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Sabbath: To Serve and to Save — 14 Comments

  1. It is interesting to note that while the lesson this week covers the extraordinary prophecy concerning Cyrus, the emphasis is on service. It is a reminder that God, for his power and supernatural ability, is best communicated through the loving actions of committed Christians. When it comes to communicating the gospel it is our ordinary actions that do the talking, not our knowledge of supernatural historical events. If our lives are such that they draw others to Christ, then that is surely a sufficient miracle in itself.

    And just to emphasise the point, there are 19 references in the New Testament asking us to love one another. Lets pray for a miracle in our lives.

    1. John 13:34
    A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
    2. John 13:35
    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
    3. John 15:12
    This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
    4. John 15:17
    These things I command you, that ye love one another.
    5. Romans 12:10
    Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
    6. Romans 13:8
    Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
    7. Galatians 5:13
    For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
    8. Ephesians 4:2
    With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
    9. 1 Thessalonians 3:12
    And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
    10. 1 Thessalonians 4:9
    But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
    11. Hebrews 10:24
    And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
    12. 1 Peter 1:22
    Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
    13. 1 Peter 3:8
    Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
    14. 1 John 3:11
    For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
    15. 1 John 3:23
    And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
    16. 1 John 4:7
    Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
    17. 1 John 4:11
    Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
    18. 1 John 4:12
    No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
    19. 2 John 1:5
    And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.

    • Who could disagree with this list of Bible verses that call us to "Love one another", yet, what does that love look like in an increasingly polarized group of individuals who's beliefs and practices are often opposed? Is love merely a polite acceptance or tolerance of the opposing differences? Did John the Baptist love his fellow countrymen? Did Jesus love the men He addressed in Matt 23? Did Paul love the "foolish Galatians" and those Jews He addressed in Acts 28:25-28? Does Jesus love the church of Laodicea?

      I have witnessed the call to "love!" when some worked to teach falsehood in our congregation, demanding acceptance in the name of "Love", yet the apostle who wrote 1 Corinthians 13 also wrote the following advice to a young pastor: "A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself"(Titus 3:10,11 See also Titus 1:10-16).

      We have truth to defend from those increasingly intent on subverting it, whether from within or without, and a wicked world to warn of the coming judgment, while we promote the "good, acceptable, and perfect will of God" with the same devotion and love as Jesus did. True love manifests itself in many ways, as when saying to a condemned woman, "neither do I condemn you", Jesus added: "Go and sin no more". There is never a situation that doesn't require kindness, courtesy, and sympathy(1 Cor 13), but tolerance for sin and falsehood is not love when it threatens the "faith once delivered to the saints".

  2. To serve and to save. Jesus came for these 2 purposes. He came to serve the human race because we are in a hopeless situation. By serving us, He offers salvation to us. As I scan through this week lesson, I am surprised that Dr. Gane didn't use Matthew 20: 28 "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (NIV).”
    So many times, we come to church and expect the church to serve us. If the praise team didn't sing according to our expectations, we are mad and want to go to another church. If things don't go our ways, we are mad and ready to throw in the towel. We miss the whole concept of church and salvation. Like an inspired author states: "In worship, God is the audience and we are the performer." How are our performance every sabbath?
    In 2007, I had the chance to listen to Dr. Henry Wright speaking to the ministers at Oakwood University. He made the most profound statement that still resonates with me today: "God has chosen us as ministers not to save people but to save us". Because we are saved, we have to serve others. Stop complaining and criticizing the church, but instead be active in it. Be the difference maker not the complainer. We have enough complainers in church. Let us continue to serve Him, and wait faithfully for His coming as we are serving in the church and the community. Happy Sabbath and stay bless.

  3. Why did the crowds flock to see Jesus? To begin with because of the physical miracles but they stayed to hear His words that nourished their souls.

    What do the people I meet need? There is no hard and fast formula. Where are they on the pyramid of human needs? What am I able to supply?

    Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”—The Ministry of Healing, 143.

  4. The greatest influence of Christian religion is manifested in service. The reflection that I am truly saved by the grace of God is to provide services of love to those who are in need. It is true, action speaks louder than mere words. We have been saved for good service to mankind. Without service how can we possibly say we have been saved by the love of God?

    The book of James says; “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless”(James 2:14-17) -NLT

    The power of service offered in love is dynamic in communicating the gospel of Jesus. Before Jesus presented is message of salvation, He provided wellbeing services of physical, mental, and emotional. Then He topped up with spiritual service.

    Jesus said to us who are called by his name, “You are the salt of the earth” and “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-16). How can we be “the salt” and “the light” if we deliberately ignore the plight of our neighbour?

    In serving the poor of the poor, Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I'm supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I'm praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things”.

    May the Holy Spirit give us love in our hearts that we are able to feel, see and hear the cries of our neighbour’s plight and respond as Jesus did.

    • Omwenga I do agree with you. Many don't have a clear understand of who God is and what he has called us to do. Many think this religious thing is to turn a deaf ear to the cry of the outcast, the poor, and the suffering inflicted on humans etc. In every continent of this world and in some Islands there is a SDA congregation/mission. Some have so much it runs over. Some have so little the scraps can only reach. How much connection do we have with those who have so little. How much do we heed the call for the plea to the thirteen sabbath offering? What about those in our own congregation?

