2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 7, February 11-17, The Holy Spirit and the Fruit of the Spirit
Wednesday, February 15
“Let the student take the Bible as his guide and stand firm for principle, and he may aspire to any height of attainment. All the philosophies of human nature have led to confusion and shame when God has not been recognized as all in all. But the precious faith inspired of God imparts strength and nobility of character. As His goodness, His mercy, and His love are dwelt upon, clearer and still clearer will be the perception of truth; higher, holier, the desire for purity of heart and clearness of thought. The soul dwelling in the pure atmosphere of holy thought is transformed by intercourse with God through the study of His word. Truth is so large, so far-reaching, so deep, so broad, that self is lost sight of. The heart is softened and subdued into humility, kindness, and love.
“And the natural powers are enlarged because of holy obedience. From the study of the word of life, students may come forth with minds expanded, elevated, ennobled. If they are, like Daniel, hearers and doers of the word of God, they may advance as he did in all branches of learning. Being pure-minded, they will become strong-minded. Every intellectual faculty will be quickened. They may so educate and discipline themselves that all within the sphere of their influence shall see what man can be, and what he can do, when connected with the God of wisdom and power.” (Ellen White, Ministry of Healing, 465, 466, emphasis added. Also Vol. 8, Testimonies for the Church, 322, 323.)
“We are to learn a lesson from the goodness and mercy and self-sacrificing life of the Father. We are to study how to give our sympathy and love to others. As we have received this priceless gift, so we are to impart it. We are to learn how to rule by love and kindness, rather than by severity and censure. When an erring person becomes conscious of his wrong, do not deal with him in a manner that will take away all his self-respect. Do not seek to tear to pieces, but to bind up and heal. You may see the errors of a brother. Yet he may not be able to discern his wrong; and it may be difficult to know how to act. But never pursue a course that will give him the impression that you regard yourself as his superior. You may think that your feelings, your pursuits, your organization, are superior to his, but do not seek to make this apparent; for such a course is altogether out of harmony with true refinement, true nobility of character. We are not to bruise the souls of the erring, but to go to them armed with humility and prayer. When the gospel minister, with his heart subdued by the love and grace of Christ, comes in touch with human minds, he can reveal his superior qualifications, not by destroying hope and courage, but by inspiring faith in the faithless, by lifting up the hands that hang down, and confirming the feeble knees.
“The action will always testify to the texture of the character. The counsel of one who has a keen sense of right will always be valuable. He will work as Christ worked, seeking to lift up from the depths of woe and wretchedness the unhappy beings who will surely perish unless a loving, sympathizing hand is extended to them.” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, November 21, 1899, emphasis added.)