3ABN Sabbath School Panel

Why Witness?

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: SSP

Program Code: SSP200027S

00:01 Hello, friends, my name is John Lomacang.
00:02 Welcome to the 3ABN Sabbath School Panel.
00:04 This is the third quarter
00:06 of our Adult Bible Study Guide Lesson Study and is entitled,
00:10 "Making Friends for God,"
00:11 the joy of sharing in His mission.
00:13 And today's lesson study is "Why witness?"
00:16 If you'd like a copy of the lesson,
00:18 go to the following website absg.adventist.org.
00:22 Download that and follow along
00:24 or go to your local Seventh-day Adventist Church
00:27 and join them for an excursion through the Word of God.
00:30 But right now, get your Bible
00:32 and your friends and your family,
00:33 and sit down and join us as we walk through
00:35 God's Word together.
01:07 It's a joy to have you join us for our Bible study,
01:10 lesson study through this quarter
01:12 and we have been so moved by just thinking about
01:16 what we're going to be presenting to you.
01:18 And the writer of this lesson,
01:19 Pastor Mark Finley has done a wonderful job
01:23 and we want to have him share with you briefly
01:26 an overview of
01:27 what we're going to be covering for this quarter.
01:29 Here is Pastor Mark Finley.
01:31 This quarter, the title of our Sabbath School lessons
01:34 is Making Friends for God.
01:37 For the last 53 years, I have traveled the world,
01:41 sharing Christ from His Word.
01:44 And I become profoundly convinced that
01:47 God is going to use members in our local congregations
01:53 in the finishing of His work
01:55 in more powerful ways than we've thought of before.
01:58 And that's really why I've prepared this series
02:01 of Sabbath School lessons.
02:04 We're looking at God's mission.
02:06 And when you look at Scripture, mission is really God's.
02:11 We have the joy of participating
02:13 with Him in His mission.
02:16 Witnessing is not a spiritual gift.
02:20 Some people have the idea that
02:21 witnessing is a spiritual gift only for a few.
02:25 Witnessing is a role that God gives us as Christians.
02:29 Witnessing is a responsibility
02:31 that God gives us as Christians.
02:33 Spiritual gifts are the vehicle that the Bible teaches,
02:38 God uses to accomplish the role of witnessing.
02:43 So God gives to each one of us spiritual gifts.
02:46 In those gifts, we have the opportunity
02:49 to witness for Him.
02:51 The Bible says in Matthew 24:14,
02:54 "This gospel of the kingdom
02:56 shall go into all the world as a witness
02:59 to all nations, then the end shall come."
03:02 That's what this series
03:04 of Sabbath School lessons is all about.
03:06 It's about average people,
03:08 common people taking the gospel message
03:11 to the ends of the earth.
03:13 This series of lessons will motivate you,
03:16 it'll inspire you.
03:18 There'll be sections of instruction
03:21 where God will impress you,
03:23 He'll open your eyes to see people as winnable.
03:27 So the gospel can go to the ends of the earth.
03:30 And Jesus can come,
03:31 prepare for an adventure as you study these lessons.
03:37 Thank you, Pastor Mark Finley, for that overview of our lesson
03:40 and thank you also for the work
03:42 that you put into making this a blessing to us.
03:45 Now, I'd like to invite you to turn to our memory text.
03:49 It's taken from 1 Timothy 2:3-4.
03:54 And what I'd like to do before we read this lesson,
03:56 or read the memory text is to have a word of prayer.
04:00 I think it's so vitally important.
04:02 Ryan, would you pray for us? Absolutely.
04:04 Our Father in heaven, Lord,
04:05 as we embark on this incredible journey,
04:07 Lord of studying Your Word once more,
04:10 diving deep into this topic of learning Your ways,
04:13 seeing the world through Your eyes
04:15 and being able to witness for You, Father.
04:17 We ask for the Holy Spirit to be
04:18 upon each and every one of us,
04:19 also those at home who are watching
04:21 or let this program go out to be
04:23 such a great blessing to each
04:24 and every person viewing right now.
04:26 We thank you so much.
04:28 And we ask these things in Jesus' holy name, amen.
