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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--55--Not With Outward Show
« Last post by Richard Myers on September 22, 2020, 07:07:50 AM »
Amen Brother Beacon!!  My heart was moved by the same truth this morning.  Today, we see corruption all around us, even in His church where "another" gospel or even many "other" gospels are spread wide. What are we to do with the corruption of politicians? What did Jesus do with the corruption in Rome which governed Israel? Nothing. Then we ought to do the same. Then what are we to do? We are to take the gospel, the true gospel, Christ and Him crucified to the world, but first to the church.

    The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses,--extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart.   
     Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ's nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12, 13. Here is the only power that can work the uplifting of mankind. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and practicing of the word of God.   

How many times have you heard from the pulpit or in videos, books, or Bible studies that God wants to implant in evil man Christ's nature? I have never seen not heard this except in reading Desire of Ages for the last 35 years. You can imagine how painful it is to listen to sermons that don't believe that God does indeed plant Christ's nature in all who will surrender the "whole" heart to Him who gave all that we might be transformed in character. The wind has been blowing in every direction in God''s church bringing in heresies of every kind. Our people are blind to this, but change is coming. God is pouring out His Spirit on His church and on all who are seeking truth in the world. Revival and reformation is promised to  His people. "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you." Ezekiel 36:25. And again in Ezekiel 37. "So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel." Verses 10,11. These promises were never fulfilled in Israel of Old, but they remain for modern day Israel. The shaking in the church will come when God breathes His Spirit upon the church and the Laodicean message is given as a rebuke and a promise. Not all will be saved, but a multitude will be converted and take the last message of warning to a world soon to perish.
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--55--Not With Outward Show
« Last post by Beacon on September 22, 2020, 06:12:32 AM »
"Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ's nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit..

"As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12, 13.

"Here is the "only power" that can work the uplifting of mankind, and the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and practicing of the word of God."

I am reminded this morning of the words of this song and it is my prayer for all of us not only for today but for every day... - ALL TO JESUS I SURRENDER ALL TO HIM I FREELY GIVE...
Thursday ↥         September 24

Love’s Commitment

At the end of the conversation between Peter and Jesus, we see two men walking on the beach. As the waves lap at the shore, Jesus tells Peter about the cost of discipleship. He wants Peter to know clearly what he will face if He accepts Jesus’ invitation to “feed My sheep”.

Read John 21:18, 19. What did Jesus tell Peter about the cost of discipleship? Why do you think Jesus revealed something so startling to Peter at this point in his life?

In these words, Christ foretold the martyrdom that one day Peter would experience. His hands would be stretched out on a cross. In this revelation, Christ offered Peter a choice. He offered him life’s greatest joy: seeing souls won for the kingdom of God. On the day of Pentecost he would see thousands come to Christ. He would perform miracles in Jesus’ name and glorify Him before many more thousands. He would have the everlasting joy of fellowship with Christ in His mission.

But that privilege would come with a price. It would demand a sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice. Peter was asked to make the commitment with his eyes wide open. For Peter now knew that no sacrifice was too great to join Jesus in His mission to the world.

Read 1 John 3:16-18. For John, love is more than a vague abstraction. How does John define love’s ultimate sacrifice?

In eternity, nothing we have ever done will seem like a sacrifice. Our investment of time and effort, the investment of our lives, will seem overabundantly rewarded. What a joy it is to turn love into action, to turn intentions into commitment. When we respond to divine love by holding nothing back as we reach out in service to witness to others as ambassadors to Christ, we fulfill the purpose of our lives and experience life’s greatest joy. As Jesus so aptly put it, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:17, NKJV). Life’s greatest joy and lasting happiness comes when we are fulfilling the meaning of our existence by glorifying God by the way we live and share His love and truth with the world.

It’s hard to grasp the idea of eternity, when all we know is a tiny bit of time. But, as well as you can, try to imagine eternal life, an eternal good life — better than anything we can have here — and, thus, why nothing here, in this short spurt of time, would be worth losing the promise of eternal life that we have in Jesus.

Friday ↥         September 25

Further Thought:

“Those who have the spiritual oversight of the church should devise ways and means by which an opportunity may be given to every member of the church to act some part in God’s work. Too often in the past this has not been done. Plans have not been clearly laid and fully carried out whereby the talents of all might be employed in active service. There are but few who realize how much has been lost because of this.

The leaders in God’s cause, as wise generals, are to lay plans for advance moves all along the line. In their planning they are to give special study to the work that can be done by the laity for their friends and neighbors. The work of God in this earth can never be finished until the men and women comprising our church membership rally to the work and unite their efforts with those of ministers and church officers.

The salvation of sinners requires earnest, personal labor. We are to bear to them the word of life, not to wait for them to come to us. Oh, that I could speak words to men and women that would arouse them to diligent action! The moments now granted to us are few. We are standing upon the very borders of the eternal world. We have no time to lose. Every moment is golden and altogether too precious to be devoted merely to self-serving. Who will seek God earnestly and from Him draw strength and grace to be His faithful workers in the missionary field?

