The Arrow of Prayer
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It was a simple question: “What are you doing here?” Standing in a cave after fleeing for his life, Elijah recounts the lament of his soul. His recent conquests for God appear to have taken a turn for the worse. Feeling alone and confused, this man of great experience, has all but given up and resigned himself to defeat. Elijah is in a crisis and he needs a word from the Lord.

Instructed to stand on the mount to hear from [...]

Discipleship and Prayer – Hit the Mark
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Praying

She seems an unlikely character for this week’s discussion on discipleship and prayer. Throughout her story as recorded in the Gospel of John, prayer is not once mentioned. She is not one of the many who came seeking Jesus for miraculous healing from some incurable illness. As a matter of fact, she didn’t even initially recognize Jesus as they conversed together. Yet, her brief interaction with Him speaks volumes about our experience with God as it relates to prayer.

The Prodigal Son Is In Good and Regular Standing
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Prodigal

Whenever the subject of the prodigal son comes up, we picture a young person who has lost his way. We use this story, and rightly so, to show the dangers of a life of aimless, godless living. For many mothers and fathers this story gives hope to the day that their own “prodigal” child returns home. If it could happen for the young man in this biblical account, surely it could happen for us. Amen, somebody.

While all of the above [...]

Porcupines In Church
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/stdas0489.html?r=ssnet

What? You say you’ve never met a porcupine? I’ll bet you have. In fact, you may be one yourself. I’m pretty sure I am.

“The German philosopher Schopenhauer compared the human race to a bunch of porcupines huddling together on a cold winter’s night. He said, ‘The colder it gets outside, the more we huddle together for warmth; but the closer we get to one another, the more we hurt one another with our sharp quills. And in the lonely night [...]

Forgiveness Is Not Saying It Is Okay
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Carrying the Cross

One Sabbath afternoon I received a phone call from the mother of a child I had corrected earlier at church, who had smarted off to me, when I told her to stay out of a room that was off-limits. The mother told me, “My daughter wants to tell you she is sorry, but before she gets on the phone, I wanted to ask you, when she says she is sorry, don’t tell her it is okay. Just tell her she [...]

Keeping Up Appearances
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/rbjas0228.html?r=ssnet

Have you ever noticed that humans, as a group, tend to be extremely superficial and shallow? We expend enormous amounts of time, money, and energy making sure that we look a certain way – wear particular brands of clothes and shoes, dye our hair, even have surgery. We go to great lengths to change our outsides … but do almost nothing to change what really matters.

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Even back in Jesus’ day, folks gave more attention [...]

One God — One Goal — One Glory
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/sdmas0075.html?r=ssnet

Have you ever been part of a musical group of some kind – like a choir, band or orchestra? Making music together is an amazing experience. Practicing together somehow brings the members together into almost a single organism. Each person has their specific part to play or sing. It may be similar to someone else’s or it may be unique to that one person, but each person and part are crucial in making the performance beautiful.

Image © Stan Myers [...]

Heaven’s Best Gift (Zechariah)
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sheperd and a flock

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” John 10:14, NIV

The Bible was written at a time when society was primarily agrarian. Prophets spoke in terms the people could relate to. Images of farm and field were easily understood, because these were snapshots of daily life. The seasons of the year revolved around planting and the gestation cycles of livestock, and daily activities often focused on the feeding and care of animals. The shepherd [...]

Further Study: Christian Life
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future_study

Read Ministerial Association of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, chapters 22, 23, in Seventh-day Adventists Believe; Miroslav M. Kis, “Christian Lifestyle and Behavior,” pp. 675-723, in Raoul Dederen (ed.) Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology.

“Acts of generosity and benevolence were designed by God to keep the hearts of the children of men tender and sympathetic, and to encourage in them an interest and affection for one another in imitation of the Master, who for our sakes became poor, that we through His [...]

Thursday: Christian Behavior
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Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

Beyond the family, the Christian has other social and professional involvements – a

Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

clear recognition of the biblical view that Christians are in the world but not of the world (John 17:14-18). Consider the following three areas of daily life and discuss the Christian’s responsibilities in regard to lifestyle and behavior:

1. Employer/Employee Relations (James 5:4-6, Eph. 6:5-9). Apart from regarding employees as equals in Christ, the Christian employer must be guided by the principle that adequate work requires adequate compensation. On [...]