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Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: 2 Tim. 3:1-9; Ezek. 14:14; Phil. 4:4-13; Prov. 3:5; 1 Pet. 2:11, 12; Matt. 7:23; 25:21.

Memory Verse: “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:12

As stewards, we should live as witnesses of the God we serve, which means that we should exert a powerful influence on those around us, an influence for good.

Our story, then, is not to be isolated from the world around us. Instead, we are privileged to reflect a better way of living to those who don’t know the things that we have been given. Stewardship is the act of thriving while managing God’s call to live godly lives. God gives us the skill to live differently than any other lifestyle on earth (2 Cor. 6:17), and it is something that others should notice and even ask about. Hence we are told: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Pet. 3:15).
This final lesson will look at the personal benefits, spiritual outcomes, successful results, our influence, and the key to contentment in the steward’s life, knowing that it is all about “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

Amen, it is all about Christ being in us, for without the Spirit of God taking possession of the whole heart, we shall not be empowered to be His witnesses to a world soon to perish. Pointing out the result of conversion from sinner to saint will be a good way to conclude these lessons on stewardship.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, March 31.

Signs of the Times / Re: Pope Calls for More Immigration
« Last post by Richard Myers on Today at 06:03:17 AM »
When we see religious persecution in many countries, such as the Muslim nations, India, and China, we want to help those being persecuted. But, today, we find the United Nations ignoring the religious persecution and pretending these countries are legitimate nations of the world. Amid such hypocrisy we find the United Nations, the pope, and many who hate Christianity calling for mass immigration to Europe and the United States.

Because there was legislation allowing some persecuted Jews and Christians in the Soviet Union and Iran to immigrate to the United States with far less scrutiny, there are many today who recognize this discriminates against other religions and countries. Because Muslims are persecuted and other religions likewise are persecuted, there is a call for mass immigration for these religions, ignoring that America does not (did not) allow for the tenets of many of these religions that do not allow for religious freedom. The Muslim religion does not allow for religious liberty, nor freedom of the press, nor freedom of speech, nor separation of church and state.

Because America has turned from its Protestant heritage and calls evil good and good evil, anarchy reigns in her land. Trying to make sense out of what we see today, does not work. This is evidence that Jesus is coming so very soon. America has reached across the great abyss and her apostasy will bring national ruin. That nation which brought freedom to her people and spread it to many lands around the world, no longer is the great hope to the world. She no longer discriminates between those who love freedom and those who will deny it. 

In Iran, there are Christians who have sought entrance into the United States, but have been denied what would have been granted not long ago. It is very sad, but there are those who are using the discrimination that seeks to help Christians as a tool to expand this to mass immigration for those who would deny freedom to others. source We have reached a place where the mass of Americans are no longer educated or moral and thus a democratic republic cannot work to help others nor itself. Come Lord Jesus.
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--9--Days of Conflict
« Last post by Richard Myers on Today at 05:18:09 AM »
Amen!! And when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, our lives will be a witness of the God we love. We will have great joy, but we shall also suffer greatly. We become partakers of what Christ suffered.

Yet through childhood, youth, and manhood, Jesus walked alone. In His purity and His faithfulness, He trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him. He carried the awful weight of responsibility for the salvation of men. He knew that unless there was a decided change in the principles and purposes of the human race, all would be lost. This was the burden of His soul, and none could appreciate the weight that rested upon Him. Filled with intense purpose, He carried out the design of His life that He Himself should be the light of men. 
"From the time when the parents of Jesus found Him in the temple, His course of action was a mystery to them. He would not enter into controversy, yet His example was a constant lesson. He seemed as one who was set apart. His hours of happiness were found when alone with nature and with God. Whenever it was His privilege, He turned aside from the scene of His labor, to go into the fields, to meditate in the green valleys, to hold communion with God on the mountainside or amid the trees of the forest. The early morning often found Him in some secluded place, meditating, searching the Scriptures, or in prayer. From these quiet hours He would return to His home to take up His duties again, and to give an example of patient toil." {The Desire of Ages, page 89, paragraph 6}

When we surrender fully to Jesus, we will also go where He did to find happiness--to be with our Heavenly Father in nature, in His word, and in prayer. We will seek to find every possible opportunity for turning aside to go be with the One we love, and thus we shall also be transformed in character, that even in all we do the impress of His character--the unmistakable manifestation of all of the fruits of His Spirit without one missing--will be revealed in our lives. Jesus loves us and invites us to follow Him this Sabbath day! Praise God for a whole day set apart for communion with God!!! 

