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Tuesday: Whom Do We Worship? — 17 Comments

  1. I remain convinced that for the present our focus should be on who we are worshipping and what is currently attracting our attention away from worship now. And within that understanding, we should recognise that worship has a much wider context than which day we worship or what church we belong to. As I have said several times this week a timeshifted liturgy between Sunday and Saturday is a limited view of our allegiance to God.

    I happen to believe that the Sabbath is important but I am also very much aware of the limitation of our forensic arguments to justify our Sabbath-keeping. Our best argument for Sabbath-keeping is to consider who and why we worship God and make that a shareable experience. Rather than the exclusive, "We are right and you are wrong!" approach we need to embrace a relationship with God that includes but goes beyond Sabbath liturgy.

    The big crisis we are facing right now is that the alternative worship is secular, consumerist, and selfish. Self, rather than God has become our focus. That is the religious allegiance that is the alternative to true worship right now.

    I wrote in another comment this morning that in the 1800s the push against Sunday laws in the USA came largely from commercial and leisure interests. Those same interests are attracting folk away from true worship today.

    • I agree that the "we-are-right-and-you-are-wrong" approach is not helpful. During the 1800's most people in the US were Christians - some more committed than others. So Adventists sought to share the light they had found with other Christians. Unfortunately that often degenerated into legalistic arguments.

      I find that it isn't difficult to share the Sabbath truth when I share that, at the very beginning, when He created humans, God set aside one special day each week for rest and communion with Him and each other, and He put a special blessing in that day. God knew that we would need the rest and the time to draw closer to Him and to each other, and because He commanded it, we can take a mini vacation each week without any guilty qualms for not "getting things done"! (If He had not "commanded" it, we would find a thousand reasons to keep busy in other ways!)

      What a wonderful God we serve!

    • Maurice, can you expound on your comment “the limitation of our forensic arguments to justify our sabbath keeping.” It seems to me the Sunday forensic arguments are even more limited. Either way regardless of the evidence everyone has to be convinced in their own mind.

      • The limitation is in forensic argument per se. We cannot convince anyone with a detailed logical argument if we do not value and share the experience of the Sabbath. Try convincing someone to eat a food that you eat because you have to. If others see you enjoying a food they will want some too.

  2. Yes it very well could be a selfish motive to drop out because we fear the coming crisis. That is why we review the history and the Bible prophecy, it is one of God's methods to help us with our faith. Some others are church with God and our Christian friends, Christian family, God fearing parents, on and on. Whether or not we have these, it is a miracle from God that we turn to Him and stay steadfast. To God be the glory for the things he does for us, when we choose Him.

  3. In our era (and at my age) I tend to emphasize the "rest" portion of the Sabbath experience. However, I'm reminded that when the Sabbath was "created" (Mark 2:27), Adam and Eve had not yet really worked, and they were not apparently able to experience a need for rest because of the consequences of exertion. They were never weary.

    Ellen White states: "God saw that a Sabbath was essential for man, even in Paradise. He needed to lay aside his own interests and pursuits for one day of the seven, that he might more fully contemplate the works of God, and meditate upon His power and goodness. He needed a Sabbath, to remind him more vividly of God, and to awaken gratitude because all that he enjoyed and possessed came from the beneficent hand of the Creator." PP 48

    Can we say that the Sabbath (at least originally) was designed as a "spiritual experience" ("contemplate...meditate...vivid reminder...awaken")?

    • Can we say that the Sabbath (at least originally) was designed as a "spiritual experience" ("contemplate...meditate...vivid reminder...awaken")? Yes.

      And it should be now too. Sabbath afternoon and evening I was listening to youtube SS lessons and became a little stir crazy so I walked out side and meditated on God's creations, the flowers I had planted, the roses were in full bloom and the Robin's, sparrows, black birds, and occasional crow squaking in the tree, all a testimony of God's love in the things He has for us on Sabbath our special day, and through out the week.

      Yes, awaken to those in need around us on Sabbath is a good activity to keep our minds in Him.

  4. Good morning everyone, I have resorted to these long questions that give a long answer! Once again I beg your indulgence. (The highlighted question).

    Think about the corruption of humanity and the evil that humans can do. Why does this show how easily final events could come about? Also, even more important, what should this sad truth teach us about guarding our hearts?

    The portrayal of human corruption and the capacity for evil in biblical texts, such as the one mentioned in Revelation, serves as a cautionary reminder. It highlights how easily catastrophic events can unfold when darkness prevails over goodness. This theme resonates across various religious and philosophical traditions, emphasizing the importance of vigilance and self-awareness.

    Why final events could come about easily:

    Human Nature: The Bible acknowledges the fallen nature of humanity, prone to selfishness, greed, and cruelty. When these tendencies escalate, they can lead to widespread chaos and suffering.
    Collective Behavior: History has shown that societies can collectively embrace destructive ideologies or systems. The mark of the beast symbolizes allegiance to a corrupt authority, and when such allegiance becomes widespread, it can pave the way for apocalyptic scenarios.
    Incremental Changes: Final events need not occur suddenly; they can evolve incrementally. Small compromises, gradual erosion of values, and subtle shifts in societal norms contribute to larger transformations.
    What this truth teaches us about guarding our hearts:

    Discernment: We must discern between right and wrong, resisting the allure of harmful ideologies or practices. Guarding our hearts involves critical thinking and moral clarity.

