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Prayer / Re: Very Urgent Prayer Requests.... Part 2
« Last post by Wally on Today at 05:04:07 PM »
I hope that whoever made this decision, soon hears the cock crowing.
Jesus exemplifies to us what life really is--union and communion with God for His infinite purposes of blessing to the universe. When we realize His infinite loveliness of character, we are elated to have the privilege to become partakers of the divine nature, entering into His experience moment-by-moment. When Christ's bride truly wants to do what God wants because love overflows in the heart, when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within, we are ready for heaven, for we have heaven in our hearts. This "buy in" on the part of God's people is nothing short of a miracle--that those who once sought "to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Hebrews 11:25) would rather suffer for Christ's dear sake. Let us realize how much we need unbroken time with God like Jesus did so that reality becomes so clear to us. Catch this--God and Christ, the way that we see Jesus lived, is REALITY. Everything and anything short of this is failure and eternal loss, and shows to us that salvation can only be through Christ and by Christ's character being imputed and imparted to us. What an incredible joy it is to have Him work this out in us as we, by beholding Him, are constantly changed from one degree of character to the next, all the while bearing all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing, living happily up to all the light of God's law that He has revealed to that point in our experience!

"In a life wholly devoted to the good of others, the Saviour found it necessary to withdraw from the thoroughfares of travel and from the throng that followed Him day after day. He must turn aside from a life of ceaseless activity and contact with human needs, to seek retirement and unbroken communion with His Father. As one with us, a sharer in our needs and weaknesses, He was wholly dependent upon God, and in the secret place of prayer He sought divine strength, that He might go forth braced for duty and trial. In a world of sin Jesus endured struggles and torture of soul. In communion with God He could unburden the sorrows that were crushing Him. Here He found comfort and joy." {The Desire of Ages, page 362, paragraph 4}
Prayer / Re: Very Urgent Prayer Requests.... Part 2
« Last post by Dorine on Today at 01:33:24 PM »
I'm sad to report that Coming Out Ministries will not be coming to our camp meeting. What I was told was that it is a worldwide decision and not just a NAD.  Even though I'm feeling sick about it I know that God is still in control. Thank you for the prayers that were said on behalf of this issue. God always has a plan. We must trust Him.
Sunday          July 15

Teaching and Fellowship

After Pentecost, Luke shifts the narrative to a general description of the inner life of the church in Jerusalem. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42, NKJV). The four items noted appear to be basically teaching and fellowship. According to verse 46, the teaching was carried out in the temple, while the fellowship was in private homes.

The temple court was surrounded by roofed porches that were frequently used for rabbinic instruction. That the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching shows that the gift of the Spirit did not lead them to a contemplative religion but to an intense learning process under the apostles, whose authoritative teaching was authenticated by wonders and signs (Acts 2:43).

Spiritual fellowship was another distinctive mark of early Christian piety. The believers were constantly together, not only in the temple but also in their homes, where they shared meals, celebrated the Lord’s Supper, and prayed (Acts 2:42, 46). By having such daily celebrations, the early Christians expressed their hope in Jesus’ soon return, when His fellowship with them would be restored in the Messianic kingdom (Matt. 26:29).

Private homes played a key role in the early church’s life. The believers still attended the temple’s daily ceremonies (Acts 3:1), and on Sabbaths they presumably were in the synagogues with their fellow Jews (James 2:2), but the distinctive elements of Christian devotion were performed in homes.

Read Acts 2:44, 45; 4:34, 35. What was an important aspect of early Christian fellowship?

Believing that the end was near, they decided that their material possessions, “private property” (to use a more up-to-date term), were not that important anymore. A common use of their material resources, therefore, seemed appropriate. There was no reason to worry about tomorrow, as the Messiah Himself would provide for their needs in the Messianic kingdom (Luke 22:29, 30). This sharing allowed them to experience a deeper sense of unity, besides becoming an extraordinary example of Christian generosity.

Today, do we have to "worry" about tomorrow? Jesus has promised to provide for all of our "needs."  Do we believe Him with the whole heart? Do we trust Him fully? Will He indeed care for our us and our needs? If we will give Him the whole heart, my testimony is that He will provide for us in the very best way. But, He wants the whole heart, not 98% of it.

How generous are you with what you have been given from the Lord?

Before my conversion, I thought that I could not be like Jesus. He was a rock unto Himself, He was God and did not have to worry about being cold or hungry. I was ignorant of God and His plan of salvation. I now know that Christ depended upon His Father for His needs. He worked no miracle for Himself. So we must depend upon Him for our needs in the same manner. Christ was not a rock unto Himself. And, we have most precious promises if we will trust Jesus with all we have and all we are.
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--38--Come Rest Awhile
« Last post by Richard Myers on Today at 08:37:32 AM »
I so much appreciate the chapters always pointing us to our continual need of Jesus. This chapter is telling us we must always take time to pray and study the life of Jesus. Working for God is not the same as communion with Him. We have nothing to give if we do not have an intimate connection with Christ.

     In all who are under the training of God is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world, its customs, or its practices; and everyone needs to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, "Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10. Here alone can true rest be found.  And this is the effectual preparation for all who labor for God. Amid the hurrying throng, and the strain of life's intense activities, the soul that is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. The life will breathe out fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men's hearts. 

