Thursday: “We are Able”
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drink this cup

To truly appreciate today’s story about James and John (and their mom) in Matthew 20:20-27, first read Luke 9:51-56. This event occurred when Jesus and His disciples at first set out for Jerusalem, just days before James and John asked if they could sit on Jesus’ left and right in the kingdom. Read Matthew 20:20-27. … [Click to read more …]

HopeSS: Lessons from Jesus – Idols of the Soul
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You can view an in-depth discussion of “Lessons from Jesus – Idols of the Soul” 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 … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: What’s in it for Us?
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standing greed stacking

Right after the incident with the rich ruler, what happens? “Then Peter answered and said to Him, ‘See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?’” (Matt. 19:27, NKJV). Nothing in the text says what prompted this question, but it could easily be in direct response to the rich man’s departure … [Click to read more …]

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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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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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 …]