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Logo of Talking Points, 3rd Quarter 2020: Making Friends for God

07-Making Friends for God

Mark Howard Kameron DeVasher
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  • August 10, 2020
    9:00 AM
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I am Cameron to Beijing and I'm Mark Howard and this is talking points we're in our quarter making friends for God The joy of sharing in his mission and this week is a lesson 7 sharing the word that's right and I get to go Are you had mentioned and I thought I should you know maybe our viewers are aware but you can actually get the quarterly in a of least leaf format while you have 3 whole bunch let your teacher know when you can order it that way they're actually I've talked to somebody the General Conference and they're actually working on updating the Sabbath school app and I'm really excited about it we may talk about that in the future with some really great features. But you can get the both the regular lesson and the teachers quarterly in a loosely finder if that works for you yeah and between the app of course it was all about you know her and have a teaching position the student edition they have the easy reader edition they have a large print they have the regular binding they have 3 hole punch so there are so many different ways to get this is I have a school material fact one that I have found really helpful that I like is the inverse lesson the challenge is they only follow the quarterly view don't quarterly every other is to kill e g it. And currently they follow the quarterly the dull quarterly every other lesson and so but it's a totally different approach to doing it we just have a scope study and it's a really good solid material to process through the information a little bit more takes you out of the Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday format writing so he with their strengths and weaknesses a lot of good resources there at the General Conference at a school of 1st Minister's department that's where our purpose is today we are less than 7 sharing the word and I tell you Mark whenever I look at think of witnessing and sharing my faith I'm automatically thinking of their public evangelism or personal Bible study giving all. Or somehow getting literature and here we're less than 7 before we get the actual substance of what it is we're to share which is the Word of God So I'm excited about this week's lesson Oh absolutely and you bring up a point that is so important you know a lot of people talk about well when I witness I just I share Jesus I share my testimony I share it almost as if those things somewhere independently exist from the word even to the point where sometimes that the Bible is seen as this kind of dry and it's likely that a Bible study you know I share my testimony which there's no of course we should share test where there's nothing wrong with what I like what it says on Saturday afternoons lesson right there in the 1st paragraph it says when we witness we speak of Jesus but what would we know about Jesus without the Bible in there in fact how much would we know about the great controversy the love of God in the birth life ministry death resurrection return of our Lord if we did not have the scriptures all the Nature reveals the majesty and power of God it doesn't reveal the plan of salvation it was so great point there there are things we take for granted like when we witness like. You know I just talk a little of how do you know about the love how do you know what it's like how do you write it is from the word so the basis of all of our witness is the Word of God And before we go any further we need to begin with the word of prayer and as for us our heads daily Father thank you so much for another day of life thank you for the opportunity to know you through a reading of your word and to share you with others through that same word please bless our time as we prepare for this week sadness will study for you prayed in Jesus' name amen amen So this week's key points in the sharing the word study are the following Number one there word in part spiritual life. Number 2 the word sustains spiritual life and just commenting on those right away we have talked about this it's interesting that much of the lesson deals with the words impact on us not on others so as much as we're talking about witnessing in the word the way the lesson is put up a lot of it deals with just the word in general and how it impacts our lives and it is a beautiful resources and it is God given of course it's inspired of him and it does the whole courtroom exactly it does impart spiritual life a sustained spiritual but this quarter's lessons are about sharing our faith and so we he probably are going to go to the key point number 3 it's been most of our time there the word gives us our message yes and that is what we are to share with the world so let's go through those how we so let's start with the word in parts of the spiritual life and we want to keep in mind that you know when you're going through the lesson whether you're a student or teacher you want to try to keep the overarching theme remember that this this quarter is about making friends for God it's witnessing is sharing So even as we're looking at you know the word imparting spiritual life I'm looking at this from the standpoint of witnessing and this is what I mean. The Bible tells us and this was not this particular text was an adolescent I believe that we are dead in trespasses and sins if he has to verse one Ok that's how we come into the world now when I didn't have Christ I was dead in trespasses and sins but I was alive I was breathing he acting playing soccer doing it in other words. I had physical life so how is it that I was dead or you were dead you know we lack spiritual life there's no not only a lack of interest in spiritual things but the graces of spirituality and kindness and the listener if you're true Jen genuine those are the things that come through spiritual life and so the Bible tells us in John one verse 4 speaking of Jesus the word in the being as the word verse for says In Him was life as being especially that spiritual life in other words we are born without it Jesus is full of it he's a substance of it. And Jesus went on to St John 63 the words I speak are spirit and life