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Monday: The Cosmic Struggle — 8 Comments

  1. I don't know how many of you have had experiences where you realise that you have lost control of a situation and you have to depend entirely on others for your existence. I woke up one night feeling uncomfortable and nauseous and decided to visit the bathroom. Nothing happened. And then I wanted to vomit. Again nothing happened. And then the pain hit like a sledgehammer and I just curled up on the floor and told Carmel to call emergency services.

    I have a whole week of activity planned. I was lecturing at the time and it was getting close to examinations. But there was nothing I could do about it. I was in emergency for about 8 hours; then I was admitted to hospital. Then they started X-rays, ultra-sound, CAT scans, and pathology tests. Doctors came poked and prodded and asked "Does it hurt!" This went on for 4 days. I was fed by a drip and I was hooked up to tubes for other functions. I was in pain with no diagnosis. My life was out of control and in the hands of others. Finally, they said that they would have to open me up and look inside.

    I learned that there are times when you have to have faith and trust in others. You no longer have control. Your life depends on others.

    In some respects that was a valuable insight into the last part of Rev 14:12

    Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Rev 14:12 KJV

    We often have long discussions about the in/of preposition - much of it to assure our listeners that we have superior knowledge and understanding. In fact, the lack of prepositions in the original has resulted in both translations. I like to think that there is a message in both translations. Just as I needed to exercise faith in my medical staff - even when they were seemingly taking forever to diagnose me - so Jesus exercised his faith in the Father during his hour of need and so we too must exercise our faith in Jesus. We need to exercise faith in the faith of Jesus.

  2. It is sad when we let our "bad experiences" define us! Jesus had all the bad experiences a human being could bear, and He did not fight to be free from His Mission because of His infinite love for you and me. That love can save us from ourselves! Let us rejoice because the price was paid in full! Let us be happy now because while there is life, there is an option! The option to be on the side of the One Who has already won the battle!

  3. The only thing that has helped me sufficiently deal with adverse situations is meditating on God’s word, memorizing and applying it. That has been the best stress reducer of my life. I have more work to do in drawing closer to Jesus, but I feel better about it than I used to.

  4. How do we live by faith, when all the news of corruption and/or cover-up of corruption is closing in around us? We stop and turn to the Sabbath school lesson and spend as much time, and some times, more time with God in the Sabbath school lesson, sermons, Biblical lectures, and inspirational music. I remember years ago Morris Vendon advising us college students to spend as much time in the Word, in worship to our God as we do watching television. Now I don't have cable or satellite, and the TV is never on, but I do like the snatches of news on the internet, also the how to natural health, how to grow, and how to fix, and how to make your own.

    Then a still small voice says spend equal amount of time with Me. I do, ya know there is peace apart from the world, that the more I listen and do, the more I cherish. My brain can't do without time spent with God daily.
    Matthew 11:29.
    1 Corinthians 11:1

    "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
    James 1:4.
    1Corinthians 2;2.

    I hope this helps you all to get by too.

  5. Leaning on Jesus during difficult situations will ONLY happen if we had a relationship in good times. Establishing, nourishing, nurturing an intimate relationship with our intercessor will give us the comfort and peace needed to have the faith and humble dependence to know that nothing is impossible with God.

  6. To give undeniable evidence that it was the Son of God who was crucified, Jesus endured the cross. Dying and being brought back to life, He demonstrated it was possible to overcome the fear of being eternally separated from our Creator and so kept the faith. If He would not have been publicly put to death, someone would have raised doubt about His deity, actual death, and resurrection.

    The empty tomb caused the religious leaders enough headache as they resorted to making it look like His resurrection was staged. But when He appeared in full form to His disciples and others, any further doubt was impossible. The deniers of His resurrection where silenced, but the spirit of antichrist, the enemy of God, went into full attack mode.

    Through the Holy Spirit in our life, Jesus Christ's mission continues to convert the unbelievers, calling them to trust God and to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is He now who faithfully speaks to our heart and mind the Word of God and causes us to stay strong in our commitment to not waiver in our faith in Him.

    Without a doubt, Jesus the Son of Man and God was resurrected to be the testimony to all mankind that God will provide a resurrection to all who love Him and live according to His Will. The cosmic struggle has ended, the victory over death belongs to Jesus Christ.

    The dragon knows that the time to deceive the nations is short, but he will make an extra effort to increase his cunning lies and deceptions to make it difficult for us to perceive God's Truth. It is up to us now to stay close to the Holy Spirit and fight to keep the faith in and of Jesus.

  7. In preparation to teach Sabbath School this Sabbath, here's what I wrote about the first question on Monday's lesson:

    Here’s what I am saying, when I say we need to preach and teach Jesus first [I wrote, about Sunday's lesson, that many Evangelicals think that Seventh-day Adventists preach and teach "salvation by works, or by observance of the Sabbath]. For most of us, we would rather get right to point of this lesson, the subject of this week’s Sabbath School lesson, the Seal of God vs the Mark of the Beast. But I like how Pastor Mark Finley is presenting Jesus first, before discussing the Seal of God or the Mark of the Beast. Any sermon or teaching that does NOT start and end with Jesus, is NOT a sermon or teaching that you should be listening to; to do anything else is “...teaching for doctrines the commandments of men," Matthew 15:9.

    As for the meaning of what Jesus said to His Father, “My God, My God, why have Thy forsaken Me?” In that hour, hopefully just a few moments, on the cross, Jesus experienced total separation from His Father. God the Father had to turn His back on His Son, because all the sins of the world were cast on Jesus, and sin cannot stand in the presence of God; I don’t have the words to give a better explanation than that. Although Jesus knew and understand this fully, He also understood His Mission as prophesied in Isaiah 53, “he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter”; but in His humanity, His flesh cried out for help to endure this terrible affliction.

    Let me explain this with a little illustration. My illustration does not begin to compare to Jesus’ affliction on the cross, but I want to tell you anyway. About 7 years ago, while on a Pathfinders’ camping trip, I severely burned my forearm, by lifting the lid off a big steaming pot of liquid; I still have the scar to prove it. I was in pain, and I could not care for my own injury by myself. Luckily one of the sisters, who was a professional nurse, came along on the camping trip, even though she was the Adventurers’ director. She cared for me; she dressed my injury every day until we returned home. My husband took me immediately to the urgent care center, on a Sunday night. Even after that, my husband still had to take care of me, dressing and bandaging my wounds every morning at 7:30 before he went to work, until I got used to using my left hand and arm to do everyday tasks.

    I say all of this because, in my time of need, I had a lot of help. In contrast, in Jesus’ time of need, he had little to no help; the help he did have, of carrying the cross up the hill, was done unwillingly; the man that helped Jesus did not realize who He really was, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Alpha, and the Omega. Even though Jesus had little to no help that day, He still "trusted" His Father, and decided to stay on that cross for you and for me, and for the whole world, whether they decided to accept Him or to refuse to accept Him.

    It's all about our Trust and Faith in Jesus. Teach and preach Jesus to all you come in contact with, and He will do the rest.

    God's blessing to you all.

  8. A martyr's death is marked by hope of a future life, an eternal and blissful life, forever in the presence of God.

    A lost sinner's death has no such hope and is equivalent to saying "good-bye" to life forever (Revelation 21:8).

    Jesus didn't experience the death of a martyr. He experienced the death of a lost sinner.

    Jesus was willing to say "good-bye" to life FOREVER in order that we could live with our Heavenly Father for eternity.

    This, THIS is love.


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