MEMORY VERSE: "Seek ye the LORD while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near." Isaiah 55:6.
INTRODUCTION: "No human being, even though united with evil angels, can impeach the souls who have fled to Christ for refuge. He has united the believing soul to His own divine-human nature. In His mediatorial office, His divinity and humanity are combined, and upon this union hangs the hope of the world.—-Signs of the Times, May 9, 1900." Sons and Daughters of God, 240.
1 Where should we direct our thoughts? Colossians 3:2; Matthew 6:33.
NOTE: "Our minds take the level of the things on which our thoughts dwell, and if we think upon earthly things, we shall fail to take the impress of that which is heavenly. We would be greatly benefited by contemplating the mercy, goodness, and love of God; but we sustain great loss by dwelling upon those things which are earthly and temporal. We allow sorrow and care and perplexity to attract our minds to earth, and we magnify a molehill into a mountain. . . ." Ellen G. White Comments, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1100.
As long as we continue to keep our eyes fixed upon the Author and Finisher of our faith, we shall be safe. But our affections must be placed upon things above, not on things of the earth. By faith we must rise higher and still higher in the attainment of the graces of Christ. By daily contemplating His matchless charms, we must grow more and more into His glorious image. While we thus live in communion with Heaven, Satan will lay his nets for us in vain.—The Youth’s Instructor, May 12, 1898." Messages to Young People, 103, 104.
2 What is one essential for a Christian life? Psalm 37:35; 40:4; Jeremiah 17:7.
NOTE: "So God desires us to trust in Him who justifieth the ungodly. His reward is given not according to our merit but according to His own purpose, ‘which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Ephesians 3:11. ‘Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.’ Titus 3:5. And for those who trust in Him He will do ‘exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.’ Ephesians 3:20." Christ’s Object Lessons, 397.
"In the whole Satanic force there is not power to overcome one soul who in simple trust casts himself on Christ. ‘He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.’ Isaiah 40:29." Ibid., 157.
3 What is the goal to be reached, by each Christian? Colossians 1:27; John 14:20.
NOTE: "Heavenly intelligences are waiting to cooperate with human instrumentalities, that they may reveal to the world what human beings may become, and what, through union with the Divine, may be accomplished for the saving of souls that are ready to perish. There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart and lives a life wholly consecrated to God." Maranatha, 103.
"To have fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ is to be ennobled and elevated, and made a partaker of joys unspeakable and full of Glory. Food, clothing, station, and wealth may have their value; but to have a connection with God and to be a partaker of His divine nature is of priceless value. Our lives should be hid with Christ in God." God’s Amazing Grace, 341.
4 How is Christ’s life lived out in His subjects? John 14:12; Matthew 21:21. Compare Romans 12:1, 2.
NOTE: "[John 14:12 quoted.] By this, Christ did not mean that the disciples would make more exalted exertions than He had made, but that their work would have greater magnitude. He did not refer merely to miracle working, but to all that would take place under the agency of the Holy Spirit." The Acts of the Apostles, 22.
"If the world had before them the example that God demands those who believe in Him to set, they would work the works of Christ. If Jesus were set forth, crucified among us, if we viewed the cross of Calvary in the light of God’s Word, we would be one with Christ as He was one with the Father. Our faith would be altogether different from the faith now shown. It would be a faith that works by love to God and to our fellow men, and purifies the soul. If this faith were shown by God’s people, many more would believe on Christ. A hallowed influence would be exerted by the benevolent actions of God’s servants, and they would shine as lights in the world." Welfare Ministry, 297.
5 How should we relate to the brethren? John 13:34, 35; 1 Peter 1:22.
NOTE: "Do we obey this command, or are we indulging sharp, unchristlike traits of character? If we have in any way grieved or wounded others, it is our duty to confess our fault and seek for reconciliation. This is an essential preparation that we may come before God in faith, to ask His blessing." Christ’s Object Lessons, 144.
6 What will love of the brethren finally accomplish? Philippians 2:3, 4; Psalm 15:1–3; Romans 12:9, 10.
NOTE: "If the divine harmony of truth and love exists in the heart, it will shine forth in words and actions.…The spirit of genuine benevolence must dwell in the heart. Love imparts to its possessor grace, propriety, and comeliness of deportment. Love illuminates the countenance and subdues the voice; it refines and elevates the entire man. It brings him into harmony with God, for it is a heavenly attribute.
"True courtesy is not learned by the mere practice of rules of etiquette. Propriety of deportment is at all times to be observed; wherever principle is not compromised, consideration of others will lead to compliance with accepted customs; but true courtesy requires no sacrifice of principle to conventionality. It ignores caste. It teaches self-respect, respect for the dignity of man as man, a regard for every member of the great human brotherhood." The Adventist Home, 426.
