Bible Study Guides – A Cause for Rejoicing!

September 19 – 25, 2021

Key Text

“[Charity] rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).

Study Help: Counsels on Stewardship, 339–350.


“Charity loves the sinner but hates the sin, and will warn him faithfully of his danger, pointing him to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. Sin is not to be cloaked, but to be taken away.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 217.



1.a. Though we may profess to be rejoicing solely in God, what must the faithful steward realize? Proverbs 28:14.

Note: “Bible charity is not sentimentalism, but love in active exercise. To heal the hurt of the daughter of My people, slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace; when there is no peace’ (Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11), is called charity. To confederate together, to call sin holiness and truth, is called charity; but it is the counterfeit article. The false and the spurious are in the world, and we should closely examine our hearts that we may know whether or not we possess the genuine charity. Genuine charity will not create distrust, and evil work. It will not blunt the sword of the spirit so that it does no execution. Those who would cover evil under false charity, say to the sinner, ‘It shall be well with thee.’ Thank God there is a charity that will not be corrupted; there is a wisdom that cometh from above, that is (mark it) first pure, then peaceable, and without hypocrisy, and the fruits of righteousness is sown of them that make peace. This is a description of heaven-born, heaven-bred charity.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 217.

1.b. What should characterize the daily experience of the faithful steward? Psalm 139:23, 24.

Note: “If we would be overcomers, we must search our hearts to be sure that we are not cherishing anything that is offensive to God.” Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 138.



2.a. How is the faithful steward to respond to iniquity? 1 Corinthians 13:6, first part.

 Note: “Satan’s work is directly opposed to the work of God. The enemy of all good, he stands as the general of the forces drawn up to hurt the souls of men. He looks on with fiendish triumph as he sees the professed followers of Christ biting and devouring one another. He stands ever ready to mar the lives of those who are trying to serve God. Heavenly angels marvel that men should aid Satanic agencies in their work, discouraging hearts, making God’s people weak, strengthless, faithless.” Spalding and Magan Collection, 345, 346.

2.b. How does the faithful steward avoid rejoicing in evil? 1 Peter 5:8, 9.

Note: “When we talk discouragement and gloom, Satan listens with fiendish joy; for it pleases him to know that he has brought you into his bondage. Satan cannot read our thoughts, but he can see our actions, hear our words; and from his long knowledge of the human family, he can shape his temptations to take advantage of our weak points of character. And how often do we let him into the secret of how he may obtain the victory over us. O that we might control our words and actions! How strong we would become if our words were of such an order that we would not be ashamed to meet the record of them in the day of judgment. How different will they appear in the day of God from what they seem when we utter them.” The Review and Herald, May 19, 1891.

2.c. What admonitions are to strengthen us against the temptations mentioned above? Psalm 141:3; Ephesians 4:29, 30.

Note: “When you are associated together, be guarded in your words. Let your conversation be of such a nature that you will have no need of repentance.” The Review and Herald, June 5, 1888.



3.a. Why is the Christian warned against speaking of the sins and frailty of others? Ephesians 5:11, 12.

Note: “While many are neglecting their own souls, they eagerly watch for an opportunity to criticize and condemn others. All have defects of character, and it is not hard to find something that jealousy can interpret to their injury. ‘Now,’ say these self-constituted judges, ‘we have facts. We will fasten upon them an accusation from which they can not clear themselves.’ They wait for a fitting opportunity and then produce their bundle of gossip and bring forth their tidbits.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 95. [Emphasis author’s.]

3.b. Why should Christians refrain from rejoicing in iniquity? Proverbs 24:17, 18.

Note: “Instead of finding fault with others, let us be critical with ourselves. The question with each one of us should be, Is my heart right before God? Will this course of action glorify my Father which is in heaven? If you have cherished a wrong spirit, let it be banished from the soul. It is your duty to eradicate from your heart everything that is of a defiling nature; every root of bitterness should be plucked up, lest others be contaminated by its baleful influence. Do not allow one poisonous plant to remain in the soil of your heart. Root it out this very hour, and plant in its stead the plant of love. Let Jesus be enshrined in the soul.

“Christ is our example. He went about doing good. He lived to bless others. Love beautified and ennobled all His actions, and we are commanded to follow in His steps. Let us remember that God sent His only begotten Son to this world of sorrow, to ‘redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works’ (Titus 2:14). Let us seek to comply with the requirement of God, and fulfill His law. ‘Love is the fulfilling of the law’ (Romans 13:10), and He who died that we might live, has given us this commandment, that we should love one another as He has loved us; and the world will know that we are His disciples, if we have this love one for another.” The Review and Herald, June 5, 1888.



4.a. What teaching and experience of the early disciples is to be ours? James 5:16; Philippians 2:1, 2.

Note: “They [the disciples] were not assembled to relate tidbits of scandal. They were not seeking to expose every stain they could find on a brother’s character. They felt their spiritual need, and cried to the Lord for the holy unction to help them in overcoming their own infirmities, and to fit them for the work of saving others. They prayed with intense earnestness that the love of Christ might be shed abroad in their hearts. This is our great need today in every church in our land. For ‘if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). That which was objectionable in the character is purified from the soul by the love of Jesus. All selfishness is expelled, all envy, all evil-speaking, is rooted out, and a radical transformation is wrought in the heart.” The Review and Herald, July 22, 1890.

4.b. What factors must all faithful stewards bear in mind in their interaction with those whom they profess to love? Romans 14:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

Note: “There is a sympathy for sin and sinners that is dangerous to the prosperity of the church at the present day. You must have charity is the cry. But that sentiment that would excuse wrong and shield the guilty, is not the charity of the Bible. The friendship of the wicked is more dangerous than their enmity; for none can prevail against the servants of the living God, except by tempting them to disobedience.” The Signs of the Times, January 6, 1881.

“Let not the common, cheap, earthly things engross the mind that the presence of Jesus shall be withdrawn. The life of the church is communicated from Christ, and we help the church when we work in harmony with the life-giving power, losing sight of ourselves, and seeking to build one another up in the most holy faith.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 265.



5.a. How does the faithful steward reveal true charity? 1 Corinthians 13:6, last part; Psalm 119:140–144, 172.

 Note: “ ‘You must have charity,’ is the cry heard everywhere, especially from those who profess sanctification. But true charity is too pure to cover an unconfessed sin. While we are to love the souls for whom Christ died, we are to make no compromise with evil. We are not to unite with the rebellious and call this charity.” The Acts of the Apostles, 554, 555.

5.b. What is the ultimate goal of the faithful steward? 1 Corinthians 2:2.

Note: “And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed thrill with more fervent devotion, and with more rapturous joy they sweep the harps of gold; and ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell the mighty chorus of praise.” The Great Controversy, 678.



  1. Why is self-examination a key in developing faithful stewardship?
  2. When would the faithful steward be liable to please the enemy instead of pleasing Christ?
  3. How may the faithful steward be in danger of secretly rejoicing in iniquity?
  4. What are the symptoms of false charity?
  5. How can the faithful steward manifest true charity?

Copyright 2011, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – An Unfailing Virtue

September 12 – 18, 2021

Key Text

“Charity never faileth” (1 Corinthians 13:8).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 2, 133–136.


“Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to impart to him of the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God.” The Desire of Ages, 505.



1.a. What can the faithful steward learn from the apostle Paul’s motivation? 1 Corinthians 9:16–19; 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15.

1.b. What exhortations are given to motivate us in turn? 1 Peter 1:22, 23.

Note: “ ‘Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them’ (Matthew 7:12). Blessed results would appear as the fruit of such a course. ‘With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again’ (verse 2). Here are strong motives which should constrain us to love one another with a pure heart, fervently. Christ is our example. He went about doing good. He lived to bless others. Love beautified and ennobled all His actions. We are not commanded to do to ourselves what we wish others to do unto us; we are to do unto others what we wish them to do to us under like circumstances. The measure we mete is always measured to us again. Pure love is simple in its operations and is distinct from any other principle of action. The love of influence and the desire for the esteem of others may produce a well-ordered life and frequently a blameless conversation. Self-respect may lead us to avoid the appearance of evil. A selfish heart may perform generous actions, acknowledge the present truth, and express humility and affection in an outward manner, yet the motives may be deceptive and impure; the actions that flow from such a heart may be destitute of the savor of life and the fruits of true holiness, being destitute of the principles of pure love. Love should be cherished and cultivated, for its influence is divine.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 136. [Emphasis author’s.]



2.a. How did Paul’s unselfish love bear fruit under the most forbidding circumstances? Philippians 1:12–14; 2:15–17.

Note: “Not by Paul’s sermons, but by his bonds, was the attention of the court attracted to Christianity. It was as a captive that he broke from so many souls the bonds that held them in the slavery of sin. Nor was this all. He declared: ‘Many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear’ (Philippians 1:14).

“Paul’s patience and cheerfulness during his long and unjust imprisonment, his courage and faith, were a continual sermon. His spirit, so unlike the spirit of the world, bore witness that a power higher than that of earth was abiding with him. And by his example, Christians were impelled to greater energy as advocates of the cause from the public labors of which Paul had been withdrawn. In these ways were the apostle’s bonds influential, so that when his power and usefulness seemed cut off, and to all appearance he could do the least, then it was that he gathered sheaves for Christ in fields from which he seemed wholly excluded.” The Acts of the Apostles, 464.

2.b. How can the faithful steward be inspired by Paul’s experiences? 2 Corinthians 4:5–10; 11:24–28.

Note: “Patience as well as courage has its victories. By meekness under trial, no less than by boldness in enterprise, souls may be won to Christ. The Christian who manifests patience and cheerfulness under bereavement and suffering, who meets even death itself with the peace and calmness of an unwavering faith, may accomplish for the gospel more than he could have effected by a long life of faithful labor. Often when the servant of God is withdrawn from active duty, the mysterious providence which our shortsighted vision would lament is designed by God to accomplish a work that otherwise would never have been done.

“Let not the follower of Christ think, when he is no longer able to labor openly and actively for God and His truth, that he has no service to render, no reward to secure. Christ’s true witnesses are never laid aside. In health and sickness, in life and death, God uses them still.” The Acts of the Apostles, 465.



3.a. How can the faithful steward gain the victory over wrong words and attitudes? James 3:2, 10–12; Ezekiel 36:25, 26.

Note: “The most careful cultivation of the outward proprieties and courtesies of life has not sufficient power to shut out all fretfulness, harsh judgment, and unbecoming speech. The spirit of genuine benevolence must dwell in the heart. Love imparts to its possessor grace, propriety, and comeliness of deportment. Love illuminates the countenance and subdues the voice; it refines and elevates the entire man. It brings him into harmony with God, for it is a heavenly attribute.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 559, 560.

3.b. Through what experiences may the faithful steward learn the unfailing power of love? 2 Corinthians 8:1–5; 1 John 5:1–4.

Note: “The opposition we meet may prove a benefit to us in many ways. If it is well borne, it will develop virtues which would never have appeared if the Christian had nothing to endure. And faith, patience, forbearance, heavenly mindedness, trust in Providence, and genuine sympathy with the erring, are the results of trial well borne. These are the graces of the Spirit, which bud, blossom, and bear fruit amid trials and adversity. Meekness, humility, and love always grow on the Christian tree. If the word is received into good and honest hearts, the obdurate soul will be subdued, and faith, grasping the promises, and relying upon Jesus, will prove triumphant. ‘This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith’ (1 John 5:4).” The Review and Herald, June 28, 1892.

“Unexpected disappointments will come. Jesus was often grieved at the hardness of heart of the people, and you will have a similar experience. Your prayers, your tears, your entreaties, may fail to awaken a response. Hearts are dead in trespasses and sins. There seems to be no penitence, but only indifference and opposition, and from some even contempt, when you looked for certain victory. But you are not to relax your efforts. If one refuses, turn to another. Have faith that the Comforter will do the work which it is impossible for you to do. Have faith in all the blessed promises which Christ has given you. Work with charity and invincible courage, for you must do this if you would succeed. ‘Let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not’ (Galatians 6:9).” The Signs of the Times, November 30, 1891.



4.a. What is unique about the plant of charity? 1 Corinthians 13:8, first part.

 Note: “We are to see in our fellow-man the purchase of the blood of Christ. If we have this love one for another, we shall be growing in love for God and the truth. We have been pained at heart to see how little love is cherished in our midst. Love is a plant of heavenly origin, and if we would have it flourish in our hearts, we must cultivate it daily. Mildness, gentleness, long suffering, not being easily provoked, bearing all things, enduring all things—these are the fruits upon the precious tree of love.” The Review and Herald, June 5, 1888.

“In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which ‘seeketh not her own’ (1 Corinthians 13:5) has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifested the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto.” The Desire of Ages, 20.

4.b. What should encourage the faithful steward in laboring for souls purchased by the blood of Christ? Galatians 5:1.

Note: “There [in the school of the hereafter] all who have wrought with unselfish spirit will behold the fruit of their labors. The outworking of every right principle and noble deed will be seen. Something of this we see here. But how little of the result of the world’s noblest work is in this life manifest to the doer! How many toil unselfishly and unweariedly for those who pass beyond their reach and knowledge! … So gifts are bestowed, burdens are borne, labor is done. Men sow the seed from which, above their graves, others reap blessed harvests. They plant trees, that others may eat the fruit. They are content here to know that they have set in motion agencies for good. In the hereafter the action and reaction of all these will be seen.

“Of every gift that God has bestowed, leading men to unselfish effort, a record is kept in heaven. To trace this in its wide-spreading lines, to look upon those who by our efforts have been uplifted and ennobled, to behold in their history the outworking of true principles—this will be one of the studies and rewards of the heavenly school.” Education, 305, 306.



5.a. Why is charity necessary to perfect the Christian character? Colossians 3:14; 1 John 4:7–12.

Note: “In our life here, earthly, sin-restricted though it is, the greatest joy and the highest education are in service. And in the future state, untrammeled by the limitations of sinful humanity, it is in service that our greatest joy and our highest education will be found—witnessing, and ever as we witness learning anew ‘the riches of the glory of this mystery;’ ‘which is Christ in you, the hope of glory’ (Colossians 1:27).” Education, 309.

5.b. What is the greatest illustration of unfailing charity that will shine on throughout eternity? Zechariah 13:6.

