13: The Ultimate Rest-Sabbath School Teaching Plan

13: The Ultimate Rest – Teaching Plan

Posted on  by Michael Frackeravatar

Key Thought: No matter our present situation, what trials we are facing; if we dwell upon God: His goodness, love, and sacrifice; we can rejoice in Him and have peace for our weary souls.
September 25, 2021

1. Have a volunteer read Matthew 24:4-823-31..

  1. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the most important point is in this passage.
  2. What will Jesus coming be like? How can we avoid being deceived?
  3. Personal Application: Can we discern between what the Bible says and what we see before us as to what is true? How can we help others understand the difference? Share your thoughts.
  4. Case Study: One of your relatives states, “What does it mean to endure to the end? I thought once we received Christ, He would see us through the hard times. What do I have to do to endure?” How would you respond to your friend?

2. Have a volunteer read Revelation 14:6-14.

  1. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
  2. What is being taught here? Why is it so important and urgent?
  3. Personal Application: What elements of the everlasting gospel, or present truth, have most Christians missed that would help them see Christ’s rest more clearly? Are these elements important for salvation? Share your thoughts
  4. Case Study: One of your friends states, “Why does it say that those who receive the mark of the beast, worship the beast, and receive his number have no rest day nor night? Does this mean they can’t sleep? They have no peace in their hearts? If we believe in Jesus, He promises us peace.” How would you respond to your friend?

3. Have a volunteer read Hebrews 11:13-16.

  1. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
  2. What great promise ius found in this passage?
  3. Personal Application: What Scriptures would you use to show someone that death is a sleep, and that the dead are resting in the grace until Jesus comes the second time? Share your thoughts.
  4. Case Study: One of your relatives states: “My dad is resting in Jesus now. He is in heaven and enjoying the company of angels and those who have gone before him. He came to me in the night to let me know he was happy and fine in heaven.“ How would you respond to your relative?

4. Have a volunteer read Philippians 4:4-6.

  1. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
  2. What is Paul saying about how to have true rest and peace in this painful world?
  3. Personal Application: What is our role and goal in bringing peace and harmony to people living in this world of sin and strife? Can we compromise our message to bring peace?” Share your thoughts.
  4. Case Study: Think of one person who needs to hear a message from this week’s lesson. Tell the class what you plan to do this week to share with them.

(Truth that is not lived, that is not imparted, loses its life-giving power, its healing virtue. Its blessings can be retained only as it is shared.”Ministry of Healing, p. 148).

Twice Mine

So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation. Genesis 2:1-3 NLT

I can imagine God walking Adam and Eve through the garden that very first Sabbath. Having been created the day before, Adam and Eve didn’t need a physical rest after a long week. As God showed them all His created works that first Sabbath, they rested in the fact that it was God who made them and not they themselves. See Psalms 100:3

When God had finished our creation He rested and gave us the Sabbath as a sign that He created us. We mark a year by the sun. We mark a month by the moon. We mark a day by the earth’s rotation. What do we have to mark a week? The Sabbath, which takes us to creation and reminds us that we have a Creator.

“It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 ESV

When Jesus finished the work of our redemption He again rested on the Sabbath, this time in a tomb.

Be careful to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you from generation to generation. It is given so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy. Exodus 31:13 NLT

The Sabbath is not only a sign of God’s power to create, but also a sign of His power to redeem and to make us holy.

An old story tells of a little boy who had built a wooden sailboat and took it down to a creek by his home. He had tied a string to it so he could watch it float, and then reel it back in, but the string broke. His boat went sailing down the creek and out of sight.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

A few days later when the boy was walking with his father downtown, he saw his boat in a toy store window. “That’s my boat!” The boy exclaimed. He went inside and told the store keeper that it was his boat. But the store keeper informed him that, since he had no way to verify the boy’s story, if he wanted the boat back, he would have to pay for it.

After working for several weeks at extra chores the boy earned the money to buy his boat back. He walked out of the store, clutching the boat to his heart and was overheard saying, “Little boat you are twice mine. First I made you. Then I bought you.”

Today the Sabbath is a sign from God that we are twice His. Once, at creation He made us, then on the cross He bought us.

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.

10: Sabbath Rest-Sabbath School Teaching Plan

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath September 4, 2021.

Main Theme: The Sabbath is a sign that God created and redeemed by from sin by His own works. Therefore instead of being saved by works we rest our faith In God’s amazing grace.

Read Together Genesis 1:26-27, and Genesis 9:6. Identify the theme of these passages.