04:30 Amen.
04:31 You know, Sunday, talks about the overview
04:34 of why witnessing and so many people,
04:37 if anything
04:38 we are all witnesses of something.
04:40 You know, when a car accident happens,
04:42 they look for witnesses.
04:44 In every situation and in every court scene,
04:46 there are witnesses to determine the outcome
04:49 of what actually happened.
04:51 And we begin to see from different points of view
04:54 as four individuals standing on
04:56 an intersection, looking at the same accident
04:58 from four different perspectives.
05:00 Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are witnesses,
05:03 looking at the life of Christ
05:04 from four different perspectives.
05:06 But the memory text,
05:08 the Apostle Paul gives us a strong,
05:13 I would say argument as to why witnessing
05:16 is imperative for anyone who knows
05:19 and has an encounter with Christ.
05:21 1 Timothy 2:3-4.
05:24 Notice what the Apostle Paul writes to his protege Timothy.
05:27 He says, "For this is good
05:29 and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
05:33 who desires all men to be saved
05:36 and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
05:40 Witnessing assists people
05:42 in coming to the knowledge of the truth,
05:44 and if anything matters, it's truth.
05:46 That's right.
05:48 If anything really makes
05:49 a difference in the gospel, it is truth.
05:51 Today, in the Christian circles of life,
05:53 many people are distracted by maybe the feel
05:57 of the atmosphere of the church service,
06:00 the entertainment, the music, but the Lord's focus is,
06:04 He wants all of us to be witnesses.
06:06 As a matter of fact, Matthew 24:14 says,
06:10 "And this gospel of the kingdom
06:11 shall be preached in all the world as a witness
06:15 unto all nations, and then shall the end come."
06:18 Mark Finley and the other co-writers
06:21 pointed out four very important things.
06:23 First of all, witnessing is all about Jesus.
06:26 It's all about Jesus.
06:27 It's all about what He has done for us.
06:30 And I think Danny said this so many times,
06:32 he says, "If nothing else, nobody can argue
06:35 with your personal testimony."
06:37 If the Lord has done something for us,
06:39 we should be able to witness for that
06:41 and the strongest argument
06:42 for the gospel is a transformed life.
06:44 So it's all about what Jesus has done for us
06:46 and how He has changed our lives,
06:48 also about the marvelous truths of His Word.
06:51 And truth is vitally important because He says,
06:54 "You shall know the truth
06:55 and the truth shall make you free."
06:57 So just saying I know Jesus,
06:59 but not looking and desiring to have truth,
07:01 it's somewhat of an oxymoron,
07:03 a conflicting view about our Christian walk with Christ.
07:06 And also and most importantly,
07:09 it is about the beauty of the character of Christ.
07:12 You know, as Christians, witnesses shouldn't just say,
07:15 well, I like...
07:17 Well, let's use as an example
07:18 for those of us who like sports.
07:20 I mean, maybe basketball or football,
07:21 maybe in some of your category.
07:23 And we know in the society today,
07:24 people that tend to like basketball,
07:26 they tend to buy the uniforms, put the caps, get the jackets.
07:30 In the very same way
07:31 we should reflect the character of Christ,
07:33 but not put it on physically, but allow our lights to shine
07:36 because Christ is on the inside.
07:38 Somebody made me smile the other day,
07:40 I made this quotation a while ago,
07:43 and I've often said, "I'm just a lampshade,
07:45 Jesus is the light."
07:47 So He is shining through us and He, in fact,
07:50 is witnessing through those who became willing vessels
07:53 to reflect His glory.
07:55 Also, witnessing is about the effect of salvation.
07:59 We respond to God's love.
08:01 We are transformed by His Spirit
08:04 and we are saved into His kingdom.
08:06 Now the kingdom life doesn't begin
08:07 when we get to the kingdom,
08:09 the kingdom life begins even now.
08:12 You know, "Thy kingdom come on earth
08:15 as it is in heaven."
08:16 So the kingdom life,
08:18 the joy that we have as witnesses,
08:19 we begin to live it now.
08:20 The eternal aspects of it begin when Jesus comes,
08:23 but the kingdom life is something that
08:25 the witness of Christ begins to share now.