7 What did love produce in the apostolic church? Acts 2:1.
NOTE: "The first disciples…prepared themselves for their work. Before the day of Pentecost they met together, and put away all differences. They were of one accord. They believed Christ’s promise that the blessing would be given, and they prayed in faith. They did not ask for a blessing for themselves merely; they were weighted with the burden for the salvation of souls. The gospel was to be carried to the uttermost parts of the earth, and they claimed the endowment of power that Christ had promised. Then it was that the Holy Spirit was poured out, and thousands were converted in a day.
"So it may be now. Instead of man’s speculations, let the word of God be preached. Let Christians put away their dissensions, and give themselves to God for the saving of the lost. Let them in faith ask for the blessing, and it will come. The outpouring of the Spirit in apostolic days was the ‘former rain,’ and glorious was the result. But the ‘latter rain’ will be more abundant. Joel 2:23." The Desire of Ages, 827.
8 What practice are we counseled to always follow in order to be in constant contact with Christ? 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Ephesians 6:18. Compare Luke 6:12.
NOTE: "Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power. No other means of grace can be substituted, and the health of the soul be preserved. Prayer brings the heart into immediate contact with the Well-spring of life, and strengthens the sinew and muscle of the religious experience. Neglect the exercise of prayer, or engage in prayer spasmodically, now and then, as seems convenient, and you lose your hold on God. The spiritual faculties lose their vitality, the religious experience lacks health and vigor." Gospel Workers, 254.
9 What special gift did Jesus promise that would impress His character on the church? John 14:13–16.
NOTE: "At every meeting we attend our prayers should ascend that at this very time, God will impart warmth and moisture to our souls. As we seek God for the Holy Spirit, it will work in us meekness, humbleness of mind, a conscious dependence upon God for the perfecting latter rain. If we pray for the blessing in faith, we shall receive it as God has promised. The Holy Spirit will come to all who are begging for the bread of life to give to their neighbors." The Faith I Live By, 334.
10 What is one great objective of the Holy Spirit? John 14:26.
NOTE: "We need the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit in order to discern the truths in God’s word. The lovely things of the natural world are not seen until the sun, dispelling the darkness, floods them with its light. So the treasures in the word of God are not appreciated until they are revealed by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. The Holy Spirit, sent from heaven by the benevolence of infinite love, takes the things of God and reveals them to every soul that has an implicit faith in Christ. By His power the vital truths upon which the salvation of the soul depends are impressed upon the mind, and the way of life is made so plain that none need err therein. As we study the Scriptures, we should pray for the light of God’s Holy Spirit to shine upon the word, that we may see and appreciate its treasures." Christ’s Object Lessons, 113.
11 When the Holy Spirit finishes His work what will happen? Joel 3:13, 14; Revelation 14:15.
NOTE: "It is true that in the time of the end, when God’s work in the earth is closing, the earnest efforts put forth by consecrated believers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit are to be accompanied by special tokens of divine favor. Under the figure of the early and the latter rain, that falls in Eastern lands at seedtime and harvest, the Hebrew prophets foretold the bestowal of spiritual grace in extraordinary measure upon God’s church. The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the beginning of the early, or former, rain, and glorious was the result. To the end of time the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church." The Acts of the Apostles, 54.
"Every worker who follows the example of Christ will be prepared to receive and use the power that God has promised to His church for the ripening of earth’s harvest. Morning by morning, as the heralds of the gospel kneel before the Lord and renew their vows of consecration to Him, He will grant them the presence of His Spirit, with its reviving, sanctifying power. As they go forth to the day’s duties, they have the assurance that the unseen agency of the Holy Spirit enables them to be ‘laborers together with God.’" Ibid.
"To prepare a people to stand in the day of God, a great work of reform was to be accomplished. God saw that many of His professed people were not building for eternity, and in His mercy He was about to send a message of warning to arouse them from their stupor and lead them to make ready for the coming of the Lord. This warning is brought to view in Revelation 14." The Great Controversy, 310, 311.
12 What is the harvest and what special promise has the Lord given to us as we near the end of the world? Matthew 13:39; Joel 12:23.
NOTE: "But near the close of earth’s harvest, a special bestowal of spiritual grace is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man. This outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter rain; and it is for this added power that Christians are to send their petitions to the Lord of the harvest ‘in the time of the latter rain.’ In response, ‘the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain.’ ‘He will cause to come down…the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain.’ Zechariah 10:1; Joel 2:23." Ibid., 55.
13 What is one reason the Lord has not yet gathered in the harvest? 2 Peter 3:9,10.
NOTE: "The reason why the Bridegroom delays is because He is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. O the precious longsuffering of our merciful Saviour!" Sons and Daughters of God, 118.
"The long-suffering of God is wonderful. Long does justice wait while mercy pleads with the sinner." Christ’s Object