Our medical professionals are on the front line of this epidemic and we want to show them love and support. In the next week or two, we want to send a prayer caravan to drive around the hospital. We'll let them know ahead of time that we'll be praying—and perhaps honking our horns—at a designated time. To get more information and to register, please click below and select the prayer caravan option. We'll see you soon!
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SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
More In This Series
- The Humanity of Jesus
- Matthew 1:20-23—“Immanuel”—“God us.”
- Hebrews 2:9-18; 4:15; 5:8—
- “But we do see , who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered , so that by the grace of God he might taste death for . In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he . Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same . So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” (2:9-11)
- “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the —and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them in , in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was , he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (2:14-18)
- “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our , but we have one who has been tempted in way, just as we are—yet he did not .” (4:15)
- “Son though he was, he obedience from what he suffered.” (5:8)
- The Faith of Jesus
- “Jesus—how did you live when You were here?”
- Hebrews 2:13—“‘I will put My in Him.’”
- John 5:19, 30—“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do by Himself. . . . By Myself I can do .”
- John 14:10—“The words I say to you I do not speak on My own authority. Rather, it is the Father, in Me, who is doing work.”
- Desire of Ages: “So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will. . . . As one with us, a sharer in our needs and weaknesses, He was wholly dependent upon God, and in the secret place of prayer He sought divine strength, that He might go forth braced for duty and trial.” (208, 362)
- John 15:5—“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do .”
- Revelation 14:12 NKJV—“Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep  the commandments of God and  the faith .”
- Galatians 2:20 KJV—“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me [John 15:5—“Abide in me and I in you”]: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
- Carl Cosaert: “In Greek the phrase [rendered “faith in Jesus” by most modern translations] literally means ‘the faith of Jesus’ or ‘the faithfulness of Jesus.’. . . For Paul, the primary emphasis is not on our faith in Jesus, but Jesus’ faithfulness. Thus the issue is not our works versus our faith—that would almost make our faith meritorious, which it is not. Rather, faith is only the conduit by which we take hold of Christ. We are justified [saved], not on the basis of our faith, but on the basis of Christ’s faithfulness.” (Galatians: A Fiery Response to a Struggling Church 42)
- A. T. Jones: “When [Jesus] stood where we are, He said, ‘I will put my trust in Him’ and that trust was never disappointed. In response to that trust the Father dwelt in Him and with Him and kept Him from sinning. . . . And thus the Lord Jesus has brought to every man in this world divine faith. That is the faith of the Lord Jesus. That is saving faith. Faith is not something that comes from ourselves with which we believe upon Him, but it is that something He believed—the faith He exercised, which He brings to us, and which becomes ours and works in us—the gift of God.” (1895 General Conference Bulletins February 21, 1895, quoted in Camron Schofield Heralding the Loud Cry 234-235)
- If it is the faith and faithfulness of Jesus that will save you and me in the end—then that means God ends up providing essential for our salvation!
- He offers us the unshakeable —of Jesus.
- He offers us the perfect —of Jesus.
- He offers us the spotless —of Jesus.
- He offers us the sinless —of Jesus.
- He offers us the intercessory —of Jesus.
- He offers us the eternal —of Jesus.
- He offers us the eternal —of Jesus.
- Christ’s Object Lessons: “All that can satisfy the needs and longings of the human soul, for this world and for the world to come, is found in Christ. Our Redeemer is the pearl so precious that in comparison all things else may be accounted loss.” (115)
- “Jesus—how did you live when You were here?”
“The Pearl of Great Price”
This week I learned of our world church headquarters appeal for prayer throughout the global Seventh-day Adventist family. Originally timed to end during the recently-postponed General Conference session in Indianapolis, our church leaders are calling us to now focus 100 days of praying (March 27-July 4) on behalf of the global coronavirus pandemic. There could hardly be a more urgent need for earnest praying!
A pastor friend of mine, Jim Moon, pointed out a two-verse juxtaposition I'd not noticed before: "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a pestilence among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:13-14). While everyone knows the beloved prayer call in v 14, few of us connect it with the preceding divine action in v 13. "A pestilence among My people" certainly could represent a global pandemic like the coronavirus COVID-19. While Satan is the originator of destructive calamities, what more faith-appropriate response is our collective prayers to the One who can deliver this nation, this world, these people, from the grips of pestilence.
So let's join together in humbling ourselves before God and praying and seeking His face—that our world might be saved and our faith community might yet be mobilized to share the glad tidings of Jesus' soon return.
- Pastor Dwight
Since October 2018, our Pioneer congregation and the Andrews campus have joined together in setting aside the first Tuesday of every month as a Day of Fasting and Prayer. Since most of us this coming Tuesday will be safely ensconced in our homes, it will be a fitting opportunity to band together to seek God's face on behalf of our nation, our world, our church. The economic collapse on multiple fronts as a result of this pandemic has seriously affected the Adventist church and schools globally and locally. Let's unite our petitions to appeal to Christ to minister to the members, the leaders, the students, the teachers and all who serve our faith and academic community in this time of financial duress for many. "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
Neighbor To Neighbor is hosting a food giveaway on April 6, 2020, sponsored by Feeding America. It will begin at 11:00 AM.
Due to the COVID-19 stay at home mandate, Pioneer is unable to provide physical copies of the Adult Sabbath School Lesson at this time. Both teacher's edition and standard edition are available online for free.
The Board of Elders, under the leadership of Bryan and Becky von Dorpowski, has responded to the immediate spiritual and emotional needs of our oldest Pioneer members. Recognizing many of them will chose to protect themselves from the coronavirus by limiting their time in the wider community and thus missing the weekly fellowship that worship and Sabbath School provided, the elders will be focusing on those Pioneer members in their 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s—and will be reaching out by phone to visit with them. (In order to protect the health of our members our elders will not be making home visits at this time.)
If you know of an at-risk member who needs personal attention, please call Claudia Sowler 269.471.3134. The elders are praying these targeted phone calls will bring the ministry of our Good Shepherd Savior to these who have faithfully walked with Him throughout their lives.
During this time of potential boredom and cabin fever, enjoy these fun ideas for spending quality time together as a family.
After the long winter of gray and brown, get outside and look for all the buds, sprouts, and new leaves you can find. Try to identify what each one is. You can use your phone to look on the Internet or use an app like Pl@ntNet to identify leaves. Currently, you can see things like crocuses, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lilies, snowdrops, moss, ferns, ramps, and wild chives. It is so nice to be reminded that even when things look bleak, God is still there and recreating!
You can also "adopt a friend" each day or week! Send several encouraging and kind notes to a friend via text, email, Messenger, etc. Let them know you are thinking about them and even praying for them.
Sponsored by the Family Life Committee
We are looking for teams of volunteers that can help people who are more vulnerable in our community to run errands such as picking up groceries and medicine. We're also asking for volunteers to make calls and pray for our members and community.
Community and gathering in some form remains vital. We have asked Grow Groups of more than ten people to start meeting online. For Grow Groups of less than ten people, we're asking them to practice safe social distancing of at least six feet—as per the CDC.