and so we understand the scripture as that which imparts to us spiritual life and I want I want to refer to that in the 1st Peter chapter one yes. And if you get it go ahead and I'm still turning sure Peter one verse 23 well 20 are you going to the middle of a sentence but I'll start with verse 22 to get a little remote access since you have been since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit and sincere love of a brother and love one another fervently with a pure heart verse 23 is the key having been born again not of corruptible see but incorruptible through the Word of God which lives in abides forever so we know that we talk about being born again and we're talking about being born spiritually right receiving spiritual life but this text is interesting in that it tells us that we are born again through the Word of God much as the word spoke in the beginning so the Word of God Actually imparts spiritual write another text that says similarly and I'm not going to look it up James 118 says almost verbatim what Peter just said that we're born again through the word well now in the context of witnessing what this says to me is. A love for souls is not inherent in us is not natural I don't have to love to see other souls saved until I receive spiritual life so the word has to impart spiritual life to me and imparting that spiritual life it imparts the love of God not just for me but for others and if it begets in us that missionaries like you're right and I think of the statement from steps to Christ it's in our little hand out here it's also a quarterly only page I mean Thursday's lesson right here are 3 No sooner does one come to Christ and there is born in his her. Art he desired to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus the saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in his heart if we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and filled with the joy of His indwelling Spirit we should not be able to hold our peace so this just saying that with that spiritual life filled with the spirit imparts into us. The graces of the spirit and a passion for souls right and so what I think it's fascinating here is that the word not only gives us spiritual life and the guarantee of eternal life right but the life the nature of that life is one of mission it's one of the service it wants to share so it's not just like I've secured my place that's where I was a lot of self serving right it's a self-less love that looks for opportunities to share with others absolutely So that's you know key is the Word of God to get spiritual life right specially the context witnessing it drives us to that witness now besides furnishing with the experience of that we when we experience Christ through the word that's you know we come to know Jesus the word all those things that can be said along those lines right and in our Savvis who class this week it might be very tempting to just go off about how wonderful the word is what it does for me and what has to me what it was for me and that's what Mark and I were talking about in our premium of the bulk of the lesson is written kind of from that perspective and or at least it could be definitely taken there in a saddest will setting so if I were a teacher or even a student I would expect it like Ok but let's keep it in the context of how is this equipping me to better share my faith or not just to have a better experience personally and remember for us key point number 3 is the key because in witnessing witnessing is ultimately about a message and you can see the message of Jesus in a very generic way but we find the message in the word we run the power of that message in the word and it's so easy. I've mentioned this before in one of our videos on how to teach the lesson that part of the job of the teacher is to is to clarify those things that are becoming cloudy and in the idea of teaching and instruction and doctrinal truth and prophecy and prophetic messages all are coming and have been coming under attack for some time now and so it needs to be clarified in this lesson and that's what we're going to take time to do right and if our teaching and I spend more time with the class just helping them to understand the value of our message and that the key reason for its value is that it is it is the thing that brings spiritual life into like if we not only that but it is clearly what scripture outlines in the word the message in other words is not me making it well you know we have these beliefs and it's what the Bible teaches and tells us to teach that was intentional and sometimes we'll hear. In conversations here and there or maybe not this phrase but the sense that well we have this precious Adam's message which is great and all yes but we really should she just preach Jesus yes as though they're somehow distinct from each other Jesus himself said in the Great Commission teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I mean to do so we'll get to that in a minute. So the word imparts spiritual life the important point and then the next point is the word Also sustains that spiritual life in the lesson brings up a number of things here it talks about the value of the promises of God and how those promises give us hope and strength in encouragement for example brings up 1st John one that gives us that hope and confidence of forgiveness and cleansing 2nd Peter one verse 3 that tells us we can be come partakers of the divine nature through the promise is in the word which goes back to that spiritual life right Philippians 413 which talks about how you can do all things to Christ who strengthens me so Christ strengthens me to do whatever and in verse 19 supply all my needs right Matthew 2020 where Jesus I am with you always all of those are important in our spiritual in our regular daily spiritual walk as well as in witnessing to others knowing that God will strengthen us that Jesus is with us always and so there's that sustenance in the Word and right of the word now what I want to skip down to here is the next point yes is the 2nd time of the chapter 3 when it's also Paul speaking of the power of the Word of God and the practical application of that power what it does for us in our lives he tells Timothy 2nd Peter Timothy just to clarify for of years to the next point in our outline Yes and if we were still in the