Study: What is different about the way people were created that sets us apart from the rest of creation? Why is this important?

Apply: What responsibility do we have to the rest of creation?

Share: A friend comments that while God created us in His image it seems that man has been trying to create God in man’s image. Is this true? If so how has man tried to create God in man’s image? What do you share with your friend?

Read Together Romans 6:1-7. Identify the main theme of this passage.

Study: What exactly are we saved from? The penalty of sin? The power of sin? Both?

Apply: How has God saved you from sin? How has your life changed after conversion?

Share: Your friend doesn’t think he will ever get complete victory over drugs in this lifetime. What words or more importantly Scripture can you share with your friend to encourage her? Hints: Ephesians 3:19-20, Titus 2:11-14.

Read Together Exodus 31:13. Identify the main theme of this passage.

Study: What is the Sabbath a sign of? We are no more capable of making ourselves holy than we are making a day holy? What does this passage tell us about Who it is who makes us holy and sanctified?

Apply: How does observing the Sabbath demonstrate your total faith in God’s redeeming power?

Share: Your friend says the Sabbath was only given to the Jews. What do you share with your friend? Hint: Mark 2:27, Isaiah 56:5-6.

Read Together Isaiah 58:12-14. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: How is the Sabbath a delight?

Apply: How can we delight in the Sabbath without doing our own pleasures? Could it be possible that even in church on Sabbath we are just doing our own pleasures? Especially if we are just debating theology with our best friends and ignoring visitors and strangers? What does the whole chapter of Isaiah 58 say about this?

Share: How can we share true meaning of Sabbath rest with unbelievers?

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22 NLT

Even With bad Breaks we are More Than Conquerors

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NKJV 

In John 8:1-11 Some men with terrible motives and intentions seduced a woman and dragged her to Jesus  to see if He would condemn her or even allow her to be stoned to death. As evil as their intentions were what they inadvertently did was they brought a woman to the feet of Jesus where she found salvation. As terrible as it was, and believe me it was not Jesus’ idea for them to do her that way, but in the end Jesus turned things around to work out in her favor and to God’s glory. 

Terrible things happened to Jesus. Satan worked through evil men to make the Son of God a degraded spectacle on the cross. yet through it all Jesus became the Savior of the world. One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that the one who was so despised, rejected and degraded is Lord. In the process a multitude that no one can number will be saved.

The Father’s presence encircled Christ, and nothing befell Him but that which infinite love permitted for the blessing of the world. Here was His source of comfort, and it is for us. He who is imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. The blow that is aimed at him falls upon the Saviour, who surrounds him with His presence. Whatever comes to him comes from Christ. He has no need to resist evil, for Christ is his defense. Nothing can touch him except by our Lord’s permission, and “all things” that are permitted “work together for good to them that love God.” Romans 8:28.- Ellen White, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, Page 71. 

What a wonderful promise that nothing can touch us but what infinite love permits, and all these things work together for our good if we love God. Without ever reading Romans 8;28 or this passage from Mount of Blessing I just shared, Joseph realized that all the bad breaks he endured worked out to develop his character so he could save lives. Instead of being bitter and resentful Joseph saw even the bad breaks and evil intentions of others were working to his advantage. Not only did Joseph forgive his brothers for selling him into slavery but instead of blaming them he said it was actually God who did it- and He did it for the good of others. 

But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. Genesis 45:5 NKJV

Not only did Joseph not blame his dysfunctional family for all the bad breaks in his life, but he refused to acknowledge them as bad breaks. Instead he realized through all of the evil intentions of his dysfunctional family and even Potipher’s wife’s terrible accusations God was working to refine his character in order to get him exactly where he needed to be in order to save many lives. 

When bad breaks come our way instead of blaming others for our situation lets trust God the same way Jesus and Joseph did. Let’s share in their hope and encouragement. Surely God is working out something wonderful in our lives. 

Christ rejoiced that He could do more for His followers than they could ask or think. He spoke with assurance, knowing that an almighty decree had been given before the world was made. He knew that truth, armed with the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit, would conquer in the contest with evil; and that the bloodstained banner would wave triumphantly over His followers. He knew that the life of His trusting disciples would be like His, a series of uninterrupted victories, not seen to be such here, but recognized as such in the great hereafter.-Ellen White, Desire of Ages, Page 679.

Instead of being resentful and bitter over supposedly bad  breaks lets bask in the love of God! God’s great love is working through our tribulations and persecutions making us more than conquerors. 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 NKJV 

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.

05: Come Unto Me -Sabbath School Teaching Plan

Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School class on July 31, 2021.

