March 5, 2006 – March 11, 2006
“But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few [stripes]. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48.
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 3, 408–413.
“All who have borne with Jesus the cross of sacrifice will be sharers with Him of His glory. It was the joy of Christ in His humiliation and pain that His disciples should be glorified with Him. They are the fruit of His self-sacrifice. The outworking in them of His own character and spirit is His reward, and will be His joy throughout eternity. This joy they share with Him as the fruit of their labor and sacrifice is seen in other hearts and lives. They are workers together with Christ, and the Father will honor them as He honors His Son.” The Desire of Ages, 624.
1 What test did the Lord provide to prove the loyalty of our first parents? Genesis 2:16, 17; 3:3.
note: “At the very beginning of man’s existence a check was placed upon the desire for self-indulgence, the fatal passion that lay at the foundation of Satan’s fall. The tree of knowledge, which stood near the tree of life in the midst of the garden, was to be a test of the obedience, faith, and love of our first parents. While permitted to eat freely of every other tree, they were forbidden to taste of this, on pain of death. They were also to be exposed to the temptations of Satan; but if they endured the trial, they would finally be placed beyond his power, to enjoy perpetual favor with God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 48, 49.
2 How was Joseph tested, that he might be fitted for heavy responsibilities? Genesis 37:28; 39:20; 41:41–45.
note: “Joseph regarded his being sold into Egypt as the greatest calamity that could have befallen him; but he saw the necessity of trusting in God as he had never done when protected by his father’s love.” Sons and Daughters of God, 320.
“Joseph [was] subject to the temptations that attend great changes of fortune. In his father’s home a tenderly cherished child; in the house of Potiphar a slave, then a confidant and companion; a man of affairs, educated by study, observation, contact with men; in Pharaoh’s dungeon a prisoner of state, condemned unjustly, without hope of vindication or prospect of release; called at a great crisis to the leadership of the nation.” Education, 51.
“The love and fear of God kept Joseph pure and untarnished in the king’s court. He was exalted to great wealth, to the high honor of being next to the king; and this elevation was as sudden as it was great.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 544.
3 What test came into the life of Moses? What great decision was made? Hebrews 11:23–26.
note: “At the court of Pharaoh, Moses received the highest civil and military training. The monarch had determined to make his adopted grandson his successor on the throne, and the youth was educated for his high station. . . . His ability as a military leader made him a favorite with the armies of Egypt, and he was generally regarded as a remarkable character. . . .
“By the laws of Egypt all who occupied the throne of the Pharaohs must become members of the priestly caste; and Moses, as the heir apparent, was to be initiated into the mysteries of the national religion. This duty was committed to the priests. But while he was an ardent and untiring student, he could not be induced to participate in the worship of the gods. He was threatened with the loss of the crown, and warned that he would be disowned by the princess should he persist in his adherence to the Hebrew faith. But he was unshaken in his determination to render homage to none save the one God, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 245.
4 What task has been assigned to the church of Christ in these last days? Mark 16:15. For the accomplishment of this work, what did the Saviour teach would be necessary? Luke 5:8–11; 18:22, 23.
note: “How many have come to Christ, ready to cast their interests in with his, and, like the rich young ruler, earnestly desiring to inherit eternal life! But when the cost is presented to them,—when they are told that they must forsake all, houses and lands, wife and children, and count not their lives dear unto themselves,—they go away sorrowful. They want the treasures of heaven, and the life that measures with the life of God, but they are not willing to give up their earthly treasures. They are not willing to surrender all to obtain the crown of life.” Review and Herald, April 19, 1898.
5 How did the apostolic church carry out the principle of liberality in the spreading of the gospel message? Acts 4:31–37.
note: “This liberality on the part of the believers was the result of the outpouring of the Spirit. The converts to the gospel were ‘of one heart and of one soul.’ [Acts 4:32.] One common interest controlled them—the success of the mission entrusted to them; and covetousness had no place in their lives. Their love for their brethren and the cause they had espoused, was greater than their love of money and possessions. Their works testified that they accounted the souls of men of higher value than earthly wealth.” The Acts of the Apostles, 70, 71.
6 What is one of the outstanding dangers to the followers of Christ? What admonition has He given? Luke 12:15, 33. What, rather, ought His people to seek? Where will their hearts be centered? Verses 31, 34. What will God do for those whose hearts are fully surrendered to Him? Verse 32.
note: “One marked feature in the teachings of Christ is the frequency and earnestness with which He rebuked the sin of covetousness and pointed out the danger of worldly acquisitions and inordinate love of gain. In the mansions of the rich, in the temple and in the streets, He warned those who inquired after salvation: ‘Take heed, and beware of covetousness.’ ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ [Luke 12:15; Matthew 6:24.]
