Bible Study – Energy and Efficiency

October 24 – 30, 2021

Key Text

“As ye go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’ ” (Matthew 10:7).

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 342–346.


“Because time is short, we should work with diligence and double energy.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 159.



1.a. Even in the fast-paced era in which we live, what does God mercifully provide—and why? Ecclesiastes 3:1.

 Note: “Our time belongs to God. Every moment is His, and we are under the most solemn obligation to improve it to His glory. Of no talent He has given will He require a more strict account than of our time. …

“We have but a few days of probation in which to prepare for eternity. We have no time to waste, no time to devote to selfish pleasure, no time for the indulgence of sin. It is now that we are to form characters for the future, immortal life. It is now that we are to prepare for the searching judgment.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 342.

1.b. What factors should we take into consideration as we plan our use of time? James 4:13–15.

Note: “The shortness of time demands an energy that has not been aroused among those who claim to believe the present truth.” Counsels on Health, 506.

“If all would use their time to the best account, very much means would be saved to the cause of truth. When the heart is in the work, it will be done with earnestness, energy, and dispatch.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 451.



2.a. In seeking to advance God’s work, what must we realize? 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:12.

Note: “We have no time to lose. The powers of darkness are working with intense energy, and with stealthy tread Satan is advancing to take those who are now asleep, as a wolf taking his prey. We have warnings now which we may give, a work now which we may do, but soon it will be more difficult than we imagine.” Evangelism, 218.

“Oh! we must be terribly in earnest to impress upon every soul that there is a heaven to win and a hell to shun. Every energy of the soul must be aroused to force their passage, and seize the kingdom by force. Satan is active, and we must be active too. Satan is untiring and persevering, and we must be the same. There is no time to make excuses and blame others for our backslidings; no time now to flatter the soul [that] if circumstances had only been more favorable, how much better, how much easier [it would be] for us to work the works of God. We must tell even those who profess to believe in Christ, that they must cease to offend God by sinful excuses.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 336.

2.b. What does Inspiration teach about the struggle before us? Ephesians 6:12; Matthew 24:13.

 Note: “In consideration of the shortness of time we as a people should watch and pray, and in no case allow ourselves to be diverted from the solemn work of preparation for the great event before us. Because the time is apparently extended, many have become careless and indifferent in regard to their words and actions. They do not realize their danger and do not see and understand the mercy of our God in lengthening their probation, that they may have time to form characters for the future, immortal life. Every moment is of the highest value. Time is granted them, not to be employed in studying their own ease and becoming dwellers on the earth, but to be used in the work of overcoming every defect in their own characters and in helping others, by example and personal effort, to see the beauty of holiness.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 306, 307.

“With intensified zeal and energy we are to carry forward the work of the Lord till the close of time.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 548.



3.a. What are some points that our Master wants us to understand about the various talents entrusted to us? Luke 19:13.

 Note: “However large, however small the possessions of any individual, let him remember that it is his only in trust. For his strength, skill, time, talents, opportunities, and means, he must render an account to God. This is an individual work; God gives to us, that we may become like Him, generous, noble, beneficent, by giving to others. Those who, forgetful of their divine mission, seek only to save or to spend in the indulgence of pride or selfishness, may secure the gains and pleasures of this world; but in God’s sight, estimated by their spiritual attainments, they are poor, wretched, miserable, blind, naked.” Counsels on Stewardship, 22.

“I cannot find an instance in the life of Christ where He devoted time to play and amusement. He was the great educator for the present and the future life; yet I have not been able to find one instance where He taught the disciples to engage in amusement in order to gain physical exercise. The world’s Redeemer gives to every man his work and bids him, ‘Occupy till I come’ (Luke 19:13). In doing this, the heart warms to the enterprise. All the powers of the being are enlisted in the effort to obey. We have a high and holy calling.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 309.

3.b. What should we learn from Solomon’s experience? Ecclesiastes 2:10, 11.

 Note: “We must turn away from a thousand topics that invite attention. There are matters that consume time and arouse inquiry but end in nothing. The highest interests demand the close attention and energy that are so often given to comparatively insignificant things.” The Ministry of Healing, 456.

“Let the people see that you have a mind for usefulness and duty, and that to the saving of the soul. The amusements that consume time, just to gratify self, do not pay.” Medical Ministry, 82.

“The energy now concentrated on cheap, perishable goods should be enlisted in the work that is to enlighten the world. Let every energy God has given be used in the work which bears with it the blessed satisfaction that it is for time and for eternity.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 6, 267.



4.a. Why is the attitude of the foolish rich man a warning for us? Luke 12:16–21.

 Note: “There is a sad withholding from God on the part of His professed people. The means and efforts that should be given to Christ are devoted to self-pleasing. God is robbed of time, money, and service. Self-love, self-gratification, exclude the love of Jesus from the soul, and this is why there is not in the church greater zeal and more fervent love for Him who first loved us.” The Signs of the Times, December 22, 1890.

“Men act as though they were bereft of their reason. They are buried up in the cares of this life. They have no time to devote to God, no time to serve Him. Work, work, work, is the order of the day. All about them are required to labor upon the high-pressure plan, to take care of large farms. To tear down and build greater is their ambition, that they may have wherewith to bestow their goods. Yet these very men who are weighed down with their riches pass for Christ’s followers. They have the name of believing that Christ is soon to come, that the end of all things is at hand; yet they have no spirit of sacrifice. They are plunging deeper and deeper into the world. They allow themselves but little time to study the word of life and to meditate and pray. Neither do they give others in their family, or those who serve them, this privilege. Yet these men profess to believe that this world is not their home, that they are merely pilgrims and strangers upon the earth, preparing to move to a better country. The example and influence of all such is a curse to the cause of God. Hollow hypocrisy characterizes their professed Christian lives. They love God and the truth just as much as their works show, and no more. A man will act out all the faith he has.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 662, 663.

4.b. What should always be foremost in our mind? 1 Corinthians 3:23; 6:20.

Note: “Whether or not we give mind, soul, and strength to God, it all belongs to Him. God speaks to each human being, saying: ‘I have a claim on you. Give me your zeal, your capabilities, your energy, your means.’ He has a right to ask this; for we are His, redeemed by His boundless love and by the agony of the cross of Calvary from the service of sin.” The Signs of the Times, January 2, 1901.



5.a. What realization should awaken each one to action? 2 Corinthians 6:2; Matthew 10:7.

 Note: “We need greater earnestness in the cause of Christ. The solemn message of truth should be given with an intensity that would impress unbelievers that God is working with our efforts, that the Most High is our living source of strength. …

“Is this indifference to continue from year to year? Is Satan always to triumph, and Christ to be disappointed in the servants whom He has redeemed at an infinite price? We are looking forward to the time when the latter rain will be poured out, confidently hoping for a better day, when the church shall be endued with power from on high, and thus fitted to do more efficient work for God. But the latter rain will never refresh and invigorate indolent souls that are not using the power God has already given them. Spiritual laziness will not bring us nearer to God. There must be energy and zeal as well as devotion and personal piety, woven into all our works.” The Signs of the Times, December 9, 1886.

