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Thursday: The Great Controversy, Up Close and Personal — 16 Comments

  1. The great controversy up close and personal.... Comes down to every living person, and regardless of our being good neighbors good example or living our best lives for Jesus Life as we know it, is never predictable.

    Sometimes even those closely connected to Jesus hurt, and suffer a great deal mentally physically and otherwise.

    We are never to be discouraged... God is with us Deuteronomy chapter 31:8 gives comfort to everyone of us, we too can find rest knowing that God is with us in spite of our situations.

    Amen!(27)
  2. Ultimately, the judgement is about relationships. And it not just a summary judgment at the end of your life, or when probation closes, but, every day in the circumstances we find ourselves. No excuses!

    Joseph carried out his work for Potiphar faithfully and was wrongfully imprisoned, But, even in gaol he did his best to make himself useful to others. And, when he was released from prison he was given the responsibility of helping others.

    The parable of the sheep and the goats reminds us about the importance of feeding the hungry, providing water for the thirsty, caring for the sick, visiting the lonely and shut-ins. All little things in their own way, done to and for people that many regard as not important. Yet in the grand scheme of life it is these little things for unimportant people done unselfishly that are an indication of where our hearts are.

    "By this shall all men know ..."

    Amen!(41)
  3. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God.
    1 Thess 5:18

    The Great Controversy, Up Close and Personal

    I have been in conversation with this person who visits the prison/jail/correctional facilities. Coming in contact with the prisoners many of them would ask to pray for them to be release from the facility because of the living situations. While that person asked us to pray for the prisoners, the person stated according to their estimation, those prisons belong just where they were, behind bars.
    While Joseph was throw into prison for being on the right side of the law, the Lord was with him. Prison was the place where Joseph belong. The Lord used the prison situation to do a wonderful job of reaching others for his glory. It was in the prison he cont to do the work for the Lord.
    What about we being asked to pray for the missionaries who are in jail presently so the Lord can send release to them. Are we praying the right prayers? Or should we be praying for the Lord to strengthen them while in prison so this great message can reach the unreachable?
    It is said no one knows the mind/thoughts of the Lord, but it is also said as we get to know the Lord more and more (his spirit dwelling in us), we start thinking like him. Song says- Anywhere he leads me I will safely go. Are we willing to go where he leads us?
    It does not matter where we are or where we are placed in life, as long as the Lord is with us He can use us to do great works for us. Remember John the Revelator?
    Do we see the glass half full or half empty. Are we an optimist or a pessimist?

    Amen!(11)
    • Isn't our best prayer: "Thy will be done"? If that is our daily prayer, should we ever be restless if not seeing more opportunities than we do? Should Moses have prayed for more than just tending sheep for those 40 years? Yet this was the very preparation he needed to become "the meekest among men", and able to lead God's people as God led him. IF we "acknowledge Him in all [our] ways", the promise is "He will direct your path"(Prov 3:6).

      While in the pit, wouldn't Joseph's prayer request have been "let me go home!"? Yet we see how he came to realize God's providence all along the way from the pit to the palace, after time in prison.

      Yes Lyn, do we mean it when we sing:

      "anywhere with Jesus I can safely go,
      anywhere He leads me in this world below"?

      Amen!(5)
  4. "As Potiphar’s property, Joseph could have been killed on the spot, no questions asked. Potiphar obviously didn’t believe his wife but had to guard his reputation by taking action." I have often wondered if Joseph wasn't killed not because of Potiphar but because that wasn't God's plan for Joseph so he prevented what Potiphar wanted to do from happening.

    With the foundation that Joseph's life was built upon which was faith in God, I imagine that he sought the guidance of God in dealing with Potiphar's wife as well as dealing with the events in the jail. That is Joseph also represents Christ because as man he also sought the direction of his father in all that he did as he walked this earth. If God provided the wisdom they needed he will do the same for me. To often the thought "what does God want me to do, be, act" is an afterthought. By that time we are thigh deep in the situation. Imagine how effective for God we could be if we sought God first in all things. Isaiah 55 paints us a very clear picture of how life could be if.........

    Something else I've often wondered. Daniel prayed for the interpretation of the Nebuchadnezzar's dream. Joseph just seemed to "know" that God would provide hum with the interpretation of the Butlers and Bakers dreams. How did he know that?

    Amen!(10)
  5. Like the Lord he faithfully served, Joseph “went about doing good”(Acts 10:38), no matter his circumstances or welfare. With his mind stayed upon God, Joseph was able to experience that “perfect peace”(Isa 26:3) which all who follow his example will also know.

    I believe we can sum up Paul's “big-picture perspective” with Ps 119:1-3.

    Doesn't Jesus teach us “how” to be open to the Holy Spirit when He invites every soul to “take my yoke upon you, and learn of me”(Matt 11:29), who was filled with the Holy Spirit?

