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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--85--By the Sea Once More
« Last post by Dorine on September 18, 2022, 04:59:39 AM »
"Before his fall, Peter was always speaking unadvisedly, from the impulse of the moment. He was always ready to correct others, and to express his mind, before he had a clear comprehension of himself or of what he had to say. But the converted Peter was very different. He retained his former fervor, but the grace of Christ regulated his zeal. He was no longer impetuous, self-confident, and self-exalted, but calm, self-possessed, and teachable. He could then feed the lambs as well as the sheep of Christ's flock."

I love this description of what the Lord did for Peter when Peter learned to love his Master with all of his heart. It's a transformation that no human can produce. Let's keep our eyes on Jesus so that we too may consistently represent Jesus in all our words and actions.
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--85--By the Sea Once More
« Last post by Beacon on September 17, 2022, 08:00:54 PM »
"Three times Peter had openly denied his Lord, and three times Jesus drew from him the assurance of his love and loyalty, ​pressing home that pointed question, like a barbed arrow to his wounded heart."

"Before the assembled disciples Jesus revealed the depth of Peter's repentance, and showed how thoroughly humbled was the once boasting disciple."

"Peter was naturally forward and impulsive, and Satan had taken advantage of these characteristics to overthrow him."


"Just before the fall of Peter, Jesus had said to him, "Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." Luke 22:31, 32."

"That time had now come, and the transformation in Peter was evident."
 
"The close, testing questions of the Lord had not called out one forward, self-sufficient reply; and because of his humiliation and repentance, Peter was better prepared than ever before to act as shepherd to the flock."

The question for us is this----IS OUR TRANSFORMATION EVIDENT? Have "WE" Surrendered All to Jesus?"

=================================

1
I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small,
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”
    Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
  He washed it white as snow.
2
Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots,
And melt the heart of stone.
3
For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim—
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.
4
And when, before the throne,
I stand in Him complete,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
My lips shall still repeat.

Lyrics:Elvina Mable Reynolds Hall (1822-1889)
Music:John Thomas Grape (1834-1915)
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Last post by Richard Myers on September 17, 2022, 07:22:17 AM »
Amen my dear friends!   Today's reading gives us a view of reproof, love, and controversy.....

  Jesus accepted his acknowledgment, but gently reproved his unbelief: "Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." The faith of Thomas would have been more pleasing to Christ if he had been willing to believe upon the testimony of his brethren. Should the world now follow the example of Thomas, no one would believe unto salvation; for all who receive Christ must do so through the testimony of others.
 
     In His treatment of Thomas, Jesus gave a lesson for His followers. His example shows how we should treat those whose faith is weak, and who make their doubts prominent. Jesus did not overwhelm Thomas with reproach, nor did He enter into controversy with him. He revealed Himself to the doubting one. Thomas had been most unreasonable in dictating the conditions of his faith, but Jesus, by His generous love and consideration, broke down all the barriers. Unbelief is seldom overcome by controversy. It is rather put upon self-defense, and finds new support and excuse. But let Jesus, in His love and mercy, be revealed as the crucified Saviour, and from many once unwilling lips will be heard the acknowledgment of Thomas, "My Lord and my God." 


Jesus did not enter into controversy, but He surely did reprove Thomas, gently. And when brought to repentance, what shall Jesus do then? He accepts the repentance and not only does He forgive the sin, but He will, as Sister Dorine points out, "cleanse us from all unrighteousness." And when cleansed, as brothers Beacon and Sean point out, God "imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ." Miracle of all miracles!!

Let us bless others on this Sabbath Day as Jesus blesses us!
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Last post by Dorine on September 17, 2022, 05:54:33 AM »
"....Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted." Let this thought be kept uppermost. In labor for the erring, let every eye be directed to Christ. Let the shepherds have a tender care for the flock of the Lord's pasture. Let them speak to the erring of the forgiving mercy of the Saviour. Let them encourage the sinner to repent, and believe in Him who can pardon. Let them declare, on the authority of God's word, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. All who repent have the assurance, "He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." Micah 7:19.

So little of this is done. Many are content to leave the erring flounder in their sin believing that it would be judging to point out the error to the individual. Some are afraid of chasing them from the church. We have clear counsel that if we love our brother/sister and want to see them in eternity we will prayerfully and tenderly seek to direct them to the loving forgiveness of Jesus. We see this in the life of Jesus. His gentle rebuke of Thomas is a lesson for all. When we keep looking to Christ His character shows in all aspects of our lives.
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Last post by Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 17, 2022, 04:11:48 AM »
Amen, Brother Beacon!!

Happy Sabbath!! Praise the Lord for the gift of the Holy Spirit! When He lives in us, all of the fruits of the Spirit will be manifest without one missing as we are empowered to do God's will in true obedience to His law of love! God is faithful!

