September 17-23, 2000
MEMORY VERSE: “And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.” Acts 15:36.
STUDY HELP: Evangelism, 334–340.
INTRODUCTION: “The work should not be left prematurely. See that all are intelligent in the truth, established in the faith, and interested in every branch of the work, before leaving them for another field. And then, like the apostle Paul, visit them often to see how they do. Oh, the slack work that is done by many who claim to be commissioned of God to preach His word, makes angels weep.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 256.
“See How They Do”
1 What proposal did Paul put to Barnabas regarding those they had brought to Christ? Acts 15:36.
NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 201.
2 How did Paul express his love for those he had brought to Christ? Philippians 4:1.
NOTE: “The ‘care of all the churches’ still rested upon him. He deeply felt the danger that threatened those for whom he had labored so earnestly, and he sought as far as possible to supply by written communications the place of his personal instruction. He also sent out authorized delegates to labor among the churches he had raised up, and also in fields which he had not visited. These messengers rendered him faithful service, and being in communication with them, he was informed concerning the condition and dangers of the churches, and was enabled to exercise a constant supervision over them.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 281.
“Elders in Every Church”
3 In order to protect the congregations of new believers, what did the apostles do? Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5.
NOTE: “In all those places were many that believed the truth; and the apostles felt it their duty to strengthen and encourage their brethren who were exposed to reproach and bitter opposition. They were determined to securely bind off the work which they had done, that it might not ravel out. Churches were organized in the places mentioned, elders appointed in each church, and the proper order established there.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 62, 63.
4 What sort of person did Paul regard as fitted to oversee a church? 1 Timothy 3:1–7.
NOTE: The word the King James Bible translates as “bishop” means an overseer, an officer in charge of a church.
“In fulfilling your duties as an elder of the church, be true to God in the person of the erring ones in His church. Fail not, my brother, to heed the admonition of the Spirit of God to bring into your heart the kindness, the tenderness, the love that Christ ever manifested. Cherish not a cold, unsympathetic spirit. Let your words be carefully chosen. Speak and act in such a way that you will have an influence for good over the church members. God desires you to avoid all harshness. Cover yourself with the robe of Christ’s righteousness. By speaking the truth in love, you can bring a blessing to many hearts. Allow not a condemnatory spirit to prompt your words. May the Lord soften and subdue your heart, that your words shall be a blessing to the entire church.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, September 9, 1903.
“He Continued There”
5 After a church had been established in Corinth, what did Paul do? Acts 18:11.
NOTE: “When men and women accept the truth, we are not to go away and leave them and have no further burden for them. They are to be looked after. They are to be carried as a burden upon the soul, and we must watch over them as stewards who must render an account.” Evangelism, 345.
6 When Paul planned to go to Macedonia, what work did he give to Timothy? 1 Timothy 1:3, 4.
NOTE: “Our efforts are not to cease because public meetings have been discontinued for a time. So long as there are interested ones, we must give them opportunity to learn the truth. And the new converts will need to be instructed by faithful teachers of God’s Word, that they may increase in a knowledge and love of the truth, and may grow to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. They must now be surrounded by the influences most favorable to spiritual growth.” Review and Herald, February 14, 1907.
“Confirming the Churches”
7 When Paul went back to the churches he had helped to establish, what work did he do among them? Acts 14:21, 22; Acts 15:41.
NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 186.
8 When unable to visit his beloved churches, how did Paul express his care for them? 1 Corinthians 4:14; 2 Corinthians 2:9.
NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 471.
“Collection for the Saints”
9 How did Paul encourage new believers to care for other Christians? Romans 12:10, 13.
NOTE: “The Lord does not need our offerings. We cannot enrich Him by our gifts. Says the psalmist: ‘All things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee.’ Yet God permits us to show our appreciation of His mercies by self-sacrificing efforts to extend the same to others. This is the only way in which it is possible for us to manifest our gratitude and love to God. He has provided no other.” Review and Herald, December 6, 1887.
10 What spirit does God love to see in those who bring their offerings? 2 Corinthians 9:6, 7.
NOTE: See Testimonies, vol. 3, 413.
“Make this glorious theme plain to your children; and as their young hearts expand with love to God, let them present their little offerings, that they may act their part in sending the precious light of truth to others. Thus the children may become little missionaries for the Master. Their little offerings coming into the treasury, like many tiny rivulets, may swell the stream to a river that shall refresh many souls who are thirsting for the truth of God; and even these children may see some souls saved in the kingdom of God as the result of their self-denial.” Review and Herald, December 11, 1888.
“Come Ye Yourselves Apart”
11 After they had been working for God, what provision did Jesus make for His disciples? Mark 6:30, 31.
NOTE: “Today there is need that God’s chosen workmen should listen to the command of Christ to go apart and rest awhile. Many valuable lives have been sacrificed, that need not have been through ignorance of this command.… Though the harvest is great, and the laborers are few, nothing is gained by sacrificing health and life..… There are many feeble, worn workmen who feel deeply distressed when they see how much there is to be done, and how little they can do. How they long for physical strength to accomplish more; but it is to this class that Jesus says, ‘Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest awhile.’” Review and Herald, November 7, 1893.
12 What counsel should those who witness for the Lord heed? Psalms 46:10, first part.
NOTE: “All who are under the training of God need the quiet hour for communion with their own hearts, with nature, and with God. In them is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world, its customs, or its practices; and they need to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ Psalm 46:10. This is the effectual preparation for all labor for God. Amidst the hurrying throng, and the strain of life’s intense activities, he who is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. He will receive a new endowment of both physical and mental strength. His life will breathe out a fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men’s hearts.” Ministry of Healing, 58.
13 What balance must be achieved in the life of the effective worker for God? Exodus 34:21.
NOTE: “The Christian life is not made up of unceasing activity, or of continual meditation.… Christians must work earnestly for the salvation of the lost, and they must also take time for contemplation, for prayer, and the study of the Word of God. It will not do to be always under the strain of the work and excitement, for in this way personal piety is neglected, and the powers of mind and body are injured.” Review and Herald, November 7, 1893.