June 2 – 8, 2002
MEMORY VERSE: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15.
INTRODUCTION: “The directions laid down in the Word of God leave no room for compromise with evil. The Son of God was manifested that He might draw all men unto Himself. He came not to lull the world to sleep, but to point out the narrow path in which all must travel who reach at last the gates of the City of God. His children must follow where He has led the way; at whatever sacrifice of ease or selfish indulgence, at whatever cost of labor or suffering, they must maintain a constant battle with self. The greatest praise that men can bring to God is to become consecrated channels through whom He can work.” The Acts of the Apostles, 565, 566.
When Christ came to earth, what was He to do for man? Matthew 1:21; Acts 5:31.
NOTE: “We should meditate upon the Scriptures, thinking soberly and candidly upon the things that pertain to our eternal salvation. The infinite mercy and love of Jesus, the sacrifice made in our behalf, call for most serious and solemn reflection. We should dwell upon the character of our dear Redeemer and Intercessor. We should seek to comprehend the meaning of the plan of salvation. We should meditate upon the mission of Him who came to save His people from their sins. By constantly contemplating heavenly themes, our faith and love will grow stronger. Our prayers will be more and more acceptable to God, because they will be more and more mixed with faith and love. They will be more intelligent and fervent. There will be more constant confidence in Jesus, and you will have a daily, living experience in the willingness and power of Christ to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him.” God’s Amazing Grace, 34.
What kind of an example did Jesus leave? 1 Peter 2:21–24.
NOTE: “In our behalf Christ has made a tremendous sacrifice. He laid aside His royal crown, He laid aside His royal robe, and came to this world, born of humble parentage. Many were not attracted by the humility of His life, and He was despised and rejected of men. He suffered persecution, until at length He was crucified and died a shameful death. What does this mean to us? He came as the Saviour of every sinner that will accept of the divine sacrifice. He united in Himself divinity and humanity, that He might be the connecting link between fallen man and the Father. But will men accept of the conditions? Who of you will become partakers of the divine nature? There should be no delay in accepting Christ.” Peter’s Counsel to Parents, 10, 11.
What should be our reaction to the provision Christ made for us? Philippians 3:12–14.
NOTE: “The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holiness. . . .” God’s Amazing Grace, 313.
What power is at the root of our trials and persecutions? Ephesians 6:12; Job 1:6–12.
NOTE: “In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous.
“The power and malice of Satan and his host might justly alarm us, were it not that we may find shelter and deliverance in the superior power of our Redeemer. . . . Those who follow Christ are ever safe under His watchcare. Angels that excel in strength are sent from heaven to protect them. The wicked one cannot break through the guard which God has stationed about His people.” The Faith I Live By, 328.
In trials and tribulations, how are Christians to reveal God’s power in their lives? Matthew 5:10–12; Luke 6:22, 23.
NOTE: “Through trial and persecution the glory—the character—of God is revealed in His chosen ones. The believers in Christ, hated and persecuted by the world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. On earth they walk in narrow paths; they are purified in the furnace of affliction. They follow Christ through sore conflicts; they endure self-denial and experience bitter disappointments; but thus they learn the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it with abhorrence. Being partakers of Christ’s sufferings, they can look beyond the gloom to the glory, saying, ‘I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’ Romans 8:18.” The Acts of the Apostles, 576.
From where may we look for persecutions to come? Acts 20:29, 30; Luke 21:16.
NOTE: “We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a right to expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, will do more than any other class to promote and honor, by their consistent lives, by their godly example and their active influence, the cause which they represent. But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’s devices.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 122.
“As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the Third Angel’s Message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position, and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbathkeepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them.” The Great Controversy, 608.
For what purpose does God allow persecutions? Hebrews 12:5–8, 11.
NOTE: “In the experience of the apostle John under persecution, there is a lesson of wonderful strength and comfort for the Christian. God does not prevent the plottings of wicked men, but He causes their devices to work for good to those who in trial and conflict maintain their faith and loyalty. Often the gospel laborer carries on his work amid storms of persecution, bitter opposition, and unjust reproach. At such times let him remember that the experience to be gained in the furnace of trial and affliction is worth all the pain it costs. Thus God brings His children near to Him, that He may show them their weakness and His strength.” The Acts of the Apostles, 574, 575.
How long will the saved be faithful? Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Revelation 2:10.
NOTE: “The enemy can never take out of the hand of Christ the one who is simply trusting in His promises. If the soul is trusting and working obediently, the mind is susceptible to divine impressions, and the light of God shines in, enlightening the understanding. What privileges we have in Christ Jesus! We are to watch vigilantly for the coming of the Lord. . . . Every moment is to be faithfully employed. ‘He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’” Sons and Daughters of God, 351.
What will the saints be doing who are preparing to spend Eternity with Jesus? Romans 12:2, 21; 1 John 4:4.
NOTE: “Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of a lifetime. It is not gained by a happy flight of feeling, but is the result of constantly dying to sin, and constantly living for Christ. Wrongs cannot be righted nor reformations wrought in the character by feeble, intermittent efforts. It is only by long, persevering effort, sore discipline, and stern conflict, that we shall overcome. We know not one day how strong will be our conflict the next. So long as Satan reigns, we shall have self to subdue, besetting sins to overcome; so long as life shall last, there will be no stopping place, no point which we can reach and say, I have fully attained. Sanctification is the result of lifelong obedience.” The Acts of the Apostles, 560, 561.
What kind of church will God have when Jesus comes? Ephesians 5:25–27; Colossians 1:22, 28.
NOTE: “The church of God, hated and persecuted by the world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. They walk in narrow paths on earth; they are purified in the furnace of affliction. They follow Christ through sore conflicts; they endure self-denial, and experience bitter disappointments; but their painful experience teaches them the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it with abhorrence. Being partakers of Christ’s sufferings, they are destined to be partakers of His glory. In holy vision the prophet saw the triumph of the people of God. He says: ‘I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire; and them that had gotten the victory . . . stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.’” Sons and Daughters of God, 74.
How does Scripture compare life on earth with the eternal inheritance? 1 Corinthians 2:9; Isaiah 64:4.
NOTE: “Paul had a view of heaven, and in discoursing on the glories there, the very best thing he could do was to not try to describe them. He tells us that eye had not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for those that love Him. So you may put your imagination to the stretch, you may try to the very best of your abilities to take in and consider the eternal weight of glory, and yet your finite senses, faint and weary with the effort, cannot grasp it, for there is an infinity beyond. It takes all of eternity to unfold the glories and bring out the precious treasures of the Word of God (Manuscript 13, 1888).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1107.
What do we need to do in order to receive the reward? Hebrews 10:23, 35–37.
NOTE: “Those who are finally victorious will have seasons of terrible perplexity and trial in their religious life; but they must not cast away their confidence, for this is a part of their discipline in the school of Christ, and it is essential in order that all dross may be purged away. The servant of God must endure with fortitude the attacks of the enemy, his grievous taunts, and must overcome the obstacles which Satan will place in his way.” Messages to Young People, 63.
By Ruth Grosboll