January 20 – 26, 2002
MEMORY VERSE: “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:33.
STUDY HELP: Steps to Christ, 43–48.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “God does not require us to give up anything that it is for our best interest to retain.” Steps to Christ, 46.
INTRODUCTION: “We are now living in the closing scenes of this world’s history. Let men tremble with the sense of the responsibility of knowing the truth. The ends of the world are come. Proper consideration of these things will lead all to make an entire consecration of all that they have and are to their God.…” Evangelism, 16.
Christ Gave All
1 What did Jesus say He had come to give? Matthew 20:28.
NOTE: “What a theme for meditation is the sacrifice that Jesus made for lost sinners! ‘He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.’ How shall we estimate the blessings thus brought within our reach? Could Jesus have suffered more? Could He have purchased for us richer blessings? Should it not melt the hardest heart when we remember that for our sakes He left the happiness and glory of heaven and suffered poverty and shame, cruel affliction and a terrible death? Had He not by His death and resurrection opened for us the door of hope, we should have known nothing but the horrors of darkness and the miseries of despair.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 316.
“Wonderful—almost too wonderful for man to comprehend—is the Saviour’s sacrifice in our behalf, shadowed forth in all the sacrifices of the past, in all the services of the typical sanctuary.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 309.
2 What does the Bible say Jesus’ sacrifice is to us? 1 Peter 2:21.
NOTE: “Do you feel that it is too great a sacrifice to yield all to Christ? Ask yourself the question, ‘What has Christ given for me?’ The Son of God gave all—life and love and suffering—for our redemption. And can it be that we, the unworthy objects of so great love, will withhold our hearts from Him?” Steps to Christ, 45.
“Christ came to do His Father’s will. Are we following in His steps? All who have named the name of Christ should be constantly seeking for a more intimate acquaintance with Him, that they may walk even as He walked, and do the works of Christ. We should appropriate the lessons of His life to our lives. Christ ‘gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’” Testimonies, vol. 3, 538.
“Strive to Enter In”
3 How many ways does the Bible say a man can go in this life? Matthew 7:13-14.
NOTE: “These roads are distinct, separate, in opposite directions. One leads to eternal life, the other to eternal death. I saw the distinction between these roads, also the distinction between the companies traveling them. The roads are opposite; one is broad and smooth, the other narrow and rugged. So the parties that travel them are opposite in character, in life, in dress, and in conversation.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 127.
“In the broad road all are occupied with their persons, their dress, and the pleasures in the way. They indulge freely in hilarity and glee, and think not of their journey’s end, of the certain destruction at the end of the path. Every day they approach nearer their destruction; yet they madly rush on faster and faster. Oh, how dreadful this looked to me!” Ibid., 128.
4 What must we do to seek entrance to the narrow way? Luke 13:24.
NOTE: “I have stated before them that, from what was shown me, but a small number of those now professing to believe the truth would eventually be saved—not because they could not be saved, but because they would not be saved in God’s own appointed way. The way marked out by our divine Lord is too narrow and the gate too strait to admit them while grasping the world or while cherishing selfishness or sin of any kind. There is no room for these things; and yet there are but few who will consent to part with them, that they may pass the narrow way and enter the strait gate.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 445, 446.
“Many ‘will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’ Luke 13:24. They desire the good, they make some effort to obtain it; but they do not choose it; they have not a settled purpose to secure it at the cost of all things.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 143.
I Die Daily
5 To follow Jesus, what does He say we must do? Luke 9:23.
NOTE: “The yoke and the cross are symbols representing the same thing,—the giving up of the will to God. Wearing the yoke unites finite man in companionship with the dearly beloved Son of God. Lifting the cross cuts away self from the soul, and places man where he learns how to bear Christ’s burdens. We cannot follow Christ without wearing His yoke, without lifting the cross and bearing it after Him. If our will is not in accord with the divine requirements, we are to deny our inclinations, give up our darling desires, and step in Christ’s footsteps.” Ellen G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1090, 1091.
“Self-surrender is the substance of the teachings of Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 523.
6 What did the apostle Paul do daily? 1 Corinthians 15:31.
NOTE: “The Lord requires us to be submissive to His will, subdued by His Spirit, and sanctified to His service. Selfishness must be put away, and we must overcome every defect in our characters as Christ overcame. In order to accomplish this work, we must die daily to self. Said Paul: ‘I die daily.’ He had a new conversion every day, took an advance step toward heaven. To gain daily victories in the divine life is the only course that God approves. The Lord is gracious, of tender pity, and plenteous in mercy. He knows our needs and weaknesses, and He will help our infirmities if we only trust in Him and believe that He will bless us and do great things for us.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 66, 67. See also Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 143, “The only hope…”.
