Monday: Class Struggle
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

As every literature evangelist knows, very often those who have the least are willing to sacrifice the mostto buy Christian books. Well-to-do neighborhoods tend to be tough territory to sell books in, because the people who live there may be content with what they have and so very often do not feel their need of God as much as those who have less. The same phenomenon is also detectable on a much larger scale: the church often has grown the [...]

Jesus Doesn’t Kick Us Off The Team When We Mess Up
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Thursday’s section of this week’s Sabbath School lesson asks:

Have you ever messed up really badly and when you expected only condemnation and judgment, you were given mercy, grace, and forgiveness instead?

Peter  vowed to follow Jesus even if it cost him his life. When Jesus was arrested, Peter whipped out his sword and swung at a soldier’s head, catching only his ear. Then Peter found himself in the judgment hall.

A servant girl came over and said to him, “You were one of [...]

Sunday: The Man in Gold
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Read James 2:1-4. It is, among other things, a study in contrasts. One person is rich, well dressed, and, apparently, important, while the other is poor, shabbily dressed and, apparently, a nobody. One receives the utmost courtesy, the other disdain. One is offered a comfortable, prominent seat; the other is told to stand off to the side or find a place on the floor.

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

The description is not a very pretty one, especially because it [...]

Sabbath: Love and the Law
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Read for This Week’s Study: James 2:1-13; Mark 2:16; Lev. 19:17-18; Rom. 13:8-10; John 12:48.

Memory Text: For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13, NASB).

We know the story well; the question is, How well has it sunk in?

First a priest, then a Levite, going from Jerusalem to Jericho, encountered a man lying half dead in the road. Though both just finished their religious duties, neither was, apparently, able [...]

Inside Story: Angels on Main Street, Part I
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Ismael Serrano

Medellín is a large city in the heart of Colombia. While the city has a reputation as the drug capital of the world, it is also known for its beauty, and its citizens are known for their hard work and love of learning.

Colombia Adventist University (Corporacion Universitaria Adventista, UNAC) is located in Medellín. Founded in 1937 as Industrial College Coloveno, it became Colombo-Venezuelan Institute in 1950 and Colombia Adventist University in 1981. UNAC offers undergraduate through doctoral level [...]

Friday: Further Study: Being and Doing
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Further Study: Ellen G. White, The Test of Discipleship, p. 59-63, in Steps to Christ.

The law is God’s great moral looking glass. Man is to compare his words, his spirit, his actions with the Word of God.-Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 935.

“Instead of releasing man from obedience, it is faith, and faith only, that makes us partakers of the grace of Christ, which enables us to render obedience.

As Jesus was in human nature, [...]

What Does it Mean to be Under Grace?
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Friday’s section of this week’s Sabbath School lesson asks,

“What do you say to those who claim that because of the grace of Christ, they are free from the law? What do they often really mean by that, and how would you answer them?”

I have heard Christians tell me not to worry about keeping the law because we are no longer under the law. We are under grace. Funny thing is, they only tell me that when it comes to Sabbath keeping. [...]

Thursday: Unlike the World
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What does it mean to keep oneself unspotted from the world? (James 1:27, NKJV). How could that even be possible? See also 1 John 2:15-16; 2 Pet. 1:4.

Some people seem to think that if only they could move far enough away from the world, they could avoid most of its temptations. Though there’s some truth to that, and we should try to avoid temptation as much as possible (especially those temptations we find hardest to resist), our problems and [...]

04: Being and Doing – Thought Starters
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Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com

[Thought Questions for Being and Doing October 21, 2014]

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1. It’s not enough to be able to see and hear. Do you think it would be harder to follow Jesus if you were deaf? or blind? Didn’t have much intellectual understanding? Does a thorough knowledge of God and His plan of salvation earn you a place in His eternal kingdom? What did the apostle James say that Christians need to do to give them a firm and lasting relationship with God?

2. Your enemy. How [...]

Wednesday: Useful or Useless
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Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Read James 1:26-27 and compare it to Matthew 25:35, Matt. 25:36, Matt.25:40 and Romans 12:9-18. In light of these passages, how would you define true Christianity?

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

If Jesus, James, and Paul emphasize anything, it is the importance of being a useful Christian. By lovingthe least of these (Matt. 25:40), by taking the time to visit those most easily overlooked, by showing hospitality-in all these practical ways and more-we reveal Jesus’ love and become the [...]