Note: “Our Redeemer will ever bear the marks of His crucifixion. Upon His wounded head, upon His side, His hands and feet, are the only traces of the cruel work that sin has wrought. Says the prophet, beholding Christ in His glory: ‘He had bright beams coming out of His side: and there was the hiding of His power’ (Habakkuk 3:4, margin). That pierced side whence flowed the crimson stream that reconciled man to God—there is the Saviour’s glory, there ‘the hiding of His power.’ ‘Mighty to save’ (Isaiah 63:1), through the sacrifice of redemption, He was therefore strong to execute justice upon them that despised God’s mercy. And the tokens of His humiliation are His highest honor; through the eternal ages the wounds of Calvary will show forth His praise and declare His power.” The Great Controversy, 674.



  1. How should the faithful steward understand Matthew 7:12?
  2. What results can charity achieve, even amidst difficulties?
  3. How can the faithful steward benefit from trials?
  4. Why is loving service never lost?
  5. Where is life’s greatest joy and highest education found?

Copyright 2011, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Thoughts and Moods

September 5 – 11, 2021

Key Text

“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all His thoughts” (Psalm 10:4).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 2, 707–709.


“Let your spirit be cleansed from all earthliness, all unholy, uncharitable thoughts. Let your words be clean, sanctified, vivifying and refreshing all with whom you associate. Be not easily provoked.” Our High Calling, 174.



1.a. What should characterize our attitude toward everyone—and what can help us consistently maintain such an attitude? 1 Thessalonians 5:14, 15, 23; 1 Corinthians 9:25.

 1.b. How is advancement seen in the life of the faithful steward, and by what means is this gained? Colossians 3:8–10, 13; James 3:17, 18.

Note: “When you have little difficulties to bear which seem hard, think of Jesus the dear Saviour, how He suffered and endured to save sinful mortals.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 124.

“You will be misunderstood. Leave with God the wrongs which you think exist. Be easily entreated, and be not easily provoked. Do not speak angry words because of something you have heard. This hurts your influence. May the grace of God help you to have patience.” Ibid., vol. 19, 149.

“We must cherish love, not that which is falsely called charity, which would lead us to love sin and cherish sinners, but Bible charity and Bible wisdom, that is first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 558.



2.a. What principles of God’s government should be remembered by parents training children? Psalm 85:10.

Note: “Disobedience and rebellion must be punished; but remember that the punishment is to be given in the spirit of Christ. Require obedience, never with a storm of angry words, but firmly and kindly. And when called upon to discipline your child, remember your own relation to your heavenly Father. Have you walked perfectly before Him? Are you not wayward and disobedient? Do you not grieve Him continually? But does He deal with you in anger? Remember, too, that it is from you that your children have received their tendencies to wrong. Remember how often you act like grown-up children. In spite of your years of Christian experience, in spite of your many opportunities for self-discipline, how easily you are provoked to anger. Deal gently, then, with your children, remembering that they have not had the opportunities you have had to gain self-control.” The Review and Herald, July 8, 1902.

2.b. What way of acting gives credibility and life to our missionary efforts in the community? Luke 6:28–30.

Note: “In all our associations with unbelievers, be careful to give them no occasion to misjudge your faith, or to reproach the cause of truth which you advocate. Many hedge up the way by their own course of action. There is some indiscretion on their part. They are easily provoked. Little difficulties arise in trade or in some other temporal matter, which lead them to think themselves misjudged or wronged by their neighbors. These things are allowed to create coldness or ill feeling, and thus to close the door of access to those who might be reached by the truth. We should never allow matters of temporal interest to quench our love for souls. Brethren, be kind and courteous on all occasions. Never be sharp, critical, or exacting in your deal. If there is any advantage to be gained, give it to your neighbor, whom you are required to love as you love yourself. With the patience and love of Jesus, watch for opportunities to do him a kindness. Let him see that the religion which we profess does not close up nor freeze over the avenues of the soul, making us unsympathizing and exacting.” The Review and Herald, May 22, 1888.



3.a. How does bitterness toward our brethren or sisters affect our relationships with others? Hebrews 12:15.

Note: “ ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another’ (John 13:34, 35). These words are not the words of man, but the words of our Redeemer; and how important it is that we fulfill the instruction that He has given! There is nothing that can so weaken the influence of the church, as the lack of love. Christ says, ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves’ (Matthew 10:16). If we are to meet opposition from our enemies, who are represented as wolves, let us be careful that we do not manifest the same spirit among ourselves. The enemy well knows that if we do not have love one for another, he can gain his object, and wound and weaken the church, by causing differences among brethren. He can lead them to surmise evil, to speak evil, to accuse, condemn, and hate one another. In this way the cause of God is brought into dishonor, the name of Christ is reproached, and untold harm is done to the souls of men.” The Review and Herald, June 5, 1888.

3.b. What is the result of daily cultivating charity? Matthew 12:35, first part; Colossians 3:12–15.

 Note: “If you have love in your heart, you will seek to establish and build up your brother in the most holy faith. If a word is dropped that is detrimental to the character of your friend or brother, do not encourage this evil speaking. It is the work of the enemy. Kindly remind the speaker that the word of God forbids that kind of conversation. We are to empty the heart of everything that defiles the soul temple, that Christ may dwell within. Our Redeemer has told us how we may reveal Him to the world. If we cherish His Spirit, if we manifest His love to others, if we guard one another’s interests, if we are kind, patient, forbearing, the world will have an evidence by the fruits we bear, that we are the children of God. It is the unity in the church that enables it to exert a conscious influence upon unbelievers and worldlings.” The Review and Herald, June 5, 1888.



4.a. Name one evil commonly found in the church. Leviticus 19:16, first part; Proverbs 16:17–20; Jeremiah 20:10.

Note: “Floating rumors are frequently the destroyers of unity among brethren. There are some who watch with open mind and ears to catch flying scandal. They gather up little incidents which may be trifling in themselves, but which are repeated and exaggerated until a man is made an offender for a word. Their motto seems to be, ‘Report, and we will report it.’ These tale-bearers are doing the devil’s work with surprising fidelity, little knowing how offensive their course is to God. If they would spend half the energy and zeal that is given to this unholy work in examining their own hearts, they would find so much to do to cleanse their souls from impurity that they would have no time or disposition to criticize their brethren, and they would not fall under the power of this temptation. The door of the mind should be closed against ‘they say’ or ‘I have heard.’ Why should we not, instead of allowing jealousy or evil-surmising to come into our hearts, go to our brethren, and, after frankly but kindly setting before them the things we have heard detrimental to their character and influence, pray with and for them?” The Review and Herald, June 3, 1884.

4.b. How can we overcome this problem? Proverbs 14:15; 25:9, 10.

 4.c. If we find that a brother or a sister is indeed guilty of some wrong, what is our personal duty? Galatians 6:1; James 5:19, 20.

Note: “When we see errors in others, let us remember that we have faults graver, perhaps, in the sight of God, than the fault we condemn in our brother. Instead of publishing his defects, ask God to bless him, and to help him to overcome his error. Christ will approve of this spirit and action, and will open the way for you to speak a word of wisdom that will impart strength and help to him who is weak in the faith.” The Review and Herald, June 5, 1888.