In every church there is talent, which, with the right kind of labor, might be developed to become a great help in this work. That which is needed now for the upbuilding of our churches is the nice work of wise laborers to discern and develop talent in the church — talent that can be educated for the Master’s use”. — Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, pp. 116, 117.

Discussion Questions:

    What is the main thought of the Ellen G. White quote above? What impact can it have on your personal witnessing and your church’s outreach?

    How is genuine love always manifested? What are counterfeit forms of love that have little to do with genuine love?

    In class, talk about the sacrifices that people have made for the Lord, including the loss of life. What can you learn from these stories?

    Think about your answer to the question at the end of Sunday’s study, about what you have sacrificed for Christ. What, in fact, have you sacrificed? Why did you do it? Was it worth it? How could you explain, to someone who is not a Christian, what you did and why you did it?
Wednesday ↥         September 23

The Demands of love

Love always manifests itself in action. Our love for Christ compels us to do something for lost humanity. Paul stated it clearly when he said to the church at Corinth, “For the love of Christ compels us” (2 Cor. 5:14, NKJV). Christianity is not primarily giving up bad things so that we can be saved. Jesus did not “give up” bad things in heaven so that He could be saved. He gave up good things so that others could be saved. Jesus does not invite us merely to give our time, talent, and treasures to His cause; He invites us to give our lives.

In a morning meeting with the disciples on the shores of Galilee, Jesus brilliantly outlined the demands of divine love.

Read John 21:15-19. What question did Jesus ask Peter three times, and what was Peter’s response? Why did Jesus ask Peter this particular question three times?

Peter denied His Lord three times, and Jesus elicited a response of love from Peter’s own lips three times. In the presence of the disciples, Jesus was rebuilding Peter’s confidence that he was forgiven by divine love and that Jesus still had work for him to do in His cause.

Read John 21:15-19 again, this time especially noting Jesus’ response to Peter’s affirmation of his love for Christ. What did Jesus tell him to do in response?

Divine love is active, not passive. Genuine love is more than a warm feeling, more than a nice idea. It involves commitment. Love compels us to act. It leads us to reach out to a lost world of God’s children in desperate need. When Jesus said to Peter, “Feed My lambs”, it was both a command and a comforting reassurance. The Master called for a response to love, and He also encouraged Peter that He still had a work for him to do, even despite Peter’s truly shameful action when Jesus had been arrested, and Peter not only denied knowing Jesus but denied it with curses as well, exactly as Christ had told him that he would.

The point? You may have desperately failed your Lord. You may have denied Him by your actions more than once. The good news is that grace is still available, and God is not done with you yet. There is still a place in His work for you if you are willing.

Like Peter, have you ever “denied” the Lord? If so, what does the story, not only of Peter’s denial, but of Christ’s words to Peter here, say to you?
Tuesday       September 22

Paul: God’s Chosen Vessel

When Paul accepted Christ, his whole life was radically changed. Christ gave him an entirely new future. He led him out of his comfort zone to experiences he could hardly have imagined. Through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the apostle Paul proclaimed the Word of God to thousands throughout the Mediterranean world. His witness changed the history of Christianity and the world.

Not only His witness, but his letters to the church have been a source of knowledge of God and the plan of salvation since they comprise most of the New Testament.

Read Acts 9:3-6, 10-20. How do these verses reveal that Jesus had a divine purpose for Paul’s life?

Jesus often chooses the most unlikely candidates to bear witness to His name. Think of the demoniacs, the Samaritan woman, a prostitute, a tax collector, Galilean fishermen, and now a fierce persecutor of Christianity. These were all changed by grace and then sent forth with joy in their hearts to tell the story of what Christ had done in their lives. Each never tired of telling the story. What Christ had done for them was so marvelous that they had to share it. They could not be silent.

Amazing the power of grace to transform sinners into saints. Sadly many do not hear this from the pulpit, thus many believe they are just fine in their Laodicean condition. This is a lost condition, even worse since they will not listen to the Laodicean message from Jesus because it does not apply to them.

Compare Acts 28:28-31 and 2 Timothy 4:5-8. What indications do we have in these verses that Paul never wavered from his commitment to give his entire life to Christ in soul-winning ministry?

At the end of his life, while under house arrest in Rome, Paul affirmed that “the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” (Acts 28:28, NKJV). The record says that he received all who visited him and preached the Word to them (Acts 28:30, 31). At the end of his life, he urged Timothy to do the work of an evangelist, and Paul could say of himself, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7, NKJV).

