Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 4--1st Quarter 2018--Escape From the World’s Ways  (Read 2367 times)

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Wally

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Lesson 4 January 20-26





Escape From the World’s Ways













Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon










So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Sabbath Afternoon  January 20

Read for This Week’s Study: Ps. 119:11; Eph. 6:18; Rom. 8:5, 6; Heb. 11:1-6; 1 Kings 3:14; Ezek. 36:26, 27.

Memory Text: “Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death. He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.” Proverbs 11:4, 28

Though Satan failed with Jesus, he has succeeded with everyone else. He will continue to do so unless we fight in the armor and power of God, who alone offers us the freedom from the lure of the world.

He will continue to succeed unless....? Have not any fought in the armor and power in the past? Did Satan succeed with Enoch?  Elijah? Moses? Daniel? Abraham? Solomon?  I am not sure what is being said. All have sinned except Jesus, and that will never change. All will sin. But, Satan does not succeed when we give all to Christ. Satan loses if we continue that whole heart surrender.


Thus, we must focus our attention on our heavenly Provider. David realized true value in this life when he wrote, “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.” Ps. 34:10. Solomon recognized that wisdom and understanding were more valuable than silver and gold (Prov. 3:13, 14). True happiness and right living come from turning our eyes from the possessions we own and looking to the living Christ, who owns us.

It is by beholding Jesus that we see God's grace, and the heart is cleansed (2 Cor. 3:18).


Our only hope to escape the allure of the world is a vital and successful relationship with Jesus. This week, we will study the elements of that relationship, and how crucial it is for our own spiritual success to recognize the power behind the mask of the world and see the importance of Christ as the real reason for living.

Amen! What a blessing this will be as we learn what it means to have a "vital and successful relationship with Jesus." Not only will we learn what this means, but we will also learn how to obtain that experience and maintain it. This is the most important matter that is before the church today.

There are other subjects which must be addressed, but in comparison to this all else shrinks in importance.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Sunday January 21

A Relationship With Christ

Love of worldly possessions, even by those who don’t have much, can be a powerful chain that binds the soul to the world instead of to Christ. Even if we don’t have much in terms of earthly possessions, the passionate desire to attain material goods can become a terrible curse that will, if not brought under the control of the Lord, lead a soul away from salvation. Satan knows this, which is why he uses the love of material possessions to ensnare as many as he possibly can.

What is our only protection?

We are selfish by nature. We must be changed in nature. How can that be? We may  become partakers of God's divine nature. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4. While we retain our fallen nature, when we are converted, we also become partakers of God's divine nature which empowers us to escape from our vile flesh. When the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the heart, He cleanses it and brings with Him all of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, not one is missing. This and this only is our protection against any sin, including making the things of this world more important to us than Jesus.


“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Col. 3:2.
How do we do what Paul tells us to do? (See also Ps. 119:11, Eph. 6:18.)

By beholding we become changed in what we want. Selfish desires are ended and new desires fill the heart of all who love Jesus supremely. If we will focus our lives on the life of Christ, His grace will transform the life, the thoughts and affections (2 Cor. 3:18).

 
What other texts can you find that talk about what we should be keeping our mind focused on? (See, for example, Phil. 4:8.)

What does Jesus tell us to do? Does He not tell us that man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God? Does He not tell us to "drink His blood and eat His flesh"? What does He mean? When He rebuked a leader of Israel, Nicodemus, did He not inform him how it is that he could be converted (born of the Spirit)? He did. What did He say to Nicodemus that would lead Nicodemus to a conversion experience?


The only cure for worldliness, in whatever form it comes, is a continual devotion to Christ (Ps. 34:1) through the ups and downs of life. Moses “esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” (Heb. 11:26) he forsook Egypt. Before any other relationship, Christ must be our first priority. Christ is looking for a commitment based on conviction, not on preference; that is, we must be devoted to Christ because of who He is and what He has done for us, not because of any immediate advantages our faith and commitment to Him might bring.

In other words, we must love God with all of the heart, not part of it as some believe and teach. "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." Deuteronomy 6:5.

