Teens on a Mission | Lesson 3 | January 17, 2009
Details, Details, Details
Sabbath Afternoon | Today’s Reading

1 Timothy 4:12 (New International Version)

“Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

“Remember that you will never reach a higher standard than you yourself set. Then set your mark high, and step by step, even though it be by painful effort, by self-denial and sacrifice, ascend the whole length of the ladder of progress. Let nothing hinder you. Fate has not woven its meshes about any human being so firmly that he need remain helpless and in uncertainty. Opposing circumstances should create a firm determination to overcome them. The breaking down of one barrier will give greater ability and courage to go forward. Press with determination in the right direction, and circumstances will be your helpers, not your hindrances” (Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 331, 332).

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 45

Highlight the paragraph that ends with this sentence: “Yet He who spoke to the people that day in accents of love, was opening to them the principles of the law proclaimed upon Sinai.”

DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS

It was 1911, and explorers were attempting to travel to the uttermost parts of the world. Two teams set out to be the first in history to journey to the South Pole (Antarctica). The glaring dissimilarity between the two teams was their approach and preparation for the journey, which in the end made all the difference in the world.

One team was led by Norwegian explorer Ronald Amundsen, who rigorously studied the travel methods of the Eskimos and others who traveled in similar climates. After careful study and reflection, he determined that the best way to reach the South Pole was to travel by dogsled. Next he picked a team of skilled skiers and set reasonable goals for each day, making sure the dogs would have plenty of food and rest. His careful planning enabled the team to reach their goal without any major disasters. In fact, the only incident that his team encountered was an infected tooth that had to be extracted.

Unfortunately, the other team, headed up by Robert Falcon Scott, had a completely different experience. Scott, a British naval officer who had led a previous Antarctic expedition, did not thoughtfully plan out his expedition as is displayed by his choice to use motorized sledges and ponies for the journey. Problems started soon after the expedition began. The motorized vehicles failed after five days, and the ponies, which had never experienced such bitter cold, had to be killed at the base of the Transantarctic Mountains. After the ponies were gone, Scott’s teams had to drag the heavy sledges around and were sapped of their energy.

To make matters worse, their clothes were not appropriate for the weather, causing many team members to suffer from frostbite. In addition, the team became blinded by the snow because of inadequate goggles and eye protection, If that weren’t enough drama, the food and water ran low as a result of Scott’s poor planning and last-minute addition of a fifth person to the team. Amazingly, Scott’s team made it to the South Pole alive, but in bad shape. And there waiting for them was the Norwegian flag. Amundsen, because of his thoughtful attention to the details, had accomplished his goal and reached the destination one month sooner than his counterpart. (Unfortunately, Scott and his team did make it to the Pole, but all perished on the trip home.)

It pays to pay careful attention to the details that will help us accomplish our goals.

Sunday | Today’s Reading

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 46

Highlight the paragraph that starts, “The law given upon Sinai was the enunciation of the principle of love.”

(What does enunciation mean? According to the Encarta dictionary, it means: “to speak clearly.”)

“Love must be the principle of action” (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 49).

“Trust in God, and seek to move from principle, strengthened and ennobled by high resolves and a determination of purpose found only in God” (Testimonies, Vol. II, p. 313).

“He uses his gifts best who seeks by earnest endeavor to carry out the Lord's great plan for the uplifting of humanity, remembering always that he must be a learner as well as a teacher” (Ellen G. White,Youth's Instructor, Dec. 11, 1902.

“From [Jesus’] earliest years He was possessed of one purpose: He lived to bless others” (The Desire of Ages, p. 70).

HERE’S WHAT I THINK

Roald Amundsen traveled to the Antarctic to seek out new life, to boldly go where no man had gone before.

If you were to personally use the structure of that statement to describe your purpose in life, what would you change, and how would it read?

Keeping the basic structure and themes of the statement above, how would a mission statement for your church (or your dream church) read? Try to make it 30 words or less like the one above.

Log on to http://www.guidemagazine.org/rtf to post your responses. Be up-front and honest. Say what you think. The lines below are provided as an alternative to posting. You may also wish to record your thoughts to share with your class later.

Monday

God’s Power People

Unscramble the names of the following Bible people who were recipients of God’s power:

1. nalide

8.   sherte

2. ognide

9. ahhann

3. jiahel

10. semso

4. slahei

11. shejop

5. sodrac

12. izahheek

6. sazular

13. nassmo

7. anohj

14. losnomo

Tuesday | Today’s Reading

Mark 10:46-52 (Amplified Bible)

“Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, a son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside.