Although our call may not be as dramatic as Paul’s, God is calling each one of us to participate with Him in His work of changing the world. It is obvious that despite all the hardship he had faced over the years (see 2 Cor. 11:25-30), Paul stayed faithful to his calling in the Lord. The story of how this former persecutor of the followers of Jesus became the most influential and consequential advocate of the Christian faith (with the exception of Jesus) remains a powerful testimony to what the Lord can do through someone who dedicates his or her life to the work of the Lord.

What has God called you to do? Are you doing it?

Is not God calling us to do the same as Stephen did? It was Stephen who following the Holy Spirit rebuked Paul (Saul) and then prayed for God to forgive those who were stoning him (Saul being their leader). Paul was saved (transformed) by the grace of God revealed by those whom he persecuted beginning with Stephen. Won't it be a glorious occasion when Stephen comes forth from the grave and finds out what Saul became?    I want to be there by God's grace. How about you?
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Last post by Richard Myers on September 21, 2020, 08:11:13 AM »
Amen Pastor Sean. When we love Jesus with the whole heart, we will love our neighbor and want to help him.

Amen Brother Beacon. If we do not love our neighbor, then we do not love God with the whole heart and therefore are not truly a Christian at that moment. When we love God with all we are and all we have, then we are truly living the name we profess.

    The lawyer said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." Jesus said, "Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live."   
     The lawyer was not satisfied with the position and works of the Pharisees. He had been studying the Scriptures with a desire to learn their real meaning. He had a vital interest in the matter, and had asked in sincerity, "What shall I do?" In his answer as to the requirements of the law, he passed by all the mass of ceremonial and ritualistic precepts. For these he claimed no value, but presented the two great principles on which hang all the law and the prophets. This answer, being commended by Christ, placed the Saviour on vantage ground with the rabbis. They could not condemn Him for sanctioning that which had been advanced by an expositor of the law.   
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Last post by Beacon on September 21, 2020, 07:29:06 AM »
"The lesson is no less needed in the world today than when it fell from the lips of Jesus. Selfishness and cold formality have well-nigh extinguished the fire of love, and dispelled the graces that should make fragrant the character..

Many who profess His name have lost sight of the fact that Christians are to represent Christ. Unless there is practical self-sacrifice for the good of others, in the family circle, in the neighborhood, in the church, and wherever we may be...

"Then whatever our profession, we are not Christians."

God's counsel to us is this..."Doing, and not saying merely, is expected of the children of God. 'He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked." 1 John 2:6."
'The work that Christ did on this earth His followers are to do."

The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Last post by Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 21, 2020, 04:33:00 AM »
We can see Jesus in the true story of the good Samaritan. As Jesus comes to live in our hearts today as we surrender fully to Him, we can let Him live out His merciful, healing life to bless all those around us!

"In the story of the good Samaritan, Christ illustrates the nature of true religion. He shows that it consists not in systems, creeds, or rites, but in the performance of loving deeds, in bringing the greatest good to others, in genuine goodness." {The Desire of Ages, page 497, paragraph 1}

When the loveliness of Jesus is manifest through us, all of the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in the life without one missing as we not only live in obedience to the law of love, but let God give us divine appointments with those who are in need of help wherever we find them in life's path.
Amen, Brother Beacon!

Simple yet profound is what Jesus has done for us. Only by Him is there salvation--an experience that is infinite!

"The science of salvation cannot be explained; but it can be known by experience. Only he who sees his own sinfulness can discern the preciousness of the Saviour." {The Desire of Ages, page 494, paragraph 4}

Yielding fully the heart to Christ we can have all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing manifest in the life by the divine nature; then the path of eternal life becomes brighter from day to day!
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Last post by Beacon on September 19, 2020, 05:21:25 PM »
"Self is ever ready to take the credit if any measure of success attends the work. Self is flattered and exalted, and the impression is not made upon other minds that God is all and in all.

The apostle Paul says, 'When I am weak, then am I strong.' 2 Corinthians 12:10.. "

"When we have a realization of our weakness, we learn to depend upon a power not inherent. Nothing can take so strong a hold on the heart as the abiding sense of our responsibility to God. Nothing reaches so fully down to the deepest motives of conduct as a sense of the pardoning love of Christ. We are to come in touch with God, then we shall be imbued with His Holy Spirit, that enables us to come in touch with our fellow men..

The less you cherish self, the more distinct and full will be your comprehension of the excellence of your Saviour. The more closely you connect yourself with the source of light and power, the greater light will be shed upon you, and the greater power will be yours to work for God.

Rejoice that you are one with God, one with Christ, and with the whole family of heaven."

Let us make this hymn written by Author's: Albert B. Simpson; & Ada A. Whiddington, our daily motto.

Not I, but Christ be honored, loved, exalted, Not I, but Christ be seen, be known and heard; Not I, but Christ in every look and action, Not I, but Christ in every thought and word. Oh, to be saved from myself, dear Lord,Oh, to be lost in Thee, Oh, that it may be no more I, BUT CHRIST THAT LIVES IN ME.
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