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Sabbath: Mission to the Needy — 12 Comments


    The disobedient goats : everlasting punishment !

    The righteous sheep (who have obeyed Him) : life eternal 🙂

    King Jesus' words in Matthew 25:46 KJV.

  2. A cursory glance at the books of the Torah reveals the importance of how we treat the needy. A very large part of the tithing system was devoted not just to providing for them but including them, particularly in religious celebrations and festivals. I was also interested in that often the wording not only mentioned the widows and fatherless but also "the stranger". This of course referred to foreigners. They were to be included.

    In our modern church environment, how many folks are "strangers within our land", and how do we treat them? And in the context of this week's study, how do we sheep treat the goats. This weeks lesson has much to challenge us.

  3. God is able to send His love to others through us and has given us His love through others (John 15:16-17).
    My grandpa took me into his home and cared for my mother and I until I was 3 years old. He did not regard it shame to love and care for a child born outside of marriage or to care for a daughter who had found herself in a difficult situation. My grandpa continued to be a loving mentor in my life until he died 5 years ago. I could go on and on telling stories of my grandpa's sacrifices and love for me, but I want to share an even greater realization.

    I had been visiting my grandpa and the time had come for me to fly home. I had and early morning flight and intended to have my prayers and devotion on the plane that morning. I began to thank the Lord for my grandpa and that I was able to understand God's love through the way my grandpa loved and cared for me when I was helpless and needed it. In the quiet early morning flight tears streamed down my face as I thought of the many ways through the year my grandpa had shown me love, and I realized the God had been able to love me through my grandpa. The love of God is demonstrated to those in need through His children. It is a humbling and moving realization... still brings tears to my eyes.

    Thank the Lord for such a great love and for my grandpa. Can't wait to see both someday soon. What a promise the gospel is for those of us who have friends and family resting in Jesus. To God be the glory for the great things He has done, is doing, and will do!

    • Dear Jodi - reading about your realization of how our heavenly Father's love was expressed through your grandpa brought tears to my eyes as well. Indeed - what a marvelous, incredible, mysterious heavenly LOVE will be expressed when a neighbor loves his neighbor. God blessed you - He revealed this mystery we call 'Love' to you.

    • Good morning from Trinidad. I just had to hop on here to say Thank God for your grandpa Jodi. Indeed your reflections also brought tears to my eyes as well. God bless you and him also. God's willing you'll see him in the hereafter. Thank you for this. Very inspiring.

  4. Are we ‘modeling’ the ministry of Jesus Christ, or are we considered to be the vessel consecrated for the use by our heavenly Father to pour out His Goodness for the blessing and edification of the giver and the receiver?

    Gal.5:22-23 - the spiritual fruit of the Holy Spirit residing in us expresses itself as “love – joy – peace – goodness – faithfulness – gentleness – and self-control”. We ought to never quench the outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s fruit by acting callous – unkind – uncaring – inconsiderate – selfish - etc. to perceived needs.

    To me, true ‘mission’ is to willingly and joyfully allow the Holy Spirit living within to use us to express the Father’s multi-layered Love toward those in need to be touched by Him.

  5. Just an illustration for today: A man who came out of a church worship at night, kept talking to some brothers at the church door and when he saw it was ten o'clock at night. He picked up his car and headed home. The conversation at the church door was about God to speak to us today. The man inside the car said in a loud voice: God talks to me please! Soon a thought came to his head; "Stop and buy two liters of milk." He stopped the car and thought, Did God talk to me? He started in the car and the thought came back: "Stop and buy two liters of milk." He saw a bakery, parked the car and went there and bought two liters of milk. Soon he thought: if not God speaking to me, I take the milk home. When he began to run with the car, another strong thought assailed him saying, "Enter the seventh street on the right." He told the streets and stopped in front of the seventh street. Another thought came by saying, "Beat in the tenth house and deliver the milk." Stunned he got out of the car and walked in that street deserves until the tenth house. Soon he thought: I must be crazy, here in front of this house as a stranger, with two liters of milk, to give to who? Another thought came: "Touch the bell and deliver the milk." He rang the bell and a man from Bermuda Jeans and a white T-shirt opened the door and said, "Well, who is the Lord? What do you want at this time of night? ". He said: God told me to bring this here for you. The man picked up the bag and when he saw the milk, he shouted at his wife who came running with a child on his lap. She said, "We are without money to buy milk and our baby is hungry. We pray to God to send an angel to help us. Are you an angel? " The stunned man said: No, I'm not an angel, I'm just someone who heard the voice of God. Everyone was emotional and that man went home with the sense of duty fulfilled in helping the next.

