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 - 7
DVDsTo purchase a DVD of this sermon please visit our online shopping cart. Proceeds go to support the New Perceptions media ministry.
Buy DVD Online Buy series
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.
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