09: Discipling the Powerful – Hit the Mark
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Throne

I saw it the minute I pulled into the parking lot of a large, modern church building. There in bold letters was a clear indication of the spirit of this church. You’re probably thinking I am referring to the church marque. It’s usually there where a church makes an attempt to share a little of the personality of the greater body. Witty sayings or service times along with the head pastor’s name are typical. But that’s not what caught my [...]

Friday: Further Study: Discipling the Powerful
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studymore

Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, The Centurion, pp. 315-318; Before Annas and the Court of Caiaphas, pp. 698-715; In Pilate’s Judgment Hall, pp. 723-740, in The Desire of Ages; Ministry to the Rich, pp. 209-216, in The Ministry of Healing; Almost Thou Persuadest Me, pp. 433-438, in The Acts of the Apostles.

“It is by no casual, accidental touch that wealthy, world-loving, world-worshiping souls can be drawn to Christ. These persons are often the most difficult of access. Personal effort [...]

Thursday: The Early Explosion
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Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

Christ’s earliest disciples energetically advanced the gospel throughout the civilized world. Houses, synagogues, public stadiums, judgment halls, and royal palaces became stages for kingdom proclamation. Jesus, however, prophesied arrests, trials, and hostile royal audiences for those disciples (Matt. 10:16-20). Unfortunately, those saturated with earthly power were slowest to receive Christ.

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

Read through as much of Acts 4:1-12; 13:5-12, 50; 23:1-6; 25:23-26:28 as you can. Though one can get the idea that so many people were [...]

Wednesday: Judgment Day
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Read Matthew 26:57-68; 27:11-14; Luke 23:1-12; John 18:19-23, 31-40; 19:8-12. What can we learn from Jesus’ witness to these powerful men?

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Within these final scenes of Jesus’ earthly sojourn, Christ’s followers glimpse the painful price of unflinching faithfulness. From arrest until crucifixion, Christ bears witness before the most powerful in the land: monarchs, governors, priests. Person by person He studies those intoxicated with worldly authority. Apparently, they control Him. Soldiers shuffle Jesus between their courtrooms, [...]

09: Discipling the Powerful – Lesson Plan
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gless09

Key Thought : The wealthy, world-loving souls can be drawn to Christ, but they are the most difficult to access.

[Lesson plan for Discipling the Powerful February 24, 2014]

1. Have a volunteer read Romans 13:1-7.

a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. Why should the Christian submit himself, or herself, to governments, police, or bosses on the job if they are not being honest, fair, or nice? Share your [...]

Tuesday: The Centurion
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While several of Christ’s encounters with powerful people ended acrimoniously, there were notable exceptions, such as with Nicodemus. Another constructive meeting involved a Roman centurion (ranking military officer).

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Read Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. What can we learn from these accounts about witnessing to people in power?

When the centurion learned that Jesus was approaching, he dispatched several friends to dissuade Christ from coming. Deeply respecting Jewish worship and Jesus’ spirituality, he felt undeserving of Christ’s [...]

Monday: “Have You Not Read . . .?”
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Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Unfortunately, some of the most powerful and influential people with whom Jesus dealt were the religious leaders of His time, many of whom were openly hostile to Him.

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Yet, even in His encounters with them, Jesus always sought to be redemptive. He wasn’t seeking arguments; He was seeking the salvation of all people, even of those powerful and influential people who would eventually condemn Him to death.

Read Mark 2:23-28, 3:1-6 and Matthew 12:1-16. How can [...]

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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gless09

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 [...]

Simon Says: “You Can Prevent Clergy Sexual Abuse!”
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/lwjas0525.html?r=ssnet

They call me Simon the Pharisee. “Simon” means “hearing.” In accordance with my name, I heard the call of Jesus and became a disciple after He healed me of leprosy. Candidly, the physical disease symbolized the deeper spiritual disease from which Jesus also delivered me. I was guilty of clergy sexual abuse, a practice that fed on my Phariseeism like crustaceans feed on sewage.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Clergy Sexual Abuse has been in the headlines for a few [...]