Our lives are to be hidden in Jesus, and His plans are to be our plans. True commitment is putting our hand to the plow without “looking back” (Luke 9:62). When we make that kind of commitment, Jesus elevates us to our full potential. When we surrender to Him, He will break the world’s hold upon our souls. We must become Christ-centered instead of stuff-centered; that alone will fill the void in our lives.

We must have Jesus. Unless He has the whole heart, and we are filled with the Spirit, we are none of His. "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 8:9.

Think about a time you acquired a material possession, something that you really wanted badly. How long did the joy and fulfillment last before it faded away and you were right back where you started?
 
It is true that if we obtain a material possession for the wrong reason, then after a period of time, it does not bring the same joy as when we get it. But, are there not other times when a converted Christian obtains a material possession that the motive was different? That we are given things that God wants us to have. Why did I want it badly? Because it will help me help others. If I really want to help my neighbor with doing a certain project that requires a certain tool, think of the joy that comes when I can do that. And, why would the joy go away if I can continue to use the tool to do the Lord's work? I know that in my life, there are tools that I use for ministry and even for my existence that I continue to rejoice and am thankful that God has provided them for me.

How I rejoice when I get in my car and it starts. God is so very GOOD!!! On the other hand, my car is not a luxury car. I did not buy it brand new, and it gets very good gas mileage. I continue to rejoice that I have it. I do remember the day I bought a Corvette (before my conversion). I was very excited. But, after awhile the fun wore off and I had a very large monthly payment to make. So, again, where is the heart? Who has it? If it is fully surrendered to Christ, then the things we obtain are to His glory, not our own.

The all important question that we are addressing this week is the relationship we need to have with Jesus. In order to have love, joy, and peace we need to have Christ in the heart. Once we discover we cannot have love, joy, and peace without Him, the question then becomes, how do we obtain this relationship? How is that we develop a relationship with anyone?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Monday January 22

In the Word


More than six billion Bibles have been distributed worldwide, but how many are viewed as the Word of the living God? How many are read with a sincere heart open to know truth?

Proper Bible study directs our spiritual compass and enables us to navigate a world of falsehood and confusion. The Bible is a living document of divine origin (Heb. 4:12), and as such it points us to truths that we cannot get anywhere else. The Bible is Christ’s road map for daily living, and it educates us by expanding our intellect and refining our characters.

The Bible is also a revelation of the character of God. As we study it to know God, we will become like Him in character.    "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18.

Read John 5:39, 14:6, and 20:31.

 5:39   Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 
 14:6   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 
 20:31   But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. 

The Bible, specifically the Gospels, gives us our most authoritative information about Jesus. What do these specific texts in John say about Him and why He is so important to us and to all that we believe?

If we are going to give the whole heart to Christ, if our faith is to be "saving faith," if we want to give glory to God, then we need to know Him enough to love Him with all we are and all we have. How can we know Him that well? These verses as well as many others tell us that the Word was made flesh. The Bible reveals Christ. And, we might add, the most beautiful revelation of Jesus can be found in The Desire of Ages. We encourage you to pray about reading from it daily. You may join with us as we read a chapter each day and then share the blessings we receive here at Remnant Online.

We study the Bible because it’s the ultimate source of the Truth. Jesus is the Truth, and in the Bible we find Jesus as we can know Him because of how He has been revealed to us there. Here, in God’s Word, the Old and New Testaments, we learn about who Jesus is and what He has accomplished for us. We then fall in love with Him, and commit our lives and souls to His eternal safekeeping. By following Jesus and obeying His words, as revealed in His Word, we can become free from the bonds of sin and of the world. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36.

Read Romans 8:5, 6.

 8:5   For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 
 8:6   For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 


What are we being warned against here, and how can the study of the Word of God help us in this struggle over our minds?