08:28 Also the gospel encompasses
08:30 the witnessing life about others.
08:32 We share about His boundless love,
08:35 His measureless mercy.
08:37 How many of you are thankful for the mercy of God?
08:40 Also His endless compassion,
08:43 a beautiful illustration of our God.
08:46 His compassion never fails,
08:48 His exhaustless forgiveness...
08:52 Amen to that.
08:54 And His infinite power,
08:57 a power that never loses its source.
09:00 You know, we usually
09:02 have brownouts here in Southern Illinois
09:04 and it can happen for no apparent reason,
09:06 the weather could be nice, no wind is blowing,
09:08 all of a sudden, power down.
09:11 That never happens in the kingdom of God.
09:14 So as witnesses, we have a power source that
09:17 never loses its connection.
09:20 Look at the four things that witnessing also encompasses.
09:23 Witnessing gives us divine opportunities.
09:25 God provides opportunities
09:27 for people everywhere to know Him.
09:29 And many of us have been in opportunities
09:32 where we have said, you know,
09:33 now that we look back on that we know that God set this up,
09:35 that what happened today, God set it up.
09:38 Yeah. Let's go to Ephesians 2:10.
09:40 Let's see why God sets us up for witnessing opportunities.
09:46 Now we like verse 8 or 9.
09:48 "For by grace are we saved through faith?"
09:49 Oh, yeah.
09:50 But, Jill, do you have Ephesians 2:10?
09:52 Let's look at why God calls us to be witnesses.
09:56 "For we are His workmanship,
09:57 created in Christ Jesus for good works,
10:00 which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
10:03 That's right.
10:04 So the works were there before God hired us.
10:06 A lot of people,
10:08 and I want to make this very clear.
10:09 God doesn't call Christians to be just church members.
10:13 You could be a member of a fan club, a health spa,
10:17 baseball card club,
10:18 you can be a member of anything.
10:20 But membership leaves off where discipleship begins.
10:24 And, but a disciple has to witness
10:26 it's not even an optional thing.
10:28 It's not something that says, "Well, I'm a disciple,
10:29 I don't want to witness."
10:31 No, Jesus said it clearly to Peter.
10:33 He says, "When you were young,
10:34 you went where you desire to go,
10:35 you did what you wanted to do, but now that you're older,
10:38 somebody else is going to send you
10:39 where you don't want to go,
10:41 somebody else is going to clothe you."
10:42 And then He said to Peter, over and over,
10:44 "Feed my sheep, feed my lamb, feed my sheep."
10:46 So the disciples are not in a category
10:48 where they have options.
10:50 They must be witnesses of Christ.
10:52 So we are His workmanship.
10:53 In other words, He designed us that
10:56 we should give glory to God and the works that
10:59 we do are actually done by the Christ in us.
11:02 So the points are, we are not saved by our works,
11:05 we are saved for God's works.
11:08 We are not simply called to be church members
11:10 but to be witnesses, to be disciples.
11:13 We are not drawn to God to stay,
11:16 we are to follow Him on the commission to go.
11:21 Make that very clear. Look at Luke 14:21-24.
11:26 Very important comparison here we find.
11:30 Verse 21 says, "So that servant came
11:33 and reported these things to his master.
11:35 Then the master of the house,
11:37 being angry, said to his servant,
11:39 'Go out quickly into the streets
11:41 and lanes of the city,'
11:43 notice the commissions go, 'and bring in here the poor
11:46 and the maimed and the lame and the blind.'
11:48 And the servant said, "Master, it is done
11:50 as you have commanded.
11:52 And still there is room.'
11:54 Then the Master said to a servant,
11:55 notice the word again,
11:57 'Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them
12:01 to come in that my house may be filled.
12:03 For I say to you, that none of those men
12:06 who were invited shall taste my supper.'"
12:08 In other words, the Jews rejected the invitation.
12:11 But the Lord didn't stop.
12:12 He says, "Go into the cities and the lanes,
12:15 go to the highways and hedges.
12:16 A disciple is given the commission
12:18 to come to Christ,
12:19 and then to go into the highways and hedges."