"The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ. Only those who are thus taught of God, those who possess the inward working of the Spirit, and in whose life the Christ-life is manifested, are to stand as representative men, to minister in behalf of the church." {The Desire of Ages, page 805, paragraph 3}

Let the Holy Spirit abide in you to bless others this day in the way He leads you! God is love and "the love of Christ constraineth us" (2 Corinthians 5:14) to go forward in God's plans and purposes to share the gospel with the whole world!
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Friday          September 16

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “Eli and His Sons,” pp. 575-580, and “The Presumption of Saul,” pp. 616-626, in Patriarchs and Prophets.

Submission to God’s will comes as we die to our own desires and ambitions. This opens the way for true service to others. We cannot live for God without becoming a sacrifice and living in continual openness to God’s voice. For us truly to submit our wills to our Father’s will, we must recognize the dangers of relying on ourselves and on substitutes for God’s Word and power. As submission to God’s will is at the heart of a Christlike life, God may allow crucibles to teach us dependence on Him.

“The neglect of Eli is brought plainly before every father and mother in the land. As the result of his unsanctified affection or his unwillingness to do a disagreeable duty, he reaped a harvest of iniquity in his perverse sons. Both the parent who permitted the wickedness and the children who practiced it were guilty before God, and He would accept no sacrifice or offering for their transgression.” — Ellen G. White, Child Guidance, p. 276.[/color

Discussion Questions:

    As a class, talk about the incredible condescension of the Son of God in coming to earth as a human being in order to die for our sins. What does it tell each of us about what self-sacrifice and self-denial for the good of others means? Though we certainly can’t do anything like what Jesus did, the principle is there and should always be before us. In what ways can we, in our own spheres, emulate the kind of submission and self-sacrifice that Jesus showed us at the cross?
    For many people, submitting to God without knowing what will happen next can be a terrifying thing. How would you counsel people who are relying on themselves rather than God? What would you say to help remove their fears of not knowing — or being able to control — the future?

When we love the Lord our God with all of the heart, self trusts in Him and not ourselves. If God says it, we believe it. All things that God allows to happen to us is for our good and His glory. He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. It is a promise to all who love Him supremely. /color]


    As a class, spend some time praying for people you know who have difficulty in submitting to God’s will, that they may see that trusting God’s will is the only route to a lasting peace. At the same time, what practical things can you do for these people to help them see that they can surrender to God and that His way is the best? In other words, how can God use you to help others know of His love and willingness to provide?

We are His witnesses of His power to keep us from sin. Perfect love casts out all fear. The very best we can do is to show that God is right, powerful, and loving.

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Wednesday          September 21
The Crucified God

Death by crucifixion was one of the harshest punishments the Romans meted out to anyone. It was considered the worst way to die. Thus, how horrific for anyone to be killed that way, in particular the Son of God! Jesus, we must always remember, came in human flesh like ours. Between the beatings, the scourgings, the nails hammered into His hands and feet, the harrowing weight of His own body tearing at the wounds, the physical pain must have been unbearable. This was harsh, even for the worst of criminals; how unfair, then, that Jesus, innocent of everything, should face such a fate.

Yet, as we know, Christ’s physical sufferings were mild in contrast to what was really happening. This was more than just the killing of an innocent man.

What events surrounding the death of Jesus showed that more was going on than most people there understood at the time? What significance can we find in each of these events that can help reveal what happened there?

Matt. 27:45

Matt. 27:51, 52

Mark 15:38

Clearly, something much more was happening here than just the death, however unfair, of an innocent man. According to Scripture, God’s wrath against sin, our sin, was poured out upon Jesus. Jesus on the cross suffered a righteous God’s righteous indignation against sin, the sins of the whole world. As such, Jesus suffered something deeper, darker, and more painful than any human being could ever know or experience.

Jesus suffered for every sin of every person who would ever live. Yes, it is more than a short three day sleep. And when He was in excruciating pain from the separation from His Father, my sins were placed on top of all the others.  :(


As you go through whatever struggles you are facing, what hope and comfort can you draw from the reality of Christ suffering for you on the cross?

God loves me and you! Has He not proved it over and over!  And did the mother of Jesus suffer also? The Bible tells and it told her: "(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." Luke 2:35.

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Tuesday          September 20
Jesus in Gethsemane

“And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch” (Mark 14:34).

Whatever Jesus suffered throughout His 33 years here on earth, nothing compared to what He started to face in the last hours before the cross. From the eternal ages (Eph. 1:1-4; 2 Tim. 1:8, 9; Titus 1:1, 2) the sacrifice of Jesus as the offering for the world’s sin was planned, and now it was all coming to pass.

What do the following verses tell us about Christ’s suffering in Gethsemane? Matt. 26:39, Mark 14:33-36, Luke 22:41-44.

“He went a little distance from them — not so far but that they could both see and hear Him — and fell prostrate upon the ground. He felt that by sin He was being separated from His Father. The gulf was so broad, so black, so deep, that His spirit shuddered before it. This agony He must not exert His divine power to escape. As man He must suffer the consequences of man’s sin. As man He must endure the wrath of God against transgression.