Friday March 23

Further Thought: Enoch and Noah made it a habit to walk with God in an age when few remained faithful amid excess, materialism, and violence (Gen. 5:24, 6:9). They understood and accepted God’s grace, and were thus good stewards of the possessions and tasks entrusted to them.

Down through the ages, people have walked with God just as Enoch and Noah did. For instance, Daniel and his friends “realized that in order to stand as representatives of true religion amid the false religions of heathenism they must have clearness of intellect and must perfect a Christian character. And God Himself was their teacher. Constantly praying, conscientiously studying, keeping in touch with the Unseen, they walked with God as did Enoch.” - Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 486.

“Walking with God” defines what a steward does, that is, living with God day by day on earth. A wise steward will make it a habit to walk with God amid a world of corruption, for only by this connection with God can we be protected from falling into the prevailing evils.

Being a faithful steward entails an all-encompassing life that begins with being in agreement with God (Amos 3:3). We must walk in Christ (Col. 2:6), walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4), walk in love (Eph. 5:2), walk in wisdom (Col. 4:5), walk in truth (Ps. 86:11), walk in the light (1 John 1:7), walk in integrity (Prov. 19:1), walk in His law (Exod. 16:4), walk in good works (Eph. 2:10), and walk the straight path (Prov. 4:26).

Discussion Questions:

    Define humility and explain its role in the life of a steward (Matt. 11:29, Eph. 4:2, Phil. 2:3, James 4:10). Why is humility important in our walk with God? (Mic. 6:8 ).

    In class, talk about ways we can help those among us who are trapped in bad, even self-destructive habits. What can you as a local church do to help these people?

Teach that we all are trapped in bad  habits until we make a full surrender to Jesus. It is grace that causes us to do otherwise.

    What are some other good habits that Christian stewards should have? See, for instance, Titus 2:7, Ps. 119:172, Matt. 5:8.

All of the fruits of the Spirit, which come when we are truly converted.

    In class, talk about time and the mysteries of time. Why does it seem to go so fast? How do we even understand what time is? And, most important, why is it necessary that we be good stewards of the relatively short amount of it we have while here on earth?

If we are not good stewards, we bring reproach upon Christ, His Word, and the church.

Thursday March 22

Habit: Self-discipline

Self-discipline is one of the most important character traits a steward can have. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7, NIV). The Greek word for discipline, sophronismos, appears only here in this verse in the New Testament and involves the ability to do what must be done with a balanced, sound mind that will not deviate from God’s principles. Self-discipline can help us “to distinguish good from evil” (Heb. 5:14, NIV), understand situations at hand, and yet calmly and meekly withstand pressures and distractions regardless of outcome. Daniel pursued what was right despite the lions, as opposed to Samson, who lived a self-indulgent life and showed little restraint or sound judgment. Joseph pursued what was right in Potiphar’s house, in contrast with Solomon, who worshiped other gods (1 Kings 11:4, 5).

Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.

 9:24   Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 
 9:25   And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 
 9:26   I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 
 9:27   But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 

What does Paul say here about self-discipline? What does he say is ultimately at stake in the whole question of self-discipline?

The discipline Paul is speaking of is power over the flesh, the passions and appetites which are the lower powers. When we abide in Christ and He in us, the mind has power over the flesh, self control because we have the power of the indwelling Spirit. What is at stake is eternal life. If we have not power to keep the body (flesh) under control, then we walk after the flesh, not after the Spirit. Then we are under condemnation and are a castaway.

