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

09-Developing a Winning Attitude

Mark Howard Kameron DeVasher
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Pastors Kameron DeVasher and Mark Howard share study and teaching tips for Quarter 3, August 29 lesson “Developing a Winning Attitude”.

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  • August 24, 2020
    9:00 AM
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I'm Cameron division and I'm Mark Howard and this is talking points we're in our corner making friends for God and this week we're looking at Lesson Number 9 and if developing a winning attitude all sounds fantastic right we need the right perspective and outlook are going to win souls for Christ right sure do all right so let's start with prayer does it with what you started this prayer will drive it Father in heaven we are thankful for the privilege of knowing you in Jesus Christ whom you have sent for knowing your truth and for being in a position that we're able to share that truth with others have lessons by your Holy Spirit as we go through these talking points this week that we may be a blessing to those who are studying these lessons across the world we ask it in Jesus' name amen All right so again we're talking everything in the context of making friends forgot how to effectively share our faith and one of the key things we need to talk about is what the whole lesson is about this week this attitude what is the what is the mindset that we should have as we look towards the work of so well are our memory verse talks about. Being ready to give an answer you know you're thinking of in terms of sharing your faith in then it ends by saying with meekness and fear and so this is what this week's lesson is really touching on is is making sure that we have the right attitude when we share with others because your attitude can affect the outcome of the lesson on son Sam of the afternoon the 2nd paragraph there says Jesus never exhibited a tinge of pride or superiority he saw in every human being one created in the image of God yet fallen by sin and one whom he came to see no one was beyond his love none had fallen so low that his Grace could not reach them he showed respect to all he came in contact with and he treated them with the dignity they deserved he employs people for his kingdom because he believed in people so all of that is is just telling us of the attitude Jesus had in witnessing Ok And so as we review this week's as we do each week we have these accompanying study guides or outline notes here but if you want to call them that are available right there in the bottom of the website at Michigan s s p n dot au r.g.s. slash resources and we'll have these available you can click on that but each week we try to take the 7 days' worth of you know study and boil it down to a few just a few main talking points and so why don't we walk through an overview of what those points are before we go back and dive into each one in detail shall we well absolutely. The 1st talking point this week is that everyone is a witness that's point number one course we will develop that explain that as we go on. Key Point number 2 is that added to determine the outcome. And your attitude makes all the difference in your witnessing endeavors and then finally key point number 3 is don't forget to tell the truth and again you'll see with that you know seems a little silly but there has to be a point but it is yeah you know it does almost seem silly but I it may not seem as silly when we get done with this exactly like but let's go back to that power of positive attitude yes what is the what is the approach attitude wise that we should have as we go out and look to do the work of witnessing for Jesus Well it's interesting Friday. On Friday's lesson it makes this point there's a quote from gospel workers and on discussion question 3 and I'm just going to read a piece of that quote the 1st part says the very act of looking for evil in others develops evil in those who look by drawing upon the faults of others we are changed into the same image so this is interesting in saying that if I'm being critical of the people that I'm trying to witness to up for anybody for that matter people in church whatever it's going to actually develop the traits if you know if I'm focusing on your bad qualities. It's that principle in scripture that says by holding we become change I'm going to reflect those bad qualities now that made me think of another quote that I think is even more to this point and it's in the book and educate education is in the outline in fact you might want to share that there on our introduction of the last page 289 from the book the education of this is in the context again of the book education children and young people but it's a principle applies to all as the statement continues but it says Children and Youth are benefited by being trusted many even of the little children have a high sense of honor all desire to be treated with confidence and respect and this is their right they should not be led to feel that they cannot go go out or come in without being watched Ellison of this suspicion demoralizes producing the very evils it seeks to prove it and that's a that's a very heavy concept there but suspicion itself the attitude of suspicion actually harms the other person by affecting their attitude and it produces a very evil it seeks to prevent what you've seen it if you've not experienced it you know if somebody is always saying well you're going to end up messing up anyway and you going to do something wrong you like watch or I Yeah and I've seen that not just in children but in adults and so again this speaks to the attitude. We convey when we're working with another soul if we're always acting like you're never going to mount anything it just might be a self-fulfilling prophecy right and so we don't want to be exactly that self-fulfilling prophecy like harm our efforts before we even begin by having the wrong mindset going into it that's right so it in a lot of that talks to attitude even kind of backing up from that are key point