samson capturing 300 foxes (jackals) and letting them loose in the crops and vineyards of the Philistines with fire brands tied to their tails. I doubt that Samson was too concerned about the fate of these foxes though, as they were detested pests.

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Today, some people admire their fur and bushy tails, but these animals can still become pests and have some rather nasty habits. Some of their characteristics include: • Jackals hunt in packs whereas foxes are more solitary and shy • Both are well known carrion eaters: “they [the wicked] shall be a portion for foxes” Psalms 63:10 • They tend to live in graves and ruins: “Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it.” Lamentations 5:18 • They are known to be crafty, shrewd and sly creatures: “Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” Luke 13:32. In the New Testament, the Greek word for fox is alopex and means cunning – a fitting depiction of the shifty and deceptive person that Herod was. • They are opportunistic omnivores: meaning they survive by eating what is available. • They are also very fond of tender grapes and today, as in Bible times, are a pest around vineyards.

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Teen Life Little departures from truth and honesty may seem little today, but the harvest is sure to be reaped. God’s vineyard Isaiah tells us, “the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant…” Isaiah 5:7. He goes on describing how God cared for His vineyard – “He fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein.” Isaiah 5:2. Then God asks the question, “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?” Isaiah 5:4 When Christ came to earth, He also used the familiar vineyard as an illustration of the vital connection we are to have with Him, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit” John 15:5. He also said, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.” John 15:8

The genuineness of our commitment to Christ is determined by the character and quality of the fruit we bear. Isn’t it vital then that we carefully watch out for little foxes that destroy the tender Christian fruit?

Conclusion The other day, I was driving next to a train along the highway. While the train tracks were parallel to the highway we were both doing 100kph and I enjoyed seeing how long a distance we could keep next to each other. Soon we reached a section where the train tracks deviated just a little to the right and 10km down the road, that train was nowhere to be seen. The same thing happens in our lives. It is always little things that make up larger ones. Little departures from truth and honesty may seem little today but the harvest is sure to be reaped. They are doing their silent work on the character and the longer they are allowed to exist, the longer they have to erode, undermine and enfeeble your Christian vine. Watch out for the little foxes, the little mistakes, the little sins. You may not be guilty of tremendous sins, but are you allowing numerous little inconsistencies to ruin the stability of your character? y

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Youth ChalleNger


Teen Life

Longing for Heaven by Cherith Zujic

As I consider My frustrations in life Friends of yesterday Who today are not

I long to hear His voice As we walk beside still waters I look forward To feel His arms around me

People who I upset Quite innocently I long for a perfect world Where all is at peace

Like so often I’ve felt here I want to sit beside Him Find my name etched On His hand

Where we’ll be truly Friends forever Misunderstandings Quite not exist! I long for a perfect world Where love is The ruling force Flowers won’t fade Where people aren’t hurting When the battle’ll be o’er I’m tired of fighting I’m longing for peace I’m longing for Heaven Sickness won’t reign There’ll be peace Love in every heart I’m longing for Heaven Death no longer be No more good-byes Only joyous reunions

But I look around Those I love Aren’t ready Heaven’s waiting We’re not ready Pursuing all else Get ready Get ready Surely it’s time Home to be People yet haven’t heard The glad tidings of salvation Send out the missionaries Let us on our knees be praying Pleading for salvation The harvest is ready Pray for reapers For surely it’s time For the roll To be called – up yonder I’m praying for you, my brother Praying for you my sister Let’s get ready Surely it’s time to go home

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Gifted

Memorizing

Scripture by Jonathan Brown

Memorizing scripture is engrafting God’s word in our minds. If we don’t memorize scripture, we won’t be able to fight off temptation, we won’t be able to encourage others, or even ourselves, during times of spiritual warfare. Being able to recall promises through the aid of God’s Spirit in times of temptation is crucial in our Christian life. Memorizing is committing something to memory, like a wise saying, or a famous date in history. The dictionary defines the word memorize as learning something well enough to recite it by only using your memory. Memory and memorize, do you see the resemblance in the words? It must be about brain power! Memorization is to our mind what exercise is to our muscles. The more you memorize, the more you will increase your capacity to memorize.

