July 23, 2006 – July 29, 2006
“Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21.
Study Help: My Life Today, 113.
“It is the faithfulness, the loyalty to God, the loving service, that wins the divine approval. Every impulse of the Holy Spirit leading men to goodness and to God, is noted in the books of heaven, and in the day of God the workers through whom He has wrought will be commended.
“They will enter into the joy of the Lord as they see in His kingdom those who have been redeemed through their instrumentality. And they are privileged to participate in His work there, because they have gained a fitness for it by participation in His work here. What we shall be in heaven is the reflection of what we are now in character and holy service. Christ said of Himself, ‘The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.’ Matthew 20:28. This, His work on earth, is His work in heaven. And our reward for working with Christ in this world is the greater power and wider privilege of working with Him in the world to come.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 361.
1 What led the Saviour to leave Heaven, endure the cross, and despise the shame of coming to this world? Hebrews 12:2.
note: “Before the universe has been clearly presented the great sacrifice made by the Father and the Son in man’s behalf. The hour has come when Christ occupies His rightful position and is glorified above principalities and powers and every name that is named. It was for the joy that was set before Him—that He might bring many sons unto glory—that He endured the cross and despised the shame. And inconceivably great as was the sorrow and the shame, yet greater is the joy and the glory. He looks upon the redeemed, renewed in His own image, every heart bearing the perfect impress of the divine, every face reflecting the likeness of their King. He beholds in them the result of the travail of His soul, and He is satisfied. Then, in a voice that reaches the assembled multitudes of the righteous and the wicked, He declares: ‘Behold the purchase of My blood! For these I suffered, for these I died, that they might dwell in My presence throughout eternal ages.’ And the song of praise ascends from the white-robed ones about the throne: ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.’ Revelation 5:12.” The Great Controversy, 671.
2 In what joy will all the saved share? Matthew 25:21.
note: “What revelations will be made in the day of judgment! Many who have called themselves Christians will be found to have been not servants of God, but servants of themselves. Self has been their center; self-service has been their lifework. By living to please themselves and to gain all they could for themselves, they have crippled and dwarfed the capabilities and powers entrusted to them by God. They have not dealt honestly with God. Their lives have been one long system of robbery. These now complain against God and their fellow men, because they are not recognized and favored as they think they ought to be. But their unfaithfulness will be revealed in that day when the Lord judges the cases of all. He will return ‘and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.’ [Malachi 3:18.]
“In that day those who think that God will accept meager offerings and unwilling service will be disappointed. God will not put His superscription upon the work of any man, high or low, rich or poor, that is not done heartily, faithfully, and with an eye single to His glory. But those who have belonged to the family of God here below, who have striven to honor His name, have gained an experience that will make them as kings and priests unto God; and they will be accepted as faithful servants. To them the words will be spoken, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant: . . . enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’ [Matthew 25:21, 23.]” Review and Herald, January 5, 1897.
3 What will be the joy of Christ? Isaiah 53:11.
note: “Ever before Him, Christ saw the result of His mission. His earthly life, so full of toil and self-sacrifice, was cheered by the thought that He would not have all this travail for nought. By giving His life for the life of men, He would restore in humanity the image of God. He would lift us up from the dust, reshape the character after the pattern of His own character, and make it beautiful with His own glory.
“Christ saw of the travail of His soul and was satisfied. He viewed the expanse of eternity and saw the happiness of those who through His humiliation should receive pardon and everlasting life. He was wounded for their transgressions, bruised for their iniquities. The chastisement of their peace was upon Him, and with His stripes they were healed. He heard the shout of the redeemed. He heard the ransomed ones singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. Although the baptism of blood must first be received, although the sins of the world were to weigh upon His innocent soul, although the shadow of an unspeakable woe was upon Him; yet for the joy that was set before Him He chose to endure the cross and despised the shame.” The Ministry of Healing, 504.
4 In what will the saints rejoice in glory? 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20.
note: “Where the treasure is, there the heart will be. In every effort to benefit others, we benefit ourselves. He who gives money or time for spreading the gospel enlists his own interest and prayers for the work, and for the souls to be reached through it; his affections go out to others, and he is stimulated to greater devotion to God, that he may be enabled to do them the greatest good.
“And at the final day, when the wealth of earth shall perish, he who has laid up treasure in heaven will behold that which his life has gained. If we have given heed to the words of Christ, then, as we gather around the great white throne, we shall see souls who have been saved through our agency, and shall know that one has saved others, and these still others—a large company brought into the haven of rest as the result of our labors, there to lay their crowns at Jesus’ feet, and praise Him through the ceaseless ages of eternity. With what joy will the worker for Christ behold these redeemed ones, who share the glory of the Redeemer! How precious will heaven be to those who have been faithful in the work of saving souls!” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 90, 91.
