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!
Finding Jesus in the Gathering Dark - 3
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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
“STORM: Finding Jesus in the Gathering Dark”—3
- Two sides to the coin
- Jesus: “If you remain in Me [ are in Christ] and I remain in you [Christ is in ], then you will bear much fruit.”
- Two sides to the Salvation Coin:
- → Christ = forgiveness/justification
- Christ → = fruit/sanctification
- Galatians 2:20—“I am crucified with Christ [ are in Christ]: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me [Christ is in ]: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
- The “Christ is in us” side of the coin:
- John 15:5—“‘Abide in Me and I .’”
- Galatians 2:20—“Christ lives .”
- Galatians 4:19—“My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed .”
- Ephesians 3:17—“ . . . so that Christ may dwell in through faith . . .”
- Colossians 1:27—“ . . . God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this [Gospel] mystery, which is Christ , the hope of glory.”
- Revelation 3:20—“‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will and eat with that person, and they with me.’”
- Jesus—“‘I am the Vine and you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much .”
- For God—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—bearing fruit is a huge deal—because it is the only way to that the branch is truly connected to the Vine.
- Luke 13:6-9—“‘If it bears next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
- Galatians 5:22-23 NRSV—“The of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
- Job was bearing fruit that showed he had the faith of Jesus: “Though He slay me, yet will I Him” (Job 13:15).
- And what is “the faith of Jesus”? “I will put My in Him” (Hebrews 2:13).
- There will be a generation at the end of time that will demonstrate the faith of , because they have the faith of .
- And the faith of Jesus is revealed in the fruit of the .
- Desire of Ages 677: “‘Herein is My Father glorified,’ said Jesus, ‘that ye bear much fruit.’ God desires to manifest through you the holiness, the benevolence, the compassion, of His own . Yet the Saviour does not bid the disciples to bear fruit. He tells them to in Him.”
- Mike Mason—“Marriage, even under the very best of circumstances, is a crisis—one of the major crises of life—and it is a dangerous thing not to be aware of this. Whether it turns out to be a healthy, challenging, and constructive crisis or a disastrous nightmare depends largely upon how willing the partners are to be changed, how malleable they are. Yet ironically, it is some of the most hardened and crusty and unlikely people in the world who plunge themselves into the arms of marriage and thereby submit in almost total naiveté to the two most transforming powers know to the human heart: the love of another person and the gracious love of God. So be prepared for ! Be prepared for the most sweeping and revolutionary of a lifetime.’’ (The Mystery of Marriage: As Iron Sharpens Iron 60-61)
- One example to follow
- Matthew 4:4—“‘It is written: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every that comes from the mouth of God.”’”
- Psalm 40:8/Hebrews 10:7—“‘I desire to do Your will, my God; Your is within My heart.’”
- Psalm 119:11—“I have hidden Your in my heart that I might not sin against You.”
- Psalm 16:8-10—“I will keep my eyes always on the LORD. With Him at My right hand, I will not be shaken. . . . because You will abandon Me to the realm of the dead, will You let Your faithful one see decay.”
- Cameron Schofield: “If you don’t get anything else out of this study, I want you to listen carefully and get this. Take it home with you and do not forget it. How was it that Christ was able to give himself up into the hands of the Father? How was it that no matter how dark the malignity of sin was, how terrible the weight of guilt, how impossible it seemed that there was any way out, how did He conquer? He believed that God would keep His . By faith Christ was victorious! ‘And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.’ 1 John 5:4. Is your faith the faith of Jesus?” (Heralding the Loud Cry 94)
- Desire of Ages 677: “It is through the that Christ abides in His followers. . . . The words of Christ [in the Gospels] are spirit and life. Receiving them, you receive the life of the Vine. You live ‘by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4. The life of Christ in you produces the same as in Him. Living in Christ, adhering to Christ, supported by Christ, drawing nourishment from Christ, you bear fruit after the similitude of Christ.”
- If you want to abide in Christ and want Him to abide in you, everyday ask for the of Jesus as you read the of God.
“Abide in Me and I in you”
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).
In a world changing now by the nanosecond thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, want to celebrate something that isn’t? Join us in a house-bound Agape Feast, as we celebrate the unchanging love of God poured out through Jesus at Calvary. All you need is some fruit, crackers and nuts. Invite your family and friends to join you online Saturday morning (9AM/11:45AM ET—pmchurch.org or Facebook Live). It’s time to the good news overwhelm the bad news—be a part of the Feast!
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.
Each year, FLAG Camp seeks enthusiastic, responsible high school and college students to work as counselors, teachers and support staff. If you have a love for children and are committed to setting a wholesome example for our campers, consider joining our team. The application deadline is April 5, 2020. At this time FLAG Camp is still scheduled this summer. Due to the COVID-19 virus, please stay tuned for further updates.
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