5.b. What is God’s call for us today? Isaiah 60:1, 2; Matthew 5:14–16.

 Note: “A working church is a living church. Church members, let the light shine forth. Let your voices be heard in humble prayer, in witness against the intemperance, the folly, and the amusements of this world, and in the proclamation of the truth for this time. Your voice, your influence, your time—all these are gifts from God, and are to be used in winning souls to Christ. Visit your neighbors, and show an interest in the salvation of their souls. Arouse every spiritual energy to action. Tell those whom you visit that the end of all things is at hand.” Medical Ministry, 332.



1    Why is time so valuable?

2    What common trap may be preventing us from laboring for Christ?

3    What tendency could be stagnating us in a Laodicean condition?

4    What should give us incentive to labor for Christ?

5    Why will many miss out on receiving the latter rain?

Copyright 2012, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Zeal in Service

October 17 – 23, 2021

Key Text

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Revelation 3:19).

Study Help: Colporteur Ministry, 154, 155.


“All the advantages which God has given are His means to throw ardor into the spirit, zeal into effort, and vigor into the carrying out of His holy will.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 360.



1.a. What should we learn from Christ’s warning against murmuring and half-hearted service? Matthew 25:14, 15, 18, 24–30.

 Note: “How many feel as did the servant with the one talent, that the Lord is an austere man, reaping where He has not sown, and gathering where He has not strewn. This view of the matter is a delusion of the wicked one; for what have we that we did not receive? ‘All things come of Thee, and of thine own have we given Thee’ (1 Chronicles 29:14), should be the language of our grateful hearts.” The Review and Herald, June 12, 1888.

1.b. What admonitions of Christ apply with special force in these last days of earth’s history? Matthew 24:12; Revelation 2:4.

Note: “The members of the church should each have a jealous care that the enemies of our faith have no occasion to triumph over their lifeless, backslidden state. Some have wasted their influence, when with a little self-denial, earnestness, and zeal, they might have been a power on the side of good. This zeal will not come without effort, without earnest struggles.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 287.



2.a. How does the Bible depict the vital importance of zeal for God? Psalms 42:1; 84:2. If this quality is lacking in us, how can we acquire it? Jeremiah 29:13.

 Note: “There are many who give no decided evidence that they are true to their baptismal vows. Their zeal is chilled by formality, worldly ambition, pride, and love of self. Occasionally their feelings are stirred, but they do not fall on the Rock, Christ Jesus. They do not come to God with hearts that are broken in repentance and confession. Those who experience the work of true conversion in their hearts will reveal the fruits of the Spirit in their lives.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 155.

“There is need of fasting, humiliation, and prayer over our decaying zeal and languishing spirituality.” Ibid., vol. 4, 535, 536.

2.b. What promise is for all who yearn to become Christlike? Matthew 5:6. Why is Jacob’s experience so valuable to us? Genesis 32:24–30.

Note: “God is looking for piety, self-denial, self-sacrifice, compassion for man, and zeal for God. He longs to see in man a deep yearning of soul to save his fellow-man from unbelief and ruin.” The Signs of the Times, February 15, 1899.

“With the great truth we have been privileged to receive, we should, and under the Holy Spirit’s power we could, become living channels of light. We could then approach the mercy seat; and seeing the bow of promise, kneel with contrite hearts, and seek the kingdom of heaven with a spiritual violence that would bring its own reward. We would take it by force, as did Jacob. Then our message would be the power of God unto salvation.” Reflecting Christ, 217.

“Go to your closet, and there alone plead with God: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me’ (Psalm 51:10). Be in earnest, be sincere. Fervent prayer availeth much. Jacob-like, wrestle in prayer. Agonize. Jesus in the garden sweat great drops of blood; you must make an effort. Do not leave your closet until you feel strong in God; then watch, and just as long as you watch and pray you can keep these evil besetments under, and the grace of God can and will appear in you.” Messages to Young People, 131, 132.



3.a. What can we learn from the struggles endured and the victories won by faithful witnesses for God? Jeremiah 20:8–11; Acts 4:14–20.

Note: “So strong was the opposition against Jeremiah’s message, so often was he derided and mocked, that he said, ‘I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His name’ (Jeremiah 20:9). Thus it has ever been. Because of the bitterness, hatred, and opposition manifested against the word of God spoken in reproof, many other messengers of God have decided to do as Jeremiah decided. But what did this prophet of the Lord do after his decision? Try as much as he would, he could not hold his peace. As soon as he came into the assemblies of the people, he found that the Spirit of the Lord was stronger than he was.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1156.

“Zeal for God and His cause moved the disciples to bear witness to the gospel with mighty power. Should not a like zeal fire our hearts with a determination to tell the story of redeeming love, of Christ and Him crucified? It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of the Saviour.” The Acts of the Apostles, 600.

3.b. What type of experience must be echoed in us? Psalm 119:137–140; 1 John 3:1–3.

Note: “Elder Loughborough was a zealous worker in the cause. His whole heart had been in the work. He entered … a new field of labor, and he was willing to place himself in the humblest position, endure any and every privation, economize, live cheap and poor, labor early and late for the infant cause.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 246.

“We are standing upon the verge of the eternal world. Because iniquity abounds, the love of many is waxing cold. Instead of this, love for God, love for purity, truth, and holiness, should be increasing in our hearts. The increase of wickedness around us should awaken in us more earnest zeal and stronger determination.” The Review and Herald, November 29, 1881.



4.a. What are some ways in which we may be in danger of going astray through misguided zeal? Romans 10:1–3; 1 Corinthians 10:23.

 Note: “When some who lack the Spirit and power of God enter a new field, they commence denouncing other denominations, thinking that they can convince the people of the truth by presenting the inconsistencies of the popular churches. It may seem necessary on some occasions to speak of these things, but in general it only creates prejudice against our work and closes the ears of many who might otherwise have listened to the truth. If these teachers were connected closely with Christ, they would have divine wisdom to know how to approach the people.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 536.

4.b. What was wrong with the false zeal of Jehu? 2 Kings 10:16–19, 28–31.

Note: “There are many whose religion consists in activities. They want to be engaged in, and have the credit of doing, some great work while the little graces that go to make up a lovely Christian character are entirely overlooked. The busy, bustling service, which gives the impression that one is doing some wonderful work, is not acceptable to God. It is a Jehu spirit, which says, ‘Come, see my zeal for the Lord’ (2 Kings 10:16). It is gratifying to self; it feeds a self-complacent feeling; but all the while the soul may be defiled with the plague-spot of unsubdued, uncontrolled selfishness.” The Signs of the Times, November 20, 1884.