    Resilience: Knowing the potential for evil, we cultivate resilience against negative influences. We actively choose love, compassion, and integrity, even when faced with adversity.

    Community: We find strength in the community. Surrounding ourselves with like-minded individuals who uphold goodness helps protect our hearts from corruption.

    Self-Reflection: Regular introspection helps us recognize our vulnerabilities and areas where we might compromise. By addressing these, we fortify our hearts against darkness.

    Ultimately, this awareness encourages us to be agents of positive change, promoting love, justice, and compassion in a world that sometimes leans toward destruction.

  5. It is important for us to know about the Seal of God, but it is ever more important to have our heart ready to receive it.

    Jesus agreed that a "certain lawyer" clearly knew the law and summarised it perfectly. Yet Jesus then explained that the learned lawyer needed to actually do something with the words he had so ably encapsulated.

    If there is anyone we are unable to accept is a child of God, we are, like the lawyer, completely missing the point of being a Christian. We are to love God AND our neighbour. Without this dual role, we are nothing.

    Would Jesus have to remind us just who our neighbour is, or are we reflecting His love?

  6. What about the second commandment? There is absolutely no emphasis on that and it's a layered commandment as well. But we have industries committed to making graven images, from pictures of our children, sports teams, and more...

  7. At this time of writing, I am traveling internationally. For those who travel often, the security changes at the airports are very evident. Almost all airports are now required passengers to have their photographs taken and stored in government databases. Although this is new to the United States, it began in European countries a few years ago, and in China at a much earlier date. This information allows governments to do face matching and recognition of individuals. With this information, it is easy to track and to identify anyone using artificial intelligence (AI).

    The use of AI is already entrenched in our lives, even though we may not be aware of it. AI is now being used to track what we purchase, what and when we look at certain programs on TV and over the internet, and where we are and when we use our cellphones.

    Ellen White says that the final moments will be rapid ones. My friends, it good to study and become scholars of the bible, but that will not save us. Only a personal relationship with Jesus will save us. We need it now. Time is winding up. Things are falling into place quickly for the final moments. Are we ready?

  8. When it comes to worshipping God, we should not separate obedience/truth from love. From the beginning until now, the issue between God and Satan is "my way" or "your way." God requires strict obedience (not 99.9%) but, Satan is willing to take 99.9%. Regarding keeping the Sabbath day holy, we should not seek to separate the letter of the law from the spirit of the law.

    The Sabbath is such a wonderful gift from God.

  9. We are in a time that direct worship of the devil is common and those who do so have nothing to hide.Its true Satan is willing to take 99.9% obedience while God needs 100%.Lets pray earnestly that God will consider our worship 100% of what He requires.

  10. My contemplation: “Why has our Creator focused on providing a ‘day of rest’ for man?” If one looks at it from the perspective of ‘works vs. faith’, one could argue that He admonishes mankind to remember that it is not man who provides for his sustanance, but it is God through which all his spiritual and physical needs are met - Phil.4:19.

    To know this, to fully understand and accept this premise wholeheartedly, to know that we wholly depend on our Creator, is what would then be at the heart of why we want to ‘keep the Sabbath of the Lord holy’ – we acknowledge the work He has done and 'enhance His Rest' through worship and praise of Him; even now He works and 'holds back the winds of strife' to maintain this world steeped in iniquity - Rev. 7:1-3.

    The spirit of antichrist has been in this world since the fall of our original parents, enticing anyone who thinks to ‘know how best to satisfy their own needs.’ Are we fully aware that we belong either to the family of our Creator God, or the family of the antichrist who came to draw man to himself by using the lure that man can know for himself
    how to provide for his own material needs and desires?

    When digging deeply into the spiritual aspects of the warfare between Christ and the adversary of God and Christ, one can easily detect what is at stake – the Light of God's spirit and His Truth to be recognized and known by God’s spirit within man.
    Again and again, Jesus refused to be ‘helped’ by the adversary. He knew what was at stake if He accepted the offer; what this spiritual warfare was all about – determining who man believes/thinks is in authority to govern him and creation, who’s children we are physically and spiritually, who’s spirit we listen to, who we allow to guide our life’s decisions - Matt.4:2-4.

    Though Jesus Christ came to demonstrate to us the right ‘Way’, established by our heavenly Father that man should walk in, teaching us about right and wrong, we are still exposed to 'going our own way'.
    Deep in the heart of man still lays the ‘covetousness to know' for himself. Eve considered it when deciding to live life according to her 'own' understanding. It remains to this day the strongest motivator for leaving the path of righteousness which our Father directs his children to take. God's Sabbath helps us reflect on 'Who do we worship, who do we follow' – self or our Creator? God decides what man should 'know' - John 16:13!

  11. For me the growth of the mob mentality is what most convinces me that persecution is possible. I remember several years ago how a dentist shot a protected lion and had to go into hiding for a time because of all the threats. Social media really drives this.

    However, I think we really have no idea how everything will fall into place and speculating about it is a waste of time. With the very polarized world we live in (left and right detest each other) something significant will have to happen to get them on the "same team". I believe it will happen, but probably not the way we imagine. Ultimately we need to focus on our love for God rather than the enemy so we won't be swayed.


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