same key point sustained spiritual life and our 1st point is the promises of God give us hope strength and courage meant but the 2nd point is yes when he's speaking to Timothy The apostle Paul explains but you verse 14 must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of knowing from whom you learn them and that from childhood you know in the holy scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus now if it stopped right there you could say the Scriptures are good for you to have eternal life right but the passage continues saying a verse 16 all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable that means is useful you can do something with it for doctrine for reproof for correction for instruction or right. Snus to what in verse 17 the man of God may be complete thoroughly equipped for every good work so the Word of God only gives us the assurance of a certain life that we have in Christ Jesus which we praise the Lord for but beyond that it equips us to do something for him to be of service and in his cause and every good work I mean the context the good work of the man of God is especially specifically Timothy was a well Apprentice but is the work is the work of some say well the very next thing in chapter 4 which of course there was a chapter delineations when he was 1st written right I charge you therefore what verse to preach the word right right and so the preparation of the Bible gives us any of it message to the world which is the Word of God That's right and he says in season and I know season which I want to come to in a little bit Ok we talk about the message so something that that when we're talking about this and it may come up in classes a lot of times again people there's this mindset today that that doctrinal truth is not relevant to the needs of your we really want to go to their heart to heart in the emotion in and so there's there's a been a d. emphasis on that and even the idea of witnessing very very or even inside of churches you'll have people like I know we should witness into evangelism the coast that's what I was going to say really need to build up our own very frank when it was our church isn't ready to witness Yes or as we have too many problems and we're struggling at center and the tragedy of that is that many 7th Day Adventists either don't know or have forgotten that focusing on we used to call navel gazing is never going to fix the church is never going to fix the problems it's going to magnify the problems and there's a fantastic statement in the review and herald of September 2 8090 here's a piece of it it says it is in working for others. That we forget ourselves and that's an interesting thing the whole idea is if we don't forgive ourselves we're focused on ourselves and isn't that what we're doing we're like we're going to fix our problems it'll never fix the problems listen it isn't working for others that we forget ourselves but those who do nothing for their fellow men become morbid and self-centered in time hangs heavily upon their hands it is those who are not engaged in this unselfish Labor who have a sickly experience and become worn out with struggling doubting murmuring sitting in repenting until they lose all sense as to what constitutes genuine religion if you will that they cannot go back to the world and so they hang on the skirts of Zion that is in the church the lingering images not really being involved in the mission having petty jealousies and beings disappointments and remorse they're full of fault finding and feed upon the mistakes and errors of their brethren they have only a hopeless faithless sunless experience in their religious life well these are all the problems that people are saying we have in our church so we can do this is no use we're if we can fix that then we'll go to work but the very cure for that is the work not doing that is the cause of all the problems actually And so yes that the the idea of the word sustaining spiritual life a part of that is ministering That's right a word that is not just holding on to the word but it sharing the word is how it imparts the spiritual Yeah the lesson brought that out and I'm trying to remember where not just the idea that good news is to be shared in its Thursday top 3 1st thing good news is for sharing the gospel isn't to keep to ourselves and so just inherent in the whole idea of it is that sharing is part and parcel which we talked about last time witnessing is not a spirit of give That's right well and you brought up the lesson which everyone is titled sharing the word and the title of this entire week's lesson is sharing the word Yes So you know here we are Thursdays less and gets to the sharing the word that was promised of the very beginning and and I need to interject here Ok going to go to 1.3 but son. Lesson I cut out completely and I just want our you know sometimes we feel like we've got to cover every last that was in the lesson I scratched out the page and put irrelevant and well doesn't mean to you it's clear it's not important or in though I did it just as irrelevant for the point you're trying to land it takes time away from me conveying what I think the heart of the lesson these to say and I that's not finding fault with the contributor or anything else it's there's good stuff in it but I'm just saying we can get sidetracked all the time on things that and I'm sure that contribute a lesson would put it in a different framework but for me as I went through it I thought me making these points is just taking away from a more important point that I as a teacher want to convey right into to make sure everybody understands you got your lessons or for you but it's called symbols of God or that's it yes whatever it is the analogies of the Bible inside the Bible about how it's light it's fire it's power to haver all of which is good and I can spin that in a soul winning direction it's light to build those living in darkness etc but it's not you could you send it all together or you could highlight it in 30 seconds and move on but it's not the big rock in the jar this week yes and I'm not telling you I'm not telling you to do to dismiss it altogether I just want our teachers to know what their priorities when you're teaching the lesson have the ability don't feel like you have to cover everything it's like because you could be thinking like us well