The Voice of God

Audio: mp3

How many here when they pray would like God to speak to them in clear audible noise? Wouldn’t that be great? When you have an issue and you lay it before the Lord and say Lord, just tell me straight so I can just know exactly, often this discourages many Christians because when we pray we make audible noise and God doesn’t seem to do that and it’s really hard to have a relationship when one person talks and the other person doesn’t seem to talk. We would love God to tell us and talk to us in plain English.

Hebrews 3:7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.

Do you realize that we actually wouldn’t want God to tell us? In this verse God spoke to people of all times and what happened to their hearts? They hardened their hearts. If you will hear His voice, don’t harden you heart. What God actually has to say to us is very unpleasant to our ears. It’s true but very unpleasant. We have a romantic view of Christianity where we often say all these love things to the Lord and think He’s just going to pour His words of love back to us. The Lord has business to do and to tell us exactly what mars our life and to point out exactly where our problems lie. Do you like it when someone comes up to you and tells you exactly where your problem is? Do we really especially when it’s the core problem and not the peripheries? We don’t mind if we have to polish up on a few other areas but when there is a core issue, we do not appreciate people telling us. In fact we harden our hearts and then we start making excuses and showing that sin is a necessity and we have to do it. We start justifying ourselves or giving reason for why we do things and all because we don’t like what we hear.

Are we in the position in our spiritual life where we will hear God’s word because we know that He is love? Would we be willing to hear what God has to say?

God communicates to us through many different ways. He definitely uses audible noise that often comes through our preacher or through a prophet or an audio book. We listen to audible noise and then do we like what God has to say to us? If we listen to the testimonies and hear what God has to say in regards to how church should be run or how we should occupy our homes and life, or what we should be doing, or wearing, or eating, do we like that audible noise? We kneel down and say, “Lord I wish you would just talk to me,” when He has already talked to us. We just don’t like what we heard and then we palm it off and say “oh, that wasn’t God, that was just the preacher’s opinion or that was just Ellen White speaking for her time or the prophets that were speaking to the Jews not to us therefore concluding that’s not God talking to us.

If we will open our ears and have a very personal relationship with Lord, we’ll be surprised how much He has talked to us. How many times He actually allows audible noise to travel into our ears so we know what He wants.

Jonah 1:1Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,

1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

Here God tells Jonah directly that He wants him to do something. What is Jonah do? Jonah thinks no, I don’t want to do it. So the question is, do we really want God to audibly talk to us? When we pray to the Lord, do we actually want Him to tell us what we need to be doing? What if He tells us something we don’t want to hear? Then what?

Jonah

Jonah is told to go to Nineveh. Nineveh, is what type of city? It’s a wicked city. Nineveh is the capital of the Assyrian empire. Put yourself in Jonah’s situation. Firstly, the Syrians were the Israelites’ enemies, and not just the Israelites’ enemies; they were the world power of the day. The Assyrians were the most feared and hated among ancient times, they were so cruel. When they captured a place, they didn’t just put in a new king and keep the place running as it was, they actually decimated the place, took the people and separated the families and scattered them in all places where they couldn’t know where the other person was located. They broke down the sense of national identity by sending the father off there, the mother here and the children would be sent somewhere else. They didn’t have mobile phones to ring up and find each other. They had no location services. They couldn’t do that. They were placed in a place where there was a foreign language; foreign customs and they were actually stuck there. This is how the Assyrians conquered the world.

They came in 722BC to the Northern tribes of Israel, took the Northern tribes and scattered them abroad to the point that no one knew where they actually dwelt anymore. The historical record is shut down from 722BC onwards of where the locations of these tribes actually were. They were found never again. That’s how well they did their job. They were hated, absolutely hated by the countries around and Assyria did not just have the ability to deport people all over the planet but they also tortured all the leaders they caught. They went into the city and took the leaders and tortured them cruelly. This was the condition of the capital city and God said, “I want you, a Jew to go there and start telling them how wrong they are.” It wasn’t just like the village down the road that he had to just preach to one Sabbath afternoon. This was the most dangerous place ever if you are not a part of their system. Jonah was not just told to be there but to actually rebuke them all.

Jonah has some real issues with God’s word. Jonah thinks, “Lord, I can’t, I don’t want to do that. You tell me to do this but I don’t want to. I want to go on a boat on the Mediterranean to the Greek islands would be much better.” This was Jonah’s problem. He didn’t want to do what God said. We know the story of what happened to Jonah and after being spat out of the whale and going through the belly of hell, God comes to him the second time.

