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Look on the Inside

by Gabrielle Rich

Sometimes old sayings remind us of important truths—adages like “looks can deceive,” and “be nice to others no matter how they look, sound, or smell.” We all know that in order to be like Jesus, we have to look on the inside and not judge by appearances—and yet many people do just the opposite. When I was about eight years old, something happened that really helped me understand why it’s so important to look past the externals.

A week after Christmas, my mom and I went to the grocery store. For some reason, it seemed that every place we went in the store, I saw an old man with a cane. The man had a big, prominent wart, and I thought he looked very strange. I hoped I wouldn’t have to talk to him! I went through the whole store thinking about the funny man and hiding behind my mom so I wouldn’t have to look at him.

Memory Text for January 11–17

Key Thought for Lesson 3, "Good Ground"
The work of character building is a cooperative effort between us and God.

Memory Text:
“The good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15).

Project: Memory
“Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun” (Psalm 19:4).

Those Juniors, Part 32: Powerful Patterns, #1


by Eric B. Hare

Last week: Streamlined questions will provoke more class discussion and interaction. Choose to ask questions that will stimulate your class to think. This week shows lots of really great examples!

Multiple Answers

Choose the best answer:

Jonathan loved David because—

a.                   David could play the harp so well.

b.                  David had killed Goliath and delivered Israel.

c.                   He knew David had been anointed to be the next king.

Only one answer may be correct; or all answers may be correct. The stimulation comes in the discussion.


Put your hand up when you recognize this person:

1.                  I am thinking of a little boy whose name means “beloved.”

2.                  He lived in Bethlehem of the tribe of Judah.

In Touch

Dear Young Disciples,

When “Shane” came in late to Sabbath School with chains around his neck and a stud in his ear, I didn’t think I’d have much in common with him. Still, I didn’t want to be rude. I wanted him to know Christians are kind, so I asked God for grace to be friendly and show Him Christ’s courtesy.

That afternoon our youth group went for a hike, and along the trail, Shane told me a little bit of his story. His life had been full of many sad, worldly experiences he now regretted. But just a few weeks ago, he had learned how much God loved him and had decided to give Jesus his life! Already he was changing his lifestyle, including his diet and music choices. Even though everything was new to him, Shane was open to whatever Christ asked.

As it turned out, Shane was also a serious hiker and musician, so we actually had quite a bit to talk about. In an hour, someone I had shied away from had become my Christian brother.

When it comes to the heart, you and I can’t read it, no matter what we see on the outside. We don’t know who is on the edge of Christ’s Kingdom, wanting to step in. By a word, look, or action from a Christian, these “fence-riders” can be pushed away or drawn in.

Shane taught me that whether or not someone looks like a candidate for conversion, God is drawing them. Will you be His channel of love?

Your friend,

Those Juniors, Part 31: Ask Questions!


by Eric B. Hare

Last week: There are three kinds of questions that can be asked—some are more beneficial than others when it comes to teaching. Ask your students questions that will make them think.


Streamlining the Socratic Method

Away back in 469 BC was born the famous Greek philosopher Socrates, and while Ezra and Nehemiah were busy rebuilding Jerusalem and its walls, this old gentleman walked the streets of Athens with a new idea. He did not claim to be teaching; he was professing ignorance. He accosted people in the market or in the street and asked them questions. He built his theory on the wide-spread belief of the reincarnation of the soul and believed that he was only drawing out knowledge stored away in some previous existence. He developed a technique of questioning which first showed up the ignorance of the pupil, then led him on to certainty in his conclusions. His method showed to the world the stimulating force there could be toward real thinking in “questions.”

We have already seen the superior strength there is in questions introduced by interrogative adverbs and pronouns. Let us go a step further and notice what a tremendous force there is in a “streamlined” question and how much more thinking it stimulates.

Bethany's Revolution

by Lora Clement
Art by Heidi Reinecke

"I’ve made a revolution!” Bethany Ross stationed herself in the middle of the living room to make her announcement.

“A revolution?” her brother Jared teased. “Isn’t it a little odd to start a revolution on New Year’s Day?”

Bethany tossed her head. “No, it’s the best day! I made a revolution to read my Bible every single day this whole year, and never miss once!”

“That’s a good resolution, little sister,” Ingrid smiled.

“But there’s more to my revolution than just reading the Bible,” Bethany continued. “I’m going to study the words I don’t understand. And I’m going to learn a Bible verse every day!”

Jared whistled.