If we do not make a whole heart surrender to Jesus, then we cannot walk in the Spirit, we are evil by nature, therefore we will walk in the flesh. To understand what is being said, one must read Galations where the works of the flesh are enumerated and where the fruits of the Spirit are listed. We do not manifest both at the same time. If we have Christ enthroned upon the heart, then we are in a converted state and walk in the Spirit. If we have not His Spirit, we are none of His (Romans 8:9). If we walk in the flesh, we are condemned (do not have eternal life or "justification). If we walk in the Spirit, we are not condemned (Romans 8:1 ).  When we read the Word to know God, we will be transformed in character. This is our protection against sin.


The love of the world, especially the love of worldly possessions, can easily draw us away from God if we are not careful.

The love of the world reveals we are not in a converted state. "Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15.

That’s why we must keep ourselves in the Word, which points us to the eternal and spiritual realities that are so crucial for the Christian life.

Love of worldly things never elevates the mind to spiritual morality; instead it replaces biblical principles with greed, us elfishness, and lust. Love, as revealed in the Bible, builds relationships by teaching us the importance of giving of ourselves to others. In contrast, worldliness is all about getting things for ourselves, which is the opposite of everything Jesus represents.

Let us keep in mind that it is the heart that God wants. It is the motive of why we get "things". I love my Bible. I love my Spirit of Prophecy books. I love my computer. I love my modem. I love and hate my phone. Why? Because these "things" enable me to study Inspiration, to take the gospel message to the world, and to communicate with brothers and sister around the world. Do I need the latest iphone? Do I need the most powerful and newest computer? Do I need a tennis racquet? Do I need things? Since we cannot judge motives, we need to leave this up to the individual. But, our love of the things that we do not need reveals where the heart is.

Let us put the horse in front of the cart. When we love Jesus with the whole heart, then our desires will be to please Him who gave all for us.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Tuesday January 23

The Life of Prayer


“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3.
It is no wonder that Christians often say that their faith is about a relationship with God. If knowing God is “eternal life,” then we can find that life through a relationship with Him. And, of course, central to that relationship is communication. We saw yesterday that God communicates to us through His divine Word. We, in turn, commune with Him through prayer.

Relationship is everything. If we have not a living abiding trusting relationship that has given all to Christ, then we have not life. "He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." John 5:12.
Why is it that we so often hear about "relationship"? There is even a teaching called "relationship theology." I labored with a pastor who when I asked if a person sinned on Monday and I did not repent until Sunday, if he had eternal life before he repented, the pastor replied "Yes, we teach "relationship theology."

Many "Evangelicals" believe that if they have a relationship with Jesus they are saved, even if they sin and sin. So, Satan is at work and the reason why we hear the term relationship so much in the church is because Satan has been busy instructing his people that they are saved in sin because of their "relationship" with Jesus. They have "professed" to believe in Him.

It is like Faith. There is faith and there is "saving faith." There is quite a difference. How do we know if we have a "saving relationship" with Jesus?


If, as we have seen, we are to set our minds and hearts upon heavenly things as opposed to things of this world, then prayer is essential. This is because, by its very nature, prayer points us to a higher realm than of the world itself.

Yet even here we must be careful because sometimes our prayers can be merely an expression of our own selfish nature. That’s why we need to pray in submission to the will of God.

Amen. We even need to pray for submission to God. "Lord take my heart, for I can't give it, Lord, I believe take away my unbelief." There is no greater sin than unbelief.


Years ago, a woman sang these words, “Oh, Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz?” It was, in her own way, an attack on the materialism of those who profess faith in God. We, too, must be sure that when we pray, which is in itself an act of submission to God and death to the world, we are seeking God’s will, not just our own.

Read Hebrews 11:1-6.

11:1   Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 
 11:2   For by it the elders obtained a good report. 
 11:3   Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 
 11:4   By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. 
 11:5   By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 
 11:6   But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 

What is the crucial component that must be mingled with all our prayers? Also, what does it mean to come to God in faith and to pray in faith?

Not sure what the lesson is seeking for an answer, but it is the righteousness of Christ that must be mingled with our prayers for them to be acceptable to our heavenly Father. This was taught by the burning of incense in the Hebrew sanctuary.