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Because memorization requires effort and time, you could be tempted to think that Scripture reading and studying is enough, but this assumption will rob you of a rich experience in overcoming sin and living a faith-filled life.

Why should we memorize Scripture? “If ye abide in me, and my Words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7 “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11 The huge giants, formidable strongholds and persistent enemies which the nation of Israel faced in ancient times are symbols of the continual spiritual warfare that we face in our daily Christian lives. Like Joshua of old, we are guaranteed success only if we meditate upon God’s Word day and night. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous and then thou shalt have good success.” Joshua 1:8

Youth Challenger


Gifted How Christ dealt with Satan Memorizing Scripture helps with meditation, which is essential to fight the battles of the Lord. “We are to study the Bible, that we may know how to meet the assaults of the enemy. When Christ was tempted, how did he overcome? He met the tempter with, It is Written. He used the words of God…. This is the way that we are to overcome.” Signs of the Times, April 15, 1889 Jesus would have memorized scripture at His mother’s knee as a child and young person. Thus He was able to quote it back as He needed. One of the most common stories of Jesus using memorized scripture was when He was tempted in the wilderness. He used memorized scripture to ‘fight’ off Satan’s temptations. “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:3, 4

When Christ was tempted, how did He overcome? dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Satan omitted the words, ‘to keep Thee in all Thy ways’ as found in Psalms 91:11, but Jesus knew His Bible and wasn’t deceived. We can see from this story that it is vitally important that we memorize scripture to help overcome the Devil and his tricks.

Putting it into practise Now that we have learnt how important it is to memorize, let’s put it into practise. As the saying goes, “There is more than one way to skin a cat,” so it is with memorizing. Here are a few different methods to internalize Scripture. 1. Continuous repetition of the verse during quiet time, or whenever possible. 2. Making a card with the scripture verse that you are learning, and keep say-

Memorize it in context! It is important to memorize scripture accurately and in context. When Satan tempted Jesus the second time, he quoted the Scripture out of context. “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou

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Gifted Why not start here to begin with? Do it with a friend!

ing and looking at it until memorized. 3. Making a card with only the first letter of each word, and keep on repeating until memorized. You can put the full verse on the back or just the reference. 4. Put the verse to song. There are various Scripture song books and aids available. “There are few means more effective for fixing His words in the memory than repeating them in song.” Messages to Young People p. 291 The above methods are really good, but this next method is what worked for me the best. First, read through the verse, then repeat while emphasizing the first word. Continue reading the verse, and emphasize the second word then the third word and so on, each time you repeat the verse until the end. Here is an example of memorizing Daniel 8:14 using this method. 1. First you read it through: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”

2. Second, emphasize the first word: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” 3. Third, emphasize the second word: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” 4. Fourth, emphasize the third word: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed” and so on. Some of the best chapters to memorize in Scripture are; 1 Corinthians 12 & 13, Exodus 20 and Isaiah 53. Why not start here to begin with? Do it with a friend! It is easier if you have someone who can encourage you and hold you accountable for your efforts. So now we have learnt how important memorizing is in our spiritual walk. Jesus gave us not only His instruction but example as well. True Christians in the past, used memorizing as a key to their spiritual survival. We need God’s Word in our life every moment of the day, especially to call upon during temptation. By using these various methods, we will indeed keep God’s word in our heart, that we might not sin against Him! y

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All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6 18

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My Soul Was in the Market Place My soul was in the market place; A slave was I to sin, And there was bidding all around – My soul they sought to win. I heard old Satan make his bid Of earthly wealth and fame; It seemed that none could offer more, And greater grew my shame. The carnal offers came so fast, ‘Twas hard to realize That this would seal my destiny My soul, it was the prize. “A life of pleasure,” shouted one, With promises so vain; And so appealing was his bid, For sin could thus remain. And when it seemed my soul would go, Still more enslaved to be, I saw One standing in the midst Who came from Calvary. I heard him cry, “This soul is mine! I’ve paid redemption’s price. Not gold! Not silver! ‘Tis My blood! I’ve made the sacrifice!” The bidding ceased – long silence reigned – I listened for some voice, And then the light of truth broke in – ‘Twas mine to make the choice! I fell down at the Saviour’s feet In penitence and tears. His nail-pierced hands cast off my chains; His love dispelled my fears. My soul was in the market place, But Jesus set me free!