number one is that everyone is a witness Yes Not every one witness says and what do you expect because well even the term a witness is come to be kind of compartmentalized I'm going to go do some witnessing or I'm going to go witness as opposed to like I'm going to take some time off from witnessing like you can turn it on and off like a switch or I'm in the I'm in my office hours of witnessing work versus my off time it's like that word evangelism and it always cracks me up here to our church is doing evangelism now like doing evangelism you know evangelism is is something that it should be happening all the time but that's the same way witnessing is you know on the personal level do exact times when the you know when the sun is just right in that you never know it well I mean I have the Bible study offered a column sticker on the back of my car and how I drive is a witness for that thing of attention so if we claim the name Christian or Seventh-Day Adventists in particular people are God already going to be thinking something or they can be loaded prim preparing to see something in you and whether you intended or not you're going to be showing something to them you're going to be witnessing so witnessing is not an option with writing you're going to be an automatic you're always a witness you're either a good one or a bad one is right but the witness will have it and so that needs to be remembered in coming in the so the attitude that you have can't be turned on and off it's like going to go in to sing something to be nice that's right then I want to go back to be incredible or even the same think like well the bottom of Sunday's lesson you have in the notes here but they're very very bottom the page says we never know for sure the impact of our words and actions on others either for good or for bad hence why must we always be careful about what. Say and do in the presence of others and it's automatically because we're being watched Well I was telling you before of the story of a guy that when I 1st came into the church and this guy gave his testimony I don't know what he I forget what his job was it wasn't in ministry he was just a secular job and people would come in and out of the business and one day one of the customers comes up to him and he says hey you're a 7th Avenue start you and it dawned on him you know they never had a Bible say together he didn't come to the guy's church he's like he knows them and had Minister and then he's thinking he's known all along going to heaven and who else knows the possibility well and then what has he seen yes right because you're thinking well you know is that turn on and off like I was in a Bible study where I just turned on my right my Christianity so he knows I'm a Christian all the time yeah it's a very intimidating and should be overwhelming thought to us not that we can't handle it but I mean we need to be cognizant of the responsibility that we take we call it right up in a Christian and carry it with us that's right and Jesus was always cognizant Jesus didn't have witnessing wasn't a turn on and off for him that's right it was it was who he was and so that when we talk key point number one is everyone is a witness key point number 2 is it added to determines outcome and immersed we find this ideally modeled in the life and ministry of Jesus Absolutely we do this for Monday and Wednesdays lesson lessons both Monday talks about an attitude adjustment is talking a lot about attitude and then Wednesday Well in fact even a little bit from Sunday because Sunday goes into the woman at the well in the same area and that's an example of you know the Bible tells us right off in John 4 that there was a rift between Samaritans and Jews that went way back and in fact the woman at the well was even surprised that Jesus approached her in a friendly way because that just was out of. Character was what the Jews had the Jews if the Jews would even approach the Samaritans on the right and so that whole experience that his attitude arrested her attention and ultimately. Gained her audience in other words she was willing to listen because largely in part in writing to his attitude and the contrast there of course is the disciples we had no interest in stopping by that in a stampede in crisis no need to do this right he had a different he was looking for something he had a different expectation a different attitude and you know there's a statement in volume one of the testimonies it's included in the notes here and it's also at the bottom of today's lesson bestir in the us if we would humble ourselves before God and become and courteous and tender hearted and pitiful there would be $100.00 conversions to the truth were Nell there is only one. Not to know about the weight of that hitting you but it really hits me because you know doing the work of an evangelist and preaching campaigns and doing Symon ours and lectures and trying to get bible studies were always trying to know our answers for our faith better be able to articulate the truth clear more clearly and hear everything listed kindness courteousness tender heart as these are all attitude things that would give 100 fold more effectiveness to the word of all it's incredible the attitude is that important Well when you think about you know the reality is you think about this statement when we're sharing our faith. People get defensive we get defensive people we're witnessing to get defensive right because it's you're being challenge was what you know and it's it can be unsettling to somebody you're saying what I've always learned is wrong and that's how a person can feel and let me just clarify that's not because you're saying that I hear that all the time evidence that I know as long as I've been in the church I'm going to say hey by the way everything you believe is wrong and you're just an idiot and you know Ok we talk that way sometimes like that's what witnessing is it's not what witnessing is and most people don't do that but you still feel that way to the point you can say it is kind as you want but that's how it gets a person when you hear the truth and so that's