  6. This work can be challenging, but it brings great rewards.

    Jesus told us to count the costs before following Him, suggesting that we might think the costs are pretty high (Luke 14:28-30). We of course don't know exactly how our lives will change from joining God in mission, or what we will have to give up, but Jesus invites us to make a commitment to Him at the highest possible cost (Luke 14:26-27,33; Matt. 13:44). I hear Him saying, "Be ready to give up all possessions, all relationships, all of life." He wants me to say, “I’m yours at any cost,” just as He explained to the Rich Young Ruler.

    So let's count...here are 5 each of challenges and rewards I can think of ...can you think of others? Have you experienced these too?


    (1) Limited resources. Helping others takes funds, supplies, people, time, knowledge. Some missionary activities in faraway lands require even more efforts and resources. Human strength alone is weak. (But with God all things are possible (Matt. 19:26)).

    (2) Emotional and mental strain. It's hard to witness pain, suffering and difficult situations, especially up close. We can feel helpless, hopeless, get compassion fatigue. (However, we are "troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” (2 Cor. 4:8-9). We carry each other's burdens (Gal 6:2). And even Jesus took rest breaks.)

    (3) Complex and diverse needs. People often have more than one need, where to start? There may be physical, emotional, financial, and social support needs. We may need to collaborate with different groups and professionals to help. (We already have the best help! (John 14:26; 16:33; James 1:5). And He won't give us more than we can handle with Him (1 Cor. 10:13).

    (4) Resistance. Sometimes people push away our help due to past negative experiences, mistrust, personality - it requires patience, empathy and effective communication to build trust and overcome barriers. (Jesus met a defensive woman at Jacob's well and He melted her heart. His Spirit in us can go through heart walls again and again. God is gentle and a gentleman; He knocks to enter our minds and souls (Rev. 3:20), and He never breaks a bruised reed or extinguishes a dying flame (Is.42:3)

    (5) Slander. Satan has capitalized on the stories of Christians who have not acted like Christ...missionary stories in the anthropology books are usually not pretty. People may accuse us as using "bait and switch" tactics too - manipulating and lying through pretend acts of mercy to get people into our churches and offering plates. (Some people have done horrible things in Jesus's name, that's true. But we know that Christ is working His acts of love through His body (John 14:12; Eph.2:10; Phil. 2:13; Heb.13:21). If we are falsely accused, Jesus was falsely accused too (Mark 14:55-56; Matt.5:11-12; Luke 11:15-16), but opened not His mouth (Is. 53:7).


    (1) We are answering Jesus's prayer of "Thy will be done" when we team with Him (Matt.6:10). We bring Him joy when we take on His selfless mission no matter the cost (Luke 15:7; Heb. 12:2).

    (2) We can bring people to Jesus, the answer to all of their needs! We can see lives transformed, see them overcome sin and addictions and thrive in Christ (2 Cor. 3:17-18).

    (3) Transformed lives increases our own faith. We see God's bigger plan working out (1 John 4:4) and our faith becomes sight (1 Pet. 1:6-7).

    (4) We have greater intimacy with Jesus by working together with Him, learning more of His character "on the job", yoked up together (Matt. 11:28-30; Phil 3:8). It's better to do one "good work" with Christ than 10,000 without Him (Ps.84:10; Matt.7:21-23).

    (5) We can help to grow, in territory and strength, God's Kingdom (Heb. 11:13-16). We are answering Jesus's prayer of "Thy Kingdom Come on Earth" when we work with our brothers and sisters in faith, creating a Kingdom-ripple of God's love for the needy. Hospitals, adoption and foster care systems, schools for the blind and deaf, tithes for the poor and many other social services started with God's obedient children.

    (6) We are building meaningful connections and relationships with people - both the people we help and the people we team with to offer help. These friendships in the family of God, bonds between people from diverse backgrounds, will last for an eternity (Matt.12:46-50).

    (7) Christ's Spirit is growing within us, God's love and empathy are crowding out self-centeredness and expanding our perspective. We are no longer a small package all wrapped up in ourselves, but God's gift to others wrapped with others in His huge love.

    (8) God promises to "repay" us even more at the resurrection, when we can worship Him with a crowd no one can number it is so large (Luke 14:14; Ps.84:11; Rev.7:9).

    (9) Our lives have meaning and a purpose.

    (10) We are finally free to truly love not for what we get back. No strings attached. We are free from counting the costs.

    Wow, did you notice? The list of rewards doubled, and the list of challenges were each swept away through God's promises. We are so loved by God!

  7. There always will be someone around who needs help. Helping people in need may be the best way to help myself. I hope to see those to whom I can make a difference today!

  8. As Joseph was to Egypt, so is every Seventh Day Adventist to be to the world! We must never think for a second that we as disciples of Jesus will enter the gates of Heaven when we choose not to minister to the needy here on earth! Excuses are for fools, but wisdom and faith always prevails!


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