— Floyd W. Hawkins Volume 44, Number 4

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At the Cross

Why I was

Baptised by Jonathan Brown

The reason I was baptized is because I wanted to follow Jesus. By the grace of God and the blood of Jesus Christ, I have known the power to overcome sin – especially those ‘pet’ sins. But just because I’m baptized, it doesn’t mean I don’t get tempted anymore. I just know that through the power of Jesus Christ, I am able to come off more than conqueror! The Christian life has been a great blessing to me and I would say to all who are reading this - of course it has its ups and downs, but that’s life, and we can’t do much to fix that. “All trials that are received as educators will produce joy” God’s Amazing Grace p. 76

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One of the methods I use to combat sin is memorized Scripture. It is especially effective on those besetting sins. One of the main scripture sections I use is Romans chapter 6 (the entire chapter). When I am tempted, I pray for victory, and then repeat the chapter to my self, naming the sin that I am being tempted with, and I always have the victory when I completely yield myself to God. Romans chapter 8 is also good to use in combating temptation. Being baptized is a wonderful event, and so far, I have never regretted it. One thing that I often think about and which is a great source of comfort is the thought that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit pledge themselves to help us in our Christian walk, and that our names will be written in letters of gold in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I enjoyed studying the Bible with Br. Gerson because I found it interesting. My favourite subjects were of Jesus’ soon coming. While Satan often made it difficult to study by side-tracking my mind, I tried to remember to choose not to be sidetracked, and prayed to God to send the devil and his tricks away. It always worked, praise the Lord. I would strongly recommend to any one who is thinking about studying for baptism to do so. It may look hard; we

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At the Cross “Don’t wait till you have tasted the world, may have little ‘pet’ sins because, tomorrow will never arrive, but is that we don’t want to deal like a mirage in a hot and dry desert.” with, but are ‘pet’ sins worth missing out on heaven, civilian clothing and are called to wear a eternal life and happiness? I don’t think soldier’s armour. That is when Satan will so! Don’t fear about being bombarded attack you the most. But if we claim the with temptations that are greater than you promises in the Bible and pray, we shall can bear, “There hath no temptation taken not fall, unless we choose purposefully to you but such as is common to man: but do it, then it is a different matter. God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you So in closing, “Don’t wait till you have to be tempted above that ye are able; but tasted the world, because, ‘tomorrow will will with the temptation also make a way never arrive, but is like a mirage in a hot to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].” and dry desert.’ Today is the day to choose, 1 Corinthians 10:13 and I beseech you, choose life today, beBeing baptised doesn’t mean that it is cause tomorrow will never come.” Pilgrims all rosy and happy afterwards. Because Progress. when you are baptised, you change from

I Took my Stand

with the Lord by Cherie Clements

Growing up in the church, as a young child I would watch my parents stand up for the Lord’s Supper. Many times I and the other kids at the time, would watch in envy, as they were able to eat and drink, we couldn’t. On the hot days they had their feet washed to cool down, on cold days they used warm water to warm up, we didn’t. Not until we were a little older did we completely understand the true importance and sacredness of the Lord’s Supper. During the years of growing up in the church, many times I thought ‘Yes, one day Volume 44, Number 4

that will be me standing, partaking in the ordinance service’. As we mature and leave school behind, work and money becomes a main focus of our attention, our social circles change, time seems short as we run to and fro trying to achieve great things. Many times worship is forgotten, sleep seems too important. Work opportunities drew me away from home to an environment that seemed exciting and new, which it was, but on the other hand it was pulling me backwards. Further and further away the thought of