I really want to make this point here but I just don't have time no make sure you have time to maintain points anyway so our main point number 3 is that the word gives us our message and you are bringing the fact that all throughout the Bible those who are converted are going around not just sharing their faith in a generic sense but they're specifically preaching the word that's right we've looked at that before do a word search on it and you know the early Testament church they preach the word write all preach the word why didn't just talk they didn't just give their testimony they preach the word. And what was the word that they were preaching because you mentioned they were just telling the testimony but a lot of people say well I didn't preach the word but I did hear Jesus Well what's fascinating. So we talk about we're going to get in this in just a minute but our message specifically is the evidence is a prophetic one and sometimes people act like oh you have a hole you just need to preach like they did preach the Gospel like the what you find is the message of Jesus was a prophetic one it was a message of the apostles was about one reading here 2 powerful statements one from the book design of ages 233 Paragraph 3 it says the burden of Christ's preaching was the time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand repent you believe the gospel has taken remark 115. And then Ellen White comments thus the gospel message as given by the Savior himself was based on the prophecy can get away from it my goodness and you really to New Testament anywhere you see the Apostle Paul how did he preach Christ right look at that so when you read it the next day Max the apostles to 47 this is again like he said x. apostles to 47 from the Old Testament Scriptures he that is the Apostle Paul showed that according to the prophecies and the universal expectation of the Jews the Messiah would be in the lineage of Abraham and of David then he traced the descendant of Jesus. From the patriarch Abraham to the royal Psalmist he read the testimony of the prophets regarding the character and work of the promised Messiah and his reception and treatment on the earth then he show that all these predictions have been fulfilled in the life ministry and death of Jesus of Nazareth So he essentially walked through the Old Testament prophecies show their application Jesus is the fulfillment of those prophecies right so Jesus preached the prophecies when he gave the God it's all right Paul preached I think of Peter on the day of Pentecost right he quotes all the Old Testament to say that this is Jesus repeatedly they would take the Bible specifically the prophetic elements of the Bible and base their gospel presentation captured in that prophetic framework that's right and we've talked about that in past lessons and we have Lesson Number 12 coming up deals with our message will talk about that a little more fully but very clearly they had a prophetic message and that's significant to us because a 7th Day Adventist we see our identity in Scripture and I'm permitting we go to Revelation tanning go through the whole thing right Revelation 10 is a prophecy of the rise of the advent of and it's stunning to see the fulfillment of that right in the chapter ends with these words that must prophesied again speaking to these people who who ate the Book of Daniel Sarah Sarah and that prophecy again giving a message that they begin to give is the message we find in Revelation 14 right in the 7th Day Adventist Church is mission statement is to give the 3 angels message to the world and so again we oftentimes will. Maybe not consciously but maybe I accidently slip up and say that well I know we want to give me bible studies are good in the admin as message is precious but let's start by just sharing Jesus let's just start by sharing the basic gospel but you look at the reality How did Jesus preached the gospel how to Paul what you would read of what they say what did I mean yeah and so if I was always watching the present to the readers being present code language and I remember a minister who used to say. Some have been a say that I prefer I don't prefer doctrine I prefer preaching the gospel and he said the reality with a lot of people is what they really mean by that is they prefer Baptist Dr Navitas doctrine. And I have a doctrine the gospel is a doctrine Dr means teaching and a basic gospel what's more basic than Scripture right you know so it's. No one thing I want to Revelation 14 that context live on a backtrack just a bit Ok the lesson brings out Isaiah 50 verse 4 which I think is a great verse where tells us that the Lord will give us a time of the learned and teachers how to speak a word in season to those who are weary In other words how to speak when to speak what to speak it's a great verse it's a great promise that God will guide us in what to say and again the lesson you know asks What vital principles about sharing the word of God to these bring out and even says it also gives 2nd time before to where we just read it speaking we're in and out of season but. I think it's important to note that. The idea of preaching what to say when to say and how to say it that's this nebulous. Ok Great God will guide us and we feel good about that but God has told us what to speak and when to speak and how to speak it into 3 messages I mean that's a very specific prescription and the idea of in season and out of season how to season in season is when everybody's good with it and it's easy but not everybody is always good with the message but that's not an indication not to give the message I think of a couple statements that come to my mind evangelism 647 says this We are not only to make the iron. We are not only destroying the iron is hot but we are also to make the iron hot by striking and that does mean striking people going fit but is talking about agitating a subject that people may not feel ready for because our times the times are living in Israel for it and there needs to be. Discussion and thought on that thing whatever subject for example another one that says in the book education piece to 36 the Sabbath question well agitate the whole world as that same idea of hammering making the iron hot by striking sometimes it's to me that's out of season if people don't necessarily feel ready but sometimes a message is