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Sabbath: The Reading of the Word — 6 Comments

  1. Australia is a very big country and in many areas churches (of any denomination) are a long way apart. On one trip we found ourselves near an Adventist Church a long way from home and decided to attend. We dressed in our best "trip clothes" jeans and T-shirts and turned up to Sabbath School. Sabbath School preliminaries comprised reading some of the Churches 28 fundamentals. The church service was essentially readings from Testimonies to the Church Vol 5, the chapter on reverence in the sanctuary, where we were admonished that we should not even talk about spiritual things in the church. It was a place where reverence meant absolute quiet. We were told not even to talk to the preacher on the way out of the church as it might hold the others in the queue back and they might be attempted to talk to one another. The sad part about all this was that hardly anyone spoke to us, even outside the church - I guess they thought that a couple of old folk, not wearing recognised "Sabbath dress" might contaminate them. I do not want to be too judgemental. They may have had reasons for their very restrictive approach on that particular day but it would have been nice to be made feel welcome and enjoy the fellowship and camaraderie of fellow believers. (And do not get the idea that all churches in Australia are just as unwelcoming. I have been welcomed and blessed by many of the churches I have visited and look forward to visiting them again on future trips.)

    Sometimes, in our effort to get meaning out of the Bible and the Law, we forget the invitation of the Gospel. If all we get out of our Bible reading is restriction and condemnation, then there is something seriously wrong with our Bible reading and we need to question whether we are being guided by the Holy Spirit.

    I like the perspective given in Psalms 19:

    The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

    The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

    The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

    More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

    Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Psalm 19:7-17

    I have read a lot of textbooks in my time. But, if I cannot apply the lessons from those textbooks learned to real situations that I face every day then they may as well have stayed shut. Pure religion is applied religion.

    • It appears that sometimes some of our brothers and sisters are so focused on knowing scriptures but are failing at being true christians.

    • I try to read this blog at least once per week and I love it as it enriches the study.

      I wonder what would have happened, had you and your lovely wife greeted them - maybe not inside of the building but outside.

  2. The battles were hard; the work was big; there were challenges from within and without. But the job was now finished, and victory was sweet.
    Their enemies were disheartened not just because the wall was finished, but especially because it was evident that God did the work. When something has the fingerprints of God on it, all our enemies notice it also.
    Men might be fooled, and see a work of man and be impressed, but angels in heaven and every demon in hell know what has been done by man and what has been done by God.
    A strong, secure people of Jerusalem were a witness to surrounding nations. Many of us live Christian lives that no one takes notice of, because our walls are broken down. Let the LORD do a building work, and others will notice.

  3. The memory verse is one of the most crucial & significant in the bible. Implementing it counters fanaticism and discord. Pay attention to Tuesday's lesson. Look at 1 Co 14 the first 10 verses to get a sense of how Paul had insight into competent teaching that addresses deception and superstition.
    Also Google "inductive method of teaching" to get an appreciation for Neh 8:8 and 1 Cor 10.


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