“Christian zeal is controlled by principle and is not spasmodic. It is earnest, deep, and strong, engaging the whole soul and arousing to exercise the moral sensibilities. The salvation of souls and the interests of the kingdom of God are matters of the highest importance. …

“Christian zeal will not exhaust itself in talk, but will feel and act with vigor and efficiency. Yet Christian zeal will not act for the sake of being seen. Humility will characterize every effort and be seen in every work. Christian zeal will lead to earnest prayer and humiliation, and to faithfulness in home duties. In the family circle will be seen the gentleness and love, benevolence and compassion, which are ever the fruits of Christian zeal.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 232, 233.



5.a. How was the psalmist’s prophecy of godly zeal fulfilled in Christ? Psalm 69:9; John 2:13–17; 4:34. What factors should we learn from Christ’s zeal? 1 Corinthians 2:2–4.

Note: “He [Christ] lived the law. His purity and beneficence, His devotion to the truth, and His zeal for God’s glory reveal the perfection of the law.” The Review and Herald, February 26, 1901.

“Christ declared that it was His meat and drink to do His Father’s will. The zeal that comes through such sanctification of the truth makes the believer in the truth powerful, for he is the repository of sacred truth, and as he partakes of the truth he will be a helpful Christian. Zeal should always be uniform, manifesting a holiness of character.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, 131.

5.b. What appeal does Christ make to each one living in the lukewarm era of Laodicea? Revelation 3:19.

Note: “When it comes to the service of God, do men manifest the same zeal for His work as they formerly manifested in the service of the world?” The Review and Herald, June 12, 1888.

“At this time, when the end of all things is at hand, should not the zeal of the church exceed even that of the early church? Zeal for the glory of God moved the disciples to bear witness to the truth with mighty power. Should not this zeal fire our hearts with a longing to tell the story of redeeming love, of Christ and Him crucified? Should not the power of God be even more mightily revealed today than in the time of the apostles?” Testimonies, vol. 7, 33.



1    What warning should we heed from the parable of the talents?

2    Which aspect of Jacob’s experience is also to be ours—and why?

3    What can we learn from Jeremiah, David, and the early apostles?

4    How might we be manifesting symptoms of misguided zeal?

5    What characterizes genuine zeal?

Copyright 2012, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Wholehearted, Voluntary Service

October 10 – 16, 2021

Key Text

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30).

Study Help: Early Writings, 266–269.


“The whole being—heart, soul, mind, and strength—is to be used in God’s service. What is there left that is not devoted to God?” The Review and Herald, November 6, 1900.



1.a. What aspects of discipleship are often overlooked by many who profess to follow Christ? Mark 8:34; John 15:19, 20.

Note: “Few are willing to imitate His [Christ’s] amazing privations, to endure His sufferings and persecutions, and to share His exhausting labor to bring others to the light. But few will follow His example in earnest, frequent prayer to God for strength to endure the trials of this life and perform its daily duties.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 664.

1.b. What contrast exists between true and false service? Job 31:24–28; 29:11–16. Why must we reexamine our motives?

Note: “With many, the rubbish of the world has clogged the channels of the soul. Selfishness has controlled the mind and warped the character. Were the life hid with Christ in God, His service would be no drudgery. If the whole heart were consecrated to God, all would find something to do, and would covet a part in the work. They would sow beside all waters, praying and believing that the fruit would appear.” The Review and Herald, December 19, 1878.



2.a. What unfortunate contrast exists between Christ Himself and many of His professed followers today? Philippians 2:5–8, 21.

 Note: “The plan of salvation was laid in a sacrifice so broad and deep and high that it is immeasurable. Christ did not send His angels to this fallen world, while He remained in heaven; but He Himself went without the camp, bearing the reproach. He became a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; Himself took our infirmities, and bore our weaknesses. And the absence of self-denial in His professed followers, God regards as a denial of the Christian name. Those who profess to be one with Christ, and indulge their selfish desires for rich and expensive clothing, furniture, and food, are Christians only in name. To be a Christian is to be Christlike.

“And yet how true are the words of the apostle: ‘For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s’ (Philippians 2:21). Many Christians do not have works corresponding to the name they bear. They act as if they had never heard of the plan of redemption wrought out at infinite cost. The majority aim to make a name for themselves in the world; they adopt its forms and ceremonies, and live for the indulgence of self. They follow out their own purposes as eagerly as do the world, and thus they cut off their power to help in establishing the kingdom of God.” Counsels on Stewardship, 54.

2.b. What heavenly principle does Christ enjoin upon all of His followers today? Why? Matthew 16:24–26.

Note: “Those who would gain the blessing of sanctification must first learn the meaning of self-sacrifice. The cross of Christ is the central pillar on which hangs the ‘far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory’ (2 Corinthians 4:17). [Matthew 16:24 quoted.] It is the fragrance of our love for our fellowmen that reveals our love for God. It is patience in service that brings rest to the soul.” The Acts of the Apostles, 560.

“We are to practice the same self-sacrifice that led Him [Christ] to give Himself up to the death of the cross, to make it possible for human beings to have eternal life.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 49.



3.a. What was the secret of the apostle Paul’s fervent love for the souls of men and women? 2 Corinthians 4:15–18; 5:14, 15.

Note: “How can those for whom Christ has sacrificed so much, continue to enjoy His gifts selfishly? His love and self-denial are without a parallel; and when this love enters into the experience of His followers, they will identify their interests with those of their Redeemer. Their work will be to build up the kingdom of Christ. They will consecrate themselves and their possessions to Him, and use both as His cause may require.” Counsels on Stewardship, 55.

“The love of Jesus in the soul will be revealed in word and deed. The kingdom of Christ will be paramount. Self will be laid a willing sacrifice on the altar of God. Everyone who is truly united with Christ will feel the same love for souls that caused the Son of God to leave His royal throne, His high command, and for our sake become poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich.” Ibid.

3.b. Of what tendency does the apostle John warn believers—and how may this apply to us? 1 John 2:15–17.

 Note: “As professed Christians, what are we doing? Souls all around us, close beside our homes, and those afar off, are perishing in their sins, unwarned, uncared for. Every day we pass by those who are without hope and without God in the world, and never open our lips to tell them of Christ and His love. A worldly infatuation keeps men and women spellbound. … Soldiers of the cross of Christ should be moving heaven with their prayers for God to work, for His power to cooperate with the human agent to reach men where they are.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 95.

“While many are waiting to have every obstacle removed, souls are dying without hope and without God in the world. Many, very many, for the sake of worldly advantage, for the sake of acquiring knowledge of the sciences, will venture into pestilential regions, and will go into countries where they think they can obtain commercial advantage; but where are the men and women who will change their location, and move their families into regions that are in need of the light of the truth, in order that their example may tell upon those who shall see in them the representatives of Christ?” Counsels on Stewardship, 56.



4.a. As servants of Christ, what should characterize our faith? Why? Ephesians 6:6–8.

