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Sabbath: Unlimited Possibilities — 32 Comments

  1. Did you know that I once planned to be a minister? I had notions of preaching great sermons and running evangelistic programs. Thank you, God for changing my mind somewhere along my journey through life. I would have been an irritating git with a negative pulpit personality. There is no guarantee that wishful thinking and talent coincide.

    I mention this because often when we think about preaching the Gospel to all the world we think of ministry and evangelism in the career sense. And while God certainly calls people to those roles, for most of us, spreading the Gospel has to take place in the context of a different career. If God has called us to be a plumber, computer programmer, artist, waiter, chook plucker (ok, only Australians will know what that is), or whatever, then he can use us to share the Gospel in that arena.

    I read John 9 this morning for my devotional. The story of the blind man whom Jesus healed. After he had been healed the Pharisees tried to engage the blind man in a theological discussion about miracles. In his frustration, the blind man answered one of their questions with:

    He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. John 9:25 KJV

    The blind man was not going to be persuaded by the Pharisees' theological argument. His life had been changed and he could see for the first time in his life.

    If we have been changed by the Gospel then we too are to be witnesses, not necessarily with words, but with actions that reflect the impact of having our eyes opened.

    • Yes, that‘s it ! Everywhere you are, in every position, at every occasion, you can be and ought to be an ambassador of Yeshua.

  2. My first thought is HOW do I know which gift was I given? What was your thought? when, why, what, where, excited, scared, feeling, reasoning, ready for action, research?
    My reaction was I need to do a Spiritual Gifts test another might consider to which aspect of ministry am I emotionally drawn?
    The good news is these reactions to the idea of Spiritual Gifts are the first indications of which Gift the Holy Spirit will give you because He knows our hearts, our temperament and natural abilities.
    Why were most of the disciples fishermen that caught by throwing out a net and collecting whatever was in the water? Because their natural ability was ideal for evangelism!
    In the upper room at Pentecost there were other natural abilities and all were dedicated to the LORD and enhanced with spiritual dimensions and/or additional gifts.
    Are you excited to discover your gift/s?
    If you already know, maybe you can share how you found out?

    • Good morning all and Happy Sabbath. Here of late, I too have been studying and pondering such things. As someone who has found himself intrigued by the teaching of the SDA Church, I have found many studies so in line with Scripture Word.

      As someone who is still searching his "faith placement" where I belong, where do I "fit" and all these things I very much enjoy the teachings on this website. I was baptized in a Catholic Church, and still, attend(until the virus got so bad).

      However, I have been watching videos, such as "To tell the world" Desmond Doss, and Amazing Facts, I was intrigued by the day of the Sabbath-of which I even asked about as a little boy.

      I have come to think that Sunday was described to me as "The Lords Day" which after further study though, think the Sabbath is an entirely different day. One of the most importance-as it was given by G-D and is Saturday-not Sunday.

      As I study more-I am glad to have these comments page-and the SDA study books as a reference, Thank you all and Happy Sabbath!

      • Welcome John! The Holy Spirit will certainly lead you into all truth, and help you find where you fit. Thanks for sharing your testimony.

      • Happy Sabbath to you as well, John! I hope and pray that you will find a comfortable faith-home with the Adventist family. So happy to find you studying along with us the precious Word of God!

      • Welcome, John! I have not always been Adventist myself, I grew up Baptist and did not know anything different until I met my husband. I was resistant at first but once I began to study the Sabbath question for myself, I realized that I had been simply accepting what I was taught without actually investigating the truth for myself. I am the first Adventist in my extended family, which caused division at first, but now I could never go back to my old way of believing what I was told without question. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you on your search for truth.

      • Hi John, and welcome. From the brief introduction of yourself, I would say that your gifts are, 1) the word of wisdom, and 2) discerning of spirits, see 1 Corinthians 12:8-11. I hope that you will continue to study with us this week, as we all learn more about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the Unlimited Possibilities to use them.

        Be blessed!

        • Hello Toni:

          Thank you-it makes me feel very good that I am not "confused" but discerning....I am still here and still studying. I enjoy this Adventist group-and am learning that it is important to know what Jesus has done for us-but it is also very important to know what he is still about to do! 🙂

          I have discovered the Three Angels Message-and wow-what a message it is! 🙂

    • Happy Sabbath. Shirley, I'm still trying to determine what are my gifts,but while I do, I continue to practice the characters...patience, kindness etc. One thing I recognize is that I am drawn to reaching out to our church members with a call or text,especially since Covid-19. Many of our more senior members have become isolated and visitation is limited (to protect them from the virus). A phone call is received with gratitude.

