Monday: Time for Prayer
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Think through what prayer really is: fallen sinful beings, worthy of death, are able, instantly, to have direct communication with the Creator of the universe-our Holy God.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Also, when God in Christ clothed Himself in human flesh, accepting humanity’s limitations, He, too, sensed the necessity of prayer. Though not standing before the Father in the same position that we as fallen sinners are, Jesus as a human still saw the necessity for prayer.

Read Matthew 14:22-23; [...]

Sunday: Time-tested Compassion
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Frequently, prayer assumes a self-centered posture. Believers present their wish lists before God, hoping to get that which they ask for. Though, of course, we are told to set our petitions before God, sometimes our motives are not pure. After all, are not our hearts corrupt, wicked, and deceitful? Might not our prayers, at times, simply reflect the sinfulness that lies within?

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Intercessory prayer, however, focuses on another person’s needs, thus removing the likelihood of [...]

Sabbath: Discipleship and Prayer
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gless03

Read for This Week’s Study: Dan. 9:2-19; Matt. 14:22-23; Matt 26:36; John 17:6-26; Heb. 2:17; 1 Pet. 4:7.

Memory Text: I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me (John 17:20-21, NKJV).

Whatever else we do in the work [...]

HopeSS: Discipling Through Metaphor
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HopeSSDec28

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 Through Metaphor” is below. You can download the lesson outline, MP3 file and MP4 file from the HopeTV Sabbath School

Inside Story: Chipo’s Choice
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Chipo is 10 years old and lives in southern Zambia. Her parents didn’t practice any faith, but when her neighbors invited her to attend church with them, she went. She loved learning about God and went to church whenever she could.

But Chipo’s father became angry when he learned that Chipo was attending the Adventist church. “Stay away from that church,” he warned her, “Or I will punish you. But Chipo loved Jesus and wanted to worship Him. So when her [...]

Friday: Further Study: Discipling Through Metaphor
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studymore

Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, Teaching in Parables, pp. 17-27, in Christ’s Object Lessons.

“Jesus desired to awaken inquiry. He sought to arouse the careless, and impress truth upon the heart. Parable teaching was popular, and commanded the respect and attention, not only of the Jews, but of the people of other nations. . . .

“Again, Christ had truths to present which the people were unprepared to accept or even to understand. For this reason also He taught them in [...]

Thursday: Christ’s Creative Legacy
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

After the record of Christ’s ministry is completed, the telling of parables seems to have disappeared from Scripture. What explains this phenomenon? Certainly the largest remaining segment of the New Testament centers around Paul. Fourteen New Testament books have been attributed to Paul, and nearly half of Luke’s historical narrative in Acts revolves almost exclusively around Paul, as well. Though he didn’t use stories in the way that Jesus did, Paul still made considerable use of metaphors, similes, and other [...]

Wednesday: The Revolutionary’s War
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Christ’s ministry was revolutionary but without the common weapons. His tools were infinitely more powerful than were swords or knives. Life-changing words, frequently expressed through parables and metaphors, became His not-so-secret weapons in the fight against evil.

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Christ’s tactics and strategies caught many leaders off guard; they were ill-equipped to counter the power of His appeal with the masses. Many of His parables contained messages that worked against the leaders. The religious leaders rightly saw [...]

Tuesday: Agricultural Analogies
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Read Matthew 13:1-30. What was Jesus teaching His audience about discipleship? What lessons can modern Christians derive from these metaphors?

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Christ’s parable of the sower is familiar to many readers. The setting for the story was commonplace for an agrarian society, something to which Jesus’ listeners could easily relate. The connection with discipleship is obvious. Essentially Jesus is challenging His listeners to evaluate their standing as disciples. Rather than confronting each individual specifically, He speaks [...]

Monday: Architectural Wisdom
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Read Matthew 7:24-27. What do these verses contribute to our understanding of Christian discipleship? Why do you think Jesus used this example from nature to teach such a crucial truth?

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Modern literate societies take literacy for granted. However, even today, numerous nonliterate societies exist. Throughout ancient history literacy was the exception rather than the rule. Ruling classes, literary specialists (scribes), obtained their power through their skill in reading. Thus, Jesus framed His messages within forms [...]