If we truly are fully surrendered to God, then we by faith believe He is who He says He is, and that He hears our prayers and answers them as He sees is best.


If there is no faith attached to our prayers, there will be presumption, Satan’s counterfeit faith. “Prayer and faith are closely allied, and they need to be studied together. In the prayer of faith there is a divine science; it is a science that everyone who would make his lifework a success must understand. Christ says, ‘What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ Mark 11:24. He makes it plain that our asking must be according to God’s will; we must ask for the things that He has promised, and whatever we receive must be used in doing His will. The conditions met, the promise is unequivocal.” - Ellen G. White, Prayer, p. 57.

Look at your own prayer life. What do you pray for? What do your prayers tell about your priorities? What other things might you need to be praying for?

Lord, show me my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. It is the heart that Jesus cleanses, not the flesh. We are tied to these vile bodies until, by God's grace we receive new bodies when Jesus comes. Come Lord Jesus!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Wednesday January 24

The Life of Wisdom


One of the most beautiful stories in the Bible is found in the story of Solomon’s request to God, to give him above all things “an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” 1 Kings 3:9.

What important words did God say to Solomon that, had he heeded, would have spared the king the ruin that his possessions brought upon him? Why was what God said to him here so important for all of us? 1 Kings 3:14; see also 1 John 5:3, 1 Pet. 4:17.

3:14   And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. 
 5:3   For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 
 4:17   For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God? 

Solomon had great wisdom, but wisdom in and of itself, if not acted upon and lived out, becomes nothing more than good information. In the biblical sense of the word, wisdom not acted upon is not truly wisdom. Many will be lost who will have had plenty of correct information about God and His requirements. But Solomon’s lack of obedience caused him to stray from the paths to which the Lord had called him. Only later in life did he truly come to his senses, writing in humility: “For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it." Prov. 8:11.

Wisdom is the application of knowledge and understanding. Knowledge represents the facts; understanding represents discernment; and wisdom comes in the process of applying our understanding and knowledge to our lives. A wise steward needs not just knowledge and understanding but the experience that comes from living out that knowledge and understanding.

Solomon’s example shows us how easily even the wisest and most understanding of people can get swept up in the emptiness of a materialist lifestyle if that person doesn’t live out the knowledge that he or she has been given.

Only if they do not hold on to Jesus. If we spend that thoughtful hour a day contemplating His love, if we remain in an attitude of prayer continueally, then we shall not get swept up in the thins of this world. It is Christ indwelling the heart that is our protection from the world has to offer.


Compare 1 Corinthians 3:19 and Proverbs 24:13, 14.

3:19   For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 

 24:13   My son, eat thou honey, because [it is] good; and the honeycomb, [which is] sweet to thy taste: 
 24:14   So [shall] the knowledge of wisdom [be] unto thy soul: when thou hast found [it], then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off. 


What is the difference between the two kinds of wisdom talked about in these texts? Share your answers with class on Sabbath.

There are wise men that are worldly wise. Another saying could be "street wise." What has this to do with wisdom that does not come from man, but from God? There are ways which seem right to man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. We lack wisdom, but we know that if we go to God and ask Him for wisdom, He will not hold it back IF we will use it to His glory and for the benefit of others. "   If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." James 1:5,6.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Thursday January 25

The Holy Spirit


The great controversy is real; two sides are battling for our souls. One is drawing us to Christ (John 6:44) and one to the world (1 John 2:16). The power of the Holy Spirit in our lives can and will draw us in the right direction if we will but submit to Him.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13; see also John 14:16. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live by principle and by faith, not by whims or emotions that so dominate the world. Successful preparation for living in heaven comes by living faithfully in this world under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Paul counsels: “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 1 Cor. 2:5. The lure of the world, often through material possessions, draws us away from the Lord. In contrast, if we do not resist, the power of the Holy Spirit will pull us toward Jesus.

Success in the battle with the world and its lures will be accomplished only from outside of ourselves. Read Ezek. 36:26, 27; John 14:26; and Eph. 3:16, 17. When we let the Holy Spirit take possession of us, what things will God do to assure that we have spiritual victory?