“The world is given to self-indulgence. Errors and fables abound. Satan’s snares for destroying souls are multiplied. All who would perfect holiness in the fear of God must learn the lessons of temperance and self-control. The appetites and passions must be held in subjection to the higher powers of the mind. This self-discipline is essential to that mental strength and spiritual insight which will enable us to understand and to practice the sacred truths of God’s word.” - Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 101.

Amen! This is the first time I have seen this statement quoted by anyone. Why? Because it is to straight for most. Read the statement in context, it will be even more shocking to most. I read the statement in its context from the platform at the 1990 General Conference Session and it was broadcast by satellite across most of North America. I imagine many church leaders and members cringed, as many will as they now read this truth in the quarterly.

Self-discipline improves through habitual practice. God has called you to “be holy in all you do” (1 Pet. 1:15, NIV) and to “train yourself to be godly” (1 Tim. 4:7, NIV). Stewards must practice and train to be self-disciplined just as much as the most talented athletes or musicians. We must, through God’s power and our own diligent effort, discipline ourselves in the things that really matter.

How can we learn to surrender to the power of God, who alone can give us the self-discipline we need to live as faithful and godly stewards in a fallen and corrupt world?that we be good stewards of the relatively short amount of it we have while here on earth?

We surrender to the power of God by seeing His grace. As we behold the loveliness of Jesus, our heart goes out to Him. Love begets love. We surrender all to Him, because we love Him. We love Him because He first loved us. We have to be reminded continually of who He is and who we are, and of our continual need of Him to do any good thing. When we look at Jesus suffering on the cross because of our sins, we are healed. We surrender all to Him who gave all that we might live!
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--9--Days of Conflict
« Last post by Richard Myers on March 23, 2018, 10:35:55 PM »
As there was conflict over the actions of Jesus, so it will be with all who accept Bible truth and walk in the light.

    In every gentle and submissive way, Jesus tried to please those with whom He came in contact. Because He was so gentle and unobtrusive, the scribes and elders supposed that He would be easily influenced by their teaching. They urged Him to receive the maxims and traditions that had been handed down from the ancient rabbis, but He asked for their authority in Holy Writ. He would hear every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; but He could not obey the inventions of men. Jesus seemed to know the Scriptures from beginning to end, and He presented them in their true import. The rabbis were ashamed to be instructed by a child. They claimed that it was their office to explain the Scriptures, and that it was His place to accept their interpretation. They were indignant that He should stand in opposition to their word.
Thursday March 29

The Words We Want (and Don’t Want) to Hear

We are strangers and pilgrims on earth, with heaven - perfect, beautiful, and peaceful - as our ultimate destination (Heb. 11:13, 14). Until then, we have to live our existence here. The Christian worldview, especially as revealed in the great controversy, allows for no neutral parties now. We either live for God or for the enemy. “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matt. 12:30). Whose side we’re on will be revealed, clearly and unambiguously, when He returns.

At some point after Christ returns, those who claimed to follow Him will hear one of two phrases. What are those phrases and what does each one mean?
Matt. 25:21 Matt. 7:23

Christ’s words “well done” are the most pleasing and satisfying words a steward will ever hear. To have divine, unqualified approval expressed over our attempts to manage His possessions would bring unspeakable joy for doing our best according to our abilities, for knowing all along that our salvation is rooted, not in our works for Christ but in His works for us (see Rom. 3:21, Rom. 4:6).

A faithful steward’s life is a reflection of the faith he or she already has. The attempt at salvation by works is seen in the words of those who sought to justify themselves before God by their works (see Matt. 7:21, 22). Matthew 7:23 shows how futile that self-justification really is.

“When Christ’s followers give back to the Lord His own, they are accumulating treasure which will be given to them when they shall hear the words, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” - Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 523.

In the end, stewardship is a life lived in which the two greatest commandments, love for God and love for our neighbors, are the motivation and driving force in all that one does.

How well does your own life, and the stewardship revealed in your life, reflect these two greatest commandments?

