Sabbath, March 27, 2004
“Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be My people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.” Jeremiah 7:23.
• To transform every believer into a happy messenger of reconciliation and peace with God.
• To remember the goods we have received from the Lord’s hand and to always be grateful and trust in Him.
• To learn how to counsel, encourage, and restore those who are weak and ensnared in sins and problems
• To walk with Christ in order to have the marvellous fruit of the spirit.
GRATITUDE FOR THE BLESSINGS RECEIVED
1. What role shall I play in this world if I am a child of God?
2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God
“The children of God are called to be representatives of Christ, showing forth the goodness and mercy of the Lord. As Jesus has revealed to us the true character of the Father, so we are to reveal Christ to a world that does not know His tender, pitying love. ‘As Thou hast sent Me into the world,’ said Jesus, ‘even so have I also sent them into the world.’ ‘I in them, and Thou in Me;… that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me.’ John 17:18, 23. The apostle Paul says to the disciples of Jesus, ‘Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ,’ ‘known and read of all men.’ 2 Corinthians 3:3, 2. In every one of His children, Jesus sends a letter to the world. If you are Christ’s follower, He sends in you a letter to the family, the village, the street, where you live. Jesus, dwelling in you, desires to speak to the hearts of those who are not acquainted with Him. Perhaps they do not read the Bible, or do not hear the voice that speaks to them in its pages; they do not see the love of God through His works. But if you are a true representative of Jesus, it may be that through you they will be led to understand something of His goodness and be won to love and serve Him.” – Steps to Christ, p. 115.
2. What questions does the Lord ask me so that I may overcome my discouragement?
Matthew 6:25-33 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Deuteronomy 5:33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.
“Have there not been some bright spots in your experience? Have you not had some precious seasons when your heart throbbed with joy in response to the Spirit of God? When you look back into the chapters of your life experience do you not find some pleasant pages? Are not God’s promises, like the fragrant flowers, growing beside your path on every hand? Will you not let their beauty and sweetness fill your heart with joy?” – Steps to Christ, p. 117.
DO NOT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
3. What things does the Lord ask me to behold in moments of affliction?
Psalm 136:5-9, 23-25 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever: The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever: The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever… Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever: And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
“Thank God for the bright pictures which He has presented to us. Let us group together the blessed assurances of His love, that we may look upon them continually: The Son of God leaving His Father’s throne, clothing His divinity with humanity, that He might rescue man from the power of Satan; His triumph in our behalf, opening heaven to men, revealing to human vision the presence chamber where the Deity unveils His glory; the fallen race uplifted from the pit of ruin into which sin had plunged it, and brought again into connection with the infinite God, and having endured the divine test through faith in our Redeemer, clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and exalted to His throne–these are the pictures which God would have us contemplate.” –Steps to Christ, p. 118.
4. How will God and His Spirit feel when I doubt and distrust His promises?
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
“When we seem to doubt God’s love and distrust His promises we dishonor Him and grieve His Holy Spirit. How would a mother feel if her children were constantly complaining of her, just as though she did not mean them well, when her whole life’s effort had been to forward their interests and to give them comfort? Suppose they should doubt her love; it would break her heart. How would any parent feel to be thus treated by his children? And how can our heavenly Father regard us when we distrust His love, which has led Him to give His only-begotten Son that we might have life? The apostle writes, ‘He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?’ Romans 8:32. And yet how many, by their actions, if not in word, are saying, ‘The Lord does not mean this for me. Perhaps He loves others, but He does not love me.’ “ – Steps to Christ, pp. 118, 119.
HOW TO TREAT THE WEAK AND THOSE IN PRISON
5. How should I treat the brave souls that are being attacked by Satan?
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
“There is many a brave soul sorely pressed by temptation, almost ready to faint in the conflict with self and with the powers of evil. Do not discourage such a one in his hard struggle. Cheer him with brave, hopeful words that shall urge him on his way. Thus the light of Christ may shine from you. ‘None of us liveth to himself.’ Romans 14:7. By our unconscious influence others may be encouraged and strengthened, or they may be discouraged, and repelled from Christ and the truth.
“There are many who have an erroneous idea of the life and character of Christ. They think that He was devoid of warmth and sunniness, that He was stern, severe, and joyless. In many cases the whole religious experience is colored by these gloomy views.” – Steps to Christ, p. 120.
GOD IS WITH US AND FOR US
6. What should my life be like if I say that Christ lives in me?
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.
“Our Saviour was deeply serious and intensely in earnest, but never gloomy or morose. The life of those who imitate Him will be full of earnest purpose; they will have a deep sense of personal responsibility. Levity will be repressed; there will be no boisterous merriment, no rude jesting; but the religion of Jesus gives peace like a river. It does not quench the light of joy; it does not restrain cheerfulness nor cloud the sunny, smiling face. Christ came not to be ministered unto but to minister; and when His love reigns in the heart, we shall follow His example.” – Steps to Christ, pp. 120, 121.
7. How does the Lord encourage me in my daily struggles?
Psalm 46:1, 2 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.
“It is not the will of God that His people should be weighed down with care. But our Lord does not deceive us. He does not say to us, ‘Do not fear; there are no dangers in your path.’ He knows there are trials and dangers, and He deals with us plainly. He does not propose to take His people out of a world of sin and evil, but He points them to a never-failing refuge. His prayer for His disciples was, ‘I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.’ ‘In the world,’ He says, ‘ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ John 17:15; 16:33.” –Steps to Christ, pp. 122, 123.
8. What does the Lord Jesus give me so that my joy may be full? What examples assure me that God takes care of me?
John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
“The most gorgeous attire produced by the skill of art cannot bear comparison with the natural grace and radiant beauty of the flowers of God’s creation. Jesus asks, ‘If God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?’ Matthew 6: 28, 30. If God, the divine Artist, gives to the simple flowers that perish in a day their delicate and varied colors, how much greater care will He have for those who are created in His own image? This lesson of Christ’s is a rebuke to the anxious thought, the perplexity and doubt, of the faithless heart.
“The Lord would have all His sons and daughters happy, peaceful, and obedient. Jesus says, ‘My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ John 14:27; 15:11.” – Steps to Christ, p. 124.
9. What unmerited privileges has Jesus prepared for me in heaven?
John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
“Then the redeemed will be welcomed to the home that Jesus is preparing for them. There their companions will not be the vile of earth, liars, idolaters, the impure, and unbelieving; but they will associate with those who have overcome Satan and through divine grace have formed perfect characters. Every sinful tendency, every imperfection, that afflicts them here has been removed by the blood of Christ, and the excellence and brightness of His glory, far exceeding the brightness of the sun, is imparted to them. And the moral beauty, the perfection of His character, shines through them, in worth far exceeding this outward splendor. They are without fault before the great white throne, sharing the dignity and the privileges of the angels.” – Steps to Christ, p. 126.
• Can I confirm that I am conscious and grateful for all the good things that I have received from the beneficial hand of God?
• Until what point can I recognize that I have been a messenger of peace and reconciliation in the place where the Lord has placed me?
• Do I truly feel and am I really happy by the fact that I’m getting to know my Saviour more and more?
• Have I reached a spiritual level of communion with Christ to be able to participate in the translation at His soon coming and live in the atmosphere of heaven?