5.a. What changes are seen when we are not easily provoked and think no evil (1 Corinthians 13:5)? Ephesians 4:23–25; 5:9–12.

Note: “The person who cultivates the precious plant of love will be self-denying in spirit and will not yield self-control even under provocation. He will not impute wrong motives and evil intentions to others, but will feel deeply over sin when discovered in any of the disciples of Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 123.

“Love is unsuspecting, ever placing the most favorable construction upon the motives and acts of others. Love will never needlessly expose the faults of others. It does not listen eagerly to unfavorable reports, but rather seeks to bring to mind some good qualities of the one defamed.” Ibid., 169.

5.b.        How can the world see in our life a daily growth in Christ? Titus 2:7, 8, 11–14.

Note: “Let each ask himself: Do I possess the grace of love? Have I learned to suffer long and to be kind? Talents, learning, and eloquence, without this heavenly attribute, will be as meaningless as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 169.

“While we cannot love and fellowship those who are the bitter enemies of Christ, we should cultivate that spirit of meekness and love that characterized our Master—a love that thinketh no evil and is not easily provoked.” The Review and Herald, June 3, 1884.



  1. Describe the reformation cited in Colossians 3:8–10, 13.
  2. How can we better represent Christ in temporal matters?
  3. How can we overcome the common problem plaguing many churches?
  4. What is wrong with “they say” and “I have heard”?
  5. Describe some ways by which the stewardship of God’s love can be manifested on behalf of others.

Copyright 2011, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study Guides – Behavior and Underlying Motives

Faithful Stewardship

August 29 – September 4, 2021

Key Text

“[Charity] doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own” (1 Corinthians 13:5).

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 2, 50–60.


“The road to paradise is not one of self-exaltation but of repentance, confession, humiliation, of faith and obedience.” The Review and Herald, December 23, 1890.



1.a. Name one characteristic of charity, as far as general behavior is concerned. 1 Corinthians 13:5, first part.

1.b. What examples of unseemly behavior should we take as a warning? Galatians 2:11–13; James 2:1–4, 8, 9.

1.c. How is the faithful steward warned against other types of unseemly behavior? Proverbs 14:29; 18:23, last part.

Note: “One class have come up without self-control; they have not bridled the temper or the tongue; and some of these claim to be Christ’s followers, but they are not. Jesus has set them no such example. When they have the meekness and lowliness of the Saviour, they will not act out the promptings of the natural heart, for this is of Satan. Some are nervous, and if they begin to lose self-control in word or spirit under provocation, they are as much intoxicated with wrath as the inebriate is with liquor. They are unreasonable and not easily persuaded or convinced. They are not sane; Satan for the time has full control. Every one of these exhibitions of wrath weakens the nervous system and the moral powers, and makes it difficult to restrain anger or another provocation. With this class there is only one remedy—positive self-control under all circumstances.” The Youth’s Instructor, November 10, 1886.



2.a. How are we exhorted to develop a Christlike demeanor, especially toward those who may provoke us unjustly? James 1:19–21; Proverbs 15:1; 19:11.

Note: “He [Christ] was wrongfully accused, yet He opened not His mouth to justify Himself. How many now, when accused of that of which they are not guilty, feel that there is a time when forbearance ceases to be a virtue, and losing their temper, speak words which grieve the Holy Spirit.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1148.

“If pride and selfishness were laid aside, five minutes would remove most difficulties. Angels have been grieved and God displeased by the hours which have been spent in justifying self.” Early Writings, 119.

2.b. How does the faithful steward display charitable prudence? Acts 9:36–39.

Note: “At Joppa, which was near Lydda, there lived a woman named Dorcas, whose good deeds had made her greatly beloved. She was a worthy disciple of Jesus, and her life was filled with acts of kindness. She knew who needed comfortable clothing and who needed sympathy, and she freely ministered to the poor and the sorrowful. Her skillful fingers were more active than her tongue.” The Acts of the Apostles, 131.

“Preaching is a small part of the work to be done for the salvation of souls. God’s Spirit convicts sinners of the truth, and He places them in the arms of the church. The ministers may do their part, but they can never perform the work that the church should do. God requires His church to nurse those who are young in faith and experience, to go to them, not for the purpose of gossiping with them, but to pray, to speak unto them words that are ‘like apples of gold in pictures of silver’ (Proverbs 25:11). …

“It is the duty of God’s children to be missionaries for Him, to become acquainted with those who need help. If one is staggering under temptation, his case should be taken up carefully and managed wisely; for his eternal interest is at stake, and the words and acts of those laboring for him may be a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 69.



3.a. When does true love for others become rare—and how is this problem to be overcome? Matthew 24:12; Revelation 2:2–4; Hebrews 12:2–4.

Note: “The love of God has been waning in the church, and as a result, the love of self has sprung up into new activity. With the loss of love for God there has come the loss of love for the brethren.” The Review and Herald, March 20, 1894.

“Let this life, so stormy with conflicts and worries, be brought into connection with Christ, and then self will no longer clamor for the supremacy.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1161.

“Pride and self-worship cannot flourish in the soul that keeps fresh in memory the scenes of Calvary.” The Desire of Ages, 661.

3.b. What is a great reason that makes the faithful steward shine in this world? 1 Corinthians 10:24.

Note: “Unselfishness, the principle of God’s kingdom, is the principle that Satan hates; its very existence he denies. From the beginning of the great controversy he has endeavored to prove God’s principles of action to be selfish, and he deals in the same way with all who serve God. To disprove Satan’s claim is the work of Christ and of all who bear His name.

“It was to give in His own life an illustration of unselfishness that Jesus came in the form of humanity. And all who accept this principle are to be workers together with Him in demonstrating it in practical life. To choose the right because it is right; to stand for truth at the cost of suffering and sacrifice—‘this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord’ (Isaiah 54:17).” Education, 154, 155.

“In heaven none will think of self, nor seek their own pleasure; but all, from pure, genuine love, will seek the happiness of the heavenly beings around them. If we wish to enjoy heavenly society in the earth made new, we must be governed by heavenly principles here.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 132, 133.



4.a. What should the faithful steward consider in choosing priorities? 1 John 2:15–17.

Note: “If all the money that is used extravagantly, for needless things, were placed in the treasury of God, we should see men and women and youth giving themselves to Jesus, and doing their part to co-operate with Christ and angels. The richest blessing of God would come into our churches, and many souls would be converted to the truth.” The Review and Herald, December 23, 1890.

“When the cases of all come in review before God, the question, What did they profess? will not be 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 and love, preferring others before themselves, and denying themselves that they might bless others? … Christ has been grieved and wounded by your marked selfish love and your indifference to the woes and needs of others.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 525.

4.b. What unfortunate attitude can affect all of us who are entrusted with great light—and to obtain victory, what must we realize? Isaiah 58:2–4, 10–12.

Note: “In our work we shall find a high profession of piety and much outward exactness bound up with great inward wickedness. The people represented in Isaiah 58 complain that the Lord allows their services to go unnoticed. This complaint is the expression of hearts unsubdued by grace, rebellious against the truth.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1148, 1149.

