January 21 – 27
“He [God’s servant] shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law” (Isaiah 42:4).
Study Help: The Ministry of Healing, 29–43.
“By studying the word of God we shall see that we are not left to our weakness, to our doubts, and that there is no occasion for sinking under discouragement. Talk faith; act faith. Cultivate the faith that works by love and purifies the soul.” The Review and Herald, May 19, 1896.
1 A PATTERN FOR US
- Where does God the Father urge all of us to look—and why? Isaiah 42:1.
Note: “Jesus was the fountain of healing mercy for the world; and through all those secluded years at Nazareth, His life flowed out in currents of sympathy and tenderness. The aged, the sorrowing, and the sin-burdened, the children at play in their innocent joy, the little creatures of the groves, the patient beasts of burden—all were happier for His presence. He whose word of power upheld the worlds would stoop to relieve a wounded bird. There was nothing beneath His notice, nothing to which He disdained to minister.
“Thus as He grew in wisdom and stature, Jesus increased in favor with God and man. … The atmosphere of hope and courage that surrounded Him made Him a blessing in every home. …
“He lived to please, honor, and glorify His Father in the common things of life. His work began in consecrating the lowly trade of the craftsmen who toil for their daily bread. He was doing God’s service just as much when laboring at the carpenter’s bench as when working miracles for the multitude. And every youth who follows Christ’s example of faithfulness and obedience in His lowly home may claim those words spoken of Him, … ‘Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth’ (Isaiah 42:1).” The Desire of Ages, 74.
2 THE UNIQUE MASTER TEACHER
- What is meant by Isaiah’s prophecy about the voice of Jesus? Isaiah 42:2.
Note: “The voice of Christ was not heard in the street, in noisy contention with those who were opposed to His doctrine. Neither was His voice heard in the street in prayer to His Father, to be heard of men. His voice was not heard in joyful mirth. His voice was not raised to exalt Himself, and to gain the applause and flattery of men. When engaged in teaching, He withdrew His disciples away from the noise and confusion of the busy city to some retired place more in harmony with the lessons of humility, piety, and virtue, which He would impress upon their minds. He shunned human praise and preferred solitude and peaceful retirement to the noise and confusion of mortal life. His voice was often heard in earnest, prevailing intercessions to His Father; yet for these exercises He chose the lonely mountain, and frequently spent whole nights in prayer for strength to sustain Him under the temptations He should meet, and to accomplish the important work He came to do for the salvation of man. His petitions were earnest and mingled with strong cries and tears. And notwithstanding the labor of soul during the night, He ceased not His labor through the day. In the morning He would quietly resume His work of mercy and disinterested benevolence.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 30, 31.
“In marked contrast to the teachers of His day was the Saviour to conduct Himself among men. In His life no noisy disputation, no ostentatious worship, no act to gain applause, was ever to be witnessed. The Messiah was to be hid in God, and God was to be revealed in the character of His Son.” Prophets and Kings, 693.
- What did those who heard Jesus’ words say of His manner of speaking? John 7:46.
Note: “Jesus is our example. His voice was musical, and was never raised in high, strained notes while He was speaking to the people. He did not speak so rapidly that His words were crowded one upon another in such a way that it made it difficult to understand Him. He distinctly enunciated every word.” The Review and Herald, March 5, 1895.
“They [the disciples in the upper chamber] beheld the hands and feet marred by the cruel nails. They recognized His voice, like no other they had ever heard.” The Desire of Ages, 803.
3 REACHING OUT TO OTHERS
- What else did Isaiah prophesy concerning Jesus? Isaiah 42:3. What did the Lord’s work include? John 10:16; Matthew 12:20, 21.
Note: “The church has not been properly educated to work outside of their own people. Many souls out of the church might have been enlightened, and a great deal more light brought into the church, if every church member in every country, who claims to have the advanced light of truth, had worked with heart and soul and voice to win souls to the truth. Altogether too little work is being done by church members for those who need the light, those who are outside of the church of Seventh-day Adventists. … The Lord has pointed out the duty of every soul. In the judgment no one will have any excuse to present for not doing his duty.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 127, 128.
“To the heart of Christ the very presence of trouble was a call for help. The poor, the sick, the desolate, the outcasts, the discouraged, the desponding, found in Him a compassionate Saviour, a Mighty Healer. … Christ identifies His interests with those of suffering humanity, and He tells us that whatever we do to relieve a sufferer, we do for Him.” Medical Ministry, 121.