Friday March 30

Further Thought: “Christ came to this world to reveal the love of God. His followers are to continue the work which He began. Let us strive to help and strengthen one another. Seeking the good of others is the way in which true happiness can be found. Man does not work against his own interest by loving God and his fellow men. The more unselfish his spirit, the happier he is, because he is fulfilling God’s purpose for him.” - Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, pp. 24, 25.

“Wherever there is life in a church, there is increase and growth. There is also a constant interchange, taking and giving out, receiving and returning to the Lord His own. To every true believer God imparts light and blessing, and this the believer imparts to others in the work that he does for the Lord. As he gives of that which he receives, his capacity for receiving is increased. Room is made for fresh supplies of grace and truth. Clearer light, increased knowledge, are his. On this giving and receiving depend the life and growth of the church. He who receives, but never gives, soon ceases to receive. If the truth does not flow from him to others, he loses his capacity to receive. We must impart the goods of heaven, if we would receive fresh blessing.” - Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, p. 36.

Discussion Questions:

    How does trusting in the Lord lead to contentment? What does it take to trust God with all your heart on an intellectual level? 2 Cor. 10:5. Why is it so easy to say “that all things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28, NKJV) but so hard to believe it? That is, why do we say that we trust God, and really do trust Him on an intellectual level, and yet be so fearful of the future?

    In class, ask this question and then compare answers: “In 25 words or less, what is your definition of stewardship?” Then ask the question: “In 25 words or less, why is stewardship an important part of the Christian’s life?”

    Read again Matthew 7:21-23. What is going on here? Why do these people say the things that they do? What do their words reveal about themselves? How can we make sure that - even as we seek to be good stewards, even as we seek to live a life of faith and obedience, even as we seek to do good works in God’s name - we do not fall into the same kind of self-deception?

    We tend to think of Christian influence only on an individual level. But what about at the level of your local church? What kind of influence does your church as a whole have in the community?

Tuesday March 27


Read Proverbs 3:5. What crucial message is there for us, especially in the last part, about not “leaning” on our own understanding? (See also Isa. 55:9, 1 Cor. 4:5, 13:12.)

The motto and aim of God’s stewards is to “trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5, NKJV).

Of course, that’s often easier said than done. How often might we intellectually believe in God and in His love and care for us, and yet worry ourselves sick over something that we are facing? Sometimes the future can appear very scary, at least in our own imaginations.

How, then, do we as stewards learn to trust in God? By stepping out in faith and obeying the Lord in all that we do now. Trust is an action of the mind that is not depleted with use; on the contrary, the more we trust the Lord the more our trust will grow. Living as faithful stewards is a way to express our trust in God. This trust is the foundation and driving force of the steward, and it becomes visible by what we do.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” The phrase “your heart” is always used figuratively in Scripture. It means that our decisions come from an inner moral self that makes up who we are (Matt. 22:37). This includes our character, motives, and intentions - the very core of our being.

It’s easier to trust God with the things that you can’t control. In that sense we have no choice but to trust in Him. Instead, real trust “from the heart” comes when we have to make a choice regarding something that we can control, and when our trust in God will cause us to choose one way or the other.

The apostles illustrate trusting God with all their hearts: “They were by nature as weak and helpless as any of those now engaged in the work, but they put their whole trust in the Lord. Wealth they had, but it consisted of mind and soul culture; and this every one may have who will make God first and last and best in everything.” - Ellen G. White, Gospel Workers, p. 25.

It is true that it’s easier to trust in God concerning the things that you cannot control. But what about things you can control? What choices might you need to make in which your trust in God will determine which way you do choose?

Wednesday March 28

Our Influence

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord” (Eph. 5:8, NKJV). Paul describes the transformation of the heart as being what is publicly seen: As we “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7, NKJV; Isa. 30:21), our daily witness of managed stewardship will be an influential light in a dark world.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12, NKJV). We reflect the light of God through a stable character in our everyday public behavior.

How is our stewardship on display in ways that bring glory to God? What influence do our actions have on others? Matt. 5:16, Titus 2:7, 1 Pet. 2:11, 12.

