November 13, 2005 – November 19, 2005
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40.
Study Help: Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 79–83.
“As you regard your eternal interest, arouse yourselves, and begin to sow good seed. That which you sow, you shall also reap. The harvest is coming—the great reaping time, when we shall reap what we have sown. There will be no failure in the crop; the harvest is sure. Now is the sowing time. Now make efforts to be rich in good works, ‘ready to distribute, willing to communicate,’ laying up in store for yourselves a good foundation against the time to come, that ye ‘may lay hold on eternal life.’ I implore you, my brethren in every place, rid yourselves of your icy coldness. Encourage in yourselves a love of hospitality, a love to help those who need help.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 31.
1 What is the theme of the true Christian’s life? Mark 12:30, 31; Matthew 7:12.
note: “By their good works, Christ’s followers are to bring glory, not to themselves, but to Him through whose grace and power they have wrought. It is through the Holy Spirit that every good work is accomplished, and the Spirit is given to glorify, not the receiver, but the Giver. When the light of Christ is shining in the soul, the lips will be filled with praise and thanksgiving to God. Your prayers, your performance of duty, your benevolence, your self-denial, will not be the theme of your thought or conversation. Jesus will be magnified, self will be hidden, and Christ will appear as all in all.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 80, 81.
2 What will determine the fate of those who come to the final judgment? Matthew 25:40.
note: “At the Day of Judgment, those who have been faithful in their every-day life, who have been quick to see their work and do it, not thinking of praise or profit, will hear the words, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ [Matthew 25:34.] Christ does not commend them for the eloquent orations they have made, the intellectual power they have displayed, or the liberal donations they have given. It is for doing little things which are generally overlooked that they are rewarded. ‘I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat,’ he says. ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ [Verses 35, 40.] ” The Youth’s Instructor, January 17, 1901.
3 What principle will undergird every act of those who eventually receive the latter rain? 1 Corinthians 10:31.
note: “ ‘Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.’ Here is a principle which lies at the foundation of every act, thought, and motive; the consecration of the entire being, both physical and mental, to the control of the Spirit of God. The unsanctified will and passions must be crucified. This may be regarded as a close and severe work. Yet it must be done, or you will hear the terrible sentence from the mouth of Jesus: ‘Depart.’ You can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth you.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 84.
4 What was Jesus’ reason for commending the poor widow’s offering? Mark 12:42–44; 1 Samuel 16:7, last part.
note: “It is the motive that gives character to our acts, stamping them with ignominy or with high moral worth. Not the great things which every eye sees and every tongue praises does God account most precious. The little duties cheerfully done, the little gifts which make no show, and which to human eyes may appear worthless, often stand highest in His sight. A heart of faith and love is dearer to God than the most costly gift. The poor widow gave her living to do the little that she did. She deprived herself of food in order to give those two mites to the cause she loved. And she did it in faith, believing that her heavenly Father would not overlook her great need. It was this unselfish spirit and childlike faith that won the Saviour’s commendation.” The Desire of Ages, 615.
5 How much should those preparing for the latter rain be concerned about a reward? Matthew 6:3, 4. Compare 1 Corinthians 9:16–19.
note: “The Lord desires us to rest in Him without a question as to our measure of reward. When Christ abides in the soul, the thought of reward is not uppermost. This is not the motive that actuates our service. It is true that in a subordinate sense we should have respect to the recompense of reward. God desires us to appreciate His promised blessings. But He would not have us eager for rewards nor feel that for every duty we must receive compensation. We should not be so anxious to gain the reward as to do what is right, irrespective of all gain. Love to God and to our fellow men should be our motive.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 398, 399.
6 What criterion, concealed from human view, will determine one’s reward? Revelation 22:12.
note: “By a disregard of justice, mercy, and benevolence to their neighbor, some have so hardened the heart that they can go still further, and even rob God without compunctions of conscience. Do such close their eyes and their understanding to the fact that God knows, that He reads their every action and the motive which impelled them to it? His reward is with Him, and His work before Him, to give to every man according as his work shall be. Every good and every wrong act, and its influence upon others, is traced out by the Searcher of hearts, to whom every secret is revealed. And the reward will be according to the motives which prompted the action.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 520.
7 What will be the true motive of service of all who are preparing for the latter rain? Matthew 22:37–40.
note: “The desire to honor God should be to us the most powerful of all motives. It should lead us to make every exertion to improve the privileges and opportunities provided for us, that we may understand how to use wisely the Lord’s goods. It should lead us to keep brain, bone, muscle, and nerve in the most healthful condition, that our physical strength and mental clearness may make us faithful stewards. Selfish interest, if given room to act, dwarfs the mind and hardens the heart; if allowed to control, it destroys moral power.” Messages to Young People, 149, 150.
