LandMarks Magazine      
   

December 2009 Table of Contents

 
    January 31, 2010 - February 6, 2010
 
 

Son-Shine in This World

 

Key Text

   “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18.

 

Study Help: Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 38–44.

 

Introduction

   “The piety of the Christian constitutes the standard by which worldlings judge the gospel. Trials patiently borne, blessings gratefully received, meekness, kindness, mercy, and love, habitually exhibited, are the lights that shine forth in the character before the world, revealing the contrast with the darkness that comes of the selfishness of the natural heart.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 134.

 

1          What is it that is stealing away our vital powers and chilling us to death in this dark, cold world? Isaiah 58:7–11.

 

Note. “I have read of a man who, journeying on a winter’s day through the deep, drifted snow, became benumbed by the cold which was almost imperceptibly stealing away his vital powers. And as he was nearly chilled to death by the embrace of the frost king, and about to give up the struggle for life, he heard the moans of a brother traveler, who was perishing with cold as he was about to perish. His humility was aroused to rescue him. He chafed the ice-clad limbs of the unfortunate man, and, after considerable effort, raised him to his feet; and as he could not stand, he bore him in sympathizing arms through the very drifts he had thought he could never succeed in getting through alone. And when he had borne his fellow traveler to a place of safety, the truth flashed home to him that in saving his neighbor he had saved himself also. His earnest efforts to save another quickened the blood which was freezing in his own veins, and created a healthful warmth in the extremities of the body.” Christian Service, 92, 93.

 

2          What belongs to the whole world that we should never hoard or keep to ourselves? Matthew 5:14.

 

Note. “Christ does not bid His followers strive to shine. He says, Let your light shine. If you have received the grace of God, the light is in you. Remove the obstructions, and the Lord’s glory will be revealed. The light will shine forth to penetrate and dispel the darkness. You cannot help shining within the range of your influence.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 420.

 

3          Those who come out of the world in spirit will seek to answer what prayer? Matthew 6:10.

 

Note. “Those who come out of the world in spirit and in all practice may regard themselves as sons and daughters of God. … Those who seek to answer the prayer, ‘Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven’ [Matthew 6:10], will seek by living pure, sanctified lives to show to the world how the will of God is done in heaven.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1102.

 

4          To arise means to accept it and act upon it; to shine means to impart or communicate to others. Darkness is covering the world; what are we to do? Isaiah 60:1.

 

Note. “While our Saviour is the great source of illumination, forget not, O Christian, that He is revealed through humanity. God’s blessings are bestowed through human instrumentality. Christ Himself came to the world as the Son of man. Humanity, united to the divine nature, must touch humanity. The church of Christ, every individual disciple of the Master, is heaven’s appointed channel for the revelation of God to men. Angels of glory wait to communicate through you heaven’s light and power to souls that are ready to perish. Shall the human agent fail of accomplishing his appointed work? Oh, then to that degree is the world robbed of the promised influence of the Holy Spirit!” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 40.

 

5          To shine means to radiate or to reflect light. Who is it that is to radiate and reflect? Matthew 5:14; Proverbs 4:18. If we do not radiate, what kind of iceberg are we? See Note.

 

Note. “A soul filled with the love of Jesus lends to the words, the manners, the looks, hope, courage and serenity. It reveals the spirit of Christ. It breathes a love which will be reflected. It awakens a desire for a better life; souls ready to faint are strengthened; those struggling against temptation will be fortified and comforted. The words, the expression, the manners throw out a bright ray of sunshine, and leave behind them a clear path toward heaven, the source of all light. Every one of us has opportunities of helping others. We are constantly making impressions upon the youth about us. The expression of the countenance is itself a mirror of the life within. Jesus desires that we shall become like Himself, filled with tender sympathy, exerting a ministry of love in the small duties of life. …

   “The light of many does not burn or shine. They are moral icebergs.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1156, 1157.

   “Paul carried with him through his life on earth the very atmosphere of heaven. All who associated with him felt the influence of his connection with Christ and companionship with angels. Here lies the power of the truth.” The Story of Redemption, 318.

 

6          Knowing that we are to be channels through whom light from heaven flows, should we be blocking the light from flowing? Luke 19:21, 22.

 

Note. “Their words and works are the channel through which the pure principles of truth and holiness are conveyed to the world. They are the salt of the earth and the light thereof.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 262.

   “From the beginning God has wrought through His people to bring blessing to the world. To the ancient Egyptian nation God made Joseph a fountain of life. Through the integrity of Joseph the life of that whole people was preserved. Through Daniel God saved the life of all the wise men of Babylon. And these deliverances are as object lessons; they illustrate the spiritual blessings offered to the world through connection with the God whom Joseph and Daniel worshiped. Everyone in whose heart Christ abides, everyone who will show forth His love to the world, is a worker together with God for the blessing of humanity. As he receives from the Saviour grace to impart to others, from his whole being flows forth the tide of spiritual life.” The Acts of the Apostles, 13.

