Sunday: Respecting Authority
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Over the long centuries, people have struggled to understand the role and function of government and how citizens should relate to it. What gives rulers the right to rule? What is the best form of government? Should people always obey their government? If not, why not? These are just a few of a host of questions that we still wrestle with to this day.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Read Romans 13:1-7. What important message is in there for us? [...]

Sabbath: Discipling the Powerful
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Read for This Week’s Study: Rom. 13:1-7, Mark 2:23-28, Matt. 8:5-13, 26:57-68, 27:11-14, Acts 4:1-12.

Memory Text: The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7, NRSV)

The disciples were not endowed with the courage and fortitude of the martyrs until such grace was needed. Then the Saviour’s promise was fulfilled. When Peter and John testified before the Sanhedrin council, men [...]

Inside Story: A Flame for Jesus
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Daniel Santay is a shining star for Jesus in Cambodia. He says, “Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved Jesus.”

Daniel’s father was the example that inspires the boy to share God’s love with others. “When I was 7 years old,” Daniel says, “I told my dad I wanted to be like him and preach someday. He told me, ‘You don’t have to wait. Start now; share Jesus with your friends now.’”

Daniel accepted his father’s challenge and began sharing God’s love [...]

Friday: Further Study: With the Rich and Famous
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studymore

Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, Nicodemus, pp. 167-177; Levi-Matthew, pp. 272-280; ‘One Thing Thou Lackest,’ pp. 518-523; Zacchaeus, pp. 552-556, in The Desire of Ages; Ministry to the Rich, pp. 209-216, in The Ministry of Healing.

“Much is said concerning our duty to the neglectedpoor; should not some attention be given to the neglected rich? Many look upon this class as hopeless, and they do little to open the eyes of those, who, blinded and dazed by the glitter of [...]

HopeSS: With the Rich and Famous
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Current lesson of the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of the Hope Sabbath School “Discipling the Sick” is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site.

Thursday: Terms of Endangerment
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Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

Study Matthew 19:16-26. What spiritual dangers are revealed in this passage? How might believers benefit today’s rich young rulers?

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

He possessed credentials, qualifications, abundant material resources, unquestioned morality, and unlimited self-esteem! The youthful disciple-candidate earnestly requested the Master’s formula for salvation. Should Christ have been flattered? Finally we’re converting the upper classes! Apparently no such exhilaration polluted Christ’s thinking. Had this petitioner expected commendation, he was sorely disappointed. Instead, Christ established the Ten Commandments as [...]

Wednesday: Gold-plated Message
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Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com

Analyze the following passages: Mark 4:18-19; Luke 1:51-53; 6:22-25; 12:16-21; 16:13. What practical advice do these verses contain? What spiritual warnings are found here? How might these Scriptures be utilized by believers to make disciples among the wealthy?

Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com

It has been said that we don’t own our things; our things own us. How easy it is to be consumed by material possessions; hence, Jesus warned above about the deceitfulness of riches.

Think through just how easy [...]

Tuesday: Rich and Infamous
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Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

Respectability does not always accompany wealth. Though many do earn their wealth honestly through hard work, industriousness, and the blessings of God, others are outright crooks. Even worse, some make their money legally but immorally, for not everything immoral is illegal, as we all know so well.

Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

Compare Matthew 9:10-13 with Luke 5:27-32, 19:1-10. What motivated the criticism that Jesus faced? What does His reaction to the criticism teach us about grace?

Jericho, Zacchaeus’ residence, had [...]

Monday: Nighttime Rendezvous
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Wealthy, well-positioned, famous people did not intimidate Jesus. Christ neither resented nor revered the social elite. The Savior recognized that financial prosperity could not supply peace, personal contentment, meaningful relationships, or deep-seated purpose. The wealthiest magnate could easily be lonelier, emptier, and angrier than the simplest, poorest, and most humble Christian believer.

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Analyze Jesus’ interaction with Nicodemus (John 3:1-15). Which events probably stimulated Nicodemus’ interest in Jesus’ message? (Hint: review John 2:13-25.) What significance does [...]

Sunday: Richly Blessed
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

As fallen human beings, we are subject to jealousy, especially toward those who have more money than we do (regardless of how much money we ourselves might, already, have). The Bible, however, does not unconditionally disparage wealth or the wealthy. As with so much else in life, problems arise not from things themselves but from the way in which we relate to them.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

What counsel regarding wealth does Scripture offer? Deut. 8:17-18; Gen. 13:5-6; 41:41-43; [...]