“Many receive applause for virtues which they do not possess. The Searcher of hearts weighs the motives, and often deeds highly applauded by men are recorded by Him as springing from selfishness and base hypocrisy. Every act of our lives, whether excellent and praiseworthy, or deserving of censure, is judged by the Searcher of hearts according to the motives which prompted it.” Gospel Workers, 275.



5.a. What principle is basic to genuine Christian service? Acts 20:35.

 Note: “There is a work to be done in our cities—work to be done in every place. God will take men from the plow, from the sheepfold, from the vineyard, and will put them in the place of those who think that they must have the highest wages. Those who grasp for high wages will find in the money they get all the reward they will ever receive. Such ones cannot be expected to feel a burden for the salvation of perishing souls. The Lord cannot use such ones in His work. Until they banish selfishness from their hearts, their efforts are worthless.” The Review and Herald, December 15, 1904.

“The heavenly intelligences can cooperate with him who is seeking, not to exalt self, but to save souls.” The Desire of Ages, 436.

5.b. What should inspire the faithful steward with pure, fresh motivation for service? 2 Corinthians 8:8, 9.

Note: “Jesus left His home in glory, clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to a world marred and polluted by the curse of sin. He might have remained in His heavenly home, and received the adoration of angels; but He came to earth to seek and save the lost, the perishing. ‘For your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich’ (2 Corinthians 8:9). He, the Majesty of heaven, who was one with the Father, denied Himself, made every possible sacrifice, in order that man might not perish, but have everlasting life. Christ lived not to please Himself. If He had pleased Himself, where would we be today?” The Review and Herald, December 23, 1890.



  1. How might we be guilty of behaving unseemly?
  2. What can we learn about charity from Christ and His followers?
  3. How is a vibrant love for Christ to be manifested in us?
  4. Why must we always examine our own priorities and motives?
  5. What should we do to more fervently promote God’s work?

Copyright 2011, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Cucumber Salad

What am I? Fruit or Vegetable?

The cucumber is a creeping vine plant of the Cucurbitaceae gourd family that bears cucuminform fruit. It originated in South Asia, but now grows on most continents. There are three main varieties of cucumber – slicing, pickling and burpless/seedless. The cucumber roots in the ground and grows up supporting frames by wrapping around or it will simply sprawl along the ground. It has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit. While the cucumber is classified as a type of botanical berry, it is perceived as a vegetable. It is low in calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium.

Hydration – Consist mostly of water and contain important electrolytes to help prevent dehydration which is essential to maintain a health intestine
Bone Health – Rich in Vitamin K it helps with blood clotting and supports bone health; it also contains Calcium and Vitamin D
Cancer – Contains cucurbitacin which may stop cancer cells from reproducing and the fiber found in the skin of the cucumber may help prevent colorectal cancer
Cardiovascular Health – The fiber and cucurbitacins found in the cucumber skin may also help prevent atherosclerosis and high blood pressure
Diabetes – May play a role in controlling/preventing diabetes by lowering blood sugar or stop blood glucose from rising too high
Inflammation – May have anti-inflammatory benefits that aid the immune system fight against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, depression and cancer
Skin Care –  Contains nutrients that can help cool and soothe skin, reducing swelling and irritation and alleviate sunburn; placed on the eyes it can help decrease puffiness and a face pack of cucumber juice and yogurt can reduce dry skin and blackheads

Recipe – Cucumber Salad


½ cup chopped onions
2 cups chopped tomatoes
3 ½ cups chopped cucumbers
¼ tsp. celery seed
¾ tsp. dill weed
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. garlic powder
1 cup soy sour cream


Combine all ingredients into bowl and gently mix together. Serve immediately or chill first. Yields 5 cups.

Testimony – The Man in the Hallway

How many times have you wished you could meet your guardian angel? It’s certainly something to look forward to when Jesus comes. Well, I’ve met mine. I suppose that’s a bit of an exaggeration. It wasn’t like we talked or sat and visited, but I did see him. And he saved my life.

I was 15 years old, a latch-key kid. My parents would leave early in the morning to go to work and I would get up later, get myself ready and head off to school. School was a short three-block walk from our house and I made that walk every day, rain or shine, clear or snowy, but not uphill either way.

There are a lot of details to this story, but I’ll do my best to keep it short.

We had lived in our neighborhood since I was six. I’d been a latch-key kid since I was nine. I had friends in the neighborhood, my next-door neighbor, a couple of older boys down the street, my best friend a block over and the son of our school principal.

I don’t recall what day of the week it was, but I do remember it was December and cold. My parents had already left for work and I was preparing my breakfast when I heard a noise in the utility room off the kitchen. Seemed odd to me, so I went to investigate. When I opened the door, I found the door from the utility room into the garage was open and just glimpsed something go back out into the garage. We had a stray cat in the neighborhood that would often spend the night in our garage and I figured it had gotten stuck in the garage when Mom and Dad left for work. Somehow the door into the utility room had gotten blown open and it had come in to investigate.

But when I went to the door to the garage to close it, I saw that it wasn’t the cat at all. The garage door was up about two feet and standing next to it was a man. I can still him in my mind’s eye standing there all dressed in black, wearing gloves and a ski mask, the kind through which you can only see the eyes and mouth.

We stared at each other for a heartbeat and then the thought came to me that he would try to come back in and I needed to close the door. At the same second, he seemed to realize that if he was going to get in, he would have to hurry because I was going to close the door. I swung the door as hard as I could and he ran as quickly as he could toward me. The door slammed tightly shut right in his face. I leaned all my weight against it and so did he. This door had glass, so this man and I were straining against both sides of the door, staring directly at each other. He had blue eyes. I saw his hand in its glove splayed on the glasses and that’s when I realized that if he got in once, he would get in again, and I would not be strong enough to stop him.

I ran back into the kitchen and out into the living room. To my left was the hallway and the telephone. I took one look at the phone and stepped toward the hallway, then looked up and there in the hallway was a man. I can’t remember his face. I can remember that he was dressed in a business suit and I remember that I wasn’t afraid. He shook his head no and pointed to the front door.

I turned on my heel and ran for the front door. As I started to go out, I remembered something I’d seen on a television program just a couple nights before where a young girl had run out the front door and right into the arms of the person who wanted to do her harm. Probably the only time all the television I watched over my life did me any real good. I opened the front door and paused, watching the kitchen door and then there he was. He had gotten back in the house and I ran out the front door and to the neighbor’s house.

They called my Mom and Dad. The police came. They searched the house and here is a strange thing, they were able to take fingerprints. Remember, I told you he was wearing gloves, but he left a perfect set of fingerprints. In fact, that’s how he was found.

While I was waiting for my parents to get home, I was in the house with a police officer. He asked me if he could use the phone. I said yes. I saw him pick up the receiver (this was an old circular dial phone), press the buttons a couple times to get a dial tone. He put the receiver down and went outside. I learned later, that the man had cut the phone line. Had I tried to use the phone, I would have been trapped in the hallway, but for the man in the business suit.

It turned out that the man who broke into our house was one of the two boys I knew from down the street. The police knew that because of the fingerprints and he had a record. The next day, my dad stayed home with me and we watched this boy, along with another boy walk across our front yard. The police had staked out the house and they arrested him at the end of the block.

They found rope in his pocket, along with the credit card he used to break into the house. He admitted that it had been his intent to break into the house and ultimately kill me, except, for the man in the hallway. My guardian angel.