      • Kareem, thank you for sharing, may the LORD bless your ministry of reaching out to those who are isolated, it is a gift of encouragement.

    • Hi Shirley, I really enjoy your thought provoking questions! Your questions help me to not only think about the questions, but help me refresh and renew my mind, if that makes sense.

      God the Holy Spirit has given me many gifts to use to witness and serve in accomplishing the Gospel Commission Jesus give to us. I will only talk about one of my gifts today.

      I have always known, since I joined the SDA church over 35 years ago, that one of my Gifts was "Helps". I love to help. I love to help people. I love to help work with developing church programs and projects, which I have continued to do in the various churches unto this day.

      Many people pray that God the Holy Spirit will give them the gift of Elder, Prophet, Teacher, or something Big like that; but I am content to be behind the scene working to make programs better. I have worked as Secretary for the various departments in the church, which has helped me to learn more about the internal working of those departments. As a result, I have become a better Leader today.

      Through my years of service, the most important thing I have learned is that whatever Gift the Holy Spirit have given us, we should use it in service to God. Many have used their God-given talents to enrich themselves. Also, we are to use these Gifts to the BEST of our abilities. We should not behave as the "lazy" servant and hide our gift(s) in the ground or under a bushel. God expects us to use our Gifts to shine as a Light on a hill side, so that all will see Jesus through you.

      Be blessed.

    • To Shirley and any others with this same question, I would suggest Ps 40:1-3, and the Beatitudes(Matt 5:3-12), and realize the gifts of grace come as we exercise faith in God's promises. We pray each day for His leading, and when the way is clear, we simply follow it. The gift(s) will match the path given us to follow.

      As I read the passages cited above, I understand that gifts are developed over time. We may not always be gifted at "conversion" or baptism, but if we stay the course, the gifts will be realized in our daily living, even if we are not able to define them. The "new song in [our] mouth" will be a manifestation of the gift(s) given.

      Do you suppose a person who is given the gift of prophecy will not be able know it until someone else helps them figure it out? And I wonder if we even need to know, or if we are to just follow God's leading each day and not concern ourselves with such questions? We need only to believe the promises of God and take the path laid out before us, believing He will enable us to walk it(Jude 24).

  3. As we consecrate ourselves to God and dedicate our lives to His service, our possibilities to serve are endless.
    “There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, putting aside self, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart, and lives a life wholly consecrated to God”. — Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 159.

    What else can we add to this observation? The Holy Spirit having taken residence in the believer creates the new nature that, in a humble heart, is dedicated to service.
    The definition for service: the acting of helping or doing work for someone.
    One could say that witnessing is a state of being; dedicating all one is to the service and worship of God.

    Rom.2:13-16 - God knew us before He called us; He endowed us with the talents and gifts even before we knew their spiritually sanctioned effect on others. Most of us probably have been inclined to do 'good works' even before accepting the call to be a believer in Christ.
    Now we know to what purpose, to what end we have been called - to participate as God reconciles the world unto Himself.

    Rom.1:16-18 - The Apostles were commissioned to teach the saving Gospel message to the Jews first and not to hessitate to go beyond the borders of Israel to bring the good news also to the Gentiles. We are the Gentiles; we have received and believed the 'Good News'. Now are we participants which use the 'tools' the Spirit of God endowed us with in the fields of the harvest - anytime, anywhere!

    Isaiah 11:1-5 - speaks to that the Spirit of the LORD will come to rest upon Jesus; 'the Spirit of Wisdom and understanding, the spirit of Counsel and Might, the spirit of Knowledge and of the fear of the LORD';
    Acts1:5 - 'For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence'.
    1Cor.12:4-13 - v.11: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

    Isaiah 64:8 - 'But now, O LORD, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

  4. Thank you John for posting such an honest message. You are searching for truth and this the Bible exhorts us to do.

    It is palpably and demonstrably clear that God has a special church on earth today. He has revealed the truth in His holy Bible. During the trial of our Lord Jesus Christ, Pilate asked a very critical question: ‘What is truth?" (John 18:38). If Pilate was sincerely asking for an answer, he would not have turned away from Truth. In any event Christ had already answered the question before. He had said: “I am the way,the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Truth begins with and resides in God. I'm so glad you are looking for truth. You will find it. The Holy Spirit will lead you to all truth.

    As a pointer, please read Revelation 12:17: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” This text gives us a good description of the last-day remnant church. Truth lasts and is indestructible.