Main theme for this week’s lesson: The yoke Jesus gives us is not a burden. It’s a support system. It’s His grace.

Read Together Matthew 11:28-30. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: what type of rest does Jesus give us? How might the preceding verses help us understand?

Apply: How do we take Jesus’ yoke? How does that make our burden light? See God Will Definitely Give you More Than you can Handle.

Share: Share a time God gave you rest from a trial or temptation.

Read Together Matthew 5:5 and Galatians 5:1 and identify the main idea of these passages.

Study: What does it mean to be meek? What is the yoke of bondage Christ frees us from?

Apply: How do we stay meek and have rest and peace in a doge eat dog world?

Share: Tell about a meek person you know. How do they show meekness while having a confident rest and peace?

Read Together Exodus 18:13-22. Discuss the theme of this passage.

Study: What does bearing another person’s burden look like in this story?

Apply: How do you keep from being over-worked and over burdened? Should we send ourselves on a guilt trip for not doing a job in the church someone else could have just of easily done?

Share: Do you know of someone at work, home or church who is being burned out like Moses? How can you help them this week? Or if you are burned out how can you delegate some of your responsibilities?

Read Together Galatians 6:2 and identify the main idea of this passage.

Study: How does bearing each others burdens help us fulfill the law of Christ?

Apply: How does bearing someone else’ burden help you bear your own? An old story is told about a man who was caught in a snow bank in a blizzard. He was freezing and about to give up an die when he heard another man moaning in the storm. The first man found the strength to rescue the other man and ended up saving himself in the process. Do you believe this story to be true? Why or why not?

Share: Are there any burdens or responsibilities that someone can help you with, even a shut in or a child? How could you actually be helping them by letting them help you? Would it even be worth adjusting our expectations in order to help them by letting them help us?

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22 NLT

When Self Confidence is Shattered

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

When I read in Wednesday’s section of this week’s lesson that David’s self confidence was shattered, it reminded me of a conversation I had years ago with a man who was studying eastern religions.  He asked me about my faith so I told Him I believed in Jesus. “But this faith in Jesus leads you to believe in yourself, right?” He asked. “No.” I said. “It actually makes me not believe in myself at all. Only in Jesus.” The young man didn’t even try to hide his scowl, and as to this date has not wanted to hear any more about my faith. Apparently believing in oneself is very important to this young man, but how can I believe in myself, when I know all too well what Paul confessed?

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. Romans 7:18 NKJV

Hard for me to believe in something where nothing good dwells.

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Romans 7:23-24 NKJV

Romans 7 knows me all too well. But there is hope! Not in me, but in Jesus.

I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:25 NKJV

My mind wants to serve God but my flesh wants to serve sin. So what is the solution? Paul shares the solution in chapter 8. Many agree that Romans 7 describes the unconverted man while Romans 8 describes the converted man.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4 NKJV

Jesus took my flesh with nothing good in it and crucified it. Now I can walk in the spirit and the law of love can be fulfilled in me.

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24 NKJV

In the physical world one must be born before they can die. In the Spiritual world one must die before they can be born.

For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. Galatians 5:17 NKJV

When the Spirit wars against the flesh is it the good things or the bad things we cannot do? Which is stronger? The Holy Spirit or the flesh? The previous verse makes it obvious.

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16 NLT

So if I walk in the Spirit I have victory over the flesh. Why do I need victory over my flesh? Why can’t I believe in my own flesh like my friend wanted me to? Let’s examine the works of the flesh and see how many of them are good things to believe in.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV

Eeeww! I didn’t find anything good in there, did you? No wonder Jesus had to crucify my flesh on the cross, and I must die to selfishness daily. See 1 Corinthians 15:31 and Luke 9:23. You may ask how does one die daily? I don’t think we can on our own. We must be crucified with Christ. See Galatians 2:20. As we behold Jesus emptying Himself on the cross, the Holy Spirit empties us of self too.

For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. Galatians 6:13-15 NKJV

It’s impossible to look at the cross and glory in my flesh.

“When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.” -Isaac Watts

“What is justification by faith? It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself. When men see their own nothingness, they are prepared to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. –Ellen White, Faith I Live by, Page, 111

Now that my glory is laid in the dust, look at what is possible.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22-26 NKJV

When the Holy Spirit fills me, this fruit shows up in my life. This is not my works! We saw earlier how disgusting all my works are. No, this fruit is not the results of my works. It is the result of the Holy Spirit living in me and producing His own fruit.

When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing. –Ellen White, Desire of Ages, Page 676

See why I told my friend the answer is not for me to believe in myself?