given it's calculated to awaken Well 2 points I want to highlight there in Matthew chapter 24 the quintessential gospel message right where verse 14 says and this gospel the kingdom of right now the world the context of that is the love of money is growing cold there is difficulties and signs of Christ's coming it's not going to be in season it's not going to be popular but he says in the midst of that this gospel of the King will be preached in all the world's a witness to all Asians and then the end will kill That's right we find ourselves living in these last days when the end will come and so we have a gospel Well if you take that then that's right and go to Revelation Chapter 14 you will find out that in verses one through 5 you have those who endure to the end that Jesus referred to in Matthew $24.00 and then lo and behold you have the gospel go into the world in the 3 angels messages which of course mean over 6 that I saw there into following them it's about having having every. Lasting Gospel to preach those and all the earth as the gospel the world and the result of giving those 3 angels message is what that I look to behold a white cloud that's rain becomes so we 7 having a Revelation 14 is actually a fulfillment this was predicting and we come Revelation 14 we see exactly just zoomed in on that and gives us detail in that So when we a 7th day after this we have to be so careful to say like now I will get to the 3 angels message but let's make sure we get the gospel when the reality is we have a specific time and place and message to give to his world and that just reveals a very sad misunderstanding of the god actually so when we talk about sharing the word it's not just generic word even though every bit of the word has power there's a specific message for this time that God is entrusted to us that's right I still think of there is a pastor that used to talk about Noah's day you know because it says it will be as it was in the days of Noah and you can imagine Noah standing in front of the boat writing and and preaching the masses and in this pastor's example he said you know you can imagine o. coming out and saying today we're going to start a 6 week series on the family and says nothing about that in the bloody In other words he was talking terms of present truth Peter talks about you you can't be living in these times and not give the message right at these times exactly Well they call it relevant this is a quote that is from manuscript release of all in 1000 you know you want and you want to read that again you know go his right to light the Christ revealed to his servant that is John the prophet is for us in His revelation are given the 3 angels messages and a description of the angel that was to come down from heaven with great power lightning the earth with his glory in it that is those 3 angels messages are warnings against the wickedness that would exist in the last days and against the mark of the beast we are not only to read and understand this message but to proclaim it with no uncertain sound to the world by presenting these things revealed to Joel and we shall be able to stir the people the usual subs. It's on which the ministers of nearly all other denominations dwell will not move them now that's powerful it really is that says that this message will stir the people but what others are preaching is are not going to stir the people right in so many times admins want to shy away from the thing that makes us different or we say what everybody else is we think that the message everybody else is saying is what's going to move the people where but it doesn't that does none We must he continues proclaim our God given message to them the world is to be worn by the proclamation of this message if we blanket if we hide our light under a bushel if we so circumscribed ourselves that we cannot reach the people we are answerable to God for that our failure to warn the world answerable to God for our failure to wanted to do what God's call us to do this is so we're talking about witnessing making friends for God and all of that ultimately it's in the context of giving the message God has told us to give right it's not ambiguous is no equal we supposed to say you know he's given us a message and to be clear for status quo teachers there is a lesson 12 coming up the talks about those 300 message and dives into it but we didn't want you to leave this week when you talk about sharing the word with any kind of overt or even implicit. Idea of it well we just generically sharing just Jesus in a nebulous sense when we've been given a specific task by the Lord and we haven't had time to expound on it but only Even the range of messages I mean we're talking about we're talking about the evidence message which is uniquely rooted and grounded in the word I talk about the 7 we talk about what happens when man dies we talk about 2nd turn all the same she or he disappeared. All of these things are clarifying right who God is and what his plan is for humanity in the word and that power of the word transforms the right absolutely absolutely So let's bring this to a conclusion in our few final minute here desire of Ages 355 I want to read that yes it says a daily earnest striving to know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent will bring power and efficiency to the soul the knowledge obtained by diligent searching of the Scriptures. Would be flashed into the memory at the right time if any had neglected to acquaint themselves with the words of Christ if they had never tested the power of His grace in trial they could not expect that the Holy Spirit would bring his words to their remember speaking of the power they were to Scripture they were to serve God daily with undivided affection and then trust him so the importance of studying the word can't be overemphasized as this over emphasized especially for Bible witnesses Amen Well let's close with the word of prayer Heavenly Father again we thank you for this day we thank you for the opportunity and responsibility of being witnesses for you please bless our own growth as we continue in the word but also Lord let it not in there let us be powerful sharers and testifiers to the Word of God and of the truth for this time so bless every humble effort and make great to the power.

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