 36:26   A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 
 36:27   And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]. 
 14:26   But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 
 3:16   That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 
 3:17   That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love. 


He empowers us to do what is right. He cleanses the heart and writes His law upon it. Eze. 36:27 tells us exactly what He does. "I will.....cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. Is there a question as to this happening if His Spirit is in us?

“It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind. By directing men to false standards, he misshapes the character. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself.” - Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 671.

The Holy Spirit is the reporter of truth and is the ultimate gift that Jesus could give to represent the deity on earth after His ascension. The Holy Spirit strives to give us power to overcome the powerful lure of the world and its “charms.”

The world does pull at us all, doesn’t it? What choices can you make, right now, that can help you surrender to the Holy Spirit, who alone can give you power to resist the world’s temptations?


When we surrender the whole heart to Christ, then we have power to resist all temptations that Jesus allows to come to us. He promises that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. What can we do that will help us make a whole heart surrender to Jesus? We must know Him enough to trust Him with all we are and all we have. Simple, is it not? How do we get to know Jesus? We spend time with Him? How can we do that? The Word was made flesh. We study the Bible. It is a revelation of God.

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Jesus is the Manna which came down from heaven. He tells us that we must "eat His flesh and drink His blood. It would b well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Jesus. By beholding His glory (character) we shall be changed into His image (character). Read 2 Cor. 3:18.

Think about the Lord's prayer. What are we told in that prayer? “Give us this day our daily bread,” speaks not only of temporal food, but of the spiritual food which brings everlasting life. When we believe and receive Christ’s word, we eat His flesh and drink His blood.

When tempted by Satan to alleviate His hunger by turning stones into bread, Christ met the temptation with the words, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” On one occasion Christ told His disciples, and the multitude that thronged Him, that they did not follow Him because of the miracles He did, but because they did eat of the loaves and were filled. He said to them, “Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you; for him hath God the Father sealed. Verily, verily I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven, but my father giveth you the true bread of heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.”

Jesus said unto them, “I am the bread of life, he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.... This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.... Verily, verily I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you... He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.... It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing, the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 39537
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Friday January 26

Further Thought: A steward operates from the twin principles of duty and love. “Remember that duty has a twin sister, Love; these united can accomplish almost everything, but separated, neither is capable of good.” - Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 62. Duty is love in action. We need only to dwell on Christ’s sacrifice in order for love to awaken our duty.

In contrast are the principles of the world: hate and its twin, rebellion. Rebellion can be hate in action. Lucifer rebelled against God (Ezek. 28:16, 17) and will never stop doing so until he is destroyed. He turned the authority of love into the love of authority. The religious leaders of Israel hated the authority and power Jesus possessed (Matt. 22:29). Even when they fled the temple or withdrew from His piercing gaze, they did not change their ways.

That is an interesting thought, that hates twin is rebellion. It surely does not reveal love for God or His church when rebellion takes place. In 1888 Ellen White called the rejection of the gospel truth by church leadership, rebellion. The Apostle Paul tells us those teaching "another gospel" are "accursed." Sadly, we see multiple gospels being preached from our pulpits and printed on our presses, just as it was way back in 1888.

Discussion Questions:


    Dwell more on this idea of love and duty. What does Ellen G. White mean when, after calling them twins, she says that one without the other is not “capable of good”? What does love look like without duty, and what does duty look like without love? Why must they both be together?

We come into this world in need of a Savior to save us from self. We have a fallen nature that is aligned with Satan. We are evil by nature and not capable of unselfish love until we are transformed, born again of His Spirit.

    The memory verse for this week reads: “Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death. He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.” Proverbs 11:4, 28. What is the meaning of this text? What is it saying about riches and what is it not saying?

He that has riches will not profit from them when God's judgements fall upon the wicked, but he who gives his life to Christ and receives the character of Christ, His imparted righteousness, will continue to live for eternity and grow. But, if one trusts in what he has accumulated of this world, will perish, will suffer eternal death.

Riches will not deliver anyone, and he who trusts in his riches shall perish.