Jonah 3:1 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,

3:2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

Jonah is given his duty and thinks, I don’t want to do my duty and he goes off and he gets himself in a big mess and now God comes to him in a second time. God says, “Alright I still want you to go to Nineveh.” Jonah thought he should have just gone there in the first place. He would have saved himself so much trouble. Nevertheless, he didn’t go there the first time, he got himself in a lot of trouble and the word of the Lord still came to him as the duty hadn’t let up. God didn’t say, “Jonah you’ve been through a lot, I know you’re suffering now, you’re really humbled and you’re weak so I’m going to let you off this burden of going to Nineveh. You know you cannot do it, you can have a break, have a rest.” No. God said, “Go to Nineveh, you’ve messed up, but the duty is still the same; go to Nineveh.”

We make life harder for ourselves, we get into a lot of tangles, and then we expect God’s duty to change? God’s duty doesn’t change to what He wants us to do whether we like it or not. Jonah could have thought, “I’ll go to Nineveh when I’m convicted to go to Nineveh. I’ll go to Nineveh when I have this internal urge to go to Nineveh.” Sometimes God wants us to do things that are totally contrary to our whole inclination. Like Jonah, we may not have a millimeter of desire to be there. Don’t wait to have certain feelings or emotions to be able to do what God says. If God says it, and God’s word comes to you and it’s very clear, then you better do it. If you don’t, God may give you a second chance, but you will be worse off than before.

Jonah 3:3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh.

“Okay, I’m going. I’m going to the capital city of the world.” It was like the New York of ancient times. If God told you to go the Vatican and preach against them, I think you would be asking for trouble if you did that. Jonah went. God said go, so he went. He preached to the Ninevites and an amazing thing happened. They all repented. Jonah’s response to this showed that Jonah actually did not like these people. He was somewhat racist and we can see people’s wickedness and not like them and when we do not like them, that will hinder our ministry because we won’t want to be there.

Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did [it] not.

Jonah 4:1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

Jonah actually wanted them all killed. Jonah thinks, “I’ll go, and preach there. I don’t really want to go there and preach to them, but I will because I will be preaching their damnation, so I’ll do that.” Then when he learns that they’re not going to be destroyed and he is annoyed. He says, “Lord you forgave them, you’ve been kind to these people, they don’t deserve it.”

Jonah 4:3 Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for [it is] better for me to die than to live.

When we obey God’s duties, often it can lead us to realize how much we don’t like someone. When God says to do something and we do it by drudgery, we start hating it and our whole life is useless. We think, “Just let me die. This is so terrible. Let me die.” Jonah is discouraged at his whole mission. Everything he had to do was very grim.

Jonah 4:4 Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?

Is it good for you to be angry?

Jonah 4:5 So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city

Jonah 4:6 And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made [it] to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.

Jonah was in depression to the point of just taking his life butsomething happens and he is so happy. Jonah is one of those people who are very unstable, very emotionally unstable. The Lord prepared a gourd. What is a gourd? A gourd is like a little vine that produces a fruit that can be eaten. It’s like a little bit like a choko. It is a vine and it grows very fast and it came up in one day and climbed over the booth and shaded the head of Jonah. He was on the east side of the city. Nineveh is in Iraq and he was east of Ninevah, on a hill. It was a very hot place and as the shade comes, he gains comfort. He gains a refreshing experience. Now he is happy about the shade and the ease that he is enjoying because of the gourd.

Jonah 4:7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

4:8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, [It is] better for me to die than to live.

Jonah is not so happy anymore. He is back to his discouragement. Why is Jonah so discouraged this time? He was so happy because he got comfort and physical ease from the shade, then God took it away and his problems all came back again. He says, “I just want to die. This is all too difficult.” God comes to Jonah and says, “Jonah, doest thou will to be angry for the gourd. Are you annoyed because I took the gourd away from you?”

Jonah 4:9 And he said “I do will to be angry even unto death”.

Jonah 4:10 Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

4:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and [also] much cattle?

The Lord brings Jonah to a real mind exercise here and says “Look Jonah, you’re getting upset because a little bit of your comfort has gone away, but yet you’re happy for over a hundred thousand people to be destroyed? You did not make the gourd; you did nothing for the gourd, and you’re upset because of that?