Stewardship is about the management of God’s possessions, but it goes beyond this responsibility. Our stewardship is on display in front of our families, communities, the world, and the universe (1 Cor. 4:9). Stewardship lived out in our occupations as well demonstrates the effect that the principles of the kingdom have on our lives. And thus, we can influence others. We reveal Christ by kindness and morality, which carry the approval of the Creator.

Our work ethic also must agree with our stewardship values. Our occupation is one stage in which the stewardship of a righteous person is seen. “He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday” (Ps. 37:6, NKJV). A steward’s influence even at work or at his or her vocation is not put “in a secret place or under a basket” (Luke 11:33, NKJV), but is seen like a city on a hill (Matt. 5:14). As you purposefully live this way at home and at work, you will influence the minds and hearts of those around you.

“Everything in nature has its appointed work and murmurs not at its position. In spiritual things every man and woman has his or her own peculiar sphere and vocation. The interest God requires will be proportionate to the amount of entrusted capital according to the measure of the gift of Christ. . . . Now is your time and privilege to . . . show a stability of character that will make you of real moral worth. Christ has a right to your service. Yield to Him heartily.” - Ellen G. White, This Day With God, p. 243.

What kind of influence does your work ethic reveal to those with whom you work or to those who see you at home? What kind of message do you send to them about your faith?
Lesson 13 March 24-30

The Results of Stewardship

Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon

Sunday March 25

Stewardship and Godliness

Godliness is a vast topic. Godly people live a holy lifestyle (Titus 1:1), becoming like Christ with an attitude of devotion and with actions that are pleasing to Him (Ps. 4:3, Titus 2:12). Godliness is the evidence of true religion and receives the promise of eternal life. No philosophy, wealth, fame, power, or favored birth offers such a promise.

Read 2 Timothy 3:1-9. What is Paul warning about here that’s directly related to the life of a faithful steward?

The book of Job provides a description of Job’s character and actions. It illustrates how a godly life is revealed, even through suffering. It also shows how much Satan hates that lifestyle. Even God acknowledges that there were no others like Job in his quality of faith and lifestyle (Job 2:3).

“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1, NKJV). Thus, we see a man whose faith wasn’t just an expression of words or religious rituals, though that was part of his life (Job 1:5). His fear of God was manifested in an entire life of godliness, even amid horrific trials. Being godly doesn’t mean we are perfect, only that we reflect perfection in our own sphere.

Read Ezekiel 14:14. What does this text say that testifies to the character of these men? What do they have in common that should be seen in all of us?

Stewardship is, really, an expression of a godly life. Faithful stewards don’t just have a form of godliness. They are godly, and this godliness is revealed in how they live, in how they handle the things that their God has entrusted them with. Their faith is expressed not only in what they do but also in what they don’t do.

Monday March 26


“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Phil. 4:11). If we are to be content in whatever state we are in, where must that contentment ultimately come from?

While writing to Timothy, Paul describes an unsavory group of people “who think that godliness is a means to financial gain” (1 Tim. 6:5, NIV). What better description of some of the TV hucksters today could there be than this? They make a lot of money telling listeners that if they are but faithful (and that “faithfulness” includes supporting their ministry), then these listeners will be rich, too? The equating of wealth with faithfulness is just another manifestation of materialism but under the guise of Christianity.

The fact is, godliness has nothing to do with wealth. If so, some of the world’s nastiest people would have to be deemed godly because they are also some of the wealthiest. Instead, Paul countered that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6, NIV). Godliness with contentment in any circumstance is the greatest type of riches because God’s grace is far more valuable than financial gain. Thus, we should be content with “food and clothing” (1 Tim. 6:8, NIV). In the end, no matter how much we have, there will always be more to get if we are inclined to think that way.

“Contentment in every condition is a great art, a spiritual mystery. It is to be learned, and to be learned as a mystery. . . . Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition. . . . It is a box of precious ointment, and very comforting and useful for troubled hearts, in troubled times and conditions.” - Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, pp. 1, 3.

Read Romans 8:28, Hebrews 13:5, and Philippians 4:4-13. What can we find here that can help us live contented lives?
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