    Amen!(5)
  6. The Great Controversy started in heaven by a great intellectual being called Lucifer known as Satan for short, and at the heart of this great controversy was God's law which deals with relationships. In fact, how big, majestic and powerful God is, what matters most to Him is relationship ; how we relate to Him and our neighbor is God's concern. For me, when we relate to God better , the good we can relate to our neighbor.

    The Great Controversy which began in heaven had two players, Satan and his Angels and Michael who is known as Jesus and His Angels. Jesus and His Angels prevailed in the war that happened in heaven. Satan and his Angels were cast out. According to a writer, the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan that has been carried forward for nearly six thousand years is soon to close, and we need to determine whose side we are on.

    We should bear in mind that we are fighting whether we choose Christ or Satan. However , the good news is that those who chooses Jesus will win the battle though with suffering just as Joseph won because God was with him. Paul suggests that we put on the full armor of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Here are the armor which is compared to how the Roman Soldiers dressed for war :

    1. Belt representing Truth.

    2. Breastplate representing Righteousness.

    3. Shoe representing peace

    4. Shield representing Faith

    5. Helmet representing the Hope of Salvation.

    6. Sword representing the Word of God.

    However, Paul says that when these armor is back by prayer which is an offensive weapon, we can certainly win the battle against the devil. We should remember that Goliath put on the full armor but he lost the battle and David won it because he put his trust in the Lord. May God help us.

    Amen!(4)
  7. Molding human character for service in God’s work only God Himself can do. It may have seemed that the excellent work Joseph did for Potiphar and in the first year he was imprisoned made him fit for the position he eventually held in Egypt. God knew what it really took to transform Joseph from a favored son into a leader in Egypt. God knew how to develop traits in Joseph that would help him maintain his convictions and confidence in his God, no matter what.

    Only God knows how to guide our lives in order to give us the best opportunities to choose Him for salvation. He carefully guides us in each circumstance and experience if we let Him. Challenges may seem almost overwhelming but God is always there supporting, comforting and giving wisdom.

    He’s with us even when family isn’t. He’s with us to love and lead us when human family rejects, misleads, abandons and discourages us.

    Amen!(6)
  8. Can anyone help me understand how the Memory Text relates to all of the days from Sabbath's lesson to today??

    2 Peter 3:17,18:
    You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    I'm not seeing the relation of Family Ties in this...

    Amen!(1)
    • I do see the relationship to the story of Joseph. He "knew beforehand" what God had already done and the promises He had made for the future. In light of this, he was steadfast in his loyalty to Jehovah and was not led astray by all the idolatry and wickedness in his environment. I imagine the position of power as prime minister of Egypt presented much greater temptations than his imprisonment.

      Amen!(7)
      • Thanks, Inge. I can agree with your comments, but there wasn't anything in your comments about Family Ties. This is my point. Yes, Joseph was steadfast and was not led astray, but how does that fall in line with family ties?

        Amen!(3)
    • I think Peter is simply giving encouragement not to be weighed down by the hopelessness projected by sin and evil in the world because there is a pathway that leads to salvation. It is perhaps a fitting epitaph to the story of Jacob's family, who, even though dysfunctional in so many ways, found peace with one another and grew out of their circumstances to understand themselves better.

      Amen!(4)
  9. After reading ‘The Great Controversy’ by Ellen White, I finally understand where to locate the real battlefield on which human struggles take place; or should I say took place, since Christ Jesus won this battle for supremacy decisively. His victory decided human destiny once and for all times – the Son’s faithful love for His Father gave mankind the ‘roadmap’ to know true life.

    Christ Jesus, the Son of God and of Man, won the victory over sin's death. The life-giving effects of this victory need to be applied 'up close and personal'. He invited all to seek their life in 'His Life', His Father's Truth and Light.
    No more confusion over who’s way is the right way, who’s teachings are the right teachings, who’s example mankind should follow to have true life.

    But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison” - Gen.39:21KJV. Steadfast ‘trustworthiness’ seems to be Joseph’s outstanding character quality. His behavior under duress is my example for how the Father engages with those who faithfully engage in loving Him. It emphasizes how important it is to maintaine my love/faith-relationship with the Father at all times and under all circumstances.

    Our Father’s Love for His children is able to wash everything we encounter in life with His Mercy and Grace; they are provided in abundance and we are called upon to apply them generously in our encounters with our fellow man.
    The capacity to love our fellow man is bound up in our loving relationship with the heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit stands ‘at the ready’ – poised, waiting, prepared - to provide wisdom’s discretion to direct His love; it is apointed for us to hear him and follow his promptings.

    Amen!(2)
  10. The Great Controversy is all about choice between good and evil - throughout the Word of the LORD. We see that in Joseph's life. Sometimes it is embedded in the story and sometimes it is spelled out like the following from Moses just before he died.
    Deut 30:15-19 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live long loving the LORD your God.
    The choice is love the LORD or worship other gods, as for me and my household, like Joseph and Joshua, we choose the LORD Jesus Christ as our Lord and Master and Saviour.

    Amen!(5)

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