This really comes home because Jonah is someone who doesn’t want to do duty. He likes ease. He likes it to be comfortable and when God tells him to do duty, Jonah doesn’t want to do it. Then when he does his duty, he doesn’t like the people but he loves his comforts. Do we like God’s word to us? God’s words to us lead us to deny ourselves to take up the cross and follow Jesus.

Everything except Jonah

It’s interesting that everything in the story obeys God but Jonah. The storm that came when he was in the ship obeyed God, the sailors on the ship obeyed God as when they cast the lots, the lot fell on Jonah. The lots obeyed God, the whale obeyed God, the gourd obeyed God, the Ninevites obeyed God, the east wind obeyed God, the worm obeyed God but Jonah did not obey God all because he didn’t want to do what God had told him. Are you sure that you want to know what God wants you to do? You might not like it and because we don’t like it, sometimes God doesn’t waste His time with us. The Bible says if you do hear His voice, don’t harden your heart, don’t get sour inside. When you hear a rebuke from God or you hear something that is discomforting to your flesh, don’t get sour to God about it. We need to learn more than just doing our pleasure.

Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

God works on the principle of little things, lots of little things make big things. What are you made from? What’s the building block of your body? A cell. If your cells are bad, your body will be bad. If you can’t look after the basic needs of a cell, how could you ever look after seventy five trillion of them? You couldn’t. God always works on this principle. If you can do the little thing well, then you can do the next thing well. But this idea is often not liked in our society. People go to school, they start their education and they start dreaming of their high goal they want to reach. They want a high paying job or some real great success in life, but if you tell them to clean their room or wash the dishes, they don’t like that but they’re happy to go to university and get double degrees but do not want to be faithful in the little duties. They think that’s not going to get them anywhere. They think they need to get to a university or their life will be useless. If we work on being faithful in that which is least as the Bible tells us, we will be faithful in much.

Luke 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true [riches]?

16:12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?

16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

16:14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.

16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

If we start doing things because people are watching and not be faithful in that which is least, then that thing is an abomination. If we are naturally unkind and un-courteous towards one another but then when visitors come and all of a sudden we put on those nice little faces, smile and be polite and kind, that kindness and politeness is an abomination to God. He won’t accept it because we have not been faithful in the small things. He won’t like it when you love your little gourd of your pet sins and yet hate what God wants you to do. These small things that God wants us to do are often contrary to our society and our natures. When a young person requests counsel in regard to what they should do and the answer comes back to them to do what you’re doing or continue in your work, be faithful in that which you already doing, they often say “I don’t want to do that. I want change, I want something new, I want something exciting. I don’t want to stay here in this usual routine of doing things. I’m sick of this.” Then God sees we’ve got something to do. We must be faithful and that which is least.

Zechariah 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things?

The Day of Small Things

Who has despised the day of small things? Did know that Google started in the garage? People often don’t want to start small, they want to start out big but it doesn’t work. Who has despised the day of small things? How big does a stone have to be in your shoe to annoy you? It only has to be small. Small things can accomplish a great deal.

Zechariah 4:10 …for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel [with] those seven; they [are] the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

Do you understand this verse? The word “plummet” is the same Hebrew word that is used in verse 7 but it uses a different word than plummet.

Zerubbabel

Zechariah 4:7 Who [art] thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel [thou shalt become] a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone [thereof with] shoutings, [crying], Grace, grace unto it.

What’s Zerubbabel going to build? Zerubbabel is building the temple of God. After the exile, the years of Babylonian captivity where finished and God’s people were coming back and they were building the temple. What is this man carrying? He’s carrying the headstone or the cornerstone for the foundation. The word headstone is the same word that is translated as plummets. Often we think of plummet as a plum bob or line [a builder’s tool] but the verse was talking about the stone; he’s carrying the headstone. That’s what the word means in verse 7.

Zechariah 4:10 …for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel [with] those seven;

Seven what?

Zechariah 4:10 ….they [are] the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

This is talking about laying a foundation, Zerubbabel was carrying the keystone for the whole building and it says “those seven” these are the eyes of the Lord that run to and fro.

Zechariah 3:9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone [shall be] seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

What is He talking about?

Zechariah 3:8…I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.

Who is that? The branch is Christ. Christ is the cornerstone and He has seven eyes and the question is, who will despise the day of small beginnings? Then he talks about the stone which he puts down which has seven eyes in it which is Christ.