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At the Cross In the back of my mind there were always questions, concerns...what if? baptism went. Why would I tie myself down to rules and regulations – there are far more exciting things happening in the outside world. Finally the time came when I had to make a decision. Anyone who knows me well enough would understand when I say that I can’t make up my mind to save myself. Decisions are the one of many things I just can not do. In the back of my mind there were always questions, concerns… what ifs. For instance: • What if I was to find Mr. Right, I was baptised but he wasn’t? • What if I wasn’t baptised but Mr. Right was? • What if down the track I fall away from the church? • What if I’m supposed to be doing something different in my life? • What if my friends look down on me, will my social life be harder? • What if... Time and time again these thoughts would enter my mind. Over and over, what if? I didn’t want to let myself down, I didn’t want to let my parents down, but mostly I didn’t want to let the Lord down. Finally the time came to make a stand, either I fall away completely or step up to the mark. To be baptised or not. Even after I decided to be baptised, I still had concerns and thoughts of what

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if, but the difference this time was direction. For once in a long time I had direction and a purpose. As I went through the studies with Bro. Peter L., Bro. Geoff M. and others, I started to have a clearer understanding and knowledge of the truth and our Heavenly Father. Yes there were tears along the way, times when I considered stopping, but I persevered – trust me it was worth it. With one phone call, when all the studies were complete, the date was set for my baptism. Seeing that our little church group has few members, most of them were due to be away for the weekend but thankfully their plans were changed and most of my family and friends were able to witness this special day. Yes, the water was cold, but as Bro. Peter assured me, once entering the watery grave, on my return from it I was filled with a warm glow and feeling that overwhelmed me. In that instance I had left my old life behind and had a new life ahead of me. Right there on the banks of the little river, dripping wet, my “what ifs” melted away. My mind was clearer and I had a greater understanding of the little errors I had been making. No longer do I wait to make a choice when it comes to a matter of faith. My little concerns about the future have left me. I have faith and trust in the Lord that He will direct me along whatever path I should take. My greatest feeling now is this – I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I don’t know who I will meet tomorrow. I don’t know where or what I will be doing in the future, but what I do now know is this – on the 25th October 2008 I took a

Youth Challenger


At the Cross stand for my faith. I put away concerns and made a decision. I don’t know what the future holds, but at least I have a direction, by laying my life in God’s hands to do with it what He will. No longer does religion come across as rules and regulations, but instead it brings life and structure, purpose. It is my prayer that more of the youth, adults, mothers, fathers, children etc. will take a stand for the Lord and profess their faith. Don’t put it off or delay such a wonderful feeling of fulfilment. Worry about tomorrow when it comes. Trust that the Lord will lead each one of us down our paths in this world of uncertainty. When you are next asked about baptism, I pray that you will give it much thought and be standing at the next Lord’s Supper along with your family, friends and Brothers and Sisters in our Lord’s family, receiving energy and much needed fire to burn in our hearts. Don’t be afraid of where the Lord sends you for “Wherever in His providence God has placed you, He will keep you. ‘As thy days, so shall thy strength be.’ Deuteronomy 33:25.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 258 “All that will come are to be brought into the fold. In their lives there is to take place a reformation that will constitute them members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. By hearing the message of truth, men and women are led to accept the Sabbath and to unite with the church by baptism. They are to bear God's sign by observing the Sabbath of creation. They are to know for themselves that obedience to God's commandments means eternal life.” Counsels on Health, p. 355-356 yC Volume 44, Number 4

The Father’s Care Even when you don't have a clue, The Lord will show you what to do; You may not know how, or even why, But remember the Father has heard your cry. Life can seem hard and full of despair, Filled with trouble and oh so unfair; But let me tell you here and now, There is Someone greater than thou. He is watching from above, Willing to shower you in His love; All the hardship you struggle to bare Jesus will take without a care. But that’s not all He wishes for, He stands by waiting for your call; He wants to come and walk with you, And every day to guide you through. Until the final steps you make, Eventually reaching Heaven’s gate, Among the thoughts of thrill and glee, Will be of Jesus and life eternally. by Tim Squires

