Seal of the Promises Made
on October 29, 2020 at 12:00 pm
?My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.? ?Matthew 26:38 As Christ felt His unity with the Father broken up, He feared that in His human nature He would be unable to endure the coming conflict with the powers of darkness. . . . With the issues of the conflict before Him, Christ?s soul was filled with dread of separation from God. Satan told Him that if He became the surety for a sinful world, the separation would be eternal. He would be identified with Satan?s kingdom, and would nevermore be one with God. And what was to be gained by this sacrifice? How hopeless appeared the guilt and ingratitude of human beings! In its hardest features Satan pressed the situation upon the Redeemer: The people who claim to be above all others in temporal and spiritual advantages have rejected You. They are seeking to destroy You, the foundation, the center and seal of the promises made to them as a peculiar people. . . . Christ?s whole being abhorred the thought. That those whom He had undertaken to save, those whom He loved so much, should unite in the plots of Satan, this pierced His soul. . . . Behold Him contemplating the price to be paid for the human soul. In His agony He clings to the cold ground, as if to prevent Himself from being drawn farther from God. ?The Desire of Ages, p. 686, 687.
The Gift of Faith
on October 28, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Have you ever noticed how quickly you can become discouraged by thoughts of doubt? They are like a fast spinning spiral, dragging you quickly down into the pit of depression and despair. Like quicksand, the more we struggle with doubt, the faster we sink. That's because, without faith, it is impossible to please God. Those who hear the good news of the gospel without combining it with faith find no value in it. The good news is we are each given a portion of faith. Faith is not something we have to search for or develop on our own. We simply have to choose whether or not to use what we are given. There is more good news. How we use what we have been given makes the difference because faith is like a muscle. The more we exercise our faith, the stronger it becomes. That also means God will provide us with opportunities to put our faith to work! But we can be sure that every prayer prayed in faith will be heard and answered.
on October 27, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Have you ever made bread? You take flour and yeast and water and other stuff. You mix them together in the right order and in the right way, and you get bread. It makes the house smell great while it?s baking. It?s not like making mudpies. When you make mudpies, you mix the dirt and the water and you play around with it and squish it and pat it. After you quit playing with your mudpie and go inside and wash your hands, the mudpie sits there and dries out, and after a day or so it turns back into dirt. That?s the difference. If you mix dirt and water, eventually the water will evaporate and you?ll have just dirt again. The ingredients come apart. But when you make bread, and you mix the flour and yeast and water and other stuff, they stay mixed. It is impossible to take them apart again. When you mix them together, they change into something new?bread. When Paul was converted, it wasn?t a ?mudpie? kind of thing. It was bread. He never went back to the way he was before. He was made new. He spent the rest of his life traveling through many countries, telling everyone that he was a changed man and that it was Jesus who changed him.
Serve Needy People
on October 26, 2020 at 12:00 pm
A fourth arrow in Jesus? quiver of holy living is found in His ministry?in serving people in every way possible. The woman at the well, Nicodemus, Jairus?s daughter, the woman who touched the hem of His garment, the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda?all these people benefited by Jesus? ministry. His healing of spiritual as well as physical illnesses was the overflow produced by the inward focus of the commitment to obey God, to pray, and to memorize Scripture. Jesus reached out to help people. It?s extremely important that we do the same thing now. Jesus didn?t live in a prayer closet. His ministry?His life of service?extended beyond His praying and His study of Scripture, and it carried Him into the public square?the community. Yes, He went to church, but He also carried the church to people. As God incarnate, He was the church to all who let Him into their lives, into their selves.
Sign of Discipleship
on October 25, 2020 at 12:00 pm
As we seek Christ, we develop a love for others. We must merge with Christ, letting Him take ascendancy, authority, and rulership for our souls. We must deny self and seek Him. The apostle Paul understood the need to deny self. He wrote, ?I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily? (1 Corinthians 15:31, NKJV). In order for godly agape love to exist, self must die, and it must do so on a daily basis. We must surrender through prayer and intentional thought. We surrender through exposing ourselves to the presence of the Holy Spirit. We die by choosing to serve rather than to be served. Self dies hard. In fact, it must be executed. If we will avoid withholding ourselves from God, He will make new men and new women of us?men and women who love as He does.
The Eyes of the Lord
on October 24, 2020 at 12:00 pm
It should be a pleasure to worship the Lord and to take part in His work. God would not have His children, for whom so great salvation has been provided, act as if He were a hard, exacting taskmaster. He is their best friend; and when they worship Him, He expects to be with them, to bless and comfort them, filling their hearts with joy and love. The Lord desires His children to take comfort in His service and to find more pleasure than hardship in His work. He desires that those who come to worship Him shall carry away with them precious thoughts of His care and love, that they may be cheered in all the employments of daily life, that they may have grace to deal honestly and faithfully in all things. We must gather about the cross. Christ and Him crucified should be the theme of contemplation, of conversation, and of our most joyful emotion. We should keep in our thoughts every blessing we receive from God, and when we realize His great love we should be willing to trust everything to the hand that was nailed to the cross for us.
The Eyes of the Lord
on October 23, 2020 at 12:00 pm
In the early 1960s, some claimed ?on biblical authority? that humans would never land on the moon. They fell into the trap of asking more of the Bible than is required. It is not necessary to say that Adam was created at 9:00 a.m. on October 23, 4004 bc, as does Archbishop Usher. The Bible does not demand that. You cannot date Creation by adding up biblical genealogies. Nor does the Bible demand fixity of species. One of the reasons Darwin developed the idea of evolution was that the church at the time took Scripture to mean that species were fixed. They based it on the Genesis phrase ?after its kind.? Darwin went out into the field and simply found that it was not true. We must be careful not to make the Bible say more than it says. Having a biblical worldview is not incompatible with the scientific method. The Bible is not a piece of scientific literature, but that does not mean it is incompatible with true science. It does mean that we should not require too much of a book that was written in a different era in a different language for a different purpose. The message we get from the Bible is not primarily scientific but salvific. Its focus is the salvation story.