- For what purpose did Jesus come to this world? John 3:17. What shows His patience with sinners?
Note: “When Judas joined the disciples, he was not insensible to the beauty of the character of Christ. He felt the influence of that divine power which was drawing souls to the Saviour. He who came not to break the bruised reed nor quench the smoking flax would not repulse this soul while even one desire was reaching toward the light. The Saviour read the heart of Judas; He knew the depths of iniquity to which, unless delivered by the grace of God, Judas would sink. In connecting this man with Himself, He placed him where he might, day by day, be brought in contact with the outflowing of His own unselfish love. If he would open his heart to Christ, divine grace would banish the demon of selfishness, and even Judas might become a subject of the kingdom of God.” The Desire of Ages, 294.
“Jesus hungered for his [Judas’] soul. He felt for him such a burden as for Jerusalem when He wept over the doomed city. His heart was crying, How can I give thee up? The constraining power of that love was felt by Judas.” Ibid., 645.
4 AN UNFAILING HELPER
- What was Jesus’ attitude toward difficult situations, and how can this example help us? Isaiah 42:4.
Note: “He [Jesus] reached to the very depth of human misery and woe, to take man as He found him, a being tainted with corruption, degraded with vice, depraved by sin, and united with Satan in apostasy, and elevate him to a seat upon His throne. But it was written of Him that ‘He shall not fail nor be discouraged,’ and He went forth in the path of self-denial and self-sacrifice, giving us an example that we should follow in His steps. We should work as did Jesus, departing from our own pleasure, turning away from Satan’s bribes, despising ease, and abhorring selfishness, that we may seek and save that which is lost, bringing souls from darkness into light, into the sunshine of God’s love. We have been commissioned to go forth and preach the gospel to every creature. We are to bring to the lost the tidings that Christ can forgive sin, can renew the nature, can clothe the soul in the garments of His righteousness, bring the sinner to His right mind, and teach him and fit him up to be a laborer together with God.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 199.
- What assurance comes to all who are seeking to work for God in their sphere? Isaiah 40:30, 31.
Note: “Wonderful are the possibilities before the youth to grasp the assurances of God’s word. Scarcely can the human mind comprehend the spiritual attainments which can be reached by them as they become partakers of the divine nature. Daily correcting mistakes and gaining victories, they grow into wise, strong men and women in Christ. …
“The man who waits upon the Lord is strong in his strength, strong enough to hold firm under great pressure. Yet he is easy to be entreated on the side of mercy and compassion, which is the side of Christ. The soul that is submissive to God is ready to do the will of God; he diligently and humbly seeks to know that will. He accepts discipline, and is afraid to walk according to his own finite judgment. He communes with God, and his conversation is in heaven.
“Linked to the Infinite One, man is made partaker of the divine nature. Upon him the shafts of evil have no effect; for he is clothed with the panoply of Christ’s righteousness.” My Life Today, 277.
5 HOW GREAT A GOD WE SERVE!
- What does Isaiah tell us of the power of God? Isaiah 40:26–29.
Note: “In the song of the bird, the sighing of the trees, and the music of the sea, we still may hear His voice who talked with Adam in Eden in the cool of the day. And as we behold His power in nature we find comfort, for the word that created all things is that which speaks life to the soul. He ‘who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’ (2 Corinthians 4:6).” The Desire of Ages, 281, 282.
“The stars also have a message of good cheer for every human being. In those hours that come to all, when the heart is faint and temptation presses sore; when obstacles seem insurmountable, life’s aims impossible of achievement, its fair promises like apples of Sodom; where, then, can such courage and steadfastness be found as in that lesson which God has bidden us learn from the stars in their untroubled course?” Education, 115.
- As we consider the greatness of God, what will this lead us to do? 1 Samuel 12:24; Mark 5:19; Psalm 31:19.
Note: “The tree of the desert is a symbol of what God means the life of His children in this world to be. They are to guide weary souls, full of unrest, and ready to perish in the desert of sin, to the living water.” Education, 116.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 How can Christians—including the young—fulfill Isaiah 42:1 in their daily life?
2 What made Christ’s style of teaching distinctive in this world?
3 How can we follow Christ’s example of helping those who are outside of the church?
4 As we grow in wisdom, what will we be doing every day?
5 What lesson can we learn from the stars?
Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.