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?
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Intercessory prayer, however, focuses on another person’s needs, thus removing the likelihood of [...]
Woodrow and Jean Hill
Last November I lost a dear patriarch from my church, and friend, Woodrow (Woody) Hill who passed away at 95. I had been a friend of Woody and his wife Jean for ten years.
Woody was a man of God and always had a cheerful smile, even when I visited him at the hospital or met him delivering bread to the church community service center.
Woody’s stepdaughter said he became her daddy when she was 12, and that [...]
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 [...]
I love a good story, don’t you?
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Storytelling is a distinctly human trait. No matter how proficiently animals like dolphins, apes and some birds can communicate with us, they don’t care about stories. People, on the other hand, seem to be born craving stories. Think about the child at bedtime: “One more story, Mommy! Just one more.”
As we move through our lives, we find stories almost everywhere – books, movies, TV shows, music, even commercials tell [...]
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
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 [...]
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 [...]
[Thought questions for Discipling Through Metaphor January 8, 2014]
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Introduction. This week’s lesson may tweak your creative instincts searching for the connection between the topic for each day and the material presented. The first gap opens with Monday’s lesson, “Architectural Wisdom” which includes a brief paragraph about construction but nothing on architecture. Tuesday’s lesson, “Agricultural Analogies” hits the target with parables Jesus shared on the reception of the word by different types of soils, and [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Seven miles had never appeared as long as they did that day. Just a few days before, the two friends had expected that their journey home would be joyful and full of good memories. But instead of recounting tales of fellowship and feasts, they were downcast and sad. Unexpected tragedy had replaced all celebration. Now their futures, once full of hope, had become overshadowed with uncertainty and doubt.
As they walk together that fateful day, they are joined by a Stranger [...]