For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, Philippians 3:3 NKJV

“The circumcision” are those like Abraham, who stopped trusting his flesh to produce the fruit that only the Holy Spirit can produce. God had Abraham put away the part of the flesh he was trusting in so He could trust God’s promises instead. I pray God will give me another opportunity to talk to my friend again, so I can explain all that is possible when we stop believing in ourselves and believe in Jesus. Then again, the Holy Spirit can have anybody explain that to him. What the Holy Spirit does in me He can do in anyone. After all, it’s not me working. It is the fruit of the Spirit.

The Love of Self Causes Unrest

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Jesus was always at peace. According to Mark 4:38, even in a violent storm at sea He was sleeping peacefully in the back of a boat. How do you have that kind of peace and rest even amidst a raging storm? The amazing thing is Jesus offers us this same peace that allows us to find rest even when the storms of life rage on. 

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 NLT 

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT 

Jesus offers us a peaceful rest that has nothing to do with the stock market, interest rates, red blood cell counts, or even if our best friend is speaking to us or not. Jesus gives us peace by placing us in a right relationship with God. When we are at peace with God nothing else matters. 

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Romans 5:1 NLT 

Jesus was at perfect peace and had a perfect relationship with His Father because their was no hint of selfishness in His life. 

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8 NLT 

I have heard it said, the love of self is what causes unrest. It is selfishness that causes the anxiety that destroys our peace. The roots of restlessness are the roots of selfishness. The roots of rest and peace are the roots of selflessness. When Jesus gives us His peace He gives us His selfless attitude. We are no longer worried about being number one. We are no longer in turmoil, restlessly fretting that someone else may get that bigger slice of the pie that we wanted for ourselves. Our pride that made us worry about what others think about is gone. The peace and rest Jesus gives us helps us to forget about self and relax as we enjoy our relationship with God. When we are in a right relationship with God we can claim this promise,

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3 NLT 

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.

13: The New Covenant Life-Sabbath School Teaching Plan

13: The New Covenant Life – Teaching Plan

Posted on  by Michael Frackeravatar

Key Thought: The covenant defines our saving relationship with Christ that gives us benefits now and at His return.
.June 26, 2021

1. Have a volunteer read Romans 8:1.

  1. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the most important point is in this passage.
  2. Why should this text give us joy and a feeling of gratitude?
  3. Personal Application: How does God forgiving you help you in dealing with others who have sinned against you? Share your thoughts.
  4. Case Study: One of your relatives states, “There is no more condemnation when we accept Christ as our Savior. So if we accept Christ, we cannot be lost. It’s as simple as that.” How would you respond to your friend?

2. Have a volunteer read Ephesians 3:17-19.

  1. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
  2. What is the difference between joy and happiness?
  3. Personal Application: Are there things you need to change that may be hampering your experience in the fullness of God? Share your thoughts.
  4. Case Study: One of your friends states, “Why do we need a new heart? What does that mean anyway? What kind of change would take place with a new heart?” How would you respond to your friend?

3. Have a volunteer read John 11:25,26.

  1. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
  2. What does it mean that those that believe in Christ will live even if he dies?
  3. Personal Application: What does this promise do for us now as contrasted to the future? Share your thoughts.
  4. Case Study: One of your relatives states: “Do you believe in deathbed conversions? Should a person wait to accept Christ until the last moment after living the life they wanted to not according with God’s wishes?“ How would you respond to your relative?
    (Note: We are told that there are “few genuine deathbed conversions” and even if they do accept Christ at the last moment, “what a poor maimed sacrifice they bring to the Lord.”)

4. Have a volunteer read Matthew 28:19,20..

  1. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
  2. Why does being a Christian mean more than claiming the title?
  3. Personal Application: Have you been doing anything to share Christ and His word? Could you do more? What can you do to have a greater role in this work? Share your thoughts.
  4. Case Study: Think of one person who needs to hear a message from this week’s lesson. Tell the class what you plan to do this week to share with them.

(Truth that is not lived, that is not imparted, loses its life-giving power, its healing virtue. Its blessings can be retained only as it is shared.”Ministry of Healing, p. 148).

6: Abraham’s Seed-Teaching Plan

6: Abraham’s Seed – Teaching Plan

Prepared by William Earnhardt

Key Thought: God’s true Israel is the people of faith: persons who live in a spiritual covenant relationship with Him.
May 8, 2021

1. Have a volunteer read Ezekiel 16:8Deuteronomy 7:6

  1. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the most important point is in this passage.
  2. What made Israel special to God?
  3. Personal Application: What message do Seventh-day Adventists have that is special? Why do we need to be careful not to think we are automatically saved just because we are Adventists? See Jeremiah 7:3-7 and Matthew 7:21-23.
  4. Case Study: Your neighbor asks you why you keep the Sabbath, saying it was only given to the Jews as a sign they were God’s people. What do you tell your neighbor?