Christ was now standing in a different attitude from that in which He had ever stood before. His suffering can best be described in the words of the prophet, ’Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of hosts.’ Zech. 13:7. As the substitute and surety for sinful man, Christ was suffering under divine justice. He saw what justice meant. Hitherto He had been as an intercessor for others; now He longed to have an intercessor for Himself.” — Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 686.


And the disciples were not praying for Him, but were sleeping. There was no human sympathy for the King of sufferers.


Dwell upon what was happening to Jesus in Gethsemane. Already the sins of the world were starting to fall upon Him. Try to imagine what that must have been like. No human being has ever been called to go through anything like this before or since. What does this tell us about God’s love for us? What hope can you draw from this for yourself?

God loves us beyond measure!!  Is there anywhere in Scripture that tells us how Jesus prepared for this great trial? How did He develop such character? (look in Hebrews, chap 5) So it is with us. In our suffering God is strengthening our character. 

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Monday          September 19
Despised and Rejected of Men

Read the following verses, all the while keeping in mind the fact that Jesus was divine, the Creator of heaven and earth, and that He came to offer Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (Matt. 12:22-24; Luke 4:21-30; John 8:58, 59). How do these verses help us understand the sufferings that Jesus faced here on earth?

Whether by leaders, or even by the common people, Jesus’ life, acts, and teachings were constantly misunderstood, leading to rejection and hatred by people He came to save. In a certain sense it must be like a parent who sees a wayward child in need of help, and though the parent is willing to give everything for that child, the child spurns the parent, heaping scorn and rejection upon perhaps the only person who can spare that child from utter ruin. That’s what Jesus faced while here on earth. How painful it must have been for Him.

Read Matthew 23:37. What does it tell us about how Christ felt about the rejection? As you read, ask yourself, too, “Was He feeling bad for Himself (as we often do when facing rejection), or was it for another reason?” If for another reason, what was it?

We’ve all felt the sting of rejection, and maybe our pain was similar to Christ’s in that it was unselfish: We were pained, not because we were rejected, but because of what the rejection would mean for the one who was rejecting us (perhaps someone we care about who refuses to accept salvation in Christ). Imagine, though, how it must have felt to Jesus, who was fully aware of what He was to face in order to save them, and at the same time fully aware of what the consequences of their rejection would be. “It was because of His innocence that He [Christ] felt so keenly the assaults of Satan.” — Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 3, p. 129.

What can you learn from Christ that can help you better cope with the pain of rejection? What does His example show you? How can you apply it to your own life?

Why did Jesus have to suffer? It was the price to be paid for our sins. Why are we to glory in our suffering? When Stephen rejected the message and person of Stephen, how did Stephen feel about it? What were his last words? Why could he cope with this rejection? How did he come to the point of accepting rejection.....and even to the point where he brought forth the rejection by reproving Saul. Will you do that when you know what will happen? Is rejection why so many will not reprove sin? How can we come to gain the character that Stephen had when he rebuked the Jews and then manifested grace towards his killers? Quote the rebuke and the last Words of Stephen to your Sabbath School class and the verses that tell us we ought to glory in the tribulation we bring upon ourselves and all other tribulation.


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Sunday          September 18
The Early Days

Scripture gives us little information about the early years of Jesus. A few verses, however, tell us something about those conditions and the kind of world the Savior entered.

Read Luke 2:7, 22-24 (see also Lev. 12:6-8) and Matthew 2:1-18. What do we see in these verses that gives us an indication of the kind of life Jesus faced from the start?

Of course, Jesus was not the first person to live in poverty or to face those who wanted to kill Him, even from an early age. There is, however, another element that helps us understand the uniqueness of what Christ suffered from the earliest times.

Read John 1:46.

And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. 


What element does this add to help us understand what sufferings the young Jesus had faced?

With the exception of Adam and Eve before the Fall, Jesus was the only sinless person who ever lived on the earth. In His purity, in His sinlessness, He was immersed in a world of sin. What a torture it must have been, even as a child, for His pure soul constantly to be in contact with sin. Even in our hardness because of sin, we ourselves often shrink away from exposure to sins and evil that we find repulsive. Imagine what it must have been like for Christ, whose soul was pure, who wasn’t the least bit tainted by sin. Think of the sharp contrast between Himself and others around Him in that regard. It must have been exceedingly painful for Him.

Ask yourself, “How sensitive am I to the sins that exist all around us? Do they bother me, or am I hardened to them?” If you are hardened to them, could it be because of the things you read, watch, or even do? Think about it.

Why would we hate sin? When will we hate sin? Since Jesus promised He would put enmity between us and Satan and sin, why do we not hate Satan and sin? What must I so in order to obtain that promise? Are there conditions to receiving this enmity towards Satan and sin? If so what are the conditions? There must be some because the whole world does not hate Satan and sin. Share with your class Gen. 3:15 and point out the one condition seen there. And, then point out another condition that applies to humanity and explain why all do not and will not hate Satan and sin.


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