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Relationships

Opening my

Wardrobe by Bethany Turner

I didn’t have many arguments with mum as a teen. When I did, it was usually over clothes. According to her, they weren't “modest”. In time I turned my life over to God and the arguments stopped. But that doesn’t mean I was never criticised. It’s been years since the lectures died away. But just recently, God spoke to me about my clothes. I was on a bus trip, chatting with a fellow student. He was sharing his burden for men’s ministries and dropped as one reason the fact that many Christian men struggle with porn. Immediately I was convicted about the outfit I was wearing. Even though it fitted (just) within the borders of the modesty standards I had carefully followed, I was convicted that for a Christian man, struggling to deal with lust in his life, I could be a stumbling block in his way to purity. Ouch! The next day my husband told me about an article he’d found in the library —on modesty! Even better, the article referred to a survey that had asked Christian men about women’s clothing. (Read the survey for yourself! www.therebelution.com/ modestysurvey) I read my way through the

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survey and was sometimes quite surprised. There were so many questions and even more answering comments. But most of the men were unanimous about one issue that kept cropping up—cleavage. In answer to the question “Showing any cleavage is immodest” some of the responses were: “This is the biggest thing which causes me to fall.” Age 20 “This cannot be emphasized enough. Cleavage is perhaps the most ‘come and lust after me’ thing a girl can show while still wearing clothes.” Age 22 “So distracting and tempting that it hurts.” Age 16 What about a top that doesn’t display cleavage—unless you bend over? Here came one of the most impacting statements for me from a 15 year boy. “Oh, yeah... This has happened to me a few times. It has to be one of the more awkward situations I have been put in. This kind of thing can catch me off guard, and I can’t even look at the person for a while.” Have I ever made someone feel that uncomfortable around me? I winced. I found this comment helpful: “A lot of girls that I’ve seen simply put a hand up to make sure that nothing is exposed, so simple, and easy, and it says volumes about the type of person you are.” Age 21

Youth ChalleNger


Relationships War is tough, and the metaphor is relevant, the fight for purity is tough, too.

I’m now trying to because make a studied habit to put a hand over my neckline whenever I bend over, because I realise that I don’t always know whether or not the top has the ability to “put me on display.” Lastly, the guys wrote some encouragement for girls who make the effort to dress modestly. Here are a few that spoke to me: “I am encouraged in my spiritual life to remain pure whenever I see a modestly dressed girl.” 19 “Young ladies who dress and act modestly make a huge difference. I can also feel safe around them, rather than constantly on-guard.” 21 “Please don’t take modesty lightly. As your brother in Christ I value the relationship that I will have with my wife someday. When I am tempted because of you I lose a part of myself that I am trying to save for her. When I’m tempted because of you I become that much more accepting of the perversions in the world. When you remain pure and modest, my life is made so much easier. Instead of watching to ensure that I don’t sin I can focus on you as a person and fellow follower of Christ. I appreciate modesty more than you’ll ever know. Please, show respect of yourself and of me and be modest.” 16 These painfully honest insights touched my heart. They’ve also made a powerful impact on my dress habits. I’ve heard some well-meaning people insist, “The guys are responsible for their thoughts and actions. It’s their battle. You can’t make the girls carry that.” And it is their battle. But I want to strengthen God’s soldiers. War is tough, and the metaphor is relevant, because the fight for purity is tough, too. Volume 44, Number 4

No matter what I do the guys around me will still have a battle to fight. At times they may even lose. I know that. I can’t fight their battles for them. But I want them to feel safe around me; I want to give them a chance to lay down their armour and relax for a change. We were visiting a friend’s house recently and, as I stepped over to a wedding photo, I noticed my brother-in-law behind me. The dresses were tastefully modest, but they were simple and didn’t really catch my fancy. I was surprised to hear the voice behind me praise them. Then, he added a quiet aside to me, “It’s so nice to be able to enjoy a wedding photo. Usually I have to look away.” y