Revelation and Zechariah

I want you to understand this point of who’s going to despise the day of small things. Who is going to despise the little duties of life?

Revelation 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb

Who is that? It is Jesus.

Revelation 5:6 ..as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

The seven eyes have to do with the ability of Christ to visualize everything.

Zechariah 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things?

Who despises washing dishes and cleaning the garbage? Who despises that? Cleaning the toilet, who likes doing that? It talks about the stone, such an important stone having seven eyes which was laid at the foundation which is talking about Jesus Christ having seven eyes.

Zechariah 4:10…they [are] the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

In other words, God is seeing everything. Who is going to despise the small things considering that God is watching everything?

Psalms 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

11:4 The LORD [is] in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne [is] in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

God is observing what we are doing all the time. The verse says, if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? Do you know what the foundations of life are? They are the whole bunch of small things. If you don’t eat, can you do much? If you don’t sleep can you do much? If you don’t raise your children correctly can they do much? Can we do anything? If your parents didn’t raise you, could you do anything? If anything has to be done, whether you’re the world’s best inventor or you’re going to be the richest person in the planet, some fundamental things that build humanity must be done. It doesn’t matter what nation, race or country you are from, these issues light the base and if they are destroyed, what can even the righteous do? God is observing, God is in His temple and His eyes are watching. He’s watching you. God is calling you and to do things that we do not like to do, He is watching. What’s He going to do?

The Family

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

6:2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

6:3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are [your] masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

In Ephesians 5 and 6 He’s talking about the marriage, parenting and working. These are the foundations of life. If no one cooks the food, no one can do anything else. The mother might think her job isn’t as important as the husbands’ job as he goes out and does important things and she has to stay home and cook. If there was no cooking, he couldn’t do anything. It’s a fundamental thing of life. If that foundation is destroyed, then what can the righteous do?

Ephesians 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

In other words the will of God is having successful marriages, successful child training, and successful work ethics. That’s God’s will. That’s what God wants. What does God want me to do? He wants me to be faithful in the small things at home. Be faithful in those basic duties not with eye service, not just, ah quick they’re coming, behave! The boss is coming, clean the office! Mom and dad are coming, quick! Let’s work, they’re watching! Should we only work when mom and dad are watching or all the time? The husband and wife might be unkind to each other but when people are around, oh they’re oh so sweet. This is abomination to God if this is the way we work just when people are watching and then we work in a certain way when the curtains are drawn, the doors are locked and it’s all private and then out comes at these unkind words and annoyances. All this things come out, but guess who is watching?

Seven Eyes

This cornerstone has seven eyes and the eyes run to and fro in all the earth. His eyes watch the children of men. Everything is open, and naked before Him, with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:13.)

As we consider Christ’s eyes upon us whether our curtains are drawn or not, God is watching. Then who can despise the day of small things? Can we really worship the Lord when we don’t worship Him in every duty of our life? These duties are like our Nineveh experience. We don’t want to do them. We are not inclined to do these minimal tasks. We want to do something that’s exciting that we get pleasure and a thrill from. Forget all this boring stuff is what our society says. What destroys the relationship with Jesus? It comes from fundamental problems.

Song of Solomon 2:15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines [have] tender grapes.

Little foxes, just little problems wreck the fruit that God wants to put on our tree. Jesus said “I’m the vine you are the branches.” Let’s take away these little things that actually spoil the fruit that come upon it. These little things are found right in your own bedroom, right in your own home. That’s where they’re found. That is where the core problem lies, so the Lord wants to speak to us and I pray we won’t be like Jonah and run away from what God has to say. If we do, we’ll only get our life more tangled than before.

The Apostle Paul is one of the greatest preachers or the greatest evangelist ever to walk on our planet but I want to read this about him:

One of the greatest of human teachers, Paul cheerfully performed the lowliest as well as the highest duties. When in his service for the Master circumstances seemed to require it, he willingly labored at his trade. Nevertheless, he ever held himself ready to lay aside his secular work, in order to meet the opposition of the enemies of the gospel, or to improve a special opportunity to win souls to Jesus. His zeal and industry are a rebuke to indolence and desire for ease. {AA 354, 255}

You want things easy? Then going on a ship to the Greek islands won’t do it. Christ’s way is easy. He says, “Come unto me all you that labor and a heavy laden, I will give you rest.” That doesn’t mean that Christ is all going to mop the floor for you and He’s not going to put out the bins for you, you’ve got to do that. But when the service is done with the presence of Jesus, the burdens can go away. Work doesn’t kill us; stress kills us. If we labored and get really exhausted by the things that we are doing, it’s generally not the things that we doing, it’s the mindset that we do with “WITH” that causes exhaustion. If you’re getting tired of doing something, if something is wearing you out, then the mindset in which you are doing it with is the problem. Now you maybe intemperate and that’s not doing God’s will either so of course you’d be laboring heavily if you are intemperate. God doesn’t want us to be intemperate. There is time for work and there is time for rest, physical rest but not indolence and laziness.