Amen. When we are fully surrendered to Christ, He will give us love, joy, and peace. Herein is true rest!
I love how close God is to us continually, and that ministry after the similitude of Christ is the greatest gift, the most weighty trust, that He could bestow upon us in preparation for heaven! God has infinite love in His heart for us, and as we behold the infinite loveliness of Jesus, we are changed from glory to glory, and find His character wrought out in us as a result of union and communion with Him. What is His character? It is the revelation of Christ in the law, it is all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing. This is the outflow of the heart and mind that has been renewed to partake of the divine nature, and there is no limit the usefulness of one who has such a continuous experience with God whose love never fails!

    "The Bible shows us God in His high and holy place, not in a state of inactivity, not in silence and solitude, but surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of holy intelligences, all waiting to do His will. Through channels which we cannot discern He is in active communication with every part of His dominion. But it is in this speck of a world, in the souls that He gave His only-begotten Son to save, that His interest and the interest of all heaven is centered. God is bending from His throne to hear the cry of the oppressed. To every sincere prayer He answers, 'Here am I.' He uplifts the distressed and downtrodden. In all our afflictions He is afflicted. In every temptation and every trial the angel of His presence is near to deliver."  {The Desire of Ages, page 356, paragraph 3}

Praise God for how by experience in becoming one with God in selfless ministry we have heaven in our hearts! Then it is the most natural thing to want to ever be near Jesus, and do His will as He works in us, and we abide in Him!

Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Acts 2:42-46; Acts 4:34, 35; Acts 3:1-26; Acts 4:1-18; Acts 5:1-11; Acts 5:34-39.

Memory Text: “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:46, 47

The early church’s sense of urgency could not have been stronger. The way that Jesus had answered the question concerning the establishment of the Messianic kingdom, leaving the issue of time open (Acts 1:6-8), could be understood to mean that everything depended on the coming of the Spirit and the completion of the apostolic mission. So, when Pentecost came, early believers thought that everything was fulfilled: they had received the Spirit and shared the gospel with the whole world. Not that the apostles had left Jerusalem and had gone out to the world, but the world had come to them (Acts 2:5-11).

What happened next was the church’s detachment from material goods. Sensing that the time was short, they sold all they had and devoted themselves to learning and to fellowship while continuing to witness about Jesus, but only in Jerusalem. The communal life they developed, though effective in helping the poor, soon became a problem, and God had to intervene to keep the church united. This was also the time when they began to find themselves facing opposition. Yet amid it all, their faith remained unshakeable.

Amen! That opposition (persecution) kept the church relatively pure and holy. Why do we not face opposition and persecution today?

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, July 21.

The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--37--The First Evangelists
« Last post by Richard Myers on July 17, 2018, 07:01:53 AM »
     Jesus Himself never purchased peace by compromise. His heart overflowed with love for the whole human race, but He was never indulgent to their sins. He was too much their friend to remain silent while they were pursuing a course that would ruin their souls,--the souls He had purchased with His own blood. He labored that man should be true to himself, true to his higher and eternal interest. The servants of Christ are called to the same work, and they should beware lest, in seeking to prevent discord, they surrender the truth. They are to "follow after the things which make for peace" (Romans 14:19); but real peace can never be secured by compromising principle. And no man can be true to principle without exciting opposition. A Christianity that is spiritual will be opposed by the children of disobedience. But Jesus bade His disciples, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul." Those who are true to God need not fear the power of men nor the enmity of Satan. In Christ their eternal life is secure. Their only fear should be lest they surrender the truth, and thus betray the trust with which God has honored them. 

Two thoughts. First, no need to express what is being said about our duty to speak the truth in love when the Spirit leads. It is made plain that all may understand. Second, "fear" means fear, no matter how often it is translated otherwise. If we surrender the truth, then we ought to be fearful.
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--36--The Touch of Faith
« Last post by Richard Myers on July 16, 2018, 09:44:39 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. I too chose this truth to share. I was greatly impressed that it is important for us and others to understand our testimony is so very important. It is God's grace that has changed me, has cleansed my heart, and put me on my face. Who am I that the King of Kings should love me so!

Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven's chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience. We are witnesses for God as we reveal in ourselves the working of a power that is divine. Every individual has a life distinct from all others, and an experience differing essentially from theirs. God desires that our praise shall ascend to Him, marked by our own individuality. These precious acknowledgments to the praise of the glory of His grace, when supported by a Christ-like life, have an irresistible power that works for the salvation of souls. 

We by our character are to reveal the character of God to the world. As impossible as it seems, we are to be transformed into His image (2 Cor. 3:18). We are to have power over the flesh. We are to love those who despitefully use us. Yes, grace has power to change our lives!!
I couldn’t miss the parallel in the following beautiful promise in The Desire of Ages to 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

“Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven’s chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience.” {The Desire of Ages, page 347, paragraph 3}

I confess that God has forgiven my sins that put Jesus on the cross. I confess that it has been just over ten years that I have been rebaptized, but that baptism is a way of life abiding in Jesus Christ so He reveals His perfect character in me in spite of my weaknesses. Baptism is not merely an event! I am not in bondage because Jesus is my continuous Healer and Deliverer!!! I confess that through full surrender to Christ by beholding His infinite loveliness of character, I am a new creature in Christ Jesus. I am a walking miracle—and you can be, too! I am at Camp Sagola with the intense purpose of seeing the souls of God’s children thoroughly converted. “God is faithful” (1 John 1:9).
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