what I hear her saying in this statement is we need to understand that it's a challenge to be to learn the truth for the 1st time and we need to put ourself in their shoes and so that the kind hearted the tender hearted courteousness the being pitiful is trying to put ourselves where they are and understand that even if they are a person witnessing to his abrasive it may not be because they're an abrasive person but because they just don't know how to deal with the truth you know they're wrestling with conviction and clarity and it's a lot to take in so again the attitude needs to reflect the attitude of Jesus of course and that's rooted in Gaza love for sinners the the lesson on Wednesday talks about the foundation of acceptance and it directs us to Romans $157.00 and if he's 432 and of course if he's 4 there too I love that talks about how we ought to forgive others as God in Christ forgave us we need to be considering Well the lesson put it on Wednesday in the 1st paragraph it makes this point it says because Christ has forgiven and accepted each one of us how can we possibly refused to forgive and accept one another and obviously if we really could embrace. The way God has treated us it would it couldn't it couldn't help but affect the way our attitude is toward others the reason it's brought up in the lesson that God's when we understand you know 1st John 419 we love God before because He 1st loved us when then when we accept that we realize that that leads us to be much more compassionate toward others you know I'm laughing because we're talking about in theory how would we approach someone who doesn't know truth among make sure we're kind and sensitive and everything about it because they're going to be hearing some new things that might be counter to what they already know. Now I want to kind of do the same thing with this term acceptance right because inside the church we hear a lot about acceptance we need to accept people and look at that since you just read again because Christ is forgiven and accepted each one of us how can we possibly refuse to forgive and except one another I can almost get down not a prophet or the son of a prophet but I can almost guarantee that in this week's Sabbath school classes across the Michigan conference and where else the else is goes there's no real lot of conversation about acceptance What does it mean to accept people we should be more to be more accepting and. And there's trouble with the language is it has certain limitations and it can be kind of buttressing other ideas that we don't want to connected to and the word acceptance is kind of a loaded term at this point right because we don't want to say we except people and indorse the misconceptions they hold or the out of harmony lifestyle practices they may you know engage in but we want to accept it what does it mean to be accepting of people in this day and age well I'm thinking about that and I'm afraid that for many. Church members. My desire to be accepting is more for me than it is for the other person. Out of there rather than accepting and this is where the misunderstanding of a sect acceptance comes from because. First of all the Bible doesn't use the word acceptance in the way we use it and a bigger challenge is that I don't know House been used over the years but in the last at least a couple decades acceptance in our language now means this is what you get take or leave it I'm not changing and God does not accept anybody in those terms like I'm not changing God this was going to be you come to God to change and so. Feel used to say it this way that that Jesus using the language of Scripture Jesus receives sinners just as they are he doesn't accept them just as they are because he must he wants them to change us to transform them so he receives sinners and again if the idea of acceptance is to say that God loves everyone that's fine Absolutely but but we do as we talk about acceptance and like you said I've heard those discussions and I mean they get pretty pretty intense since Yeah I think we need to be more accepting and what that often really is is I don't want people to not like me. And we certainly don't want my idea of acceptance isn't because I'm worried about them being hurt it's because I'm worried about being unpopular Well yeah but even if that weren't the case there's this there's this notion out there that people will be hurt by the articulation of truth and therefore we need to protect them from that pain and the hurt feelings that would come with it and so we need to just accept them as they are more and all of those phrases I've heard so many times but even I mean. Drilling down into more specifics here when we talk about the local church oftentimes acceptance is code for membership we talk about accepting them into membership and so that's a big thing to talk about I mean we're talking about perhaps as most standards of church leadership and what not and so I think we need to flesh out a little bit of the distinction between what it means to him to receive people as they are and versus accept them in the membership or hold them up in the leadership I mean they're different things right right and even again just to stick with the language of the lesson I'm fine to say except I'm as they are if we know what we're talking about the same thing for example the lesson says on Wednesday what is it 123. 4 is pick one sentence paragraph. 