  5. A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly.... Prov 18:24.

    GD John, I am so glad the Holy Spirit is guiding you the right way, keep praying and He who hath began a good work in you will bring it to the end. I met so many people like you who studied by themselves and the Holy Spirit led them to Him. I met a man who entire family was RC, he asked me to study the Bible with him and gave me his bible. At that time he denounced the RC religion. Keep praying, keep trusting.

    • Thank you, friend. I don't know if I could ever "denounce" my past faith teachings. However, I feel like I could "announce" my new direction in faith. I feel as if the SDA is taking me in a new pathway. I see why the RC does as it does. However, I feel as if the SDA has been touched in a special way. As I read about the Pioneer stories-I see where very well learned Pastors and studiers of the word, took time to meet with each other, and see what was a true path, and not. Methodists, Seventh Day men, Episcopalians, and others took the time to sit together, pray together, and to learn from each other. Isn't that sure what we need today! Pastor Miller was a great learned man-though humble-I feel the Spirit moved him. Through the "Great Disappointment," we see that even those that felt sure were humbled, yet as the cleansing of The Temple began, Pastor Miller stayed with his flock and helped to lead them. Though he was not entirely correct-his love of The Word never wavered. As we look at the additions of the years he worked with-we see he was correct in the analogy, he also was touched by The hand of G-D. I would like to speak about Desmond Doss-what a story of faith! As a former Navy veteran (Seabee) I find this act of heroism-surely led by divine intervention. Pastor Millers living through the battle of 1812 was divine, and Ellen Whites' "visions" have been a divine inspiration gift as well. As I learn more about the SDA I see the truth in them. As for the opening of my eyes in the truth that we "sleep" in Abrahams's bosom until the second coming-I find peace in this never known before. Learning that a living soul-was a soul term for a person was so eye-opening! It laid to rest the thoughts I had about-"Why would Jesus bring someone back from Heaven-to come back to this world, and suffer the infirmities and difficulties if I was in eternal bliss" were answered! Yes! This actually answers to many critics the truth about the subject! It shows the true power of Christ indeed! He brought Lazarus back from death and decay, not the eternal love and bliss of Heaven-wow what an eye-opener that was! It shows the true power of our Lord! The other item of note for me-concerns the day of Our Lord's crucifixion-as that I am of opinion the original translators got a comma in the wrong place. As Jesus told the thief-"today you will be with me in Paradise", it caused me to think(due to SDA teaching) that Jesus was NOT in Paradise that day! Again the truth of the SDA teaching shows the way to Scripture original teaching. Jesus even said later he had not yet ascended to his Father. Again Thank you for my SDA friends to this support-but most of all Thanks be to G-D and The Holy Spirit to lead me to the truth and this Church-I am so excited about it! 🙂

      • Thank you for your testimony brother in Christ. It is encouraging to me to continue to see the Holy Spirit lead believers that love Jesus into more and more truth which is the word of God.

  6. To all my SDA Church friends:

    Thank you so much for your posts! You have made me feel like family. I am currently reading a book, which is called-
    "Ten Commandments-Twice removed." Wow, talk about such a good book-and also very inspiring. What has me troubled is probably "familiarity" and things which I took for granted, seem to be changing before my eyes, certain traditions, etc.from which I ascribed to. Though it is a refreshing new understanding-it is also kind of scary. As I learn more I feel so excited to read more about SDA and the founding of this Church, can someone please give me resources, or ideas for books? Also, I have found truth in Ellen Whites teachings, quite inspiring! 🙂

    • John, if you go to the top of this web site's page you will see a heading titled "Resources" which is helpful.

    • John your excitement about this new found truths that you are discovering is very inspiring to me, a life-long Adventist. May God continue to bless you in your search for the truth.

      • Paula:

        Thank you for your post. As I move along in this journey-I think many new "truths" for me await. What is so funny to me-is those truths have always been there, as our Great Lord is unchanging, however, somehow I have missed them. I do know this however, the excitement I have about what awaits me in this journey is quite moving! 🙂

    • Hi again! I'm excited for you too. It takes me back to the day that I fell in love with Jesus, and chose Him as my personal Savior and Lord, and I become His servant. That was about 37 years ago, at the 19 years old. At that age, all of my friends were out partying and drinking (and all the other worldly things young people do), but I was learning all the new things that you are learning now. It excited my soul because this new knowledge answered so many of my questions that I had not received an answer to when I was first baptized at 13 years old (my 8 year old nephew was baptized with me at that time). So, because of this newfound knowledge, I decided to get re-baptized when I joined the SDA church. At age 19 was the first time that I understood and give my heart to God, and Jesus became my Best Friend.