12:21 And as Danny said, the blessing is Danny?
12:24 On the go. The blessing's on the go.
12:26 The blessing's not on the stay, the blessing's not on the sit,
12:30 the blessing's not on the singing,
12:32 the blessing's not on the fellowship,
12:33 the blessing's on the go.
12:36 Luke 19:10, look at the example that Christ set for us.
12:40 We are followers of Christ
12:42 in the sense of following His example.
12:44 Luke 19:10, "For the Son of Man has come to seek
12:47 and to save that which was lost."
12:50 That's the mission of Christ. He came to save what is lost.
12:53 And now He sends us to do the very same thing.
12:56 Look at James 5:19 and 20.
12:59 He says, "Brethren,
13:00 if anyone among you wanders from the truth,
13:03 and someone turns him back," I love that," let him know that
13:08 he who turns a sinner from the error of his ways
13:11 will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins."
13:15 So we're not only sent to lead someone to Christ
13:18 who has not even known Him,
13:20 but there are those who have wandered away from Christ.
13:22 That's also a commission and I can think of.
13:24 As I sit here,
13:25 I can think of any number of people
13:27 that once was amongst us, but the Lord is saying to us,
13:29 now it's time to go out and encourage them to come back
13:32 because in many cases,
13:33 they can't bring themselves back.
13:35 Followers of Christ follow His example.
13:37 Followers of Christ
13:39 are called to emulate the passion of Jesus.
13:41 And before we rejoice over the harvest,
13:45 we have to go out and plant the seed.
13:47 The blessing of witnessing is a reciprocal blessing.
13:50 Jesus sends us out
13:51 and the blessings come rolling in.
13:53 Amen. Amen.
13:55 Praise the Lord, man.
13:56 That was a powerful introduction.
13:57 Thank you so much.
13:59 And I know I'm going to really, really enjoy this whole study
14:01 because written by Pastor Mark Finley,
14:03 he's one of my favorite evangelists and speakers
14:05 and if weren't for his ministry,
14:06 I wouldn't be where I am today.
14:08 And so I'm very thankful that him and the other writers
14:10 who have contributed to this particular study,
14:12 it's going to be a really, really good one.
14:14 In fact, as I was reading and studying through
14:16 these particular lessons in preparation for this series,
14:20 I, you know, there was just things that
14:22 he worded so well,
14:23 I couldn't have possibly had said it better
14:25 in my own words.
14:26 So Monday's lesson is entitled, "Making Jesus Glad."
14:30 Why do we witness?
14:31 What are one of the reasons why we witness?
14:32 Making Jesus glad, and I don't know
14:34 what single genuine Christian who would not want to do
14:37 everything that they can to bring joy
14:39 to God's heart, right?
14:41 And to bring gladness to God's heart.
14:42 And so Monday's lesson, "Making Jesus Glad."
14:44 And I love how he opened up this lesson.
14:46 And I just want to read it here.
14:47 It's powerful.
14:49 He says, "Have you, has anyone ever asked you
14:51 how is your day going?
14:53 Is everything all right with you today?
14:56 What if you asked God those questions?"
14:59 "God, how is Your day going?"
15:01 What kind of response do you think you would receive?
15:04 Possibly it would be one like this.
15:07 "My day has been extremely difficult.
15:10 Tears filled my eyes at 1000 refugee camps filled
15:14 with cold, hungry, crying children.
15:17 I walked the streets of the world's crowded cities
15:19 and wept with the homeless and destitute.
15:22 My heart breaks over abused women
15:24 and frightened children sold into sexual slavery.
15:28 I witnessed the ravages of war,
15:31 the devastating effects of natural disasters
15:34 and the painful agony
15:36 of debilitating deadly diseases."
15:39 "But God, is there anything that makes You rejoice?"
15:43 And I love this.
15:45 "Is there anything that brings joy to Your heart?
15:47 Is there anything that makes You sing?
15:51 And the answer to that question is yes, and we're going to...
15:53 The lesson guides us
15:54 and takes us to Luke Chapter 15,
15:56 where we're going to see three clear examples
15:58 that Christ communicates in the form of a parable.