5th paragraph says this the 2nd 2nd sentence in genuine acceptance means that we accept people as they are with all their sinful habits because they are human beings created in the image of God Now I understand what the intent was in that statement yes but I'm going to tell you that most people will read that and it wouldn't surprise me if this isn't parroted in I don't know how many say I was Will class right as saying yeah we need to just accept them as as they are almost as if like you're saying now to just be you know leave it up to God and we had to make a members and all that we don't do is have they have us our policy doesn't allow for that because Scripture doesn't allow for that in other words elder family in another place it's not in this particular lesson or in this quarterly as I've seen it. But he says that we have no standards for fellowship fellowship means you come into the church just as you are trained but if you want to become a member there are biblical standards for membership no standards of fellowship come in and fellowship with us Ok but if you want to become a member of the 7 demonstrators there are biblical standards we did make them up the bottom up and if you move into leadership there even higher standards for leadership there's certain things in a member may do good as a leader because you're anyway right and we won't get into all that but again the idea of acceptance being if you want to say in that context you know we accept people into fellowship Sure but again we roll into the idea of acceptance that that. Basically. Come in as you are and stay as you are and we won't ever say a thing about your lifestyle or you know you're livin early and humans and all these other things it's not true you're going to hear some in the in the what happens is with that mindset if the pastor gets up and preaches anything just about anything from Scripture because it up then people are mad at him because like people don't feel accepted by you right now and that's one of the key things I mean logistically in the local church I think we've done ourselves a disservice by thinking we either have to reject people or accept them into memberships right with the idea being that fellowship that you talked about in the Sabbath school my friends is uniquely suited to be that vehicle for fellowship and entrance into the church family without becoming a member of the church itself or at least not yet it's that transitionary thing where people can learn the truth in a family atmosphere and you know go through the conviction that comes from learning the truth and make decisions for Christ that will lead to church membership and by God's grace eventually leadership but we do ourselves a disservice when we have to choose between either no it's total rejection or full membership and those are only 2 options and the Lord didn't treat people that way you know I see them and then he made them into something else and that's what I was going to say so are Molly here you know key point number one everyone is a witness key point number 2 attitude determines outcome but the model for attitude is Jesus that's right the model for acceptance is Jesus yes yes we accept people just like Jesus accepted people and in those terms of jesus did not accept people sins it's really gave them power has many as received Him He gave power to become sons of God etc etc So many. You know of course never take away there is is we want the attitude of Jesus in every capacity and if we aren't witnessing the like Jesus we really aren't witnessing about Jesus so it's true truly witnessing about Jesus we want to have the attitude of Jesus and that's the point of emphasis there but we want to avoid those pitfalls right that come in so often. Well. And quick last point there is that people say from your view from a 1st person perspective because we're always worried about what the other people might feel but people might have a test most when I came into the church I felt condemned right fellas judged I felt kind of looked down upon and obviously we don't want to be judged mental in our attitude in condemning in our demeanor but there's another thing that's at work in this mud just us as human interaction there's a supernatural interaction of the Holy Spirit is convicting people of truth so that even if everything you did was 100 percent right they still might feel a little you know twinge in the conscience they're a little illiterate to the soul because of the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting it's not the condemnation of the church but it's the conviction of the Holy Spirit that might be at work in people's lives too where there's the old saying the only person says I feel guilty is probably because they are you know and that goes for all of us and I'm not trying to be flippant about it yes just to say we almost act like nobody's ever guilty so you come into the church if you have done what is contrary to your conscience yes you're going to feel guilty about it and it isn't because the church members are all staring you down but you're going to feel that way so you might think that they are but that just isn't reality and you know it it may be in some cases but I have had many situations as a pastor where I've had people say well I feel condemned in this not because the church I've seen a church member the most loving churches what have you but people don't understand the nature of conviction of the Holy Spirit and so that you know and the reason that's important and why we're stating it is because I've seen church members then that if if some visitor or another church member gets upset and says well I feel guilty. And their guiltiness is coming from the fact that they've gone contrary to what they know the Bible is teaching with the Spirit of Prophecy is teaching with a pastor preaching on then they say well I feel so condemning here then I've seen some church members take the side of that person and fall sympathising look up this in the writings of l. my false sympathy and you'll get a number of yeah but you're actually taking the devil side of the argument. When you do things like that so. You've got to be you've got to be careful when you're dealing with you know somebody says I feel a certain way right we want to have the attitude of Christ but even Jesus had people who you know the rich young ruler walked away from Jesus and was not altogether too happy about right but if you take away from that the christ somehow did it wrong and everything you did was right which moves us into our 3rd point don't forget to tell the truth that's right it's so tempting to like all right we're going to have a good positive attitude really accept people as they are and if we become friends we won Well the purpose of the friendship is to leave them to Christ and His truth the idea the