 Note: “Is there not danger that the precious, immortal inheritance maybe eclipsed by the valueless treasure of earth? There is danger that your usefulness may be destroyed, your faith weakened, your soul-temple defiled with buyers and sellers.” The Review and Herald, June 19, 1888.

4.b. Why did Christ reiterate the tenth commandment during His ministry? Exodus 20:17; Luke 12:15. How are we to gain victory in this area? 1 Corinthians 15:31.

 Note: “Christ is our example. He gave His life as a sacrifice for us, and He asks us to give our lives as a sacrifice for others. Thus we may cast out the selfishness which Satan is constantly striving to implant in our hearts. This selfishness is death to all piety, and can be overcome only by manifesting love to God and to our fellowmen. Christ will not permit one selfish person to enter the courts of heaven. No covetous person can pass through the pearly gates; for all covetousness is idolatry.” Counsels on Stewardship, 26.

“Constant, self-denying benevolence is God’s remedy for the cankering sins of selfishness and covetousness. God has arranged systematic benevolence to sustain His cause and relieve the necessities of the suffering and needy. He has ordained that giving should become a habit, that it may counteract the dangerous and deceitful sin of covetousness. Continual giving starves covetousness to death. Systematic benevolence is designed in the order of God to tear away treasures from the covetous as fast as they are gained and to consecrate them to the Lord, to whom they belong. …

“Riches make men selfish, and hoarding feeds covetousness; and these evils strengthen by active exercise. God knows our danger and has hedged us about with means to prevent our own ruin. He requires the constant exercise of benevolence, that the force of habit in good works may break the force of habit in an opposite direction.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 548.



5.a. How can we be encouraged by the example of the early Christians in Macedonia? 2 Corinthians 8:1–5.

 Note: “Nearly all the Macedonian believers were poor in this world’s goods, but their hearts were overflowing with love for God and His truth, and they gladly gave for the support of the gospel. When general collections were taken up in the Gentile churches for the relief of the Jewish believers, the liberality of the converts in Macedonia was held up as an example to other churches.” The Acts of the Apostles, 343.

5.b. How does Christ summarize our duty as believers? Mark 12:29–31. What happens as we put this principle into daily practice? Matthew 7:24, 25.

 Note: “The whole being is to be consecrated to the service of the Master.” The General Conference Bulletin, April 16, 1901.

“No one can be truly united with Christ, practicing His lessons, submitting to His yoke of restraint, without realizing that which he can never express in words. New, rich thoughts come to him. Light is given to the intellect, determination to the will, sensitiveness to the conscience, purity to the imagination. The heart becomes more tender, the thoughts more spiritual, the service more Christlike. In the life there is seen that which no words can express—true, faithful, loving devotion of heart, mind, soul, and strength to the work of the Master.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 476, 477.



1    How did the life of Job reflect the Spirit of Christ?

2    What common tendency must we overcome if we would be victorious?

3    What do Paul and John teach us about cultivating eternal values?

4    Why is covetousness so detrimental to our souls?

5    How is wholehearted service rewarded, even in this earthly life?

Copyright 2012, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – The Ultimate Giver

October 3 – 9, 2021

Key Text

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

Study Help: Counsels on Stewardship, 72; God’s Amazing Grace, 62.


“God is love. Like rays of light from the sun, love and light and joy flow out from Him to all His creatures. It is His nature to give. His very life is the outflow of unselfish love.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 77.



1.a. After bestowing life upon humanity, what else did God provide? Genesis 2:7, 15. Why is this a blessing for us? Ecclesiastes 5:12, 18.

 Note: “Adam was not to be idle. No sooner was he created than his work was given him. He was to find employment and happiness in tending the things that God had created, and in response to his labor his wants were to be abundantly supplied from the fruits of the Garden of Eden.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 273, 274.

1.b. What daily evidences reveal God’s abundant love for us? Psalm 36:5–9; Acts 14:17.

Note: “We are indebted to Him [God] for every moment of existence, and for all the comforts of life.” Counsels on Stewardship, 17.

“We are to regard the trees laden with fruit as the gift of God, just as much as though He placed the fruit in our hands.” Lift Him Up, 62.



2.a. What is the greatest of God’s gifts? John 3:16; Ephesians 2:4–7.

Note: “The treasure of the gospel, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, was among them [the Jewish people], but they rejected the greatest gift that Heaven could bestow.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 105.

“Christ has purchased us by the price of His own blood. He has paid the purchase money for our redemption, and if we will lay hold upon the treasure, it is ours by the free gift of God.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 245.

2.b. What does Christ promise His followers as a gift from the Father to Him? John 6:37–39; 17:24. Why should this fact encourage all? James 1:17, 18.

 Note: “How much God loves human beings, we never can compute. The universe is filled with proofs of His measureless benevolence.

“Christ has a claim on all in this world. ‘All things are delivered to Me of My Father,’ He said (Luke 10:22). ‘All things that the Father hath are Mine.’ ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth’ (John 16:15; Matthew 28:18). All in heaven and in earth is at His service. The great gift of heavenly love was not to be shut up in the bosom of the Father. It was to Christ, to give to needy human beings.

“Christ is full of grace and truth. He is all and in all. Then let no human being take glory to himself. The glory is to be given to the Son of God. Now and forever He is to receive all praise.” Battle Creek Letters, 65.

“Because we are the gift of His Father, and the reward of His work, Jesus loves us. He loves us as His children. Reader, He loves you. Heaven itself can bestow nothing greater, nothing better.” The Desire of Ages, 483.

“It is your privilege to trust in the love of Jesus for salvation, in the fullest, surest, noblest manner; to say, He loves me, He receives me; I will trust Him, for He gave His life for me. Nothing so dispels doubt as coming in contact with the character of Christ.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 517.



3.a. As we reverence the heavenly Father as Creator, what should we also understand about Jesus Christ? Hebrews 1:1–3; John 1:1–3.

Note: “If Christ made all things, He existed before all things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity. God over all, blessed forevermore.” Lift Him Up, 16.

3.b. Upon what basis is Christ entitled to our worship and discipleship? Ephesians 3:9; Philippians 2:5–10.

 Note: “The greatest gift that God could bestow upon men was bestowed in the gift of His beloved Son. The apostle says, ‘He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?’ (Romans 8:32). There was nothing held in reserve. No second probation will ever be provided. If the unspeakable gift of God does not lead man to repentance, there is nothing that ever will move his heart. There is no power held in reserve to act upon his mind, and arouse his sensibilities. The whole character of God was revealed in His Son, the whole range of the possibilities of heaven is displayed for the acceptance of man in the Son of the Infinite One. The way for man’s return to God and heaven has no barriers. The matchless depths of the Saviour’s love have been demonstrated; and if this manifestation of God’s love for the children of men does not prevail to draw men to Himself, there is nothing that ever will.” The Signs of the Times, December 30, 1889.

“The apostle Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit, declares of Christ that ‘all things have been created through Him, and unto Him; and He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together’ (Colossians 1:16, 17, R.V., margin). The hand that sustains the worlds in space, the hand that holds in their orderly arrangement and tireless activity all things throughout the universe of God, is the hand that was nailed to the cross for us.” Education, 132.



4.a. What fundamental concept should we learn from the example of Christ’s earthly life? Luke 22:27, last part; Hebrews 5:8; 12:2, 3.

 Note: “The foundation of the plan of salvation was laid in sacrifice. Jesus left the royal courts and became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. All who share this salvation, purchased for them at such an infinite sacrifice by the Son of God, will follow the example of the true Pattern. Christ was the chief Cornerstone, and we must build upon this Foundation. Each must have a spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. The life of Christ upon earth was unselfish; it was marked with humiliation and sacrifice. And shall men, partakers of the great salvation which Jesus came from heaven to bring them, refuse to follow their Lord and to share in His self-denial and sacrifice?” Testimonies, vol. 3, 387. [Emphasis author’s.]

4.b. In what sense are we to gladly follow Christ’s example of sacrifice? 1 Peter 2:21; Romans 12:1, 2.

 Note: “Christ sacrificed everything for man in order to make it possible for him to gain heaven. Now it is for fallen man to show what he will sacrifice on his own account for Christ’s sake, that he may win immortal glory. Those who have any just sense of the magnitude of salvation and of its cost will never murmur that their sowing must be in tears and that conflict and self-denial are the Christian’s portion in this life.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 481.

“He [Christ] laid aside His glory, His dominion, His riches, and sought after those who were perishing in sin. He humbled Himself to our necessities, that He might exalt us to heaven. Sacrifice, self-denial, and disinterested benevolence characterized His life. He is our pattern. Have you … imitated the Pattern?” Ibid., vol. 2, 549.

“The words, ‘Ye are not your own;’ ‘ye are bought with a price’ (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20), should be hung in memory’s hall, that we may ever recognize God’s right to our talents, our property, our influence, our individual selves. We are to learn how to treat this gift of God, in mind, in soul, in body, that as Christ’s purchased possession we may do Him healthful savory service.” Medical Ministry, 276.



5.a. What is grace—and why is it essential for our salvation? Romans 5:6–9; Ephesians 2:8, 9.

 Note: “Grace is unmerited favor, and the believer is justified without any merit of his own, without any claim to offer to God. He is justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, who stands in the courts of heaven as the sinner’s substitute and surety.” Selected Messages, Book. 1, 398.

“His [the Saviour’s] grace is sufficient to subdue sin.” The Faith I Live By, 87.

5.b. How should we respond to God’s bountiful grace? Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:11–14.

Note: “Are good works of no real value? Is the sinner who commits sin every day with impunity, regarded of God with the same favor as the one who through faith in Christ tries to work in his integrity? The Scripture answers [Ephesians 2:10 quoted].

“In His divine arrangement, through His unmerited favor, the Lord has ordained that good works shall be rewarded. We are accepted through Christ’s merit alone; and the acts of mercy, the deeds of charity, which we perform, are the fruits of faith; and they become a blessing to us; for men are to be rewarded according to their works.

“It is the fragrance of the merit of Christ that makes our good works acceptable to God, and it is grace that enables us to do the works for which He rewards us.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 199, 200.

“All your good works cannot save you; but it is nevertheless impossible for you to be saved without good works. Every sacrifice made for Christ will be for your eternal gain.” Ibid., 147.



1    Name some simple gifts of God bestowed from the days of Eden.

2    How does God’s greatest gift involve a reciprocal relationship?

3    Why is it important for us to understand who Christ really is?

4    What fundamental principle underlies the entire plan of salvation?

5    What power does grace give the redeemed in preparation for Heaven?

Copyright 2012, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – The Creator and Owner

Faithful Stewardship

September 26 – October 2, 2021

Key Text

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 290–295.


“Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent, uncreated One, Himself the Source and Sustainer of all, is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 305.



1.a. What should we realize in gazing upon the magnificent splendor of creation? Psalm 19:1–3; Isaiah 40:18, 21, 26

Note: “[Psalm 19:1–3 quoted.] Some may suppose that these grand things in the natural world are God. They are not God. All these wonders in the heavens are only doing the work appointed them. They are the Lord’s agencies. God is the superintendent, as well as the Creator, of all things.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 294.

1.b. What aspect of God’s omnipotence touches us daily? Acts 17:24–29.

 Note: “The physical organism of man is under the supervision of God; but it is not like a clock, which is set in operation, and must go of itself. The heart beats, pulse succeeds pulse, breath succeeds breath, but the entire being is under the supervision of God. … Each heartbeat, each breath, is the inspiration of Him who breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of life—the inspiration of the ever-present God, the great I AM.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 294, 295.



2.a. What facts show that God is unique in deserving our continual worship? Psalm 33:6–9; Jeremiah 10:9–13.

Note: “God’s claim to reverence and worship, above the gods of the heathen, is based upon the fact that He is the Creator, and that to Him all other beings owe their existence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 336.

“The Divine Being is engaged in upholding the things that He has created. The same hand that holds the mountains and balances them in position, guides the worlds in their mysterious march around the sun.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 294.

2.b. What questions should inspire us with reverence for God? Job 11:7; 38:1–7. How does this reverence promote the salvation of our souls?

 Note: “Divine inspiration asks many questions which the most profound scholar cannot answer. These questions were not asked, supposing that we could answer them, but to call our attention to the deep mysteries of God, and to make men know that their wisdom is limited; that in the common things of daily life there are mysteries past the comprehension of finite minds; that the judgment and purposes of God are past finding out, His wisdom unsearchable. If He reveals Himself to man, it is by shrouding Himself in the thick cloud of mystery.

“God’s purpose is to conceal more of Himself than He makes known to man. Could men fully understand the ways and works of God, they would not then believe Him to be the infinite One. He is not to be comprehended by man in His wisdom, and reasons, and purposes. ‘His ways are past finding out’ (Romans 11:33). His love can never be explained upon natural principles. If this could be done, we would not feel that we could trust Him with the interests of our souls. Skeptics refuse to believe, because with their finite minds they cannot comprehend the infinite power by which God reveals Himself to men. Even the mechanism of the human body cannot be fully understood; it presents mysteries that baffle the most intelligent.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1141.



3.a. What has God always wanted us to understand regarding the ownership of property? Psalm 50:7, 10–12.

Note: “The Lord sought to teach Israel that in everything He must be first. Thus they were reminded that God was the proprietor of their fields, their flocks, and their herds; that it was He who sent them the sunshine and the rain that developed and ripened the harvest. Everything that they possessed was His.” The Acts of the Apostles, 337.

“Our bodies belong to God. He paid the price of redemption for the body as well as the soul. ‘Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ ‘The body is not for fornication, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body’ (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20, 13). The Creator watches over the human machinery, keeping it in motion. Were it not for His constant care, the pulse would not beat, the action of the heart would cease, the brain would no longer act its part.” Counsels on Health, 586.

3.b. How extensive is God’s property? Psalm 24:1, 2; Deuteronomy 10:14. What does this mean to us? Revelation 4:11.

 Note: “Consider that there is only one Proprietor of the universe, and that every man, with his time, his intellect, his resources, belongs to the One who has paid the ransom for the soul. God has a righteous claim to constant service and supreme affection. God’s will, not your pleasure, is to be your criterion.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 137.

“Those who have a constant realization that they stand in this relation to God will not place in the stomach food which pleases the appetite, but which injures the digestive organs. They will not spoil the property of God by indulging improper habits of eating, drinking, or dressing. They will take great care of the human machinery, realizing that they must do this in order to work in copartnership with God. He wills that they shall be healthy, happy, and useful. But in order for them to be this, they must place their wills on the side of His will.” Child Guidance, 399.



4.a. To whom did God entrust dominion over His earthly goods? Genesis 1:26–28. Why is this an honor to humanity? Psalm 8:1–9.

 Note: “He who set the starry worlds on high and tinted with delicate skill the flowers of the field, who filled the earth and the heavens with the wonders of His power, when He came to crown His glorious work, to place one in the midst to stand as ruler of the fair earth, did not fail to create a being worthy of the hand that gave him life. The genealogy of our race, as given by inspiration, traces back its origin, not to a line of developing germs, mollusks, and quadrupeds, but to the great Creator. Though formed from the dust, Adam was ‘the son of God’ (Luke 3:38).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 45.

4.b. Because of Adam’s fall, what did the deceiver boast to Christ? Luke 4:5, 6.

 4.c. When is Christ’s dominion over this planet to be fully recovered? Daniel 7:13, 14, 26, 27; Micah 4:8; Revelation 11:15.

 Note: “When Satan declared to Christ, The kingdom and glory of the world are delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it, he stated what was true only in part, and he declared it to serve his own purpose of deception. Satan’s dominion was that wrested from Adam, but Adam was the vicegerent of the Creator. His was not an independent rule. The earth is God’s, and He has committed all things to His Son. Adam was to reign subject to Christ. When Adam betrayed his sovereignty into Satan’s hands, Christ still remained the rightful King. Thus the Lord had said to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will’ (Daniel 4:17). Satan can exercise his usurped authority only as God permits.” The Desire of Ages, 129, 130.

“Christ, as stated by the prophet Daniel, will receive from the Ancient of Days in heaven, ‘dominion, and glory, and a kingdom;’ He will receive the New Jerusalem, the capital of His kingdom, ‘prepared as a bride adorned for her husband’ (Daniel 7:14; Revelation 21:2). Having received the kingdom, He will come in His glory, as King of kings and Lord of lords, for the redemption of His people, who are to ‘sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob,’ at His table in His kingdom (Matthew 8:11; Luke 22:30), to partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb.” The Great Controversy, 427.



5.a. Whenever any degree of dominion—great or small—is entrusted to us, what admonition are we to heed? Deuteronomy 8:11–18.

 Note: “We should regard ourselves as stewards of the Lord’s property and God as the supreme proprietor, to whom we are to render His own when He shall require it.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 480, 481.

5.b. What message bears special force in these final days, just before our Lord’s return? Luke 19:11–13.

Note: “God calls us servants, which implies that we are employed by Him to do a certain work and bear certain responsibilities. He has lent us capital for investment. It is not our property, and we displease God if we hoard up our Lord’s goods or spend them as we please. …

“Every talent which returns to the Master will be scrutinized. The doings and trusts of God’s servants will not be considered an unimportant matter. Every individual will be dealt with personally and will be required to give an account of the talents entrusted to him, whether he has improved or abused them. The reward bestowed will be proportionate to the improvement of the talents. The punishment awarded will be according as the talents have been abused. …

“The talents are in our hands. Shall we use them to God’s glory, or shall we abuse them? We may trade with them today, but tomorrow our probation may end and our account be forever fixed.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 668. [Emphasis author’s.]



1    What facts reveal that our Creator is also our Sustainer?

2    Why is God alone worthy to be worshiped?

3     How should we respond when we consider that God owns everything, and that He has entrusted dominion of the earth to humans?

4     What should we understand about Satan’s usurped authority?

5     What temptation comes when we are entrusted with goods?

Copyright 2012, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Date “Bon Bons”

The Humble Date

The fruit of the date palm tree, the date, is believed to have originated somewhere around the Persian Gulf. It is considered one of the oldest cultivated fruits and is part of the staple diet in Middle Eastern countries. When ripe, they are brown and shriveled, resembling a prune. There are several varieties of dates categorized into three groups based on their sugar content – soft, semi-dry and dried.

Consumed in both fresh and dried form, they are sweet with a rich, deep flavor and slightly chewy texture. They can be chopped, candied, stuffed and added to various recipes and even used as a substitute for refined sugar. Besides their rich taste, they are a powerhouse of nutrition that can boost your energy and have a number of health benefits. Here are just a few:

Dates are high in iron making them the perfect home remedy for iron deficiency (anemia).

Dates contain potassium and are a natural laxative, so they can help with both constipation and diarrhea.

Dates contain fluorine which inhibits tooth decay by removing plaque and strengthening tooth enamel.

Dates contain organic sulphur which reduces allergic reactions and seasonal allergies.

There are several varieties of dates. The Medjool (Morrocco), Barhi and Halawy (Iraq), Hayani (Egypt) and Iteema (Algeria) to name a few.

Source: 18 Benefits of Date Fruit and Its Nutrial Value by Vineetha in Fruits

Recipe – Date “Bon Bons”

Simmer together until soft, then cool:

2 cups chopped dates

½ cup orange juice

Put in a large bowl and add:

1 cup walnuts, chopped fine

1 ½ cups unsweetened, shredded coconut

½ tsp. vanilla

Mix well and roll in unsweetened, shredded coconut. Refrigerate.

Blessed are the Peacemakers

We live in a world of troublemakers, fighters, and makers of war, glorified and given honor and praise by the nations of this world. But who is the real author of war and what is it that blocks the way to peace?

Looking at the seventh step on the spiritual ladder found in Matthew 5:9, Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Every step up this ladder raises a person to a loftier realm of spiritual blessedness. The highway of holiness is a pathway of continually increasing joy and peace. Proverbs 4:18 says, “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” So here we see what happens to the person who first is poor in spirit, one who mourns, is gentle and meek like Christ, hungers and thirsts after righteousness, and is merciful and pure in heart. The person becomes a peacemaker.

The first six steps are blessings on character condition, however in the seventh step Jesus pronounces a blessing upon good works. This is a spiritual experience produced by the first six steps that qualifies the person for missionary work as peacemakers among their friends and neighbors.

How utterly contrary are these steps to the maxims and philosophies of the world in which we live. Since the fall of Adam and Eve and the entrance of sin into the world as recorded in Genesis 3, benedictions and blessings have been given to those who are good soldiers and fighters. In fact, human history is composed largely of biographies of warriors who are eulogized and praised and it has been this way for thousands of years. From a worldly point of view, the blessings and glory go to the peace breakers, the troublemakers, makers of strife and those who foment war.

The lovers and makers of peace are more often held in derision, considered weaklings and cowards. If they strive to promote peace, they are perceived as disloyal or treasonous to their country because the world is largely ruled, not by Christ, but by the antichrist. The principle intelligence that stands in the place of Christ as the prince of strife is the devil himself. The Bible calls him the god of this world and the author of war, and he is the world’s greatest troublemaker.

The devil has made war his chief occupation since his fall and constantly strives to stir up the nations of the world to war. And he has been very successful at it, since we have been in a war of one kind or another somewhere in the world almost constantly since World War II. Satan is the one who sowed the seeds of discord that broke up the peace and harmony that once existed in the universe. His very religion is termed by God as Babylon the great or great confusion. His children are all peace breakers and fomenters of strife. Why? Because there can be no peace where there is sin. The Bible is very clear about this. “ ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked’ ” (Isaiah 57:21; 48:22). Where sin (wickedness) is, peace cannot exist.

The characteristics of a sinner, a person who has not been converted by the gospel, have been recorded by the apostle Paul in Galatians 5. Paul says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident … .” and he then lists a long series of things, among them “… hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, murders, revelries, and the like …” (verses 19-21).

Sinners cannot truly be peacemakers. So long as there is sin, there will be strife and war, and it will be impossible to have peace. James says, “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:16, 17). He goes on to say in chapter 4:1 and 2, that wars and unrest among us are the results of the sinful cravings (lusts) that are in our members.

But Jesus is called the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He is the great Mediator between those who have been alienated. First Timothy 2:5 calls Him the “… one Mediator between God and men.” He is the great peacemaker bringing reconciliation to those who have been at war with God and man.

Paul says in Ephesians 2:14, “He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation [partition] …” between us. Christ alone is the only one who can break down the barriers in the home, in society, among the nations. Where Jesus rules there is peace, whether it be in the kingdom of glory or in the kingdom of grace, in heaven above or in a human heart. And the Bible says the peace He will bring will become greater and greater.

Isaiah 9:6 and 7, first part, says, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” This promise includes not only His rule over the nations, but also His rule in the individual heart. The preeminent qualification for a person to be a peacemaker is, first of all, to have peace himself in his own mind and heart. How can you help somebody else to have peace if you yourself have not experienced peace within? Jesus Christ was the supreme peacemaker because He possessed perfect peace. The Bible says, “… in Him is no sin” (1 John 3:5 KJV). And because He knew no sin, He was able to say, “… the ruler of this world [the devil] is coming, and has nothing in Me” (John 14:30). Because Jesus was in perfect harmony with God, He was also at peace with man. It was for this reason that He was able to love and bless His enemies. He was never fretful or irritated. Nothing ever disturbed His peace. This is what qualified Him to be the preeminent peacemaker, the Prince of Peace.

Jesus promised that if you are a peacemaker, you will be called children of God. The supreme essential to becoming a peacemaker is to become Christlike, so only a child of God can be a peacemaker. If we enthrone Jesus Christ in our hearts, we will have peace with God (Romans 5:1 KJV), and this peace cannot be fully explained.

The apostle Paul described it in this way: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ” (Philippians 4:6, 7). He said that the internal peace you will possess cannot be explained by any human being. But with peace comes wisdom from above, as James described it, that is first pure and then peaceable (James 3:17).

James also says that if there is envying, strife, and dissension which come from pride and selfishness, then there is an evil work afoot and there will be no peace. Love, joy, and peace is the fruit of righteousness, and is of the Spirit and not of our own making. Never have we needed peace more in the history of this world than we need it today, but peace does not come by itself; it must be made. Something must be done in order to have peace. Someone once said, “It is hard enough to keep the peace, but it is still more difficult to bring peace where it is not.” But that is the very work of the children of God. “Blessed are the peacemakers.” They are to bring forth the peaceable fruit of righteousness. This is a very delicate task requiring divine tact, skill, and patience.

Human beings alone can never manufacture peace, because human peace plans do not change the heart, and it is from the heart of man where trouble begins. The Bible is very clear on this. The heart of the sinner is like a troubled sea when it cannot rest (Isaiah 57:20). So, a man-made peace between individuals is no more permanent than a peace between nations. When nations become angry, their peace treaties are no more binding than pieces of paper. It is only by the grace of Christ that we can create and perpetuate peace. When this is implanted in the heart, then the evil passions that produce strife and dissension are cast out.

Our peace is destroyed by disobedience, both by disobedience to human law and more especially by disobedience to divine law. If people could understand this, they would have a completely different view of the ten commandments. It is because we break God’s law that we do not have peace and we will never have peace as long as we continue to break it. The Bible says in Isaiah 48:18, “Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river.”

Obedience brings peace, but disobedience to God’s law brings only strife, trouble, and dissension. Peace is destroyed by disobedience. It takes the experiences of the first six steps in the development of character to qualify us to become peacemakers and able to bring peace to others. When the peace of God comes into our own hearts, then we will no longer break the peace by being disobedient to God’s law. Instead, the fruit of the Spirit will become manifest in our life. Love, joy, peace, and longsuffering, the first four fruits of the Holy Spirit, are characteristic of a peacemaker and the peacemaker receives the highest of all privileges: to be called a child of God. They are so named because they have become like the Son of God, the ultimate peacemaker, in life and character. They likewise become children of peace and carry on the work of peacemaking that the Prince of Peace began.

The apostle Paul describes this Christian life in 2 Corinthians 5:17–20. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” You must be reconciled to God before you can have peace within and before you can help anyone else find peace. Peacemaking was described in the beatitudes by Jesus as the price of becoming an heir. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

Concerning Jesus, the great peacemaker, His Father said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). And the Father is also well pleased with those who through the new birth, become His children and act as did His only begotten Son, their Elder Brother. When we become peacemakers, we can then be called by Jesus the children of God. This places us in the kingdom of heaven and places the kingdom of heaven in us. It makes us, as the Bible says, “… meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12 KJV).

The blessedness of being a peacemaker has been described by a number of Christian writers. Ellen White expresses it so beautifully, “By the life we live through the grace of Christ, the character is formed. The original loveliness begins to be restored to the soul. The attributes of the character of Christ are imparted, and the image of the Divine begins to shine forth. The faces of men and women who walk and work with God express the peace of heaven. They are surrounded with the atmosphere of heaven. For these souls the kingdom of God has begun.” The Desire of Ages, 312.

“As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here. We respond to His invitation, ‘Come, learn of Me.’ … The more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness. As we walk with Jesus in this life, we may be filled with His love, satisfied with His presence. All that human nature can bear, we may receive here.” Ibid., 331, 332.

This is nothing, however, to be compared with what will be given to the saints of God in the hereafter. We must break every connection with the prince of strife and the author of war and become connected with the Prince of Peace. We must truly be a child of God; not just by profession, but by our words and actions as well. If we are to be considered in heaven a child of God, we must take the seventh step: we must become peacemakers. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).

When you accept that yoke, then you will receive the blessing that comes to the peacemaker.

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 – The Importance of the Sense of Smell

Our sense of smell is hugely important – especially when it comes to evoking memories. It’s funny how a particular scent can transport you back in time, to a particular memory. The power of smell is surprising every time. There’s a reason why so many real estate agents recommend baking cookies or bread before an open house.

Smell is one of our five senses and linked by the olfactory bulb to the limbic system that controls behavior, emotion, and even memory. This is accomplished by way of odorant molecules that travel through the nose to receptors and the olfactory bulb. Once upon a time, smell would have been important to track food, water, and sense danger.

DID YOU KNOW? The average human will have about 5 million smell receptors whereas a dog has anywhere from 125-300 million!

But like our other senses, smell holds a crucial role in our life, and here are five reasons why it is more important than you may think:

Taste: Taste receptors found on the tongue, the roof of the mouth and the back of throat help us to determine if a food is sweet, salty, sour, savory or bitter. But 80% of the flavor actually comes from our sense of smell. So fresh fruit like bananas, raspberries and blueberries, or popcorn tastes so good because of a combination of smell and the appropriate taste receptors in the mouth. That explains why, when hit with a dreadful cold and barely able to breathe through our nose, we don’t care much about what we eat.

Danger: Sometimes things just smell awful, like when you’ve left something in the fridge too long or your favorite sneakers are too well-worn and ready for the trash bin. When an odor is unpleasant, our nose gives us a warning signal of danger. Think of fire or gas; either of these smells tell us that something dangerous is nearby.

Memory: A certain smell can act like a punch in the gut, or like arms in a loving embrace. It affects the way that you can evoke certain memories. For some people, it brings back a memory of being a child and resting peacefully against a mother’s breast. That’s how strong it is. Whether it’s the smell of family recipes or the perfume your partner wore on the first date, smell creates a powerful imprint on your mind.

Health: It is no real surprise that lack of smell could signal big problems. But it can happen. Changes in your sense of smell can occur when you get a cold or flu or suffer from an allergy. Anosmia is a condition wherein a person completely loses their sense of smell, and as we know today, this can be a symptom of Covid-19. Not only this, studies have shown that some sufferers of Parkinson’s and Alzheimers can show signs of diminishing sense of smell prior to being diagnosed.

The power of smell enriches your life, giving it another dimension that we might take for granted. However, we must be mindful that the devil has many ways in which to use our senses against us. We read in Counsels for the Church, 166:

“All should guard the senses, lest Satan gain victory over them; for these are the avenues of the soul.

“You will have to become a faithful sentinel over your eyes, ears, and all your senses if you would control your mind and prevent vain and corrupt thoughts from staining your soul. The power of grace alone can accomplish this most desirable work.

“Satan and his angels are busy creating a paralyzed condition of the senses so that cautions, warnings, and reproofs shall not be heard; or, if heard, that they shall not take effect upon the heart and reform the life.”

Sources:, , and and The Dana Foundation

Question – Do we know what Jesus looked like?


Do we know what Jesus looked like?


“He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isaiah 53:2, second part).

“This is why the Jewish nation did not acknowledge Christ as the Prince of life; because He did not come with display and outward appearance, for He hid under the garb of humanity His glorious character” Fundamentals of Education, 381.

“The apostle would call our attention from ourselves to the Author of our salvation. He presents before us His two natures, divine and human. Here is the description of the divine: ‘Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God’ (Philippians 2:6). He was ‘the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person’ (Hebrews 1:3).

“Now, of the human: He ‘was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death’ (Philippians 2:8). He voluntarily assumed human nature. It was His own act, and by His own consent. He clothed His divinity with humanity. He was all the while as God, but He did not appear as God. He veiled the demonstrations of Deity, which had commanded the homage, and called forth the admiration, of the universe of God. He was God while upon earth, but He divested Himself of the form of God, and in its stead took the form and fashion of a man. He walked the earth as a man. … He walked the earth unrecognized, unconfessed, with but few exceptions, by His creatures.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1126.

“I am the Alpha and Omega … and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength” (Revelation 1:8, 13–18).

“Now I saw the heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him … His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. … And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:11–13, 16).

Nature – It Takes Nerves for Flies to Keep a Level Head

Researchers at Imperial College London have analyzed the nerve connections in the brains of flies that help them maintain a stable gaze during their rapid, complex aerial maneuvering, which in turn prevents them from colliding with obstacles in midflight.

According to an Imperial College press release, scientists have marked the connections between two key sets of nerve cells in a fly’s brain that help it process what it sees and fast-track that information to its muscles. This helps it stay agile and respond quickly to its environment while on the move.

The new research shows that the way in which two populations of nerve cells, or neurons, communicate with each other is the key. The lobula plate tangential cells receive input from a fly’s eyes, generating small electrical signals that inform the fly about how it is turning and moving during its aerial stunts. The signals pass on to the second group of neurons, which connect to the fly’s neck muscles and stabilize its head and thus its line of sight. By keeping a constant gaze even while its body changes direction, a fly is able to more efficiently process visual information and modify its movements accordingly.

Lead researcher, Dr. Holger Krapp, from Imperial’s Department of Bioengineering, says, “The pathway from visual signal to head movement is ingeniously designed: it uses information from both eyes, is direct, and does not require heavy computing power.” [Emphasis supplied.]

Krapp added, “Anyone who has watched one fly chasing another at incredibly high speed, without crashing or bumping into anything, can appreciate the high-end flight performance of these animals.

“They manage even though they see the world in poor definition: their version of the world is like a heavily pixelated photo compared with human vision. However, they do have one major advantage. They can update and process visual information more than ten times faster than humans, which is vital for an insect that relies on fast sensory feedback to maintain its agility.”

Dr. Krapp adds: “Keeping the head level and gaze steady is a fundamental task for all animals that rely on vision to help control their movements. Understanding the underlying principles in simple model systems like flies could give us useful leads on how more complex creatures achieve similar tasks.”

Just as a fly keeps a steady gaze during its rapid maneuvering, so must we maintain a stable gaze while moving quickly, with the eye directed ever upward, fixed upon the mark of our high calling in Christ Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith.

“Yield not to the power of the tempter. He will come as a strong man armed, but give him no advantage. Nerve yourselves for duty, and dispute every inch of ground. Instead of retreating, advance; instead of becoming weak and nerveless, brace yourselves for the conflict. … Put on the whole armor of God, and keep your eye steadily fixed on the Captain of your salvation; for there is danger ahead. …

“Soon the warfare will be over and the victory won.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 309.