Greetings MOL Family!
As we continue on with our lesson on homeheading, we want to study those things which are inspirational in this class; but we want to be very practical too. That’s one wonderful thing about God’s program, and if you’re in it very long, you’ve got to be practical. The dishes have to be washed. The food has to be cooked. The house has to be cleaned, the garden cultivated, the classes taught, the Bible studies given, the sanitarium staffed and so on and on and on. Very practical!
“The Men Which Thou Gave Me”
Jesus had a lot of practical problems. In fact, the Bible says that the night Jesus told Judas, “What you do, do quickly,” the other disciples thought that Jesus was giving him instruction about spending some money. He was dealing with the nitty gritty, the practical things. And so, there are some very practical implications and applications in what we’re looking at here that I want you to ponder over.
What do I do as a homehead, when I get a telephone call, or a note in the mail, or a personal interview, and the message is, “We’d like to have you take John Doe or Mary Doe in your home?” What do I do with that message from whoever is bringing it? Do I say? “Well, the committee has asked me to do this; I guess my business is to do it.” — No, my dear friend. If that’s your approach, you are missing a great providence. You are missing something that I hope you’ll not miss.
What to do? Well, do what Jesus did. Go to your Father who is the same one as His Father and say, “Father, I’m your servant. My home is your home. I’m only a steward of it. Father, what do you want me to do? Is this boy, this girl, this youth, this older person; are these people somebody that You have given to me, whether the period is longer or shorter? Is it Your will, Your choice, Your plan, that this person or these people are to be in my home?”
Well, you say, “How will I know?” Well, my dear friends, unless you know, do not be in the business of homeheading. How on earth are you going to communicate this kind of experience to others unless you yourself have it?
Well, you say, “In the meanwhile, in the meantime, how is the committee going to solve the problem of what to do with this student?” And you will, I trust, not think me unkind when I say that that’s their problem. Now, when I say this, I’m not speaking thoughtlessly. Unless we’re careful, it’s easy for us in administrative work whether as individuals or committees to think, “Well, here’s somebody that needs a bed. They should go here or there. Maybe so; maybe not.
The great thing that we’re needing, dear ones, is not a bed for that person. As we noted in our lesson, Jesus ran His home without a house. And I’d rather have the right person if I had to park him in the garage, or if I didn’t have a garage under a tree, than I would to have the best beds to fill up with people that I can’t help, and that will only be a monkey wrench in the machinery. Do you see what I mean?
Well, somebody says, “Yes, but doesn’t God guide committees?” Yes, He guides committees. But if committees are infallible, then we don’t need to study what we’re studying today.
In the Roman Catholic Church, we have a hierarchy in which the members are taught what to do by the priest, and he gets his message from the bishop, the archbishop and back of them all is what? Who heads it up? — The Pope. That’s a very convenient form of government. It has the answers. But it overlooks this fundamental fact: God wants to deal with the individual and help each person to have a personal fellowship with Christ.
Now, when we substitute [don’t miss this] a committee for a priest or a Pope, we may have helped things a little, but not that much. Because if we have 3 people, or 5 people, or 7 people, or 81 people, and not a single one of them is infallible alone, do they by getting together in a committee become infallible as a group? No.
Well, you say, “Why have committees then?” The great purpose of committees is to help to find out the mind of God. But God never arranged for any committee to take from you the responsibility, and the privilege, and the joy of finding out the will of God. The ideal situation, and the only one you should feel satisfied with, is when the answer the committee gets and the answer you get are the same answer.
But your answer cannot take the place of the committee’s answer. In other words, you don’t just go around and pick out someone and say, “Here, come home with me.” We have committees that study that. But by the same token, and for the same reason, it is not enough that the committee meet and say, “Mary is to be at your home, Sister. John is to be at your home, Brother, Sister.” No.
The committee can suggest. They have to look at the whole field. They have to think of all the homes. They have to think of all the students and workers. They have many and difficult problems to work out. But all they can do [and don’t miss it] is suggest. Then, if you’re the homehead, you’ve got a decision to make. It shouldn’t be a selfish one, but neither should it be a slavish one. It shouldn’t be a quick thing. “Sure, I’ll do it. If that’s what you say, I’ll do it.” What did Jesus say about these people? — “The men which Thou gave Me.”
Because He had that attitude and that experience, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end; He went clear through all the problems with them. And at last got them, eleven out of the twelve, to Pentecost, and within a few weeks there were thousands of Christians.
Brother, sister: young people and older ones are brought to your home that they may be prepared for a second Pentecost, and you will never be able to do this merely by committee assignment. You must know that God has called you, because some of these people have problems so big that only a miracle can solve them.
…Which Thou Gave Me
Back in the 1880s Sister White was writing to Elder Haskel about an experience she had in which a mother had told her that she would like to adopt a child. She was talking to Sister White about it, and said if she could find a child that didn’t tell lies, that was obedient… she went on and named her list.