    In class, discuss the life of Solomon. Ask how he could have gone so far off track. Look through the book of Ecclesiastes for texts that help reveal the futility and emptiness of worldly possessions, even when we have, like Solomon, so many of them. What have we learned this week about prayer, about Bible study, and about a relationship with Christ that can keep us on the right track spiritually?

It is only Christ that can deliver us from selfishness. If we are not fully surrendered, then we remain selfish and we will not put our treasure in heaven. We must love Jesus with the whole heart, not part of it.


    How can people who do not have a lot of worldly possessions nevertheless still be caught in the trap that Satan sets for them?

Selfishness knows nothing of the amount of possessions. It is our state without loving God supremely no matter how much we possess. We all are selfish by nature.


    What answer did you come up with in regard to Wednesday’s final question about the different kinds of wisdom?

Again, apart from Christ, we have no wisdom except that which seems right and leads to death. Being street wise may give one a temporary edge in this world, but it will not prevent eternal death. Since we all lack wisdom from on high, Jesus tells us that if we will come to Him, He will give us wisdom that leads to eternal life. He also tells us that if He be lifted up, and He was lifted up on the cross, that He is drawing all unto Himself. So....if we will not resist that drawing, if we will spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating His love, we shall be transformed into His image (character). "We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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It is by beholding Jesus that we see God's grace, and the heart is cleansed (2 Cor. 3:18).


Our only hope to escape the allure of the world is a vital and successful relationship with Jesus. This week, we will study the elements of that relationship, and how crucial it is for our own spiritual success to recognize the power behind the mask of the world and see the importance of Christ as the real reason for living.

Amen! What a blessing this will be as we learn what it means to have a "vital and successful relationship with Jesus." Not only will we learn what this means, but we will also learn how to obtain that experience and maintain it. This is the most important matter that is before the church today.

There are other subjects which must be addressed, but in comparison to this all else shrinks in importance.

Richard when reading your comments I was reminded of the words of this hymn....

Refrain:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Amen Jim! Grace is everything. But, we must behold it, we must allow it into our hearts in order to be converted. And how is it that we are converted? It is by beholding His grace. And how do we behold His grace? We behold the life of Christ, His words and His deeds. What love! What Grace! It Is by grace that we are saved through faith. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word. The word was made flesh and dwelt among Us. The word of God as found in scripture is a revelation of Jesus Christ. We must feed upon Him. We must drink His blood and eat His flesh. This is how we obtain that relationship with Jesus, and it is also how we maintain it. 2nd Corinthians 3:18 says by beholding His glory, which is His character, we are transformed into the same image, character, by the Spirit.

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18.
Now we know what a "vital and successful relationship with Jesus" is, and we now know how to achieve that saving relationship with Him. It is by falling in love with Him. It is by knowing Him intimately. Then we will trust Jesus with all we are and all we have.

The first contact others may have with a knowledge of God might be with us. Therefore, let us have that living relationship with Jesus that others may see Him reflected in us. That may sound strange, but it is the truth. When we fully surrender the heart to Christ, the Holy Spirit takes possession of the heart and brings every one of the fruits of the Spirit with Him. "When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." The Desire of Ages, pg 676.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Glen

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Relationship is everything.

I am reminded of the various heavenly bodies in our Solar System, and their "relationship" with one another as to proximity; thus, their consequent influences, one upon the other. Considering the spiritual realm: Do the devil and his angels have "a relationship" with God? What is that relationship? Christians "believe", and devils "believe", is there a difference? How does their relationship compare with that described in 2 Corinthians 5:19? "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself"? Yes! "Relationship is everything", and needs to be defined carefully, because simply "having a relationship" with God, won't necessarily be a saving relationship.

