March 25, 2012 – March 31, 2012
“Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” Ephesians 5:14.
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 8, 244–254; vol. 9, 52–60.
“God will do a great work in every part of the field, if with willing hearts His servants put self out of sight, and labor for His glory.” The Review and Herald, December 1, 1904.
1 HEAVENLY LEADING
- How is God’s method of labor so different from humans’? I Corinthians 1:26–31.
Note: “Let each work in the line which God may indicate to him by His Holy Spirit. The soul is accountable to God alone. … He will use whom He will use. He will pass by men who have not followed His counsel, men who feel capable and sufficient to work in their own wisdom; and He will use others who are thought by these supposedly wise ones to be wholly incompetent.” The Review and Herald, July 23, 1895.
- What careful balance must guide us? Psalm 19:7–11; Ephesians 5:1, 2.
Note: “One act of disobedience against the law of God on the part of the responsible human agent, could not be outweighed by a recompense of all the honors and kingdoms of this world. Yet Satan will present his most alluring temptations, and use his most deceptive arguments in order to persuade men to make void the commandments of God.” The Review and Herald, October 9, 1894.
2 HOW CAN WE REDEEM THE TIME?
- What key message to the Ephesians is urgently needed now? Ephesians 5:14–17.
Note: “Paul exhorts his Ephesian brethren to redeem the time because the days are evil. This exhortation is very applicable to you. In one sense it is impossible to redeem the time; for once gone, it is gone forever. But you are called upon to reform, to be zealous of good works in the same degree that you have been negligent of duty. Turn square about. Double your diligence to make your calling and election sure. Keep God’s commandments, and live, and His law as the apple of your eye. Tax every moment to the utmost in laboring for your own eternal interest and for the salvation of souls around you. By so doing you may save both yourself and those who are more or less controlled by your example. These are motives which should be duly considered.
“Wake up! wake up! You have work to do, and your sun is fast hastening to its setting. Your powers are becoming enfeebled; but all there is of you, every particle of your ability, belongs to God, and should be used earnestly and disinterestedly in His service. Work while the sun still lingers in the heavens; for the ‘night cometh, when no man can work’ [John 9:4].
“Come, my brother, come just as you are, sinful and polluted. Lay your burden of guilt on Jesus, and by faith claim His merits. Come now, while mercy lingers; come with confession, come with contrition of soul, and God will abundantly pardon. Do not dare to slight another opportunity. Listen to the voice of mercy that now pleads with you to arise from the dead that Christ may give you light. Every moment now seems to connect itself directly with the destinies of the unseen world. Then let not your pride and unbelief lead you to still further reject offered mercy. If you do you will be left to lament at the last: ‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved’ [Jeremiah 8:20].
“Wait in deep humiliation before God. From this hour resolve to be the Lord’s, doing your whole duty, trusting implicitly in the great atonement. Do this and you will have nothing to fear. The remainder of your life journey will be tranquil and happy, and you will secure to yourself that life which shall continue as long as God shall live.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 353, 354.
“Though you may be weak, erring, and sinful, the Lord holds out to you the offer of partnership with Him self. He invites you to come under divine instruction. Uniting with Christ, you may work the works of God.” Ibid., vol. 6, 438.
3 TIME TO WAKE UP
- How does Paul’s solemn duty toward the Gentiles (the world) precisely reflect what is required of each one of us at this very hour? Ephesians 3:6–13.
Note: “This is the message that I am commissioned to bear to you: You are to take the words addressed by Paul to the church at Ephesus as if addressed to you personally. By alienation, disunion, and diversity of opinion, Satan has hindered the work outlined in the words of the apostle. Had believers put self out of sight, had they refused to carry out the plans devised by Satan to hinder the work of God, how much farther advanced we might now be! For years messages have been sent pointing out the work to be done. But this work has not been accomplished. Believers have stood directly across the path of its accomplishment, blocking the way by envy, evil surmisings, and faultfinding. They have sought the highest place. Commercial business has absorbed the attention and consumed the means that ought to have been given to the proclamation of the message of salvation. Thank God, something has been done, but a thousand times more might have been done than has been done. The enemy has brought in a variety of things to occupy the minds of believers. Time is fast passing, the work is still undone, and the world is growing worse and worse. And yet in mercy the Spirit of God is still striving with souls. Brethren and sisters, I call upon you to put on the whole armor of God. Those who have never heard the reasons of our faith are now to be reached.” The Review and Herald, May 10, 1906.