I am looking forward to seeing him again.

Blessed Are the Pure

Probably anyone who has studied microbiology and hygiene understands the value of cleanliness to prevent sickness, but physical cleanliness is not the only kind of cleanliness. Spiritual cleanliness is even more important. Without it, no one can receive the gift of eternal life, but the question is, “How can an impure mind become pure?”

Jesus introduced the sixth step of the spiritual ladder that will lead a person into the kingdom of God in Matthew 5:8: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Purity of heart and life is developed as a result of living the spiritual experience of the first five beatitudes. The person who first of all recognizes his spiritual poverty and mourns over his sinful condition until God makes him humble or meek, and who has thirsted for a righteousness that he cannot generate and becomes merciful will then be purified from pride, malice, deceit, and other heart-defiling sins. There is no other road to purity of heart than the beatitude road, and the steps need to be taken in that order. This beatitude, like the others, is not introducing something new. It actually is a restatement of a truth that is as old as the plan of salvation.

In Psalm 15, David asks the question Who is going to be saved? “Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill” (verse 1)? He answers: “He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart” (verse 2). Upright walking, righteous working and truthful speaking from the heart are the outworking of a pure heart. The person who does these things will be saved.

After David had fallen into sin, he recognized that a divine miracle was needed in his life. Notice what he said in Psalm 51: “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom” (verse 6). Thinking of all the awful things he had done and how he had sinned, David said in verse 5: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” He understood that he had been conceived and born in sin and because of this understanding, he continues in verse 10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” David was afraid that because of his grievous sins, he had committed the unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit and that he was lost. He pleads, “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (verse 11). I know that my heart is wicked, lustful and impure, but Lord, I want a different heart. I want You to recreate my heart. The Lord heard his prayer and gave him a new heart and a new spirit.

Receiving a new heart and spirit is so important that Jesus said that unless it happens, there is no chance for any of us being saved. Speaking to Nicodemus Jesus said, “ ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ ” (John 3:3). Notice, a birth represents a new creation, like a new being is coming into the world when a baby is born. And here Jesus is saying that if you haven’t been born again, you won’t be in the kingdom of God. Nicodemus responded in verse 4, “ ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ ”

“Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God’ ” (verse 5). Unless you have been born, not just of water, but of the Holy Spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of God. You see, our hearts are impure, wicked, and unholy. The only way we can have a pure heart is by God’s creative power; He makes us a new creature. The apostle Paul talked about this in 2 Corinthians 5:17 when he said, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

If you and I are ever to have a pure heart, we must be a new creation. The Lord must create within us a clean heart, a new mind, and a new spirit. That is what being born again is all about. It is through the Holy Spirit that the heart is made pure. Many people are confused today about the work of the Holy Spirit. They think that the work of the Holy Spirit is the ability to do some kind of magic or miracles, or speaking in tongues, or doing some scientific wonder that unconverted people can’t explain. But the work of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus pointed out to Nicodemus, is to give you a new heart and a new spirit and to cause you to be born again. Unless that happens, Jesus said there’s no chance for you to be in the kingdom of heaven.

Only he who becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus can have a new heart, a new spirit, new thoughts, new feelings, new motives, all created by the Holy Spirit in that person’s mind. The wise man Solomon said in Proverbs 22:11, “He who loves purity of heart and has grace on his lips, the king will be his friend.” The heart is the emotional center of a person, the fountain of life. The character and conduct are determined by the spiritual condition of a person’s heart.

The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” What a person is in his heart determines the kind of a character he will have. It is for this reason that the wise man counsels us to guard our hearts. Notice what it says in Proverbs 4:23: “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Another version of the Scriptures translates it this way: “Keep your heart above all that thou guardest.” The heart is a fortress, a citadel that is to be guarded against the attacks of the enemy. The chambers of the heart should be most diligently and heavily guarded. Why? Because out of the fountain of the heart flows the stream of character and conduct. Our words and our actions are simply the result of what is in our hearts. Jesus said in Matthew 12:34, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” All the evil in our world has its source in an evil heart. The evil nature of the human heart is a part of our inheritance from Adam and Eve, our first parents.

When the Lord spoke to Noah after the flood He said, “And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done’ ” (Genesis 8:21). Notice, the Lord said the imagination of a man is evil from his youth. How evil is our imagination? How evil is our heart? Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” During His life on earth, Jesus made it very clear that the heart is the source of all evil. In Mark 7:21–23, Jesus said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness [licentiousness], an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile the man.”

That was the cause of the terrible wickedness that came on the world in Noah’s time, before the flood, and brought the judgment of a world-wide deluge. The Bible says in Genesis 6:5, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” And continuing in verse 11, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.”

Jesus stated very clearly that this same condition of wickedness would occur in the world before His second coming (Matthew 24). Prophecy explains, to a large extent, the cause of the present tidal wave of crime and iniquity, hatred and lawlessness that is sweeping over all the earth today. The source of it all is the corrupt and unregenerate hearts of mankind.

The patriarch Job asked, “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one” (Job 14:4)! No human being can bring a clean heart out of an unclean heart. No one is able to cleanse the heart. The purpose of the gospel is to tell the world that there is one power in the universe that can give you a new heart and spirit and make you a new creation. Jesus is the great purifier and cleanser from sin and that is the genius of the Christian religion. The core of the Christian religion is that when you accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord of your life, the Holy Spirit will recreate your heart and your mind.

All forms of false religion tend toward corruption. Purity of heart does not find any prominent place in the teachings of Socrates or Aristotle, or other heathen philosophers. The wisest and the greatest of them were impure and they knew it. They were corrupt in their teachings and in their practice. But the gospel will produce purity and holiness, not just on the outside, but in the heart. It brings the heart and the life into conformity with the divine law which is the standard of righteousness.

During His life on this earth, Jesus Christ was the very incarnation of purity. He said in John 8:46, “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” They had no response. The Bible says that if we accept Him and hope to meet Him, we will be made pure as He is pure (1 John 3:3).

Only the pure in heart will see God. This purifying process cleanses our motives. When right principles are enthroned in the heart, then we will do what is right because it is right. The pure in heart aren’t controlled by sinful nature, only doing right because of policy or expediency, or to escape punishment, or for hope of reward.

Here is a question that many Christians should ask themselves, and many likely would be shocked by what they discover. Why do I obey God’s law? Is my obedience for the purpose of avoiding punishment, or because of an inborn love of what is good and right? This beatitude says that the pure in heart will see God. If my heart is full of sin, then my vision is beclouded and I cannot see or understand God. The disease of sin produces spiritual blindness and the Bible talks about that in many places (see 2 Peter 1; Revelation 3:17). Sadly, this spiritual blindness leaves you ignorant of your true spiritual condition.

Spiritual blindness is the reason that the majority of the Jews failed to recognize Jesus. Their spiritual blindness prevented them from seeing anything in Him that would lead them to desire Him and this is true with the mass of mankind today. It explains the reason why there are so many modern thinkers or philosophers who see Jesus only as a man. Oh, they may believe He was a very good man, but still only a man. To them, the beauty of His matchless character is no evidence that He is the Son of God. To them, Jesus is just the same as they are. You see, sin dims our vision of God. But when we have a vision of God, sin is revealed and we are given a vision of ourselves and our condition. The Bible says that without holiness, no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). When Job saw the Lord, He said, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6). A vision of the Lord’s glory had the very same effect upon other Bible writers: Isaiah (Isaiah 6), Daniel (Daniel 10), Peter (Luke 6), Paul (Acts 26) and the apostle John (Revelation 1).