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Youth Update

Recipe for

Disaster by Alyssia Thiel What do you do with 12 young people and a long weekend? You do the very normal thing of designing cakes. Does that sound normal to you? Not likely! But as all other plans for the long weekend were disappointed, this idea was concocted. So with the ingredients in hand, we converged at the Kingston’s place. Law and order being desired by the older youth and supervisors, four team leaders were chosen by secret ballot. After each team was organized, we all

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mapped out our plan of action. As each team was ready to start, the ground rule of no throwing of any substance was placed. The “placing” of these materials (i.e. flour,) on any team member was permitted if thought necessary! As the ingredients were ready to be used, each team leader found a place for the team and started the hectic job of finding the right ingredients! Many were saying, “Where is the flour?”, “Where is the oil?” or “Who is using the vanilla essence?” This was sorted out in due course!

Youth ChalleNger


Youth Update Whirring of whisks and beaters, scraping of bowls and licking of fingers were the only things to be heard. Except, perhaps, the occasional “Oh, no!” This didn’t sound too good especially when it was the result of reading the recipe after the cake mix had been started! Cake tins were quickly filled and squeezed into the oven. Once the cakes were out of the way (out of sight, out of mind), the youth decided that it was time for some outdoor fun. So they went outside to play ball, leaving a few to look after the cakes. But in their haste to get outside, someone accidentally turned off the oven switch! Thankfully, none of the cakes were ruined. Mmmm… Can you smell something yummy? Maybe the cakes are ready! Round or square, they looked perfect. But it is commonly

Volume 44, Number 4

Mmmm... Can you smell something yummy? known that “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” Decorations complete, the ability of the cooks was put to the test. Samples! All freely criticized (in a good way, of course) and commented on each team’s cake. “A little bit less soya milk would have been just right.” “This one’s a bit dry, but nice all the same!” “What an interesting flavour…” These were some of the comments, which were as varied as they were interesting! Pumpkin and Nut, Carrot and Carob Chip, Pumpkin and Orange, Carob Marble, Lemon and Ginger, and Orange Coconut were the flavours of the cakes produced. Surprisingly, they were all very tasty and the most popular was the Pumpkin flavour! Grated pumpkin

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Youth Update All are looking forward to the Pizza Panic (or is it Pasta Parcel)! makes a very good substitute for carrot. As no one has complained of sickness as a result of this activity, it was concluded that it was a success. All are looking forward to the Pizza Panic (or is it Pasta Parcel)! yC

Recipe For Happiness

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Ingredients:

Method:

2 Heaping cups of patience 1 Heart full of love 2 Hands full of generosity Dash of laughter 1 Head full of understanding

Sprinkle generously with kindness Add plenty of faith and mix well. Spread over a period of a lifetime And serve everyone you meet.

Youth ChalleNger


Question Box

How do you overcome

Temptation? by Cameron Brown If you are human, you need to read this article. We all battle with temptations. Why is this? Where do these temptations come from? And how can we overcome them? Let’s take a brief look behind the scenes.

Where it all began When God created the earth, everything was perfect. Adam and Eve were perfect. They enjoyed perfect communion with God. But there was a problem. You see, Lucifer, the chief angel and second only to Christ, had become dissatisfied with his position and had incited a rebellion amongst the angels in Heaven and there had been a war in heaven. Lucifer lost the war and was expelled from Heaven. He turned his attention to earth. He thought that if he could cause man to sin, then he could set up a rival kingdom to God’s. Adam and Eve fell for his temptation and the course was set for the whole of the human race to follow. Satan hates mankind because we are God’s handiwork. He is constantly on guard to trip us up and never wastes an opportunity. There is good news though! Just as Volume 44, Number 4

soon as man fell into sin, God swung into action with the Plan of Redemption. Christ would take the punishment and die for the sins of mankind, and thereby save him from Satan’s control. What a wonderful God we serve! Now Satan knows that his days are numbered, and all he is concerned about is to take as many people down with him as he can. He works by assailing us with finely tuned temptations; temptations in areas in which we are weak. But we don't have to succumb to his attacks.

