Monday: The Greatness of Forgiveness
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Woman Helping Man Through Gap in Wall

One of the worst consequences of the Fall is seen in interpersonal relationships. From Adam trying to blame Eve for his sin (Gen. 3:12) to this moment on earth today, our race has been ravaged and degraded by conflict between individuals. Unfortunately, conflicts are not just in the world but in the church, as well. … [Click to read more …]

Looking Ahead: Idols of the Soul (and Other Lessons from Jesus)
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Looking Ahead

I recently listened to Professor Patricia Greenfield from UCLA describe how television shows watched by pre-teenagers have shifted from community-based issues to fame-based issues during the last fifteen years. Our young people are now encouraged to aim for fame while their sports heroes engage in “trash talk” that displays no humility but only arrogance and pride. … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: The Greatness of Humility
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publican proud

Who doesn’t aspire to greatness? That is, who doesn’t want to be great or do great things? This desire doesn’t always have to arise from selfishness or from ego or arrogance. It could simply be doing the very best that you can at whatever you do, hoping perhaps that what you do could even bring … [Click to read more …]

Sabbath: Idols of the Soul
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Image © Lars Justinen Goodsalt.com

Read for This Week’s Study: Eccles. 9:10; Matt. 18:1-4; Matt. 18:21-35; Matt. 19:16-30; Gal. 3:21-22; Matt. 19:27. Memory Text:“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’” (Matthew 18:1, NIV). As human beings, we are products of our environment, of our culture. These greatly … [Click to read more …]

Friday: Further Thought – Peter and the Rock
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Selecting Lamb for Sacrifice

The story of how Jesus has Peter pull the money, the exact amount needed, out of the mouth of the first fish Peter catches is extraordinary, so extraordinary that some scholars have tried to argue it away. It was just a “bit of a folk-tale,” a cute story to make a point, nothing more. Of … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: Jesus and the Temple Tax
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Peter Finds Coin in Fish's Mouth

Read Matthew 17:24-27. What is going on here, and what does this also tell us about Jesus? Though all Jews were required to pay the temple tax, priests, Levites, and rabbis were exempt. So, this question about whether Jesus paid the temple tax was also a challenge to His ministry. Ellen G. White writes that … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: Encouragement from Heaven
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The Transfiguration

Read Matthew 17:1-9. What happened here, and why was it so important for both Jesus Himself and for the disciples? Jesus “had dwelt amid the love and fellowship of heaven; but in the world that He had created, He was in solitude. Now heaven had sent its messengers to Jesus; not angels, but men who … [Click to read more …]

HopeSS: Peter and the Rock
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Hope Sabbath School

You can view an in-depth discussion of “Peter and the Rock” 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 … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: Peter as Satan
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Christ Tempted

Read Matthew 16:21-23. Why is Jesus suddenly so tough on Peter? Peter’s problem wasn’t that he was trying to protect Jesus. He was trying to steer Jesus. He was no longer following Jesus; he was telling Jesus to follow him. Jesus said, “‘Get behind Me, Satan!’” (Matthew 16:23, NKJV) because, like Satan himself in the … [Click to read more …]

Monday: “On this Rock”
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Rock of Ages

Right after Peter’s bold confession of faith in Jesus as “‘the Christ, the Son of the living God,’” Jesus says something in answer to Peter. Read Matthew 16:17-20. What did Jesus say to Peter, and how are we to understand what He meant? The phrase “on this rock” has been controversial within the Christian church. … [Click to read more …]