We can never know the blackness of our sin until we see the purity of the character of Christ. And once we really see that, the contrast awakens us to the realization that we need a complete change in character. We will say with Isaiah, “Lord, I’m all undone.” In response, the Lord says, “I will purge your iniquity and give you a new heart and a new mind.”

Jacob was a crooked dealer, a cunning trickster, a person that you would not want to do any kind of business with. His very name meant deceiver or supplanter, and he lived up to that name. But his character was completely changed one night when he wrestled with the Lord Himself (Genesis 32). He was a spiritually bankrupt man, but he was changed into a prince of God. What was the secret of the wonderful transformation that he experienced?

The apostle Paul had that same experience. It was the vision of the crucified One on the road to Damascus that transformed him into a different person and changed the whole course of his life. From that day forward, he sought only to behold Jesus and to be changed into His image.

Paul tells us that by beholding we will become changed (2 Corinthians 3:18). Jacob said, “I have seen God face to face …” (Genesis 32:30). This is the secret of the wonderful transformation that must be accomplished in our lives.

Have you beheld the purity of Christ? The spiritual vision of God must eventually involve seeing Him face to face. We must see Him now with the eye of faith and then we will see Him in the kingdom of glory, because He has promised to His people, “Your eyes will see the King in His beauty” (Isaiah 33:17).

But when Jesus comes, only those who are pure in heart and have seen the beauty of His character in the present life will see Him face to face. They have seen God with the eye of faith in this life and they will be blessed with a vision of His immaculate loveliness when He returns and they will have fellowship with Him in the future immortal life. Everyone else will be calling for the rocks and mountains to fall on them (Revelation 6:16) so that they will not have to see Him. They will be destroyed by the brightness and glory of His person.

Friend, are you reading your Bible and studying to understand not just the words, but to see the character of Jesus Christ? How else will you know His character? You must become like Him if you are going to be with Him. The apostle Paul says, “Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12, last part). He says, “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face” (verse 12, first part, KJV). Those who are pure in heart, in whom the Holy Spirit has created a new heart and a new spirit, only these will see Him face to face.

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Health – What’s in Your Mouth?

Think about this: From the 1930s to 1950s doctors heavily promoted cigarettes as a healthy activity, a treatment to relax and even a useful mechanism with which to open our lungs for improved breathing.

Today we know this “good health” advice is ridiculous. In years to come, we will likely look back and say the same thing about doctors promoting animal-based foods. Unfortunately, most doctors do not have expertise in the healing properties of food.

This is not always our doctors’ fault. There is very little focus on preventive care throughout medical school and training. As cardiologist Joel Kahn, MD, relates, “During the 1980s when I completed medical school and cardiology fellowship, there was no discussion about nutrition and health in the halls of academic medical centers.”

Though the medical world has mostly focused on diagnosing disease and treating with technology and drugs, some doctors have devoted careers to understanding the relationship between health and food. Their conclusions: our “evolution” to an omnivore diet coincides with our rise in disease.

“The greatest medical discovery of the last 20 years is the understanding that our Western diseases are largely lifestyle-related,” Denis Burkitt, MD, said in 1992. But what’s exciting? “They must be preventable and potentially reversible.” And there’s good evidence he is right.

Famed doctor and author Dean Ornish, MD, convincingly proved that a plant-based whole food diet coupled with exercise and stress management could reverse the atherosclerotic plaques and indolent prostate cancer.

And renowned doctor Neal Bernard, MD, has demonstrated that a diet devoid of animal products is very effective in reversing diabetes. Of his diabetic patients, 71 percent were off their oral medications within four weeks and with normal sugar levels.

Ornish and Bernard are in good company. As the following doctors attest, the answers to our leading health woes are not at the bottom of a pill bottle, but at the end of our fork.

Reversing Heart Disease with Plant-based Foods

“We were born with clean, flexible arteries, and they should stay that way throughout our lives. The arteries of most Americans, however, are clogged with cholesterol, fats and calcium. The cause of coronary artery heart disease is no longer a mystery. We know that cultures whether by heritage or tradition that consume plant-based nutrition have virtually no cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis only became more apparent in Japan and China with the import of the rich Western diet laced with meat, eggs and dairy products.

“Atherosclerosis-related diseases are not a ‘natural’ way to go, and individuals with established coronary artery disease who completely transition to plant-based foods can halt and reverse their diseases.”—Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD.

Where Disease and Eating Habits Intersect

“The statistics are convincing. Cardiovascular disease and cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, and lungs are now claiming every third and fourth American life, respectively. In the early 1900s fewer than ten percent of deaths in the United States were attributed to cardiovascular disease. Now it is the number one killer. And consider this: In spite of newer and refined forms of insulin and bioengineered medications, diabetes has gone up 700 percent since World War II.

“What can help explain these changes? In the 1900s, Americans got 70 percent of their protein from plant foods. Today, they get 70 percent of their protein from animal products that are high in saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fat and devoid of fiber.”—Dr. Hans Diehl.

Diet Has the Power to Address the Root Cause of Illness

“Because I suffered from hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and pre-diabetes (I have a long family history of Type-2 diabetes and coronary heart disease), I decided to try this lifestyle approach and became a vegetarian. Although I was told being vegan would be most effective, I decided to try being vegetarian first and my experiment worked. Within a few months my blood pressure and glucose levels were well within the normal range. I no longer required my diuretic for hypertension and my dose of Lipitor had been cut by more than half. Excited by my success, I decided to take the full plunge and see what would happen to my numbers if I became a complete vegan. On a vegan diet I was able to get off all medication, including Lipitor!”—Dexter Shurney, MD, MBA, MPH

Physician, Heal Thyself, Eliminate Animal Products from Your Diet

“I did not know that my diet high in animal products deprived my body of antioxidants, vitamins, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, enzymes, minerals, essential fatty acids, fiber and many other important ingredients that are only found in plants. My animal-based diet was inflammatory and acid forming—deteriorating my body, causing rapid aging and an array of diseases. I started to gain weight and feel tired and fatigued. My mood started to change. My brain was foggy and my body felt heavier and heavier. More importantly, I didn’t even know it was not normal to feel that way. After getting bigger and sicker every day for two to three years, I finally decided this was not how I wanted to treat my body and my mind.

“As I changed my diet, my weight started to normalize, my energy increased, my fatigue and depressed mood improved, and my heartburn and stomach problems disappeared. I felt much lighter and better physically and emotionally after I changed to a plant-based diet. Thousands of scientific studies prove that the best and the most health-promoting diet is plant-based and devoid of animal products.