16:02 And obviously there's going to be three different parables
16:04 that we reference here.
16:05 But Luke Chapter 15,
16:07 we're going to start with verse 4.
16:08 Of course, this is the parable of the lost sheep.
16:11 And I love these three parables
16:13 because Christ is opening His heart,
16:14 He's sharing and trying to help us
16:16 to see the importance of witnessing,
16:19 the importance of not hoarding
16:20 or holding in this powerful gospel
16:22 to ourselves,
16:23 but taking it out there to the world
16:25 and sharing it with others to a lost
16:26 and dying world.
16:27 And so I love beginning with verse 4 here, Jesus says,
16:30 "What man of you, having a hundred sheep,
16:33 if he loses one of them,
16:34 does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness,
16:38 and go after the one
16:39 which is lost until he finds it?"
16:42 And then notice verse 5 on through to verse 7 here.
16:45 He says, "And when he has found it,
16:47 he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
16:51 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends
16:54 and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me,
16:56 for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
16:59 I say to you that likewise, I love these words, He says,
17:02 "I say to you likewise" there in verse 7,
17:04 "there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner
17:08 who repents than over 99 persons
17:11 who need no repentance."
17:13 That is powerful to think about that the witnessing aspect
17:17 of our Christian walk is a vital important part.
17:20 In fact, one minister years ago,
17:22 painted a picture like this.
17:23 He basically said,
17:24 there's three legs on the Christian stool,
17:26 obviously, Bible study and prayer,
17:28 and then he added the witnessing aspect.
17:30 And if you take one of these legs away,
17:32 obviously the stool can't stand.
17:34 Witnessing is vitally important.
17:36 And why should we witness?
17:37 Well, one great reason
17:38 is because it brings gladness to God's heart,
17:41 it brings joy to the Lord.
17:43 I love the parable of the lost coin
17:44 also in verse 8 of Luke Chapter 15,
17:47 beginning with verse 8,
17:48 and going through verse 10 here, it says,
17:50 "Or what woman, having ten silver coins,
17:53 if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp,
17:55 sweep the house, and search carefully
17:57 until she finds it?
17:59 And when she has found it,
18:01 she calls her friends and neighbors together,
18:02 saying, 'Rejoice with me,
18:04 for I have found the piece which I lost!'
18:07 Likewise, Jesus says, 'I say to you,
18:09 there is joy in the presence of the angels of God
18:13 over one sinner who repents.'"
18:16 And you can just imagine, you know,
18:18 I love witnessing for the Lord and I've had so many wonderful
18:21 opportunities of helping to lead
18:23 and guide people to Jesus into the truth.
18:25 And to see that person make that decision to say,
18:28 "Lord, I don't want this life anymore.
18:29 I don't want to live this life separated from You.
18:31 I want to live with You Christ.
18:33 I want You to come into my heart to change me
18:35 and to renovate and completely,
18:37 do a complete overhaul of my life."
18:39 To see someone make that decision,
18:40 if it makes us happy,
18:42 think about what it's doing in heaven's courts, right?
18:44 Powerful to think about.
18:46 And the last one that I want to bring out here
18:48 is probably one of my favorite parables
18:50 that Jesus tells and that is the parable
18:51 of the lost son or the prodigal son.
18:54 And I just want to highlight, well, I'm not going to read
18:55 that entire parable here.
18:58 We know obviously the lost son goes away and,
19:00 of course, he eventually comes to his senses and realizes that
19:03 he hadn't made in the Father's house,
19:04 and he wants to return to the Father.
19:07 And, of course, he does return to the father
19:09 and I love in verse 20.
19:10 If you want to talk about the gladness of God,
19:14 if you want to see God's joy in action, verse 20,
19:17 here it says, "And he ran at him,
19:21 when he saw the son afar off.
19:22 He ran to him.
19:23 God ran, it reminds me of that old Phillips, Craig
19:25 and Dean song, you know, actually had that.
19:27 Yeah, when God ran,
19:29 I actually have the lyrics here.
19:30 When God ran to me, He took me in His arms,
19:32 He held my head to His chest, He said,
19:34 "My sons come home again."