“And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, saying, Jesus, Son of David, have pity and mercy on me [now]!

“And many severely censured and reproved him, telling him to keep still, but he kept on shouting out all the more, You Son of David, have pity and mercy on me [now]!

“And Jesus stopped and said, Call him. And they called the blind man, telling him, Take courage! Get up! He is calling you.

“And throwing off his outer garment, he leaped up and came to Jesus.

“And Jesus said to him, What do you want Me to do for you? And the blind man said to Him, Master, let me receive my sight.

“And Jesus said to him, Go your way; your faith has healed you. And at once he received his sight and accompanied Jesus on the road.”

SO WHAT?

Most people are eventually forced into focusing their life on the things that matter most as a result of serious problems arising, such as cancer or financial difficulties. Trail by fire is one approach to finding a focus and purpose; however, it might not be the best way to spend your time on earth. The story of Blind Bart is a great example of someone straining out anything that gets in the way of his goal, and leaping out to obtain it. In Mark 10, a blind man named Bartimaeus is sitting by the road when he hears that Jesus is passing by. He cries out to Jesus, but he gets shushed by the crowd. Determining not to let the opportunity pass, he cries out louder, and Jesus stops and calls him to come. The blind man sheds his cloak, leaps into the air, and makes his way to Jesus. Amazing. Nothing got in the way of his goal. His reward—Jesus healed him and taught each of us a life lesson about focusing on what we want out of life.

Why wait until you’re desperate and you have no other options? Why not live by principle today? Why not be driven by your mission, making every decision based upon your values? Why not live each day for the things you would be willing to die for? It’s as simple as showing compassion for outsiders who can’t get in, loving your neighbor with tangible grace, or empowering missionaries to spread the gospel in India by working a few hours after school. Whatever your mission is, be the kind of person who is guided by a true north. Take the challenge of navigating the waters of your teen years with a clear sense of who you are and what you are destined to do.

Wednesday | Today’s Reading

Match the phrase with the text. All texts have been taken from the NIV Bible.

  1. “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love. . . .” 
  2. “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect. . . .”
  3. “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ. . . .”
  4. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing. . . .”
  5. “And now, compelled by the spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. . . .”
  6. “’You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’”
  7. “He who pursues righteousness and love finds. . . .”
  8. “You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you. . . .”
  1. Proverbs 21:21
  2. Colossians 2:2, 3
  3. Philippians 3:12-14
  4. Philippians 2:1, 2
  5. Romans 8:18
  6. Acts 20:22-24
  7. Jeremiah 29:13
Thursday | Today’s Reading

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 47-48

Highlight the paragraph that starts, “It is the Creator of men, the Giver of the law. . . .”

“Human devices, human plans, and human counsels will be without power. Only in Christ Jesus will the church near the period of Christ's coming be able to stand. She is required of her Redeemer to advance in piety, to have increasing zeal, understanding better as she nears the end that her own ‘high calling’ is ‘of God in Christ Jesus. . . .”

“There are glorious truths to come before the people of God. Privileges and duties which they do not even suspect to be in the Bible will be laid open before the followers of Christ. As they follow on in the path of humble obedience, doing God’s will, they will know more and more of the oracles of God, and be established in right doctrines” (That I May Know Him, p. 114).

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ME?

As bright and complicated as Paul could be, he kept his mission simple: “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2, 3 NIV).

As we grow older, our mission is shaped by new ideas and new experiences. It seems clear when we read the Gospels that Jesus calls His followers to do incredible things to further the kingdom. But what is also true is that we are not alone. Jesus is right behind us, helping us become everything He has intended us to be.

Jesus believes in you and can empower you to make bold choices for Him. More than anything else, He wants you, as a child of His kingdom, to experience the joy that comes from being free to be and do exactly what God has intended for your life. What if you were to try it out, keep it simple, and live next week by a mission that you write? The journey isn’t about being perfect: it’s about beginning to live on purpose.

Friday | Today’s Reading

Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, pp. 49-50

  1. Highlight the paragraph that starts: “ The new-covenant promise is . . .”
  2. Underline the sentence that starts, “Those principles that were made known to man. . .”
  1. Do the words law and principle mean the same thing?
  2. Why should we try to live by principles or laws?
  3. Does anything in nature function with some principle or law?
  4. Why did God give us principles to live by?

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Write yourself a mission statement so that you can get busy living it!

A personal mission statement addresses three questions:

1. What is my life about?
2. What do I stand for?
3. What action am I taking to live what my life is about and what I stand for?

My mission statement: