What Does a Relationship With Jesus Look Like?
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A member of my New Believer’s Sabbath School class, in the Tampa First Seventh-day Adventist Church, had been struggling with getting Sabbaths off at work so she could observe the Bible Sabbath. She told me she had to work on Sabbath, and I would gently tell her that she did not have to work. She had a choice and was choosing to work. Consequences be what they may, she had a choice.

Recently I was giving a Bible study to the 7th and 8th graders […]

Shepherds and Academics
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Shepherds and academics do not appear to have a lot in common, but I grew up on a small sheep farm and later became an academic. Both jobs can be quite lonely at times. I can remember as quite a young lad having to go around our  small flock of about 200 sheep in the evening, checking that they were OK. In stormy weather in the lambing season I would ensure that lambs were with their mothers, and not wandering […]

Monday: The Gospel Made Flesh
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Some have a very hard time finding the gospel in the Gospels! The teachings of Jesus can seem legalistic but only if we fail to hear the rest of the story. Most people in Israel at the time of Jesus considered themselves to be in a good position before God. They supported the temple by paying the required tax and offering the appropriate sacrifices. They abstained from unclean food, circumcised their sons, kept the festival days and the Sabbaths, and […]

Sunday: The Gospel in the Old Testament
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For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith (Heb. 4:2, NIV).

This verse is startling in its implications. Foremost is that the gospel, not simply good news but the good news, was preached in the Old Testament. Second, it was preached then just as in New Testament times. There is no hint that there […]

Sabbath: The Everlasting Gospel
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Read for This Week’s Study: Heb. 4:2; Ps. 130:3-4; Luke 15:11-32; Rom. 3:24-26; Heb. 10:1-4; Rev. 14:12.

Memory Text: The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you (Jeremiah 31:3, NKJV).

In our study of James, we have looked at a number of issues connected with the gospel and made some comparisons with other biblical authors. It is not always easy to understand clearly […]

Inside Story: Under Arrest! Part 1
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Giovanni Zaldivar

My pastor was planning to hold evangelistic meetings. He printed some invitation cards for members to give their friends to remind them of the meetings. He urged everyone to invite their families, friends, and neighbors, and we young people of the church wanted to be included.

At that time Cuba’s government was more strict about religion than it is now. People could attend church and worship God, but the government didn’t want churches trying to convert people to their […]

Friday: Further Study: Prayer, Healing, Restoration
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Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, Prayer for the Sick, p. 225-233, in The Ministry of Healing;Snares of Satan, p. 518-523, in The Great Controversy.

“Christ . . . asks us to become one with Him for the saving of humanity. Freely ye have received, He says,freely give. Matt. 10:8. Sin is the greatest of all evils, and it is ours to pity and help the sinner. There are many who err, and who feel their shame and their folly. […]

HopeSS: Prayer, Healing, and Restoration
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You can view a discussion of the current lesson in the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of this week’s lesson at Hope Sabbath School is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site. You might also want to bookmark the HopeSS Youtube channel.

Thursday: Restoration and Forgiveness
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God’s Spirit worked through Elijah to restore the relationship between Israel and Himself. But most of Elijah’s work was not on Mount Carmel. That was just the beginning! He carried it forward in small villages and homes and in training future spiritual leaders through the schools of the prophets to multiply his work of revival and reform.

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Read James 5:19-20. How does the work described here compare with the work done by Elijah, John […]

12: Prayer, Healing, and Restoration – Thought Starters
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[Thought questions for Prayer, Healing, and Restoration December 16, 2014]

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1. Words with power. One of my favorite texts growing up in Sabbath school is this week’s memory text containing these words, “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” I repeated those words until they were embedded in my heart. But what did they mean? What is an effectual fervent prayer? Do only righteous people have the ability to pray such a prayer? That kind […]

Wednesday: Models of Prayer
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Read James 5:17-18. What do we learn about prayer from Elijah’s example? How is it connected with healing, forgiveness, and restoration?

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These verses illustrate the assurance given at the end of James 5:16: the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (NASB). Elijah was a righteous man and even translated to heaven, but he was not superhuman. He had the same passions and feelings that we have. The fact that God heard […]

12: Prayer, Healing, and Restoration – Lesson Plan
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Key Thought : There is nothing that God cannot heal, transform, undo, bind up, or restore. Jesus is interested in the total person in a substantial, lasting healing.

[Lesson Plan for Prayer, Healing, and Restoration December 15, 2014]

1. Have a volunteer read James 5:13-15.

a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. What is the significance of the anointing ceremony with oil? Can’t God heal a person just in answer to […]