Jonah didn’t have a stable, symmetrical character; he was a very unbalanced man. The Lord showed him that he is very unbalanced. He loved his gourd more than people. What’s the gourd compared to a person? It takes one day to grow and it can die in a day and we love that. Yet a person is made in the image of God and we don’t love people? It doesn’t matter even if they’re in the worst sinner of the world let’s not hate people. Hate sin yes, warn people against sin because if we live in sin we will be destroyed, but don’t hate people.

Success depends not so much on talent as on energy and willingness. {ChS 264.1}

What does success need? Willingness. Are you willing to do the duties of life?

It is not the possession of splendid talents that enables us to render acceptable service; but the conscientious performance of daily duties, the contented spirit, the unaffected, sincere interest in the welfare of others. In the humblest lot true excellence may be found. The commonest tasks, wrought with loving faithfulness, are beautiful in God’s sight. {ChS 264.1}

What is the most common thing that is done over and over again? How many people feel like they’re washing baskets is never empty? That’s something common to load up that washing machine and scrub those clothes and put them back in the drawer or hang them out to dry or whatever is done. That seems like a common task? Well listen very carefully to what God saying. The common task done with loving faithfulness is beautiful in God’s sight. God’s eyes, His seven eyes, are everywhere. He is the foundation of all things. He is looking. Who can despise the day of small things? Who can despise loading up the washing machine and cleaning the clothes when God is there? God is watching the willingness you wash your clothes with. He doesn’t care how dirty the kids were. We may think the children are always getting their clothes dirty and we get real frazzled and annoyed so we slam the clothes in the washing machine with annoyance. Is that beautiful to God’s sight?

God wants to see our willing and loving faithfulness. With how much willing and loving faithfulness we can wash the clothes? God sees our faithfulness and says, “Oh, that’s beautiful.” What do you do when you see something beautiful? Don’t you want to go and tell someone saying, “Hey, hey look at this!” I can just imagine the Lord saying, “Hey angels look at this, look at this housewife! She’s washing the clothes with so much joy and angels say, “Wow that is beautiful!” And the Lord says, “Yes! It is beautiful, isn’t it?” Some think, “I don’t want to be doing this, I want to be doing some grand occupation.” They desire some grand education and God doesn’t think that’s so beautiful if we can’t do the basics. Human esteem looks at what they achieve in the world. What they can do for the green house effect or what can do for national peace but if the house is not clean, God doesn’t care about it and they can do what they like. We can only do these little duties; these common tasks with loving faithfulness when we understand that the eye of the Lord are upon us. When we have the sense of His presence, not condemnation, but His love towards you, putting out the rubbish bin can be cheerful experience.

The symmetrical structure of a strong, beautiful character is built up by individual acts of duty. {ChS 264.2}

How many of us believe that we need to have perfect characters before Jesus comes? That’s one thing to believe that it needs to be but the other thing is to believe that how it’s done. Do you know how it’s done?

The symmetrical structure of a strong, beautiful character is built up by individual acts of duty. {ChS 264.2}

That’s how it’s built. Preaching to five thousand people does not build your character. That’s just another temptation to overcome. What builds our character is what we do when no one is looking but God. Those things are building right there, you are laying that foundation stone. Who has despised the day of small beginnings? The foundation stone is laid. Who has the seven eyes? Who is observing everything? Are you laying Christ in the center of your life?

Jesus Christ

When He was growing up He did things that were disagreeable to His feelings. Who did? Jesus did. Who is the cornerstone? Jesus. He was sawing wood for the majority of His life and could he have been thinking, “Surely I have not come down from heaven to cut wood. I haven’t been incarnated; to bang nails. It’s not why I came here.” Is that what He said? For the majority of Jesus’ life, He wasn’t making a big noise in public. He wasn’t trying to be big show off.