“It is this increasing devotion to money getting, the selfishness which the desire for gain begets, that removes the favor of God from the church and deadens its spirituality.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 82.
“Christ points out the way in which those who have wealth, and yet are not rich toward God, may secure the true riches. He says: ‘Sell that ye have and give alms’ [Luke 12:33]; and lay up treasure in heaven. The remedy He proposes is a transfer of their affections to the eternal inheritance. By investing their means in the cause of God to aid in the salvation of souls, and by relieving the needy, they become rich in good works, and are ‘laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ [1 Timothy 6:19.] This will prove a safe investment.” Counsels on Stewardship, 151.
7 In making our choice for Christ and His service, what should be considered? Luke 14:26, 27. What two illustrations does the Saviour use to enforce the lesson? Verses 28–32. What conclusion is drawn? Verse 33.
note: “To us as well as to the disciples, Christ has given the work of carrying the truth to the world. But before engaging in this great and aggressive warfare, upon which eternal results depend, Christ invites all to count the cost. He assures them that if they take hold of the work with undivided hearts, giving themselves as light-bearers to the world, if they will take hold of His strength, they will make peace with him, and obtain supernatural assistance that will enable them in their weakness to do the deeds of Omnipotence. If they go forward with faith in God, they will not fail nor become discouraged, but will have the assurance of infallible success.” Review and Herald, March 15, 1898.
8 What is the basic principle on which God expects us to give for the extension of His cause? Luke 12:48; Matthew 10:8, last clause.
note: “As our blessings and privileges are increased—above all, as we have before us the unparalleled sacrifice of the glorious Son of God—should not our gratitude find expression in more abundant gifts to extend to others the message of salvation? The work of the gospel, as it widens, requires greater provision to sustain it than was called for anciently; and this makes the law of tithes and offerings of even more urgent necessity now than under the Hebrew economy. If His people were liberally to sustain His cause by their voluntary gifts, instead of resorting to unchristian and unhallowed methods to fill the treasury, God would be honored, and many more souls would be won to Christ.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 528, 529.
9 What is the divine standard for individual giving? 1 Corinthians 16:2.
note: “Not only does the Lord claim the tithe as His own, but He tells us how it should be reserved for Him. He says, ‘Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.’ [Proverbs 3:9.] This does not teach that we are to spend our means on ourselves and bring to the Lord the remnant, even though it should be otherwise an honest tithe. Let God’s portion be first set apart. The directions given by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul in regard to gifts present a principle that applies also to tithing.” The Adventist Home, 389.
10 Lest we should at any time forget the world’s need, what are we urged to do? John 4:35; Luke 10:2.
note: “We see the great need of missionary work to carry the truth not only to foreign countries, but to those who are near us. Close around us are cities and towns in which no efforts are made to save souls. Why should not families who know the present truth settle in these cities and villages, to set up there the standard of Christ, working in humility, not in their own way, but in God’s way, to bring the light before those who have no knowledge of it?” Christian Service, 180.
“Wake up, wake up, my brethren and sisters, and enter the fields in America that have never been worked. After you have given something for foreign fields, do not think your duty done. There is a work to be done in foreign fields, but there is a work to be done in America that is just as important. In the cities of America there are people of almost every language. These need the light that God has given to His church.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 36.
11 What will our vision of the harvest field and our prayers for workers lead us to do? Acts 16:9, 10.
note: “The Macedonian cry is coming from every quarter. Shall men go to the ‘regular lines’ to see whether they will be permitted to labor, or shall they go out and work as best they can, depending on their own abilities and on the help of the Lord, beginning in a humble way and creating an interest in the truth in places in which nothing has been done to give the warning message?
“The Lord has encouraged those who have started out on their own responsibility to work for Him, their hearts filled with love for souls ready to perish. A true missionary spirit will be imparted to those who seek earnestly to know God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. The Lord lives and reigns. Young men, go forth into the places to which you are directed by the Spirit of the Lord. Work with your hands, that you may be self-supporting, and as you have opportunity proclaim the message of warning.—Letter 60, 1901.” Medical Ministry, 321, 322.
12 What is required of all stewards, whether entrusted with worldly goods or with positions of responsibility in service? 1 Corinthians 4:1, 2.
note: “The Lord designs that the means entrusted to us shall be used in building up His kingdom. His goods are committed to His stewards that they may be carefully traded upon and bring back a revenue to Him in the saving of souls unto eternal life. And these souls in their turn will become stewards of the truth, to co-operate with the great firm in the interests of the kingdom of God.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 448.
“If there was ever a time when sacrifices should be made, it is now. Those who have money should understand that now is the time to use it for God.” Ibid., 450.