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Finding Jesus in the Gathering Dark - 7
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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”—7
- James Hunter: “We say we want renewal of character in our day, but we don’t really know what we ask for. To have a renewal of character is to have the renewal of a creedal order that constrains, limits, bind, obligates, and compels. This price is too high for us to pay. We want character but without unyielding conviction. We want strong morality but without the emotional burden of guilt or shame. We want virtue but without the particular moral justifications that invariably offend. We want good without having to name evil. We want decency without the authority to insist upon it. We want moral community without any limitations to personal freedom. In short, we want what we cannot possibly have on the terms we want it.” (The Death of Character: Moral Education in an Age Without Good or Evil quoted by Gordon Bietz in Southern Columns Spring 2016)
- Walk and Talk
- Genesis 5:21-24
- Hebrews 11:5
- Ellen White: “In every phase of your character building [i.e., growth is taking place] you are to please God. This you may do; for Enoch pleased Him though living in a degenerate age. And there are Enochs in this our day.” (Christ’s Object Lessons 332, emphasis supplied)
- John 15:5 à John 5:19 à John 5:30 à John 14:10
- Hebrews 2:13—“‘I will put My trust in Him.’”
- When you walk by faith, you will be like Jesus.
- “By faith Enoch walked with God” (Genesis 5:24)
- “By faith Jesus walked with God” (Hebrews 2:13)
- “By faith Enoch pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5)
- “By faith Jesus pleased God” (John 5:30)
- “By faith Enoch walked with God” (Genesis 5:24)
- Ellen White: “Enoch kept the Lord ever before him, and the inspired word says that he ‘walked with God.’ He made Christ his constant companion. He was in the world, and performed his duties to the world; but he was ever under the influence of Jesus. He reflected Christ’s character, exhibiting the same qualities in goodness, mercy, tender compassion, sympathy, forbearance, meekness, humility, and love. His association with Christ day by day transformed him into the image of Him with whom he was so intimately connected. Day by day he was growing away from his own way into Christ’s way, the heavenly, the divine, in his thoughts and feelings. He was constantly inquiring, ‘Is this the way of the Lord?’ His was a constant growth, and he had fellowship with the Father and the Son.” (Review & Herald 4/28/1891)
- Mark Labberton: “I started to read the New Testament just as I was about to enter college. With very few assumptions, and with no theological or spiritual commitments, I simply picked up the Bible and began to read. I read and reread the Gospels, and then the whole New Testament. . . . I was by no means sure there was a god, nor was I sure that this text and its apparent claims were true or relevant to some possible divine being. It simply seemed to me that a literate person should be acquainted with the Bible, and so it all began.”
- “I came to discover that what Jesus offered was in fact the antidote to smallness: the kingdom of God. The smallness that pervades much of our natural human enterprise, whether it is business, education, politics, or religion, was the problem of a shrunken heart and mind. By contrast, the kingdom of God—life under the reign of God’s grace and truth in Jesus Christ—expands and unleashes our heart, mind, soul, and strength for the profound purposes for which we were made.”
- “To my utter surprise, the Bible proved itself to be clear to me, even though I knew almost nothing about it. What the Bible made plain was that I was loved, sought, convicted, called, and redeemed by the true and living God who came to save the world—including me—in Jesus Christ. The clarity of Scripture was not an abstract principle; it was an apt description. . . . Over time, it has formed my spiritual genealogy and biography.”
- “However urbane and cosmopolitan, skeptical and doubting, or poor and broken people may be, God’s Word speaks with authority and power. Just as water will always find its own way, so the Bible’s ‘streams of water’ do the same—finding their way into parched and thirsty lives to bring new life. . . . It’s not simply the clarity of comprehension for which Jesus calls us to be ‘perfect,’ but a life that looks increasingly like the life of the Word made flesh. This is the final test of the Bible’s clarity: Can people read our lives and see the life of God in us? This is the perspicuity [transparency] that God has given us in the Bible, a clarity that is meant to be readable in part through the unfinished lives of those who read and trust it.”
- “The clarity of our faithful Bible reading is meant to show up in the clarity of our faithful lives.” (Christianity Today Jan/Feb 2017)
When you walk by faith in the Word,
you will be like Jesus in the world.
It's a fresh new year, and it's time for a fresh new Grow Groups season! Grow Groups are Pioneer's small groups that incorporate 5 S's: Shared interest, Spiritual touchpoint, Service project, Social event, Semester-based. That's it, in a nutshell! Grow Groups are for EVERYONE—all welcome to join.
Leaders, if you are passionate about something and want to use that to foster community and lead others to Jesus, we can probably help you turn that passion into a Grow Group! Let us know as soon as possible because the deadline to sign up to lead a group is January 21. For more information please email email@example.com or visit pmchurch.org/grow to sign up.
Dates to Keep in Mind:
- Digital Group Leader Registration Deadline: January 21
- Leader Orientation (via Zoom): February 1, 7:00 PM
- Spring Grow Groups Meet: February 7 – May 1
It is almost time for you to receive your Year-end Contribution Statement. Pioneer knows that you have had an unusual year and wants to make it easy for you to receive your Year-end Contribution Statement. This time around, you will receive your Contribution Statement easily and conveniently via email. If you have not recently updated your contact details, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your current email address to ensure that you receive your statement. Thank you!
"Military life can be a lonely life away from family on deployment," notes James North, Pioneer's Servicepersons Coordinator. "Military families may have a difficult time in a foreign country even though they are together," he continues. "I spent 358 days (I marked each day on a self-created calendar) in Viet Nam away from my wife and 3 toddler daughters. My access to some of the following material was vital."
SDA military persons may receive complimentary subscriptions to Adventist Review, the Adult Bible Study Guide (Sabbath School), and For God and Country and the choice of 2 journals from Guide, Liberty, Message, Our Little Friend, Primary Treasure, Signs of the Times, and Vibrant Life.
A 2021 order form and instructions are found on page 28 of the current issue of For God and Country and I will post a copy of the form in next week's bulletin. If you have military Adventist family members we invite you to send this information to them.