8 What is the source of a true Christian’s motive of action? 11 Corinthians 5:14, first part.
note: “The most careful attention to the outward proprieties of life is not sufficient to shut out all fretfulness, harsh judgment, and unbecoming speech. True refinement will never be revealed so long as self is considered as the supreme object. Love must dwell in the heart. A thoroughgoing Christian draws his motives of action from his deep heart-love for his Master. Up through the roots of his affection for Christ springs an unselfish interest in his brethren. Love imparts to its possessor grace, propriety, and comeliness of deportment. It illuminates the countenance and subdues the voice; it refines and elevates the entire being.” Gospel Workers, 123.
9 How will those act who are preparing for the latter rain? Psalm 139:7–10. Compare Jeremiah 17:10; 23:24.
note: “When the individual members of the church shall act as true followers of the meek and lowly Saviour, there will be less covering up and excusing of sin. All will strive to act as if in God’s presence. They will realize that His all-seeing eye is ever upon them and that the most secret thought is known to Him. The character, the motives, the desires and purposes, are as clear as the light of the sun to the eye of the Omnipotent. But few bear this in mind. The larger class by far do not realize what a fearful account must be rendered at the bar of God by all the transgressors of His law.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 147.
10 By what standard does God evaluate men’s motives? Jeremiah 26:4–6. Compare Proverbs 16:2.
note: “God is represented as weighing all men, their words, their deeds, their motives, that which determines character. ‘The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed.’ ‘Men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.’ ‘Thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.’ ‘All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.’ [1 Samuel 2:3; Psalm 62:9; Isaiah 26:7; Proverbs 16:2.] Important lessons are suggested to us in these scriptures. There is not a thought or motive in the heart that God is not acquainted with. He sees all as clearly as if it stood out registered in living characters, and He weighs individual motives and actions.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 438.
11 How can those who lack the proper motive in life obtain it? John 15:4, 5.
note: “There are today many as ignorant of the Holy Spirit’s work upon the heart as were those believers in Ephesus; yet no truth is more clearly taught in the word of God. Prophets and apostles have dwelt upon this theme. Christ Himself calls our attention to the growth of the vegetable world as an illustration of the agency of His Spirit in sustaining spiritual life. The sap of the vine, ascending from the root, is diffused to the branches, sustaining growth and producing blossoms and fruit. So the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Saviour, pervades the soul, renews the motives and affections, and brings even the thoughts into obedience to the will of God, enabling the receiver to bear the precious fruit of holy deeds.” The Acts of the Apostles, 284.
“What we learn of the Great Teacher of truth will be enduring; it will not savor of self-sufficiency, but will lead to humility and meekness; and the work that we do will be wholesome, pure, and ennobling, because wrought in God. Those who thus work will show in their home life, and in their association with men, that they have the mind of Christ. Grace and truth will reign in their hearts, inspiring and purifying their motives, and controlling their outward actions.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 647, 648.
12 How high will the motives be of those who receive the latter rain? 11 Corinthians 5:15; Galatians 2:19. Compare Romans 6:11.
note: “The Lord expects his servants to excel others in life and character. He has placed every facility at the command of those who serve him. The Christian is looked upon by the whole universe as one who strives for the mastery, running the race set before him, that he may obtain the prize, even an immortal crown; but if he who professes to follow Christ does not make it manifest that his motives are above those of the world in this great contest where there is everything to win and everything to lose, he will never be a victor. He is to make use of every entrusted power, that he may overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil through the power of the Holy Spirit, by grace abundantly provided that he shall not fail nor be discouraged, but be complete in Christ, accepted in the Beloved. Those who would be victors should contemplate and count the cost of salvation.” Review and Herald, June 16, 1896.
13 What action on the part of the disciples prepared the way for the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon them in the early rain? Acts 1:14; 2:1.
note: “As the disciples waited for the fulfillment of the promise, they humbled their hearts in true repentance and confessed their unbelief. As they called to remembrance the words that Christ had spoken to them before His death they understood more fully their meaning. Truths which had passed from their memory were again brought to their minds, and these they repeated to one another. They reproached themselves for their misapprehension of the Saviour. Like a procession, scene after scene of His wonderful life passed before them. As they meditated upon His pure, holy life they felt that no toil would be too hard, no sacrifice too great, if only they could bear witness in their lives to the loveliness of Christ’s character. Oh, if they could but have the past three years to live over, they thought, how differently they would act! If they could only see the Master again, how earnestly they would strive to show Him how deeply they loved Him, and how sincerely they sorrowed for having ever grieved Him by a word or an act of unbelief! But they were comforted by the thought that they were forgiven. And they determined that, so far as possible, they would atone for their unbelief by bravely confessing Him before the world. . . .
“Putting away all differences, all desire for the supremacy, they came close together in Christian fellowship.” The Acts of the Apostles, 36, 37.