      Jesus never wanted me to forget (or renounce) my past faith. I was a Baptist, and I still have fond memories of my years in the Baptist church. But when I found that the SDA was a bible teaching church, I wondered why my church wasn't teaching these things as well? I come to realize that, and if you study Church History, one of the reason for this is that some people (and churches) got to the point that they were content with just staying put with the beliefs of their Founders, and or decide not to continue to grow pass their founders. When we began our Love relationship with Jesus, it is a life long journey of learning about Him, never stop learning. That's also why I love about the SDA church, we are ever learning about Jesus and His Love, as the Holy Spirit leads us to study His Word, the Bible.

      There are so many people welcoming you today, I hope that you will read this. Anyway, may God continue to bless you with Wisdom and Knowledge.

      • Toni:
        I have read the post-and thank you so much for this family and yourself welcoming me. I yet have much to study, so much to learn, and so much to do. I look forward to this week's study plan and lessons.In the meanwhile, tonite I think I will watch again-"To Tell The World" for me it is inspiring, and helps me to realize the devotion to Jesus our (the early) Pioneer founders had. Thank you everyone for your words of kindness and joy which you have brought to me.I will surely ask many questions on this site, looking for more brotherly love and happiness...Thank you all! 🙂

  7. Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
    1 Cor 12:1

    Unlimited Possibilities
    “God calls us to witness for Him (Acts 1:8, Isa. 43:10). Witnessing is not a special spiritual gift that only a select few possess. Witnessing is the divine calling of each Christian”.
    Rom 12:3-8; 1 Cor 12: 1-31.

    I personally understood the gift of the spirit and talents as two different things.
    When we speak about talents all humans were given such. Matt 25:14-30.
    These verses spoke about the Master/Jesus giving his servants/us talents. Different people different amounts according to their abilities. From our talents we use them to work, gain money and to take care of self and others in different ways. While we work, the Lord place others in our pathway to witness to them about who he is as the provider, creator, sustainer, redeemer, healer, etc. But the witnessing is not our job, but because we love God so much we want to tell others about him.

    Spiritual Gifts
    Spiritual gifts on the other hand as shown in the scriptures 1 Cor 12: 7. This gift is not for our profit personally but for the entire body of believers. Many people in the OT and NT had spiritual gifts which profit the body of believers. Therefore to me, all members do not have a spiritual gifts, but we all have a talent.

    The Bible list those with spiritual gifts according to importance. In the Bible there were only 21 apostles. Talents are life long as long as you use them. Unlike Spiritual gifts, God gives them to you when it is appropriate for you to bring glory God. E.g Sampson-to save Israel, The good kings- to be a beacon to the world, the apostles- to form the church, prophets- Christ mouthpiece in special ways of coming doom with specific dates and times.

    Talents generally has to do with our education in schools/higher learning. Spiritual gifts has nothing to do with education. On the day of Pentecostal the people asked, weren’t these unlearned Galilean?

    Jesus never went to formal school yet he had spiritual gifts to do great and mighty things.

  8. Wow! From the various conversations we had last week, I know that God the Holy Spirit is working in us and through us. He is preparing us for a deeper study of His Gifts. Wow! So amazing!!

    God's blessing to you all!

  9. Spiritual gifts are an interesting topic. There are weekend seminars that claim they can teach you what your gifts are, books have been written on how to discover your gift. For me and my understanding of scripture, if our focus is on Jesus and our connection to God is constant, He will show us and lead us to where we need to be.
    I have been with people who were so focused on figuring out their gift, that they were leaving out the connection to God part. I don’t need scripture, I have the Holy Spirit. Literally those words came out of one persons mouth. Knowing our gift or gifts, is important, but knowing the gift giver is the most important part.
    John 14:26 - But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He WILL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. I believe that “all things” includes what our gifts are and when and how to use them. I’m eager to see what the rest of this weeks lesson bring us.

  10. Seems to me we don't need to search for our gift. We don't need to do a Spiritual test. What we we need to do is surrender to Christ, giving of ourselves daily without reserve. Then we can see the miracle God gifting gifts. "Witnessing is not a special spiritual gift that only a select few possess. Witnessing is the divine calling of each Christian...God does not call the qualified. He qualifies those whom He has called. Just as He gives salvation freely to all who believe, He gives His gifts to them freely, as well."

  11. John,
    I'm so inspired with your experience. May God lead you into all truth. I've learnt that God works in mysterious ways in saving people.

    To My fellow adventist, if we don't do our part in ministering to others, The Lord will use other means and we will not have the joy which is accompanied with soul winning. May God help us to he faithful to our calling.


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