...by partaking of the Word of God, Christians obtain an experience that is after the divine similitude. When Christ abides in the heart by faith, the Christian is the temple of God. Christ does not abide in the heart of the sinner, but in the heart of him who is susceptible to the influences of heaven. Reflecting Christ p. 107.3

The Word is made flesh, and dwells among us, in those who receive the holy precepts of the word of God. The Saviour of the world has left a holy, pure example for all men. It illuminates, uplifts, and brings immortality to all who obey the divine requirements.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 378.1

With the great truth we have been privileged to receive, we should, and under the Holy Spirit's power we could, become living channels of light. We could then approach the mercy seat; and seeing the bow of promise, kneel with contrite hearts, and seek the kingdom of heaven with a spiritual violence that would bring its own reward. We would take it by force, as did Jacob. Then our message would be the power of God unto salvation. Our supplications would be full of earnestness, full of a sense of our great need; and we would not be denied. The truth would be expressed by life and character, and by lips touched with the living coal from off God's altar. Reflecting Christ 217.05
 
WHEN this experience is ours, we shall be lifted out of our poor, cheap selves that we have cherished so tenderly. We shall empty our hearts of the corroding power of selfishness, and shall be filled with praise and gratitude to God. We shall magnify the Lord, the God of all grace, who has magnified Christ. And He will reveal His power through us, making us as sharp sickles in the harvest field. God calls upon His people to reveal Him. Review and Herald,  Feb. 14, 1899. Reflecting Christ 217.06


Oh yes, "relationship is everything"! How is OUR individual "relationship" defined, today? Do we possess Jesus Christ, as our Salvation (the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:45 , or another spirit, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience Ephesians 2:2?

Possessions -substance, Reality? God would “possess us”, in "relationship" in harmony, united with His presence; His love, His righteousness as our Reality; Divine Substance, moment by moment of each day. As His possession we may be so filled with His Spirit as to be an instrument of Love and Righteousness in His hand, drawing the thoughts of others to unity with Him.

There were many godly men and women, some of them are recorded in Hebrews 11, who faithfully obeyed God as they learned more of His will, developing "relationship" with God; each, in their respective generation, as faithful Abel, keeping before their fellowmen a loyalty to the True God; by what they said, what they did, with what they possessed, through He who possessed them with His Love, His very Life dwelling in their inner soul temple.

Moses, with a shepherd’s staff; David with a simple sling; Samson, his arms encircling the pillars of an heathen temple, -at the last calling on God to be his strength; young Joseph, son of a rich man, taken abruptly (by his brothers), rudely, from his position as a favored son; sold as a mere slave into Egypt, owned by pagan idol worshippers.

Remembering the lessons of earlier years, Joseph purposed to remain true to the God of his Father, using his time and what little he had as a slave and prisoner, to glorify the Creator in all he did; subsequently rising through the providences of God to a seat next to Pharoah, an instrument in God’s hand saving millions during those dreadful years of famine. Joseph, son of Jacob, was found faithful in his time and place.

The three young companions of Daniel, in their commitment, testifying of God to an heathen nation of their fidelity to the true God, accompanied by the Angel of God, walking about in the fiery furnace, the mighty men of war who cast them in, to all appearances slain by the heat of it; or, was it that very presence of the Angel of the Lord; fitting symbol of the devouring fire of His presence in the Last Day. What were their last thoughts as they succumbed to the Light of that heat?

The Father and the Son in consultation decided that Christ must come to the world as a babe, and live the life that human beings must live from childhood to manhood, bearing the trials that they must bear, and at the same time living a sinless life, that men might see in Him an example of what they can become, and that He might know by experience how to help them in their struggles with sin. He was tried as man is tried, tempted as man is tempted. The life that He lived in this world, men can live, through His power and under His instruction. . . Reflecting Christ 16.05


Jesus...said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. John 17:6

He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. John 7:18

Yes, for Jesus Christ as a man, "relationship" with His Father, was and is, everything; SO, He must dwell within us, if we would know Him!

Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. 1 Peter 2:22

...we should be to the praise of HIS glory, who first trusted in Christ. Ephesians 1:12;  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21


He is living water to the thirsty soul. He is our refuge in the storm. He is our righteousness, our sanctification, our redemption. When Christ is our personal Saviour, we shall show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light....  Reflecting Christ, p. 21.5
...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02