19:36 It brings joy to God's heart when a lost person,
19:39 even someone who may have once had
19:41 a relationship with Him,
19:42 but is backslidden or fallen away,
19:44 or fallen into despair, He will run to that person
19:47 in joyful gladness to receive him.
19:51 You know, I remember years ago, I was attending a church.
19:54 And I heard an elder say, and I'll never forget this.
19:57 This was early on in my ministry,
19:58 early on in my Christian experience,
20:00 but I'll never forget.
20:02 This particular elder said,
20:04 because we were talking about evangelism
20:05 and I wanted to do evangelism.
20:07 I was kind of the new blood in the church, right?
20:08 And I'm like, man, we had to glide
20:10 and tell people about this powerful message.
20:12 This is amazing message, right?
20:13 The Adventist beautiful truth
20:15 of God's Word that we find here in God's Word.
20:17 And I'll never forget this elder said,
20:18 "Oh, you know, we've done evangelism,
20:21 evangelism doesn't work.
20:23 You know what they know where we are?
20:25 Why do we have to go to him?
20:27 And that just stuck with me and I remember not one text
20:30 in all of God's Word do you ever find
20:33 where Jesus says, "You know what?
20:34 Just stay there, I'll send them to you."
20:36 No, no, He wants us to go to them
20:38 because the blessing is on the go.
20:41 We have to go to them.
20:42 And so Luke 15:22-24 and also verse 32.
20:48 I love to speak, again speaking
20:49 about the lost son, or the prodigal son.
20:51 Notice the joy of God in this parable.
20:54 It says, but the Father said to his servants.
20:55 This is verse 22 of Luke 15.
20:58 "But the father said to his servants,
21:00 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him,
21:02 and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet
21:05 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it,
21:08 and let us eat and be merry, for this my son was dead
21:13 and is alive again, he was lost and is found.'
21:18 And they began to be merry.'"
21:20 And I love verse 32,
21:21 you got to have this in your also.
21:23 It was, notice, he goes, "It was right that
21:25 we should make merry and be glad,
21:28 for your brother was dead and is alive again,
21:30 and was lost and is found."
21:34 I love that story.
21:35 It brings joy to the heart of God,
21:38 when a sinner is brought to salvation.
21:41 And I think if we would just comprehend that often that
21:44 you know, while there is a blessing for us.
21:47 And I know we're going to talk a lot about the blessing
21:49 that we can receive as individuals.
21:51 When we witness
21:53 and we share our heart with others
21:54 and when we share the gospel of Jesus with others,
21:56 there is indeed a powerful blessing
21:58 that comes from us being co-laborers
22:00 with God in this finishing work of salvation.
22:03 But it also brings joy to God's heart.
22:06 Like what?
22:07 Just to be able to fully fathom the fact
22:10 that when we are working
22:12 to bring someone else to Christ,
22:13 how that makes God feel.
22:15 And we see examples like this in the Bible
22:17 and the Word of God as we read through this,
22:18 and we read the clear text that tells us exactly how God feels,
22:22 but can we really begin to fathom the fact
22:24 that it brings so much joy to God that,
22:26 as we're going to read in just a few moments
22:28 that it makes God sing.
22:29 That God sing, we know the angels sing
22:31 we know the heavenly courts above just, you know,
22:33 rejoice when a sinner is brought to Jesus,
22:36 but we're going to read here, in fact,
22:38 it's Zephaniah 3:17,
22:41 I love this verse, Zephaniah 3:17.
22:45 And this is God talking about how He will save
22:48 and when He brings that lost soul
22:50 to a saving relationship with Him, notice what He says.
22:53 It says, "The Lord your God in your midst,
22:56 The Mighty One will save,
22:59 He will rejoice over you with gladness,
23:02 He will quiet you with His love,
23:04 He will rejoice over you with singing."
23:09 Like that's powerful because you know I love music.
23:12 I'm a singer myself, I love singing,
23:13 I love praising the Lord.
23:15 I love hearing great singers
23:16 and musicians like Pastor Lomacang
23:18 and Danny and hearing all these powerful songs
23:20 that the Lord puts on their heart
23:22 and you know, other great singers you know,
23:24 could you imagine hearing the voice of God sing?