Sister White told her, “I don’t think I can find you a child like that, that needs a home, but if you’re willing to take a child that has problems, that needs teaching, that needs love, that needs discipline, I can find one for you.” And Sister White told this woman, “To take a child like that, that needs all, that will do something for you.”
I wouldn’t take anything in the world for the experiences that God has led me through. I have been training folks in this kind of thing. And as you can imagine, I’ve had some problems; problems that have led me to my knees many a time; not easy ones, hard ones. Thank God. If I’m in Heaven (and I hope to be, by God’s grace), one of the great things that God has led me into is this homeheading to help me learn some lessons. But I’ve had to know that God assigned me those problems. I’ve had to know that.
Now again being very practical. Suppose that the committee says, “We’d like to have John in your home.” And you pray about it, and if you’re married, the two of you pray together about it and study it. It’s not just a matter of waiting for some hunch. You analyze the thing. Think of the room you have available. You think of the people you already have in your home. You think of your time, your strength, your other responsibilities.
And suppose after you get all through with that, your honest conviction is, “I don’t believe the Lord wants us to take this.” What should you do? Should you blindly go ahead with it just because the committee has asked you? Well, you see if you do that you’re going up to bat with two strikes on you to start with, if not three.
If with all your prayer and study you can’t get the conviction, the assurance that Jesus has called you to do it, what on earth are you going to do with the problems? You can’t have a committee there hovering over you every minute. If you’re not careful you’ll wind up in a situation in which six weeks or six months later you’ll say to the committee, “I didn’t think this would work, and it hasn’t.” And how have you helped the committee? How have you helped the student? How have you helped yourself? How have you helped the Lord? No. This is the time for frankness.
And again, I say, I’ve set where the committee sits for years. I know the problems. But I can honestly say whether in church work, or institutional work, or homeheading, I never want an individual to accept a responsibility that I suggest unless in his heart he has the assurance, the conviction that this is something that God wants him to do. And if that means that the committee has to say to John or Mary, “Sorry we thought we had a place for you, but it looks like there isn’t any,” it’s better for that person to go back to Michigan or Texas or Timbuktu, than it is to be subjected to a situation where he’s merely tolerated as a boarder instead of welcomed as a member of the family. Wouldn’t you rather?
Oh, it’s a wonderful thing to be welcomed in and feel at home. And that’s a birthright that God wants everybody to have. God wants you to feel at home on this campus. And He wants those who live with you in your home to feel at home. Jesus’ disciples knew that He was interested in them.
…having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. – John 13:1
Go back to John 17. I want you to look at the 4th verse, the 6th verse, and the 8th verse, and pick out four consecutive words which are the same, exactly the same in the 4th verse, the 6th verse, and the 8th verse, four words in sequence. If you mark your Bibles and don’t already have those four words marked, you probably would like to mark them. But remember, the real message is in the word that precedes those four in each verse.
What do we have in the 4th verse? What did the Father give Him?
…the work which thou gave me… – John 17:4
What do we have in the 6th verse?
…the men which thou gave me… – John 17:6
And what do we have in the 8th verse?
…the words which thou gave me… – John 17:8
The work which God gave Him was to give to the men that God gave Him, the words which God gave Him. That’s it. Isn’t it beautiful? How they hang together like pearls on a golden string:
…the work which thou gave me… – John 17:4
…the men which thou gave me… – John 17:6
…the words which thou gave me… – John 17:8
Where did He get those words? — From His Father. Where did He get the people to give them to? — From His Father. And that was His work. And when He had done that, He did His job. And when you have done that, you have done your job. Oh, what a wonderful privilege.
And somebody is thinking of the practical. “But, Brother, suppose that God really wants John in this home over here, but the homehead somehow doesn’t get the message.” Then my dear friends, if that homehead is so far from God or so filled up with his problems that he can’t get the message, it may be better that John not be there. Do you see what I mean?
One good thing for you to do when you face practical problems like this is to talk and pray with those who have the burden of the work. You women, if it concerns something in your phase of your work, talk with the matron. You and the matron talk and pray together. Get a picture of her problem. She has got to think of dozens of people.
Praying together helps get things in prospective:
…if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. – Matthew 18:19
And I’ll tell you what you’ll find if you’ll do that. God will either change your mind so that you see light in what the committee has suggested, or else the Lord will help you to so present the matter that the committee will see that God’s answer must lie in some other direction. It can well be that in answer to your united prayer; God will open up something for John or for Mary better than either you or the committee had yet thought of. These things take time, but they save time. They call for prayer, but they save a lot of agonizing disappointments or frustrations.
Where did Jesus get His work? — From His Father. Where did He get His men? — From His Father. Where did He get the words to give them? — From His Father. And not more surely is that place prepared for you and me in Heaven than the special place here on earth. There’s a special place for me, and there’s a special place for everybody that is to work with me, whether in the church, in the institution, or the home.
Oh friends, when you look out at the stars at night and remember that God has a special place for every one of those shining orbs, remember those who share with Jesus are to shine like those stars forever and ever. God grant it for every one of you.
Next week, we’ll continue on with our class rotation. Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.