    • When I find someone who serving the needs of others as Jesus would, it is my privilege to join and work with them.

      Great quote from Mother Teresa.

  5. This past week the snow has fallen quietly in big soft flakes almost every day, all day. It's very gentle. And reminds me of the Christmas hymn "O Little Town of Bethlehem" that says, "How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given!" Jesus' 1st coming was not loud (Is. 42:2). He came to lift the fainthearted and those tempted to despair. His power was muted so that it wouldn't break a damaged reed or extinguish a struggling flame (Is. 42:3). He gently draws us with His offer of peace with God. Jesus waited 30 years to begin His ministry in earnest, integrating Himself into the community slowly and with humble service as a carpenter. He offers His righteousness like the white blanket of snow that comes softly. Sometimes Jesus is like a hurricane cleansing the temple, and sometimes Jesus demonstrates servanthood with quiet footsteps, unobtrusively and tenderly meeting needs of others where they are. Like snow quietly piling up, Jesus' ministry of purity and peace accomplishes its purpose.

  6. Studying the book of Isaiah have reenforced my belief in the goodness of the Lord. I serve a God that is awesome.He loves his children with an everlasting love and wish that none should perish.His word encourages everyone to trust Him and believe on the blood of Jesus. He alone can save and deliver us from the evil one.

  7. Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts. Zech 7:13.
    Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. Zech 9:9.

    To Serve and to Save
    Many times we hear sermons about the death of Jesus, how he came to save his own but his own rejected him. We do not hear much about his life before him ministry or even during his ministry. Some times we hear about his miracles and parables how he was so great. How many times do we as individuals focus on his service to humanity.
    SDA Hymnal: Hymn # 373, 375, 610, speaks about the mission of the church and working for souls. If I love humans I will not want to see them destroy. I will do all in my power to allow them to come to the saving grace of Jesus. Jonah was a man who was supposed to love Jesus yet he desired to see others destroy. Jonah 4:1-11.
    Many times is our own congregations we are told only about 33% of the people are engage in service. The others come to be serve sabbath after sabbath. Some think giving tithe and offering is all that is required of them and no one dare tell them otherwise.
    Many ask Jesus for things so they can be a blessings to others, when they receive them, they make excuses why they cant do what they were supposed to do.
    Many with resources will invite others to go to the physical land of Israel to look at places. Can I say it better than Mrs White writing. The places are right here in our communities and our churches.

    Solution- go and visit other churches and take a walk in the ghetto of our neighborhoods. Go seek out the homeless, the widows and orphans in our church etc.

    What I have done- I am working with a group of people who are constantly raising fun to help those back home who are less fortunate.
    2. Planning to do bible studies with a couple who are Roman Catholic.
    Let us cont to work for the souls of others.

  8. I believe, “To serve and to save” as defined by the Spirit of Truth is to 'be known' by the Father and 'to know' the Father; His ‘works’ are manifested by the redeemed, living soul for to honor and glorify God – John14:7KJV; Matt.11:27KJV.
    The flesh, by itself, does not serve or save, it does not extend true life nor does it improve or decrease true life, and flesh cannot redeem itself. The body is formed from that which is earth and will return from which it is taken. It is the Father’s breath which makes the ‘from-the-earth-formed-man’ a living soul, which, when directed by the Holy Spirit’s Living Word of Truth and Life engages the living soul to express itself according to the Father's character attributes.

    As I looked at myself in view of being a redeemed, living soul, I came to recognize and accept the fact that I am a created being, and, for that matter, one of many created life-forms. Being a cognizant living soul, I have a special relationship with my Maker; worshiping and praising Him outrightly, but first and foremost worship and honor Him with my daily life as I abide in His Will, observing His everlasting law of loving righteousness which governs man’s existence.
    This *living by the Way of Truth and Light*, has been and is promoted by our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus, established by His teachings and exemplified by His Life, Death and Resurrection. The essence of His Spirit -Love and righteousness - prompt us to so engage in life.

    I agree with Ellen White’s statement that there is no need to travel to Israel to walk in Christ Jesus’ 'footsteps'. If man so choses, they become ‘personalized’ footsteps; the footsteps of those who live in Christ and whose acts are born of His Spirit; ever aware of the deceptiveness of the darkness of this world who has developed a counterfeit to the by the Holy Spirit inspired works – the works using the 'Social Gospel of good works' by/for man!

    What I want to highlight is, that we cannot reduce the Lord’s Way of *ministry* to be stand-alone ‘acts of kindness’, because these works are part and parcel of 'His Way' and the 'Way of Life'. Yes, included in 'His Way of Life' is the ministry to meet needs of others, but His Way is our daily walk of life by faith, consecrated to the Honor and Glory of the Father.

    Now, the believer’s calling is clear: Our body is to be a living testimony to the Father’s Holy Name, to honor Him and to give Him Thanks for all we are and have been provided with; Eph.2:10KJV – ”For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained(prepared) that we should walk in them.

  9. Before this lesson I thought that there is second Isaiah as taught by my previous Bible knowledge teacher in secondary school.Now I have learned it today that there is no mention of it in the Bible Bible.Glory be to God

  10. Service to a human persons is the most physical ritual of Christianity,and is practically conveyed where people find themselves. As it is said ,"action is paramount than a mere words" Taking our neighborhood plight as our own is what the good book seek to educate Christians to take as a daily task.


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