He [Jesus] did not seek to shun the humblest service, but was as faithful in the performance of smaller duties as of larger responsibilities. He was always willing to serve in any position to which the Lord pointed him, however disagreeable it might be to his natural inclinations. And at every step he learned lessons of humility and service. . . . {UL 331.4}

Christ came and for nearly thirty years of His life, He would have been sweeping that workshop floor or would have been dressing and sanding that wood, sanding back and forth. Christ was here in the carpenter shop rubbing wood and do you think our life should be different? Do you think that the servant is greater than his master? Not at all. If He was faithful in that which is least, if He had to do things that would be disagreeable to human feeling, then do you think you and I have to do things that we disagree with? You bet we have to. We have a Nineveh to accomplish.

The symmetrical structure of a strong, beautiful character is built up by individual acts of duty. And faithfulness should characterize our life in the least as well as in the greatest of its details. Integrity in little things, the performance of little acts of fidelity and little deeds of kindness, will gladden the path of life; and when our work on earth is ended, it will be found that every one of the little duties faithfully performed has exerted an influence for good,–an influence that can never perish.–Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 574. {ChS 264.2}

They are small beginnings. God will let you look at the result.

Every impulse of the Holy Spirit leading men to goodness and to God is noted in the books of heaven, and in the day of God everyone who has given himself as an instrument for the Holy Spirit’s working will be permitted to behold what his life has wrought. {6T 310.1}

In other words, when we get to heaven if we have been faithful in that which is least, we will be led to be in heaven. Then we will see what loading the washing cheerfully has actually accomplished. God will trace it all out from cause to effect and you’ll see a huge thread of accomplishment by such little acts.

The poor widow who cast her two mites into the Lord’s treasury. {6T 310.2}

Two cents. Really! What’s that going to achieve? Is that going to buy new recording equipment, what’s it going to do? Two cents is such a little amount.

The poor widow who cast her two mites into the Lord’s treasury little knew what she was doing. {6T 310.2}

She didn’t know what she’s doing, how vast this little thing was.

Her example of self-sacrifice has acted and reacted upon thousands of hearts in every land and in every age. It has brought to the treasury of God gifts from the high and the low, the rich and the poor. It has helped to sustain missions, to establish hospitals, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, and preach the gospel to the poor. {6T 310.2}

Do you know that two cents built a hospital, more than one actually? Two cents fed thousands of people. Let us never despise the day of small things. Never despise the little duties that are tedious to the human flesh. Don’t despise little acts of kindness. What is the little act of kindness? God wants little acts of kindness. They mean more than all the Christmas presents you could ever bestow on December 25. The problem is that on December 25, the whole world expects something and when you give it you are not being kind, you just doing your duty to the Christmas festival, that’s all. Society actually expects something whether they say they do or not. Deep down in the core of humanity they want something. The 25th of December ends up being the most selfish day on the planet. That is not what God wants. God wants little acts of kindness. Not to go to the shop, buy some great present for your loved one or go and buy flowers. No, little acts.

What is a little act of kindness? A smile. Does it cost you anything, to smile? How many people don’t smile? If I would just let this little muscle exercise of mine be done, what effect it will have. When someone smiles and a discouraged person catches it, you’ve just taken 10 kilos off their back just by smiling. Little do we know what these things do, and God is watching us. He’s watching the muscles on our face. What are you going to do? Are you going to smile or still frown? Are you going to be upset because your gourd died? Or you going to be cheerful because God just saved thousands of people?

It is not only our privilege but our duty to cultivate gentleness, {OHC 179.5}

It’s our what? Our duty. Do you want to know what God wants you to do? He wants you to be gentle, that is what He wants you to do. Did you get that audibly? That’s what God wants you to do audibly. It went into your ears in English, that’s what God wants you to do. Be gentle. Be kind.

… to have the peace of Christ in the heart and as peacemakers and followers of Christ to sow precious seed that will produce a harvest unto eternal life. Professed followers of Christ may possess many good and useful qualities; but their characters are greatly marred by an unkind, fretful, faultfinding, harshly judging temper. {OHC 179.5}

They have great talents but this problem lies at the core; unkind, fretful, fault-finding and harshly judging temper.

The husband or the wife who cherishes suspicion and distrust creates dissension and strife in the home. Neither of them should keep his gentle words and smiles for strangers alone, and manifest irritability in the home, thus driving out peace and contentment…. {OHC 179.5}

Do you know if in the home, the husband or wife would actually smile and love each other in those little kinds of things, that home would be a light set on a hill? The children will come from that home having a good influence and so kindness will flow on from the marriage. Don’t keep the smiles for the strangers. They are for your spouse.

