I come from an influential family in central India and grew up worshipping stone gods.
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My parents wanted the best education for me, so they enrolled me in an Adventist secondary school. We didn’t know what “Adventist” meant then.
I liked the school and made friends quickly. One friend, Amith, invited me to his home on Saturday. I was surprised that he and his family weren’t watching television, but instead were talking about something called the [...]
[Thought questions for Reformation: Healing Broken Relationships September 18, 2013]
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1. After the crash. Imagine that you’re a professional cake decorator and are just now putting the finishing touches on a cream-colored four-layer cake with an intricate pattern and pretty red roses made of icing when there’s a loud crash and wooden boards begin falling from the ceiling–one of them smashing across your lovely cake. It’s gone. Or is there a way to assemble the [...]
Read Matthew 18:15-17.
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What three steps does Jesus give us to help us to resolve conflicts when we are wronged by another church member? How are we to apply these words in our contemporary situations?
Jesus’ desire in giving the counsel of Matthew 18 is to keep conflict in as small a group as possible. His intent is that the two people involved solve the problem themselves. This is why Jesus declares, “‘If your brother sins against [...]
What is forgiveness?
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Does forgiveness justify the behavior of someone who has horribly wronged us? Is my forgiveness dependent on the offender’s repentance? What if the one with whom I am upset with does not deserve my forgiveness?
How do the following passages help us to understand the biblical nature of forgiveness?Rom. 5:8-11; Luke 23:31-34; 2 Cor. 5:20-21;Eph. 4:26-30.
Christ took the initiative in reconciling us to Himself. It is the “goodness of God [that] leads you to repentance” (Rom. 2:4, [...]
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 [...]
Key Thought : Jesus longing for His church is for members to respect one another and live in Christian love and unity.
[Teaching plan for Healing Broken Relationships September 16, 2013]
1. Have a volunteer read 2 Timothy 4:11.
a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. Why doesn’t forgiveness not always include a complete restoration of a previous relationship? Why doesn’t it always need to?
c. Personal Application : How can [...]
As we saw in an earlier lesson, the church at Corinth had deep problems.
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What principles does Paul outline in 1 Corinthians 3:5-11, 12:1-11, and 2 Corinthians 10:12-15 for healing and restoration, all of which are so vital to revival and reformation?
In these passages, the apostle outlines critical principles of church unity. He points out that Jesus uses different workers to accomplish different ministries in His church, even though each one is laboring together for the building up of God’s [...]
While he was imprisoned in Rome, Paul met a runaway slave named Onesimus who had fled from Colossae to Rome. Paul personally knew Onesimus’ master.
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The Epistle of Philemon is Paul’s personal appeal to his friend regarding a restored relationship with the runaway slave.
Relationships mattered to Paul. The apostle knew that fractured relationships are detrimental to spiritual growth. Philemon was a church leader in Colossae. If he harbored bitterness toward Onesimus, it would color his [...]
Paul and Barnabas worked together in witnessing for Jesus. But they had some strife between them (Acts 15:36-39).
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Paul could not trust one as fearful as John Mark. The potential dangers of preaching the gospel had caused John Mark at one point to desert Paul and Barnabas and return home.
“This desertion caused Paul to judge Mark unfavorably, and even severely, for a time. Barnabas, on the other hand, was inclined to excuse him because of his [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: 2 Tim. 4:11, Philem. 1:1-25, 2 Cor. 10:12-15, Rom. 5:8-11,Matt. 18:15-17.
Memory Text: “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10, NKJV).
Even after Pentecost, the relationship between believers was at times strained. The New Testament records repeated examples of the way that church leaders and individual members dealt with such challenges. These principles are extremely valuable for [...]
“Many profess to be on the Lord’s side, but they are not; the weight of all their actions is on Satan’s side. By what means shall we determine whose side we are on? Who has the heart? With whom are our thoughts? Upon whom do we love to converse? Who has our warmest affections and our best energies? If we are on the Lord’s side, our thoughts are with Him, and our sweetest thoughts are of Him. We have no [...]
Twelve-year-old Yvette walked along the dusty path, carefully balancing the plastic water jug on her head.
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She didn’t want to spill even a drop of water. She passed children walking toward a nearby school. They were dressed in dark skirts or trousers and white shirts. Yvette’s steps slowed as she thought about the children learning to read and write and do math. Sometimes she could hear them reciting their lessons aloud in the little school. [...]