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Can anything good come out of Nazareth? John 1:46.

The first thirty years of the life of Christ were passed in the obscure village of Nazareth. The inhabitants of this village were proverbial for their wickedness, hence the inquiry of Nathanael, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” The evangelists say but very little in regard to the early life of Christ. With the exception of a brief account of His accompanying His parents to Jerusalem, we have the simple statement only, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.” …

Children and youth are frequently situated where their surroundings are not favorable to a Christian life, and they quite readily yield to temptations and plead as an excuse for pursuing a course of sin that their surroundings are unfavorable….

Christ placed His feet in the most uneven path that children and youth will ever be called to travel. He did not have allotted to Him a life of affluence and indolence. His parents were poor and dependent upon their daily toil for sustenance; therefore the life of Christ was one of poverty, self-denial, and privation. He shared with His parents their life of diligent industry.

None will ever be called to perfect Christian character under more unfavorable circumstances than that of our Savior. The fact that Christ lived thirty years in Nazareth, from which many thought it a wonder if any good thing could come, is a rebuke to the youth who consider that their religious character must conform to circumstances. If the surroundings of youth are unpleasant and positively bad, many make this an excuse for not perfecting Christian character. The example of Christ would rebuke the idea that His followers are dependent upon place, fortune, or prosperity in order to live blameless lives. Christ would teach them that their faithfulness would make any place, or position, where the providence of God called them, honorable, however humble….

The trials and privations of which so many youth complain, Christ endured without murmuring. And this discipline is the very experience the youth need, which will give firmness to their character and make them like Christ, strong in spirit to resist temptation…. Through daily prayer to God they will have wisdom and grace from Him to bear the conflicts and stern realities of life and come off victorious.—Youth’s Instructor, March 1872.

Note: This daily devotional has been sourced from Ellen G. White Estate.

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