Practical home life is the great test of character. {1MCP 157.4}

What is the greatest test? Practical home life is the greatest. When it says “the greatest”, it means the greatest, as in number one first on the list. The top one is home life not what you are going to do in the courts, not how you’re going to react to the public, that’s not it. Home life is the first big test of your character. How are you going in your home? How are you going in this test?

By his tender thoughtfulness in the home, by the exercise of patience, kindness, and love, a man determines his character.–Lt 17, 1895. {1MCP 157.4}

And so does a woman. Thoughtfulness in the home is like initiative. Sometimes initiative is really lacking in trying to think of what could make those around me happier. Not me happier, not how well can I grow my gourd to cover my own head. How well can I help other people in my own family? That’s what God wants.

I have also been shown that there is often a great failure on the part of the wife. She does not put forth strong efforts to control her own spirit and make home happy. There is often fretfulness and unnecessary complaining on her part. The husband comes home from his labor weary and perplexed, and meets a clouded brow instead of cheerful, encouraging words. He is but human, and his affections become weaned from his wife, he loses the love of his home, his pathway is darkened, and his courage destroyed. He yields his self-respect and that dignity which God requires him to maintain. {1MCP 160.4}

The husband is the head of the family, as Christ is the head of the church; and any course which the wife may pursue to lessen his influence and lead him to come down from that dignified, responsible position is displeasing to God. It is the duty of the wife to yield her wishes and will to her husband. Both should be yielding, but the Word of God gives preference to the judgment of the husband. And it will not detract from the dignity of the wife to yield to him whom she has chosen to be her counselor, adviser, and protector. The husband should maintain his position in his family with all meekness, yet with decision.–1T 307, 308 (1862). {1MCP 161.1}

When a quote like that is read husbands can say, “Yeah that’s a great text. I’m going to tell my wife that text and she’s going to listen to me because I’m the head of the wife and she needs to submit as the Bible says it. Here’s the word of the Lord, wife submit to me, I’m your husband.” Don’t do that, you can’t do that.

It is no evidence of manliness in the husband for him to dwell, constantly upon his position as head of the family. It does not increase respect for him to hear him quoting Scripture to sustain his claims to authority. It will not make him more manly to require his wife, the mother of his children, to act upon his plans as if they were infallible. {1MCP 160.2}

You know this is an interesting thing when we hear God’s word; we love to hear it for the other person.

Jesus was asking Peter how much do you love me, and to feed his lambs and then Jesus goes on to tell Peter what his fate would be. He told him how he would die. Then Peter looks around, sees John, and asks “What about John?” and Jesus says, “What is that to you?” What if he lives till I come? What is that to you? It’s got nothing to do with you. I’m talking to you, not him, you. The interesting thing was that after Jesus said that to Peter, He spread the rumor that John was going to be alive when Jesus came. But Jesus didn’t say that. He said “what if.”

Peter was so concerned of the other person that he even forgot what Jesus was actually saying. I can forget what God is telling me by thinking of what God is trying to tell the other person. We can think, “God’s really rebuking my husband or my wife” in this statement or I can be thinking “Ah, this is really good for Joe down the road” but it is for me.

The happiness in the home extends far beyond than we can imagine. Who wants the best for their children? Then we need happy homes and faithfulness in those duties with cheerfulness.

A knowledge of domestic duties is beyond price to every woman. There are families without number whose happiness is wrecked by the inefficiency of the wife and mother. It is not so important that girls learn painting, fancy work, music, or even the more solid branches of study, as it is that they learn to cut, make, and mend their own clothing, and how to prepare palatable and wholesome food. When a little girl is 9 or 10, she should be required to make her regular share in household duties, as she is able. And should be held responsible for the manner in which she does her work.

That was a wise father, who, when asked what he intended to do with his daughters, replied, “I intend to apprentice them to their excellent mother, that they may learn the art of improving time, and be fitted to become wives and mothers, heads of families, and useful members of society.” {ST, August 26, 1886 par. 11}

The man says, “I want my girls to be apprentices to my wonderful wife that I have so they can learn to be useful.” When that hasn’t been done by the duties of the previous generation, what do you reap? Some of us may not have had that training and what does it reap? It makes it very difficult. Does that mean we give up in discouragement because now it’s difficult? Not at all, we actually start back and so okay, the second time the Lord calls me to go to Nineveh, I’ll going to do it now. We might have been through the belly of hell because of previous bad decisions by other people, but now the Lord is calling us. Do your duties now, do those basics. There’s a lot of religion in a well-cooked loaf of bread.