idea seems to be that you have to pick one of the other you either tell him the truth or you accept them you know and I again I've had church members who say Pastor I don't want to tell my friend about the Sabbath because they seem so happy as a Sunday keeper and we've got we've we've we've adopted the idea that truth is a is a ball and chain instead of that which makes us free you know right that the truth makes us free And I think it's hard for for 7 day I'm going to sometimes who grown up knowing certain things about the truth to understand the value of it for me Bill who don't in we talk to you about you know when you're on that plane and you had a lot of turbulence and playing that's going up and you sure feel good to get on the ground with with solid footing on it you know and that same experience is what happens when a person who didn't know the truth who learns the truth they have insight in a world of so much gray there is finally some solid something solid they can stand on and it's this point that element comments on when she says the design of ages the comforter speaking of the Holy Spirit the comforter is called The Spirit of truth his work is to define and maintain the truth and of course we know Jesus himself said that he came to bear witness to the truth in John 18 if Paul told to me to the church was built as the pillar and ground of the truth you know the whole idea of a trip why is this so important notice the Holy Spirit his were. Because to define and maintain the truth he 1st dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth and thus he becomes the comforter there is comfort in peace in the truth but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood and we just forget that sometimes we like why want to feel safe and accepted in everything else and look there's a challenge in learning some things true that you always thought was false and learning that what you thought was true was falls in and in so that there's a challenge in learning that but that challenge is liberating it doesn't shackle you because of our misunderstandings we sometimes Guard people from the truth when they call we want to feel acceptance or not right in the truth and not help him Well exactly right and sometimes it almost becomes bait to say it all pious sounding cover to evade the responsibility of telling truth yeah right Thursday's lesson in the 1st very 1st sentence as Jesus did not neglect presenting truth for quote love's sake that's right because that would not have been love right like the it would seem like a loving thing to do is quote accept them and not tell the truth and hide the light he said in and out of the most exposed the most genuine form of love is to tell the truth and you know there's this quote from paychecks and prophets and kings page 141 it is not from love for their neighbor or the v.a. that is the ministers smoothed down the message intrusted to them but because they are self-indulgent and he's loving true love seeks 1st the owner of God in the salvation of souls those who have this love will not evade the truth to save themselves from the unpleasant results of plain speaking when souls are in peril God's ministers will not consider self but will speak the word given them to speak refusing to excuse or palli evil that is to make it seem less serious that they won't. Genuinely Christ like person doesn't seek to kind of. What's the word I'm looking forward just comfort. Without 1st clarifying the truth of God for you don't often the message and you look at the language you know again the context of that statement is the minister but it goes for all of us notice again it says they don't. It's not from love for their neighbor right that's not true well why is she saying that because she's addressing the Lord is addressing to his prophet that's what we think we're doing that's what that minister thinks like I just do it and I love and the Lord puts his finger on the pulse of the thing and he says it's not love yes motivating you it's selfishness Well wait a minute but that's exactly the true love seeks 1st the honor of guns salvation for souls and so you know the course the lesson brings this out presenting the truth in love but it's a it's not presenting love instead of the truth and again our memory verse is you know to bear witness. But to give. His meekness and fear you've got that balance of the 2 but the reason that we exist as Christians as followers of Christ is to carry on his misses his mission and message of proclaiming the truth right and so as much as it's important the attitude I do it in if I'm not proclaiming the truth what's my attitude for we talked about you can make you can make friends on a lot of different levels and we talk so much about making friends and how it's important we make friends but i friends before we came to Christ but our friendship was based on going out and drinking together and you can imagine what happened after I stopped drinking well the friendship fell apart what's the basis for your friendships are you making friends who golf or are you making friends for God and I'm not saying it's wrong to make friends of golf but whatever the point you're making this lesson is about making friends for God in order to make friends for God you've got to share the truth of God in love Amen Well we've covered a lot of territory here and no doubt there's going to be a lot of good cover say. But we would love to see those conversations not just be empty rhetoric but actually edifying for the Body of Christ that each one of us can be the missionary like Jesus that he has called us to be so let's close with the word created a deadly Father thank you so much for this great opportunity you have not only to. To have salvation in Jesus Christ for ourselves but to we witnesses for that salvation to other people please Lord help us to become the missionaries that you want to be in fact the very missionary that you exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ please Lord help us to present the truth always as it is in Jesus for we pray in Jesus.

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