A way of escape Christ overcame Satan on the cross, and he promises power to each one of us to do the same! He has also promised that Satan will not be allowed to tempt us more than we are able to bear. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says that “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” What a marvellous promise! What is this way of escape? How do we overcome temptation? These tempt-

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Question Box What is this way of escape? ings are so strong; I've tried many times to overcome, and every time failed miserably. Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Is this true for you? It sure is for me! Am I willing to resist evil? Absolutely! Am I able to? Never! Paul had this same experience in Romans chapter 7. “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:19) Seems pretty hopeless, doesn’t it? So what is the way of escape? The apostle James says “submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” James 4:7-8. The key is submission to God—letting God work in your heart. He promises to work “in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13) Isn’t that great? The God of the universe has promised to work in our hearts! Why wouldn’t we want to submit ourselves to Him? “This is all good and well,” I hear you say, “but how do I resist?” Well, Ellen White puts it very well: “Unless there is a possibility of yielding, temptation is no temptation. Temptation is resisted when man is powerfully influenced to do a wrong action; and, knowing that he can do it, resists, by faith, with a firm hold upon divine power. This was the ordeal through which Christ passed.” (YI, July 20, 1899) See? When we are tempted, we can take hold of God’s power by faith, and we are enabled to resist. This is what Christ has promised to share with us. Christ came to this earth and although viciously attacked by Satan, lived a sinless

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life. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not an high priest [Christ] which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Jesus has gone on before us and shown us the way. Will we follow in His footsteps?

Conclusion We often tend to think that it is all too much and why bother. Heaven seems far away and not quite real. But Heaven is real. God is waiting to take His children home. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Heaven will be better than our wildest dreams! And Jesus has paid the price for our admission there. He promised, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:21 James 1:12 says “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” Let us look to Jesus and follow Him. Let us strive to overcome temptation with the aid of His promised power. Heaven will be cheap enough!

yC

Youth ChalleNger


Puzzle Page

It Is Written—

Memorizing Scripture The article on page 16 of this issue is all about memorizing Scripture. See how well you can remember the article by doing the cross-word below! (All words are from the article)

Across

Down

4. 6. 7. 10. 11.

1. Learn by heart, remember 2. Repeating something to improve performance 3. Musical composition of words set to music 5. Doing something again and again 6. Physical activity, movement 8. Amount or volume that can be held or taken in 9. Assurance that something will be done

Act of battle, fighting Exerting energy The Bible The fact of staying alive or in existence Desire for something bad, lure, inducement 12. Think carefully about something, contemplate

1 4

5

2

3 6

7

8

9 10

11

12

EclipseCrossword.com

Volume 44, Number 4

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Children’s Corner

Did you know? Submitted by Alyssia Thiel The box turtle, like others of it’s kind, lacks teeth. It’s jaws, though, are covered with a horny sheath equipped with a sharp cutting edge. The turtle is one of the unclean creatures mentioned in Leviticus 11:29, which the Israelites were not to eat. The Moorish tortoise is common through Palestine, and it’s flesh is enjoyed by the ossifrage. In order to reach the flesh, these birds carry the tortoise high into the air and drop it to the ground until the shell shatters. The Hebrew word for tortoise means “canopy”.

The average life expectancy of a turtle is about 40 years, but some have lived to be 138. Although the meat of the box turtle might be eaten, it is not generally used for that purpose. Years ago, miners in need of food caught and ate these turtles. Many of them became sick. It is believed that the flesh of the reptiles may have become temporarily poisonous because of the turtle’s diet of poisonous toadstools. The turtle is very fond of the toadstools and their poison does not seem to affect it. y C


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