- How deep and wide. I could be wrong, but looking at the illustration at the start of this week’s lesson I see, or imagine to be seeing, two characters who have just been washed by Jesus in His hands. Doesn’t a good steward in Christ’s church want more than anything to be free from sin? washed clean in the hands of Jesus? What happens when we stop seeing stewardship as a mechanism or a set of gears and begin to see it as “a true, vital religious experience”? How often do we take time to consider that as we study God’s word from week to week?
- Christ as the center. Do you believe that Jesus is the heart of the Bible? And of the universe as well? Do you also find that His power exends in all directions? How do you feel about the abundance these days of a constant onslaught of photograhy and news from space? What is the biggest problem of having these reports come to our homes and children? What are some of the most powereful arguments to support our belief in a universe that is governed by Jesus?
- Sanctuary doctrine. Why do you think that the Seventh-day Adventist church accepts the “sanctuary doctrine” as a means for understanding and accepting the mighty plan of salvation? Without Christ as the center of our lives, can we establish a strong system of stewardship by our own earnest efforts? In what ways can we compare Jesus to the axle at the center of a wheel? Before you go on a challenging trip in the mountains or the desert, don’t you take a minute or two to check your tires? Do we need to “check on Jesus” or on our relation to Jesus, the center of our power, every day and event every hour throughout the day?
- Christ-Centered Doctrinal Beliefs. How can the stories of the Israelites in their stuggle to cross the desert help us to understand the Bible and the plan of salvation? How would you feel about having the sanctuary and God’s plan revealed to you and your family with every step across that sand-covered desert? What can we use today as powerful illustrations of God’s love for us when we are no longer in the desert working our way to the Promised Land? Do we ever face opportunities in today’s world to share with friends and neighbors our thoughts about the power of God as we face the Second Coming? Can we see–and then share–every aspect our faith as an example of Jesus Christ in our lives?
- The Three Angels Messages. What is “justification by faith in Christ?” Are other types of “justification” taught by mainstream Christian churches today? What are some errors that can creep in to a view of what Jesus wants to do for us? How do we connect the “three angels’ messages” of Revelation with our Christian life today? What do you and I have to share about the final message to the world with those around us? The rim of the wheel that we’ve been considering this week is coming closer and closer to full contact with the earth below. The purpose of the rim is to protect the vehicle from a hard crash. What happens then?
- Stewardship. Is stewardship the way we subject ourselves to heavenly training, or is it more about how we can keep doing the right things? Or is there a difference? What did the Romans learn about how to make their chariot wheels stronger? In what way was the rim, after being softened somewhat by the heat of fire, turned into a moving tool to resist scratching and mangling of the wheel and causing serious damage? Are there forces working on us these days to weaken us–not much, just a little–so that we cannot resist the swirl of discouraging and weakening pressure on our lives as stewards of Jesus? What is the best defense against such an onslaught?