04: God of Grace and Judgment – Thought Starters
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The world totters on the brink of moral collapse.1

The Judge of All is about to pass judgment on those who have refused to acknowledge Him as their Leader Eternal.
“Is there anyone else,” He calls out, “anyone else who wants to be free from the burden of sin?”
A few people struggle towards Him. The rest slink away.
“Not fair!” roars the enemy. “Condemn all or condemn none!”
“I won’t do that,” the Judge of All replies. “All who come to Me will be saved.”

The enemy […]

02: How it all Began – Thoughts and Questions by jg
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The creation story is one of the most beautiful passages of Scripture. Imagine Moses, wrapped up in the awe of an Almighty God sweeping the history of time. With humility and awe Moses describes the beginning of earth and all that is within it.1

Day 1 God establishes light. Three days later, on Day 4, God reveals the sun, moon, stars in the light of the sky.

Day 2 God develops land and sky. Three days later, […]

01: Explaining the Inexplainable – Thought Starters
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Joe Manning, the Bible teacher, decided he would ask his tenth grade class to come up with a visible object lesson to explain the concept of the Trinity. He gave them three days to submit their contributions. Then he collected the fifteen papers and carefully studied them at home, hoping to give some recognition to the winner.[1. Jesus at His baptism Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com]

The first paper said, “It’s like a family. All the Johnsons, for example. Same family, […]

14: Boasting in the Cross – Thought Starters
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Stan: Can you believe it? We have fourteen Sabbaths this quarter!1
Pam: And one of the shortest books in the Bible.
Stan: You’re right. I think that’s made a big difference in our study this quarter, don’t you?
Pam: Sure. I think most of us have been blessed by studying the book of Galatians so intensely.
Stan: Then why don’t we do that for the whole Bible?
Pam: There’s too much in the Bible for us to cover. Maybe in heaven we’ll have time.
Stan: […]

13: Doing good–to everybody? – Thought Starters
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Timothy loved the trumpet. By the time he turned fourteen he could play scales in all the keys and challenging exercises. He even presented “special music” for church. During secondary school Timothy listened carefully to all the trumpet music he could get his hands on and taught himself to slur notes, to manage extreme vibrato, to “jump” the rhythm, and to come up with shrill as well as mellow tones to add more feeling to his music. He was ready […]

12: Even a four-year-old can learn about Christian love – Thought Starters
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“Christmas! Christmas! I can hardly wait for Christmas!” Four-year-old Randy Williams clapped his hands and did a tumble to the Christmas tree in the corner of the family room.1

“What’s so special about Christmas?” his dad teased.

“Presents. Lots of presents. And cake and cookies and ice cream and—“

“Christmas is for you?”

“Yes! Yes! Yes! Christmas is for ME!” Mom was calling, and Randy rushed off to his bedroom to sleep and dream about Christmas.

Later that night dad shared with mom […]

11: Freedom in Jesus – Thought Starters
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Let Freedom Ring1

The Israelites in bondage. Do you think they dreamed of freedom from slavery?

The woman from church dying of cancer. Do you think she dreams of freedom from
pain?

The family on their way home from church. Do you think they dream of freedom from each other?

The alcoholic in lockup. Do you think he dreams of freedom from the shame of
alcohol?

The teenager taking an exam. Do you think she dreams of freedom from the classroom?

You and I

Do you think […]

10: Laws and Promises – Thought Starters
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Madeline and Melvin were in love. No question about it. At every opportunity they would steal glances at each other and talk with nudges and grins. Everybody knew.1

They would soon be married.

Then Melvin dropped a bombshell. Both Madeline and Melvin had been married before, and Melvin wasn’t ready to risk a repeat performance of what he’d gone through.

“I love you, Madeline,” he said. “I love you from the bottom of my heart.” […]

09: The Disappointed Pastor – Thought Starters
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Carol knew the nausea would go away, but it was too much to endure sitting in the pews. At home she slept a while and then turned on the computer and within a couple of hours she was listening to Pastor Randy Roberts preaching at the Loma Linda University church.1

What was that he was saying? What?

Pastor Roberts was speaking with urgency. He was saying that no doctrine, no teaching, no lifestyle issue, no Scriptural interpretation—nothing—was as important […]

08: Be an Heir Rather Than a Servant – Thought Starters
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“I wish we would win the lottery,” Marcia announced at the dinner table.

“That’s impossible,” her father said. “We don’t play the lottery.” 1

“Why not?”

“Because it’s a foolish gamble. You have one in eighteen million chances of winning. And that’s in a lottery for a single state. Some lotteries are for several states, and your odds could be as low one in one hundred and twenty million.”

“It’s still one chance.”