2. Have a volunteer read Jeremiah 11:8.

  1. Ask class members to share what the main idea of this text is?
  2. What are the blessings of the covenant? What are the curses?
  3. Personal Application: What role does obedience play concerning our entering the promised land? For example Israel lost some of their land to Babylon and Rome due to disobedience. Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden by grace with no works of their own yet they lost it by disobedience. What lesson is there for us concerning entering the promised land and new earth?
  4. Case Study: Your neighbor tells you his pastor says once you are saved there is no way you can be lost. What do you say to your neighbor? What Bible passages do you share?

3. Have a volunteer read Galatians 3:26-29.

  1. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
  2. What promises are we heirs to? What happened to make us heirs to these promises?
  3. Personal Application: What does Paul mean by we are no longer Jew or gentile or male and female? Why is it important in light of today’s current issues to know exactly what Paul meant?
  4. Case Study: Your friend tells you that the literal nation of Israel is still God’s special nation. What do you tell your friend? What Bible passages do you use? For example was Peter talking to Jews only in 1 peter 2:9? Why or why not?

4. Have a volunteer read Deuteronomy 28:1,15

  1. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
  2. What land was to be given and what were the obligations of the recipients?
  3. Personal Application: What promised land is given in the New Covenant? What conditions do we have in getting there?” Share your thoughts.
  4. Case Study: Think of one person who needs to hear a message from this week’s lesson. Tell the class what you plan to do this week to share with them.

(Truth that is not lived, that is not imparted, loses its life-giving power, its healing virtue. Its blessings can be retained only as it is shared.”Ministry of Healing, p. 148).

Go Light Your World, Go Light Your Universe

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

“Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” Genesis 15:5 NLT 

Of course Abram’s most important descendant is Jesus, but each descendant has his or her own sphere of influence just like the stars. The other day I was reading a book about stars to a group of first graders when a thought came to me. While our sun gives us light by day and even by night via its reflection off the moon, the stars still contribute to lighten our nights. That means that while being  the sun in another solar system galaxies away, that sun in another solar system contributes its light to our solar system as well even though to us it is just another one of the billion stars. Likewise if you are a parent, to your family you are the sun, but to your children’s friends you are still a star as your influence goes beyond your own family or “solar system.” If you are a teacher or pastor or Sabbath School teacher you are the sun to your class or church, but often throughout the day a teacher and pastor will minister outside their own church or class. It may be as small as tying the shoe of child in the hallway from another classroom or just speaking a word of encouragement in an assembly. For a pastor it may be getting a random phone call from someone who has a problem they are too embarrassed to talk to their own pastor about. And of course a sphere of influence is not limited to parents, pastors and teachers. I think the universe teaches us a valuable lesson that just as the sun’s light is not limited to its own solar system so our light goes beyond our little sphere as well.  I am just using pastors and teachers as an easy example. A teacher may be the sun in her classroom (solar system) but she is still a star giving light to the rest of her school (Universe or if you are a college professor you can say university, pun intended.) A pastor may be the sun to his church but he is still a star in his conference and community. 

A sun of course is simply a star and even the closest star is still 5.88 trillion miles away, but amazingly we still benefit from its light. It should be a sobering thought to realize how far away our influence is felt. We may be thinking we are too small or far away to make a difference but we do make a difference often without even realizing it. Years ago I was working in a 5th and 6th grade Adventist classroom. One day I was walking to my car when I saw a group of fourth graders playing football. A girl was running with the ball while the boys were trying to catch her. I yelled our her name and said, “Run! Run!” I got in my car and drove away never giving it another thought. The next morning the girl’s mother came up to me and told me, “My daughter told me she was playing football with the boys yesterday and was running with the ball. She said she was about to give out and about to get caught when she heard you call out her name and yell run. She said that gave her an extra boost of energy and she ran for the touchdown!” 

While I was not the sun in her classroom, by speaking three simple encouraging words I was one of hopefully billions of stars speaking encouraging words into her life. While I got in my car and never gave it another thought I found out later those simple words made a difference. A big enough difference she had to share them with her mother. 

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-16. NLT

My friend, go light your world. Go light your universe.  

"Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever." Daniel 12:3 NLT