“Oh,” say some mothers, “my children bother me when they try to help me.” So did mine, but do you think I let them know it? Praise your children. Teach them, line upon line, precept upon precept. This is better than reading novels, better than making calls, better than following the fashions of the world. {AH 289.3}

And being on Facebook! Don’t worry if your children are difficult to train. Train them anyway. Don’t tell them that they are difficult. The children whose mother says, “You can help me by watching,” and never actually doing anything will grow up and have difficulty in their life because those things weren’t done. Now the past is the past and the Lord can repair it. For those who are young, let us put them in the right position. Let us train the little ones to be able to mop the floor or even vacuum and not to put the requirement until they’re a bit older but they can still help before. They can still start doing house duties at a very young age. It is more important than reading books and counting numbers or going to daycare. They can help in the house. If they’re helping in the house, guess what? You got a helper. They always wish when you doing something tedious “Ah I’d love someone to help me.” God has given children to be helpers, they must be used and nurtured and trained like apprentices so that they can grow up and cope with the duties of life and heaven will approve of such action.

The person who is the head of the home is the man, and the man is the priest of the household or the minister of the household, so while ever I’m going to read the statement from ministers this really applies to every husband.

The minister’s duties lie around him, nigh and afar off; but his first duty is to his children. {GW 204.2}

What is the first duty of a minister? The first, number 1, top of the rank, what is it? His children, the children are his first missionary field.

He should not become so engrossed with his outside duties as to neglect the instruction, which his children need. He may look upon his home duties as of lesser importance; but in reality they lie at the very foundation of the well-being of individuals and of society. {GW 204.2}

This is the foundation stone.

To a large degree the happiness of men and women and the success of the church depend upon home influence. Eternal interests are involved in the proper discharge of the every-day duties of life. The world is not so much in need of great minds, as of good men, who are a blessing in their homes. {GW 204.2}

Those who realize their deficiency in a matter which concerns the happiness and usefulness of future generations, should make the subject of family government their most diligent study. {PaM 88.1}

This is something that requires diligent study: How to train the children, how to educate and minister to the salvation of the children. It comes first by having a successful marriage. Then to be able to minister to the children, to educate them requires a talent that will fit you to educate others. If you can get your own household to listen to you, I’m sure you can get everyone to listen to you. But when you can only get the people on a far flown country to listen to you and no one else will listen to you, then have you got problems.

The question to be settled is have these men given their children that which is right, a good example, faithful instruction and proper restraint.
It is by a neglect of these essentials that such parents give to society children who are unbalanced in mind, impatient of restraint, and ignorant of the duties of practical life. In this they are doing the world an injury which outweighs all the good that their labors accomplish. Those children transmit their own perversity of character as an inheritance to their offspring, and at the same time their evil example and influence corrupt society and make havoc in the church. We cannot think that any man, however great his ability and usefulness, is best serving God or the world while his time is given to other pursuits, to the neglect of his own children. {CG 231.4}

Duty is the voice of God so when we get on our knees and we pray “Lord I want you to tell me what you want me to do.” Well if the bin is full, go and empty it. If there’s something to be done with the children, go and do it. If we’re wondering what God wants me to do consider the duties for our own family (whether we be husband or wife) or other duties that require me to run the household including income, if the bills need to be paid, I need to go and work and if I’ve worked, I still need to minister to my family.

This can be disagreeable to our feelings, but this is what God wants. We don’t want to be like Jonah when God tells us something we say, “Um… no,” because will be wrecking the plan that God has for us.

I pray that we can hear his voice and not harden our heart. I pray that none of us have a hard heart in relation to what I’ve read to you. Its God’s word what I’ve read. If we hear His voice let us not harden our hearts but let us soften our hearts that we can accept His will into our life and not despise the day of small things. It’s my prayer that we can reform on all these points.

Amen.

Posted on May 17, 2012, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons For Sabbath. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you for this message,I felt like it was written for me,I always grumble when doing things,especially if my mother is the one who has sent me but thank you for the message,may the Lord help me.

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