7 What does God command us to do as a part of the process of becoming His sons and daughters? 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18; 7:1.
NOTE: “The first thirty years of Christ’s life were passed in retirement. Ministering angels waited upon the Lord of life as He walked side by side with the peasants and laborers among the hills of Nazareth, unrecognized and unhonored. These noble examples should teach us to avoid evil influences and to shun the society of those who do not live aright. We should not flatter ourselves that we are too strong for any such influences to affect us, but we should in humility guard ourselves from danger.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 109.
“It is soon to be known who is on the Lord’s side, who will not be ashamed of Jesus. Those who have not moral courage to conscientiously take their position in the face of unbelievers, leave the fashions of the world, and imitate the self-denying life of Christ, are ashamed of Him, and do not love His example.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 287.
8 What startling statement does Jesus give to any who are thinking about becoming His disciple? Luke 14:33.
NOTE: “But what do we give up, when we give all? A sin-polluted heart, for Jesus to purify, to cleanse by His own blood, and to save by His matchless love. And yet men think it hard to give up all! I am ashamed to hear it spoken of, ashamed to write it. God does not require us to give up anything that it is for our best interest to retain. In all that He does, He has the well-being of His children in view. Would that all who have not chosen Christ might realize that He has something vastly better to offer them than they are seeking for themselves.” Steps to Christ, 46.
“Whatever shall divert the affections from God must be given up. Mammon is the idol of many. Its golden chain binds them to Satan. Reputation and worldly honor are worshiped by another class. The life of selfish ease and freedom from responsibility is the idol of others. These are Satan’s snares, set for unwary feet. But these slavish bands must be broken; the flesh must be crucified with the affections and lusts. We cannot be half the Lord’s and half the world’s. We are not God’s people unless we are such entirely.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 83.
Profession versus Possession
9 What danger did God say would come to the professed church of God in the last days? 2 Timothy 3:1, 4, 5.
NOTE: “Divine truth exerts little influence upon the world, when it should exert much influence through our practice. The mere profession of religion abounds, but it has little weight. We may claim to be followers of Christ, we may claim to believe every truth in the word of God; but this will do our neighbor no good unless our belief is carried into our daily life. Our profession may be as high as heaven, but it will save neither ourselves nor our fellow men unless we are Christians. A right example will do more to benefit the world than all our profession.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 383.
“This is the word of the living God. The law is God’s great moral looking glass. Man is to compare his words, his spirit, his actions with the Word of God.…True religion means living the Word in your practical life. Your profession is not of any value without the practical doing of the Word.” Ellen G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 935. See also Christ’s Object Lessons, 159, “No outward observances…”.
10 Profession versus possession is markedly illustrated by Jesus in what parable? Matthew 25:7–12.
NOTE: “As Christ sat looking upon the party that waited for the bridegroom, He told His disciples the story of the ten virgins, by their experience illustrating the experience of the church that shall live just before His second coming. The two classes of watchers represent the two classes who profess to be waiting for their Lord.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 406.
“The class represented by the foolish virgins are not hypocrites. They have a regard for the truth, they have advocated the truth, they are attracted to those who believe the truth; but they have not yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit’s working.” Ibid., 411.
“The ten virgins are watching in the evening of this earth’s history. All claim to be Christians. All have a call, a name, a lamp, and all profess to be doing God’s service. All apparently wait for Christ’s appearing. But five are unready. Five will be found surprised, dismayed, outside the banquet hall.” Ibid., 412.
Abiding in Him
11 What illustration does Jesus use to represent a consecrated Christian life? John 15:4, 5.
NOTE: “There is a wide difference between a pretended union and a real connection with Christ by faith. A profession of the truth places men in the church, but this does not prove that they have a vital connection with the living Vine. A rule is given by which the true disciple may be distinguished from those who claim to follow Christ but have not faith in Him. The one class are fruit bearing, the other, fruitless. The one are often subjected to the pruning knife of God that they may bring forth more fruit; the other, as withered branches, are erelong to be severed from the living Vine.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 228, 229. See also Steps to Christ, 69, “Many have an idea…”.
12 What will be the experience of one who chooses to be a consecrated branch connected to the Vine? 2 Corinthians 5:17.
NOTE: “Through the power of Christ, men and women have broken the chains of sinful habit. They have renounced selfishness. The profane have become reverent, the drunken sober, the profligate pure. Souls that have borne the likeness of Satan have become transformed into the image of God. This change is in itself the miracle of miracles. A change wrought by the Word, it is one of the deepest mysteries of the Word. We cannot understand it; we can only believe, as declared by the Scriptures, it is ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’” Acts of the Apostles, 476.
“Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, ‘Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.’ This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ.” Steps to Christ, 70.
By Craig Meeker