“The majority of the diseases afflicting human societies today can be cured by a shift to a plant-based diet. As a gastroenterologist whose first line of theory for her patients is a plant-based diet, I experience and observe this transformation every single day. Illnesses can potentially completely heal or improve significantly with a change of diet. The power of our own healing is in our hands.”—Zarin Azar, MD, Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist

Plant-based Diets Deter Atherosclerosis

“Many patients with atherosclerosis are surprised at the bulk of their plaque, which can be seen and felt without magnification. When enough arteries are blocked, ulcers and gangrene occur in the toes and feet and are the leading cause of leg amputation. Complications of arterial disease are the most common reasons for the estimated 65,000 leg amputations performed in the U.S. each year. Studies have evidenced that a plant-based diet is associated with lower rates of atherosclerotic disease.

“Plant-based diets demonstrate lower serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels, decreased incidence of cardiovascular events, and even reversal of arterial atherosclerosis. In general, vegetarians have lower incidence of atherosclerosis, cardiac events and all-cause mortality.

“A cross-cultural large trial, the Cornell China Study, showed how rural Chinese had a fraction of the death rate from heart disease compared to Americans. American men had almost 17 times the death rate from atherosclerotic heart disease and American women had 5.5 times higher mortality from the same cause. The average Chinese dietary fat intake was less than half as a proportion of diet, fiber intake was three times as high and animal protein intake was comparatively very low at less than 10 per cent of that in the U.S. diet, and vegetable intake was much higher. The rates of atherosclerotic disease were positively associated with meat intake and sodium intake, but decreased in relation to consumption of green vegetables and plasma levels of monounsaturated fatty acids.

“Although the project did not set out to study vegans or plant-based diets, the conclusion was that a plant-based diet is the most preferable way to avoid atherosclerosis.”—Kristofer M. Charlton-Ouw, MD, FACS, Vascular Surgeon

Convinced Yet? What’s on Your Plate

“Doctors are trained that it is a waste of time to talk about nutrition, but I can assure you that it is not a waste of time. The only time I have ever been able to decrease insulin dosages in diabetics or stop blood pressure pills in patients with high blood pressure, it has been because the patient has modified his or her diet to be plant-based.”—Mary Went, MD

Thrive, Health and Wellness, Shushana Castle, vol. 26, 14–16.

“Meat consumption has conclusively been linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a host of other chronic and deadly diseases. God’s people should dispense with flesh foods. Those who are seeking to become pure and holy cannot continue to use as food anything that has so harmful an effect on soul and body.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 386.

Question – How Do I Know That I’m a Christian?


How Do I Know That I’m a Christian?


“What is it to be a Christian? It is to be Christlike; it is to do the works of Christ.” Lift Him Up, 341.

“The question you need to put to yourselves is, ‘Am I a Christian?’ To be a Christian is to be far more than many understand. It means more than simply having your name upon the church records. It means to be joined to Christ …

“As sons and daughters of God, Christians should strive to reach the high ideal set before them in the gospel. They should be content with nothing less than perfection.” The Faith I Live By, 130.

“Everyone who claims to be a Christian is to bear the responsibility of keeping himself in harmony with the guidance of the word of God. God holds each soul accountable for following, for himself, the pattern given in the life of Christ and for having a character that is cleansed and sanctified.” Evangelism, 343.

“When you took the name of Christian you promised in this life to prepare for the higher life in the kingdom of God. To be a Christian means to be Christlike. Not a satanic feature is to remain on mind or body, which are to reveal comeliness, purity, integrity, and dignity. Take the Christlife as your pattern.” In Heavenly Places, 286.

“To be a Christian is not merely to take the name of Christ, but to have the mind of Christ, to submit to the will of God in all things.” That I May Know Him, 174.

“We bear the name of Christian. Let us be true to this name … In the life of the true Christian there is nothing of self—self is dead.” Our Father Cares, 236.

“Not only did Christ die as our sacrifice, but He lived as our example. In His human nature He stands, complete, perfect, spotless. To be a Christian is to be Christlike. Our entire being—soul, body, and spirit—must be purified, ennobled, sanctified, until we shall reflect His image and imitate His example.” That I May Know Him, 311.

“Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, faith and charity are the elements of the Christian character … They are the Christian’s crown and shield …

“As you receive the Spirit of Christ … you will grow and bring forth fruit. The graces of the Spirit will ripen in your character.

“This fruit can never perish, but will produce after its kind a harvest unto eternal life.” Sons and Daughters of God, 32.

Nature – Creatures of the Air

“Oh that I had wings like a dove! then I would fly away, and be at rest.” Psalm 55:6

In the domain of hawk, gull, and sparrow, physiology and aerial prowess are synonymous. A bird is simply a masterpiece of engineering – the perfect flying machine – supremely crafted by God and endowed with the attributes for a life in the skies. Its breast muscles, which operate its wings, are enormous, in some birds, comprising 33% of their total body weight. At the same time a bird’s skeletal system is incredibly light. The bones of a pelican, with a wingspan of nearly six feet, weigh only about five ounces, yet they are strong and flexible enough to withstand the constant stress of maneuverable flight.

Add to this package highly efficient digestive and respiratory systems, a large and powerful heart, and feathers that streamline, insulate, and provide the necessary lift for wings and tail, and it is easy to understand how Solomon could describe a bird in the air as a sight “too wonderful for me” (Proverbs 30:18, 19).

The methods and techniques of flight generally fall into a few basic categories. Flapping or power flight involves a strong downward stroke that results in rapid lift and forward thrust. Generally, the larger the bird the slower it flaps its wings. In contrast, the hummingbird will beat its wings up to 80 times a second while performing what has been called the most versatile display of aerial skill in all of God’s creation. The tiny bird can hover or fly in all directions – forward, backward, or to the side, depending upon its needs. Its rigid wings move in a unique figure 8 motion, powered by exceptionally strong muscles and a flexible swivel joint at its shoulder. The tail works as a rudder controlling the direction of movement. Not surprisingly, the hummingbird expends tremendous amounts of energy and to survive, must consume twice its body weight in food every day.

Gliding and soaring are far less demanding forms of flight, yet once again, the elements of aeronautical design are clearly seen. Fulmars slope soar, riding on air deflected upward from cliffs as its wings work in harmony with the surrounding wind currents, while a heron spreads its enormous wings in a slow approach to its nest. Large primary feathers at the end of each wing offer precise control of both speed and direction. A similar design enables a condor to ride for hours on spirals of warm air. Again, a huge wing surface allows for effortless gliding as the bird of prey searches the valley floor for food.

But for all the soaring wonder and power that so abundantly fills the skies, perhaps the supreme testimony to the Creator’s gifts of flight and life itself is written on the tissue-thin wings of the Monarch butterfly. Its wings are driven by powerful muscles designed into the insect’s upper body, the thorax, essential for migration. Advancing steadily, they ride on rising columns of warm air that can elevate them thousands of feet. These expert gliders can travel more than 50 miles a day flying upwards of 3,000 miles to reach their winter home.

God reveals Himself to man through the things He has made. Each day in the wonders of land, sky, and sea, He presents us with a vivid picture of His existence and character. It is a continuing revelation, as exciting and diverse as the creatures He has brought into being. In the majestic grace of a bird or butterfly in flight, an eternal truth shines clear – the God of all creation is real and alive, His power and wisdom are without limit and He cares and provides abundantly for the life that He has made.

Wonders of God’s Creation, Animal Kingdom: Great Are Thy Works, ©2004.