What Are We Compromising?
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Before we take this week’s lesson title (Conformity, Compromise and Crisis in Worship) as an excuse to proscribe forms of worship that we do not like, we need to consider worship in its wider context. There are three aspects of worship (Yes I am well aware that my classification is not the only one but this one helps me)

Personal worship: this is the time that we spend by ourselves in prayer, study and meditation
Community worship: this is the time that [...]

Evolution of the Bible?
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Friday morning I woke up, turned on my computer, looked at the news headlines and got a shock. One of the headlines read, “In Jerusalem, scholars trace Bible’s evolution.” The first two paragraphs were most unsettling:

JERUSALEM (AP) — A dull-looking chart projected on the wall of a university office in Jerusalem displayed a revelation that would startle many readers of the Old Testament: the sacred text that people revered in the past was not the same one we study today.
An [...]

08: Conformity, Compromise, and Crisis – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought: Compromise between our own inclinations and God’s direction can lead to false worship, but we are to call and be called to repentance, obedience, and worship of the one true God.

1. Have a volunteer read I Kings 11:1-4.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.

B. What harm is there in having romantic interaction with others who are not committed members of the SDA church?

C. Personal Application: Has having [...]

07: Worship In the Psalms – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought:  The Psalms give voice to the heart cries of seekers after God in a living dialogue of pleas, assurance, blessing, praise, and celebration.  

1.     Have a volunteer read Psalm 73:12-17.

A.  Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.

B.   What knowledge of the sanctuary did David understand that clarified his knowledge of the rich and powerful who didn’t follow after God?

C.      [...]

Jesus, the Sustainer of My Life
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We often think of God as the creator and the one who keeps us alive. We look at Him as the one who blesses us by supplying all our needs and many of our wants. But how often do we really think about the extent that God is involved with us? The writer of Hebrews speaks of Jesus as the Son of God in this way, “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, [...]

06: Worship and Song and Praise – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought:  Song is an important medium whereby we express our contrition and need, recount God’s goodness, and offer Him glory and praise.

1.     Have a volunteer read I Chronicles 16:7-12.

A.    Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B.   Why is it important to remember God’s works, wonders, and judgments in worship?
C.     Personal Application:  How can these ideas be reflected in our corporate worship of the Lord?
D.   Case Study :  [...]

06: Majesty and praise in worship – Discussion Starters
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Make Your Own Music

The psalmist David loved music. Maybe he played the drum or blew on a horn. Or maybe he sang in a sweet tenor voice. The Bible doesn’t tell us. But the Bible tells us clearly that David played a harp.

David learned to express his deepest feelings in music. Have you ever tried to do that? Here are some tips that might get you started writing your own songs of praise.

1. Start with the words. Choose a verse [...]

05: Lesson Questions by JG
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The following questions may be helpful to you in presenting the lesson to a class, at home, or alone. They are provided with the hope that they stir you to think and pray and not just react. Each set of questions corresponds to a section of the SSNET Lesson Guide, for this week Lesson 5.

1. Leading thought. Do you express joy when you’re attending a worship service? Do you arrive at the church where you worship feeling genuinely happy regardless [...]

Was that funny?
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“I liked that joke the pastor told in the sermon this morning,” Rolly said during lunch at home after the church service. “Didn’t you?” He shot a look at his dad and then his mom.

“Joke?” repeated Dad. “I didn’t hear a joke.”

“Honey, you were late getting to the sanctuary today,” Rolly’s mom said. “You had to go home and change your shoes because the heel of one of your new shoes fell off.”

Rolly laughed. “That’s funny,” he said.

“I don’t think [...]

Ordained as Priests
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“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; 
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
and clever in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:20-21, NASB

Today, most Christian denominations are hierarchical in structure with layers of clergy administering other clergy from the top down until reaching the level of the local church where a carefully controlled laity works in secular occupations to support that structure.

Some laity and [...]

Is It Time for a Requiem?
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“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.” Matthew 27:51-52, NIV

Have you ever told someone that you were spiritual but not religious? Or has someone ever said that to you about themselves? The implication is that there is something wrong with institutional worship that can be avoided by dropping [...]

The Sanctuary As a Model
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Sometimes we get confused about the sanctuary as described in Scripture. Is the earthly sanctuary of Old Testament times an exact replica of the heavenly sanctuary? If so, why? Do God and the angels need a visual representation of God’s holiness when they have the very presence of God Himself with them?

Certainly the items and the ritual of sacrifices in the temple courtyard do not exist in the heavenly sanctuary. The ultimate sacrifice, Christ’s death, has already happened, as prophesied. [...]