   “The Jews thought to confine the benefits of salvation to their own nation; but Christ showed them that salvation is like the sunshine. It belongs to the whole world. The religion of the Bible is not to be confined between the covers of a book, nor within the walls of a church. It is not to be brought out occasionally for our own benefit, and then to be carefully laid aside again. It is to sanctify the daily life, to manifest itself in every business transaction and in all our social relations.” The Desire of Ages, 306, 307.

 

7          Should we allow our light to fail? The Great Teacher shares with us how not to let that light fail. John 8:12.

 

Note. “The only light that can illuminate the darkness of a world lying in sin must come from Christ, and this light is granted to all who will receive it. ‘For,’ said the great Teacher, ‘he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life’ [John 8:12]. 

   “ ‘Shall Christians, shining for tempted sinners, allow their light to fail?’

   “Think of this, professed Christians! A failure to let your light shine, a neglect to obtain heavenly wisdom that you may have light from God, may cause the loss of a soul! What is the life lost at sea, in comparison with the eternal life which may be lost through your unfaithfulness? Can you endure the thought?” The Review and Herald, January 24, 1882.

 

8          If a life does not reflect the principles of the truth, what has happened? Matthew 5:15.

 

Note. “The man or woman who has a knowledge of the truth, but whose life does not express its principles, is hiding his light. My brethren, let the light be brought from under the bushel, that it may make known the truths of the gospel.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 398.

 

9          As the branch is grafted into the vine, the nourishment flows into the branch and fruits come forth. What are these fruits and how does that relate to what we have been studying? John 15:1–5; Galatians 5:22, 23.

 

Note. “What is it to bear fruit? It is not all comprised in coming to meeting once a week, and bearing our testimony in prayer or social meeting. We are to be found day by day abiding in the Vine, and bringing forth fruit, with patience, at our home, in our business; and in every relation in life manifesting the Spirit of Christ. There are many who act as though they thought an occasional connection with Christ was all that was necessary, and that they can be accounted living branches because at times they make confession of Christ. But this is a fallacy. The branch is to be grafted into the Vine, and to abide there, uniting itself to the Vine fiber by fiber, drawing its daily supply of sap and nourishment from the root and fatness of the Vine, until it becomes one with the parent stock. The sap that nourishes the Vine must nourish the branch and this will be evident in the life of him who is abiding in Christ; for the joy of Christ will be fulfilled in him who walks not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1144.

 

10        What makes our professions worthless? John 15:6.

 

Note. “Our professions are worthless unless we abide in Christ; for we cannot be living branches unless the vital qualities of the Vine abound in us. In the genuine Christian the characteristics of his Master will appear, and when we reflect the graces of Christ in our lives and characters, the Father loves us as He loves His Son. When this condition is fulfilled in those who profess to believe the present truth, we shall see a prosperous church; for its members will not live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them, and they will be flourishing branches of the living Vine.” Ibid.

 

Additional Reading

 

   “The religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sin; it means taking away our sins, and filling the vacuum with the graces of the Holy Spirit. It means divine illumination, rejoicing in God. It means a heart emptied of self, and blessed with the abiding presence of Christ. When Christ reigns in the soul, there is purity, freedom from sin. The glory, the fullness, the completeness of the gospel plan is fulfilled in the life. The acceptance of the Saviour brings a glow of perfect peace, perfect love, perfect assurance. The beauty and fragrance of the character of Christ revealed in the life testifies that God has indeed sent His Son into the world to be its Saviour.

   “ ‘Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.’ Isaiah 60:1. To those who go out to meet the Bridegroom is this message given. Christ is coming with power and great glory. He is coming with His own glory and with the glory of the Father. He is coming with all the holy angels with Him. While all the world is plunged in darkness, there will be light in every dwelling of the saints. They will catch the first light of His second appearing. The unsullied light will shine from His splendor, and Christ the Redeemer will be admired by all who have served Him. While the wicked flee from His presence, Christ’s followers will rejoice. The patriarch Job, looking down to the time of Christ’s second advent, said, ‘Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not a stranger.’ Job 19:27, margin. To His faithful followers Christ has been a daily companion and familiar friend. They have lived in close contact, in constant communion with God. Upon them the glory of the Lord has risen. In them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ has been reflected. Now they rejoice in the undimmed rays of the brightness and glory of the King in His majesty. They are prepared for the communion of heaven; for they have heaven in their hearts.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 419–421.

   
   

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