To a degree that has never been witnessed before, the family is under attack. Frequent family arguments, maladjusted couples, betrayal of the marriage vow, painful separations, divorce and remarriage, neglected or abandoned children are rapidly increasing in the world around us. The breakdown of the home is one of the most serious problems that people are facing in many countries today. It is a sad fact that the characteristic Christian home is becoming an “endangered species” in the twenty-first century. Among the tragic signs of the breakdown of the home, divorce with its baleful consequences must be put at the top of the list.
Only the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ can save the home. To this effect, God has given instructions in the Bible that, if followed, will not only ensure happy families but will serve to restore alienated hearts and broken homes.
This quarter, under the title The Christian Home, we will be studying through much of this instruction in order to establish successful Christian families. Much counsel has also been gathered from the pen of Ellen G. White. Whether you are married or single, a parent or a child, these timely counsels have lessons for everyone. As students apply these counsels to their own family life, it is our prayer that their homes will become a little heaven on earth. But this will require the surrender of our own human wisdom and worldly ways to the wisdom and ways of God.
When discipline, order, and neatness, as well as harmony, peace, and love are carefully cultivated; when songs and prayers ascend morning and evening from converted and thankful hearts gathered around the family altar; when the members of the family live out the teachings of God’s Word, then the presence of Christ and of the holy angels will be felt in the homes. Such homes will be places of refreshing to weary pilgrims, training schools for young people, and fruitful missionary fields where every parent may realize a rich harvest from his or her faithful labors.
May the blessings of God be with parents and children, teachers and students, as they study these lessons!
SABBATH, APRIL 6, 2013
First Sabbath Offering for a church in Pune, India
India is a large democratic country which houses more than 1.2 billion people who embrace diverse global religions such as Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, and Christianity.
Though the message of Reforma-tion reached India about half a century ago, it took some time to fully develop before it yielded its firstfruits in the northern and north-eastern parts of India in the early eighties. Since that time, the Present Truth has continued to reach every nook and corner of the subcontinent.
Unlike elsewhere in the world, challenges, difficulties, and persecutions are to be faced in a greater degree in this unique area. Reminiscent of the experience of the early Advent believers, we can echo these inspired words: “For years the pioneers of our work struggled against poverty and manifold hardships in order to place the cause of present truth on vantage ground. With meager facilities, they labored untiringly; and the Lord blessed their humble efforts. . . . Now, when the Lord bids us proclaim the message once more with power . . . , shall we not respond as one man and do His bidding? Shall we not plan to send our messengers all through these fields and support them liberally? . . . As we do this work we shall find that means will flow into our treasuries, and we shall have funds with which to carry on a still broader and more far-reaching work.”—Testimonies, vol. 9, pp. 98–101.
Pune is a cosmopolitan city in the state of Maharashtra about a hundred miles away from Mumbai—the largest city in India. Pune is known to have existed as a town since 847 A.D. Today, this prosperous city is known for its educational centers, multi-cultural activities, and religious diversities. Hinduism is the dominant religion, and among the population of 1.1 billion, fewer than 2% are Christians.
Surely it is time for a chapel to honor the true and living God to be erected in Pune, but this can be possible only with the generous support of our fellow believers from around the world. We thank you in advance for your valuable and generous support.
Your brethren and sisters from Pune
The General Conference Sabbath School Department