“When faith lays hold upon Christ, the truth will bring delight to the soul, and the services of religion will not be dull and uninteresting. Your social meetings, now tame and spiritless, will be vitalized by the Holy Spirit; daily you will have a rich experience as you practice the Christianity you profess. Sinners will be converted. They will be touched by the word of truth and will say, as did some who listened to Christ’s teaching: ‘We have seen and heard wonderful things today.’
“In view of what might be done if the church would meet its God-given responsibilities, will its members sleep on, or will they arouse to a sense of the honor conferred upon them through the merciful providence of God? Will they gather up their hereditary trusts, avail themselves of the present light, and feel the necessity of rising to meet the urgent emergency that now presents itself? Oh, that all may arouse and manifest to the world that theirs is a living faith, that a vital issue is before the world, that Jesus will soon come. Let men see that we believe that we are on the borders of the eternal world.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 437.
- What is the secret to enlightening the world? Psalm 25:9; II Corinthians 3:5; 5:7; Ephesians 6:10, 11, 14–18.
Note: “It is not the most brilliant or the most talented whose work produces the greatest and most lasting results. Who are the most efficient laborers? Those who will respond to the invitation: ‘Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart’ [Matthew 11:29]. …
“[God] will take men who do not appear to be so richly endowed, who have not large self-confidence, and He will make the weak strong because they trust in God to do for them those things which they cannot do for themselves. God will accept the wholehearted service, and will Himself make up the deficiencies.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 443, 444.
- Before whom will many of us be called to witness for the truth? Psalm 119:46; Matthew 10:18.
Note: “The time is not far off when the people of God will be called upon to give their testimony before the rulers of the earth. Not one in twenty has a realization of what rapid strides we are making toward the great crisis in our history. … There is no time for vanity, for trifling, for engaging the mind in unimportant matters.
“Kings, governors, and great men will hear of you through the reports of those who are at enmity with you, and your faith and character will be misrepresented before them. But those who are falsely accused will have an opportunity to appear in the presence of their accusers to answer for themselves. They will have the privilege of bringing the light before those who are called the great men of the earth. …
“You now have an opportunity to attain to the greatest intellectual power through the study of the Word of God. But if you are indolent, and fail to dig deep in the mines of truth, you will not be ready for the crisis that is soon to come upon us. …
“Let no one imagine that he has no need to study, because he is not to preach in the sacred desk. You know not what God may require of you.” Our High Calling, 355.
5 SOON … AN AMAZING SCENE
- What preparation do we need before carrying out the great commission Christ has given us? II Corinthians 13:5, 6; I Peter 3:10, 11.
Note: “Will you not be just as watchful and critical over your own spirits and temperaments and words as you are over those of others, lest God should be dishonored, and His truth misrepresented? Your discernment would be greatly improved if you would do this. The truth, the living word, would be as a fire shut up in your bones, which would shine forth in clear, unmistakable distinctness, representing Christ to the world.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 296.
- Describe the glorious experience which is the Christian’s calling in the closing work of the gospel. Jeremiah 20:9; I Corinthians 9:16; II Corinthians 5:14, first part.
Note: “God will move upon men of humble position in society, men who have not become insensible to the bright rays of light through so long contemplating the light of truth, and refusing to make any improvement or advancement therein. Many such will be seen hurrying hither and thither, constrained by the Spirit of God to bring the light to others. The truth, the word of God, is as a fire in their bones, filling them with a burning desire to enlighten those who sit in darkness. Many, even among the uneducated, now proclaim the words of the Lord. Children are impelled by the Spirit to go forth and declare the message from Heaven. The Spirit is poured out upon all who will yield to its promptings.” The Review and Herald, July 23, 1895.
“We want to push the triumphs of the cross. Our watchword is to be, ‘Onward, ever onward!’ Our burden for the ‘regions beyond’ can never be laid down until the whole earth shall be lightened with the glory of the Lord.” Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 375.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What balance will be reflected in presenting God’s truth?
2 How shall we redeem the lost time taken from God?
3 How have we been distracted from the great commission?
4 Why should all believers constantly study the essential points of present truth?
5 Describe the amazing scene prophesied under the Holy Spirit’s power.
© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.