showed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God?”Micah 6:8.
Help:The Desire of
“Call to mind your former
wretchedness, your spiritual blindness, and the darkness which enshrouded you
before Christ, a tender, loving Saviour, came to your aid and reached you where
you were.If you let these seasons pass
without giving tangible proofs of your gratitude for this wonderful and amazing
love which a compassionate Saviour exercised toward you, who were aliens from
the commonwealth of Israel,
there is reason to fear that still greater darkness and misery will come upon
you.Now is your sowing time.You will reap that which you sow.Avail yourselves while you may of every
privilege of doing good.”Testimonies, vol. 2, 330.
1What does God require of us all?Micah 6:8.
words and law of God, written in the soul, and exhibited in a consecrated, holy
life, have a powerful influence to convict the world.Covetousness, which is idolatry, and envy,
and love of the world, will be rooted from the hearts of those who are obedient
to Christ, and it will be their pleasure to deal justly, to love mercy, and to
walk humbly before God.Oh, how much is
comprised in this, walking humbly before God!The law of God, if written in the heart, will bring the mind and will
into subjection to the obedience of Christ.”Testimonies,
vol. 3, 201.
“[Isaiah 61:8; Deuteronomy 25:14–16; Micah 6:8 quoted.]One of the very highest applications of these
principles is found in the recognition of man’s right to himself, to the
control of his own mind, to the stewardship of his talents, the right to
receive and to impart the fruit of his own labor.Strength and power will be in our
institutions only as in all their connection with their fellow men they
recognize these principles,—only as in their dealing they give heed to the
instruction of the word of God.”Ibid., vol. 7, 179, 180.
2What is of more value than burnt offerings
and sacrifices?Mark .
is a sacred duty that we owe to God to keep the spirit pure, as a temple for
the Holy Ghost.If the heart and mind
are devoted to the service of God, obeying all His commandments, loving Him
with all the heart, might, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves,
we shall be found loyal and true to the requirements of heaven.”Testimonies, vol. 4,
“Well may the question be
asked with earnest, anxious heart, ‘Is envy cherished, is
jealousy permitted to find a place in my heart?’If so, Christ is not there.‘Do I love the law of God,
is the love of Jesus Christ in my heart?’If we love one another as Christ has loved us then we are getting ready
for the blessed heaven of peace and rest.There is no struggling there to be first, to have the supremacy; all
will love their neighbor as themselves.Oh, that God would open the understanding and speak to the hearts of our
churches by arousing the individual members. . . .”Selected Messages, Book 2,
3What called forth these words (Mark )?Mark 12:28–31.
there is union with Christ there is love.Whatever other fruits we may bear, if love be missing, they profit
nothing.Love to God and our neighbor is
the very essence of our religion.No one
can love Christ and not love His children.When we are united to Christ, we have the mind of Christ.Purity and love shine forth in the character,
meekness and truth control the life.The
very expression of the countenance is changed.Christ abiding in the soul exerts a transforming power, and the outward
aspect bears witness to the peace and joy that reign within.We drink in the love of Christ, as the branch
draws nourishment from the vine.If we
are grafted in Christ, if fiber by fiber we have been united with the Living
Vine, we shall give evidence of the fact by bearing rich clusters of living
fruit.If we are connected with the
Light, we shall be channels of light, and in our words and works we shall
reflect light to the world.Those who
are truly Christians are bound with the chain of love which links earth to
heaven, which binds finite man to the infinite God.The light that shines in the face of Jesus
Christ shines in the hearts of His followers, to the glory of God.”Selected
Messages, Book 1, 337, 338.
4Because the scribe of Mark discerned these principles, what did the Saviour say
to him?Mark .
scribe was near to the kingdom of God,
in that he recognized deeds of righteousness as more acceptable to God than
burnt offerings and sacrifices.But he
needed to recognize the divine character of Christ, and through faith in Him
receive power to do the works of righteousness.The ritual service was of no value, unless connected with Christ by
living faith.Even the moral law fails
of its purpose, unless it is understood in its relation to the Saviour.Christ had repeatedly shown that His Father’s
law contained something deeper than mere authoritative commands.In the law is embodied the same principle
that is revealed in the gospel.The law
points out man’s duty and shows him his guilt.To Christ he must look for pardon and for power to do what the law
enjoins.”The Desire of Ages, 608.
5What sacrifice must be the foundation of all
other sacrifices?Psalm 51:17.
only reason that we have not remission of sin is that we have not acknowledged
to Him [Jesus] whom we have wounded by our transgressions, whom we have pierced
by our sins, that we are at fault, and in need of mercy.The confession that is the outpouring of the
inmost soul will find its way to the heart of infinite pity; for the Lord is
nigh unto him that is of a broken heart, and saveth
such as be of a contrite spirit.”Selected Messages, Book 1, 326.