5 In the parable of the talents, what had the individuals done which led their Lord to speak such words of commendation? Matthew 25:20, 22.
note: “When the cases of all come in review before God, the question, What did they profess? is never asked, but, What have they done? Have they been doers of the word? Have they lived for themselves? or have they been exercised in works of benevolence, in deeds of kindness, in love, preferring others before themselves, and denying themselves that they might bless others?
“If the record shows that this has been their life, that their characters have been marked with tenderness, self-denial, and benevolence, they will receive the blessed assurance and benediction from Christ, ‘Well done,’ ‘Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ [Matthew 25:23, 34.]
“Christ has been grieved and wounded by our marked selfish love, and indifference to the woes and needs of others.” Review and Herald, July 13, 1886.
6 What did the man do who had one talent? Matthew 25:25.
note: “You are not rich toward God. May the Lord open your eyes to see and your heart to feel, and cause you to manifest Christian zeal. Oh, how few feel the worth of souls! How few are willing to sacrifice to bring souls to the knowledge of Christ! There is much talking, much professed love for perishing souls; but talk is cheap stuff. It is earnest Christian zeal that is wanted—a zeal that will be manifested by doing something. All must now work for themselves, and when they have Jesus in their hearts they will confess Him to others. No more could a soul who possesses Christ be hindered from confessing Him than could the waters of Niagara be stopped from flowing over the falls.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 233.
“Those who bury their talents in this world are not pleasing God. . . .
“What is our position in the world? We are in the waiting time. But this period is not to be spent in abstract devotion. Waiting, watching, and vigilant working are to be combined. Our life should not be all bustle and drive and planning about the things of the world, to the neglect of personal piety and of the service that God requires. While we should not be slothful in business, we should be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. The lamp of the soul must be trimmed, and we must have the oil of grace in our vessels with our lamps. Every precaution must be used to prevent spiritual declension, lest the day of the Lord overtake us as a thief. That day is not to be put far off; it is near, and no man should say, even in his heart, much less by his works, ‘My Lord delayeth His coming,’ [Matthew 24:48.] lest for so doing his portion be appointed with hypocrites and unbelievers.” Ibid., vol. 5, 276, 277.
7 How did the servant feel because his Lord asked him to invest the talent where it would increase? Matthew 25:24.
note: “Brethren and sisters, I wish to excite in your minds disgust for your present limited ideas of God’s cause and work. I want you to comprehend the great sacrifice that Christ made for you when He became poor, that through His poverty you might come into possession of eternal riches. Oh! do not, by your indifference to the eternal weight of glory which is within your reach, cause angels to weep and hide their faces in shame and disgust. Arouse from your lethargy; arouse every God-given faculty, and work for precious souls for whom Christ died. These souls, if brought to the fold of Christ, will live through the ceaseless ages of eternity; and will you plan to do as little as possible for their salvation, while, like the man with the one talent, you invest your means in the earth? Like that unfaithful servant, are you charging God with reaping where He has not sown, and gathering where He has not strewed?” Testimonies, vol. 5, 271.
8 To whom did the servant’s talents belong? Luke 19:23.
note: “The Lord has given to every man his work. His servants are to act in partnership with Him. If they choose, men may refuse to connect themselves with their Maker; they may refuse to give themselves to His service, and trade upon His entrusted goods; they may fail to exercise frugality and self-denial, and may forget that the Lord requires a return of what He has given them. All such are unfaithful stewards.
“A faithful steward will do all he possibly can in the service of God; the one object before him will be the great need of the world. He will realize that the message of truth is to be given, not only in his own neighborhood, but in the regions beyond. When men cherish this spirit, the love of the truth and the sanctification they will receive through the truth, will banish avarice, overreaching, and every species of dishonesty.” Review and Herald Supplement, December 1, 1896.
9 How did this servant’s Lord judge him? Luke 19:22, 24.
note: “He who embezzles his Lord’s goods not only loses the talent lent him of God, but loses eternal life. Of him it is said: ‘Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness.’ [Matthew 25:30.] The faithful servant, who invests his money in the cause of God to save souls, employs his means to the glory of God and will receive the commendation of the Master: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’ [Matthew 25:21, 23.] What will be this joy of our Lord? It will be the joy of seeing souls saved in the kingdom of glory.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 387.
10 What was the final sentence of the unprofitable servant? Matthew 25:30.
note: “In the great judgment day those who have not worked for Christ, those who have drifted along, carrying no responsibility, thinking of themselves, pleasing themselves, will be placed by the Judge of all the earth with those who did evil. They receive the same condemnation.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 365.