6In whose heart has God promised to
life in which the fear of the Lord is cherished will not be a life of sadness
and gloom.It is the absence of Christ that
makes the countenance sad, and the life a pilgrimage
of sighs.Those who are filled with
self-esteem and self-love do not feel the need of a living, personal union with
Christ.The heart that has not fallen on
the Rock is proud of its wholeness.Men
want a dignified religion.They desire
to walk in a path wide enough to take in their own attributes.Their self-love, their love of popularity and
love of praise, exclude the Saviour from their hearts, and without Him there is
gloom and sadness.But Christ dwelling
in the soul is a wellspring of joy.For
all who receive Him, the very keynote of the word of God is rejoicing.”Christ’s
Object Lessons, 162.
7How will God’s Word affect a contrite and
humble heart?Isaiah 66:2.
“To know ourselves is to be humble.Self-knowledge will take away all disposition
to entertain the Most High with a recital of our own excellent qualities.Realizing our sins and imperfections, we
shall come to the feet of Jesus with earnest supplication, and our petitions
will not be passed by unheard.Ezra had
the true spirit of prayer.Presenting
his petition before God for Israel,
when they had sinned grievously in the face of great light and privileges, he
exclaimed, ‘I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God; for our
iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the
remembered the goodness of God in again giving his people a foothold in their
native land, and he was overwhelmed with indignation and grief at the thought
of their ingratitude in return for the divine favor.His language is that of true humiliation of
soul, the contrition that prevails with God in prayer.Only the prayer of the humble enters into the
ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.”The
Signs of the Times, February 19, 1885.
8How does the prophet speak of those who cannot
discern the sacredness of divine things?Isaiah 66:3,
has not changed toward His faithful servants who are keeping their garments
spotless.But many are crying, ‘Peace
and safety,’ while sudden destruction is coming upon them.Unless there is thorough repentance, unless
men humble their hearts by confession and receive the truth as it is in Jesus,
they will never enter heaven.When
purification shall take place in our ranks, we shall no longer rest at ease,
boasting of being rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing.”Testimonies, vol. 8,
9Can these things (Isaiah 66:3, 4) be in the heart and not be seen in the life?Matthew 7:16–20.
good tree will produce good fruit.If
the fruit is unpalatable and worthless, the tree is evil.So the fruit borne in the life testifies as
to the condition of the heart and the excellence of the character.Good works can never purchase salvation, but
they are an evidence of the faith that acts by love and purifies the soul.And though the eternal reward is not bestowed
because of our merit, yet it will be in proportion to the work that has been done
through the grace of Christ.
“Thus Christ set forth
the principles of His kingdom, and showed them to be the great rule of life.
. . .It is not enough, He
says, for you to hear My words.By obedience you must make them the
foundation of your character.”The Desire of Ages, 314.
10What did David say when he saw the judgment of
God upon the people on account of his sin of numbering Israel and proposing to
increase the military?What response did
God make to his repentance?11 Samuel 24:17, 18.
in his prosperity, did not preserve that humility of character and trust in God
which characterized the earlier part of his life.He looked upon the accession to the kingdom
with pride, and contrasted their then prosperous condition with their few
numbers and little strength when he ascended the throne, taking glory to
himself. He gratified his ambitious feelings in yielding to the temptation of
the devil to number Israel,
that he might compare their former weakness with their then prosperous state
under his rule.This was displeasing to
God, and contrary to his express command.It would lead Israel
to rely upon their strength of numbers, instead of the living God.
work of numbering Israel
is not fully completed before David feels convicted that he has committed a
great sin against God.He sees his
error, and humbles himself before God, confessing his great sin in foolishly
numbering the people. But his repentance came too late.The word had already gone forth from the Lord
to his faithful prophet, to carry a message to David, and offer him his choice
of punishments for his transgression.David still shows that he has confidence in God.He chooses to fall into the hands of a
merciful God, rather than to be left to the cruel mercies of wicked men.
“Swift destruction followed.Seventy thousand were destroyed by
pestilence.David and the elders of Israel
were in the deepest humiliation, mourning before the Lord.As the angel of the Lord was on his way to
destroy Jerusalem, God bade him
stay his work of death.A pitiful God
loves his people still, notwithstanding their rebellion.The angel, clad in warlike garments, with a
drawn sword in his hand, stretched out over Jerusalem,
is revealed to David, and to those who are with him.David is terribly afraid, yet he cries out in
his distress, and his compassion for Israel.He begs of God to save the sheep.In anguish he confesses, ‘I have sinned, and
I have done wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done?Let thine hand, I
pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.’[11 Samuel 24:17.]God speaks to David, by his prophet, and bids
him make atonement for his sin.David’s
heart was in the work, and his repentance was accepted.”The Spirit of Prophecy, vol.
1, 385, 386.