23:27 That when a sinner is brought that
23:29 perhaps God stands from His throne
23:31 and just spells out a beautiful note
23:33 you know rejoicing.
23:34 I can imagine heaven singing that song.
23:36 Oh, happy day... Okay.
23:39 You got me started now.
23:41 You know, I don't know, man,
23:42 that's just my imagination going wild there.
23:45 But I could just imagine God saying,
23:47 get the choir going.
23:48 Sing that this person has been brought to Me.
23:50 It brings gladness, it brings joy to God's heart
23:54 when we bring a lost soul to Jesus.
23:56 So witnessing for Him, why should we do it,
23:59 for no other reason than to please our God.
24:01 Wow, Ryan. Amen. That is good.
24:03 Danny's starting trouble already,
24:05 getting us to singing.
24:07 Now we can get oh, happy day out of our mind.
24:09 But it is a happy day when a sinner comes back home
24:12 and what a story the prodigal son
24:15 or specifically the prodigal father.
24:17 We're going to take a short break
24:18 and come right back as we continue
24:19 our study through why witness.
24:29 Ever wish you could watch
24:30 a 3ABN Sabbath School Panel again,
24:32 or share it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter?
24:36 Well, you can by visiting 3abnsabbathschoolpanel.com.
24:41 A clean design makes it easy
24:43 to find the program you're looking for.
24:45 There are also links
24:47 to the Adult Bible Study Guide so you can follow along.
24:50 Sharing is easy.
24:52 Just click share and choose your favorite social media.
24:55 Share a link, save a life for eternity.
25:00 Welcome back to our lesson study.
25:02 We now turn to Tuesday, Pastor Kenny Shelton,
25:04 the title, "Growing by Giving."
25:06 The time is yours.
25:08 You know, to me this is a good part of the lesson,
25:09 all of them is good.
25:10 I thank each one for your input
25:12 and you're resetting the good foundation on this,
25:15 this set of studies because I know
25:17 they're going to be good.
25:18 You know, as I was praying about and studying,
25:20 I just felt this sense
25:22 of the Holy Spirit being close to us
25:25 in this whole quarter that
25:26 something good is going to happen.
25:28 And it's not just for those of you
25:29 who are out there.
25:31 I believe it's going to be good for us.
25:32 So we're looking at
25:34 I want to look at something here
25:35 because growing by giving good illustration,
25:36 certainly go at Jacob's Well,
25:39 we find Jesus and the Samaritan woman.
25:41 And I want to read something first
25:43 from the Desire of Ages, page 195.
25:45 That fits right in with this. Notice what it says.
25:47 It says, "As soon as she had found the Savior,
25:50 the Samaritan woman brought others to Him."
25:53 This is what the whole lesson is about.
25:55 Soon as we meet Jesus,
25:56 soon as we give our life to Him,
25:58 automatically we want to bring others to Him.
26:01 This woman represents as you study working
26:04 a practical faith in Christ and every person who's ever...
26:08 You're born again in Christ, the first thing you want to do
26:12 is to witness and, but when we're born
26:14 and reborn again, we all are missionaries.
26:17 God wants us to be missionary, had that missionary spirit,
26:20 we call it evangelistic spirit,
26:21 we want to go and tell others about Jesus.
26:23 So and we're going to study a lot about drinking
26:26 of that living water
26:27 and part of our lesson covers that,
26:28 the living water.
26:30 And once we drink that water, we become a fountain ourselves.
26:35 That fountain is just to give to others.
26:37 The receiver so accept Christ you're receiver,
26:40 once you receive then you become a giver.
26:43 Receiver becomes what? A giver.
26:45 Yeah, the grace of Christ in the soul, notice like this,
26:48 is a spring in the desert.
26:50 Someone's in the desert, man,
26:52 I've been times I've been awful thirsty.
26:53 Maybe not been out in the desert,
26:55 not having any water but, man, I've been thirsty.
26:57 I can't think of anything but water.
26:58 I can't think of anything but quenching the thirst.
27:01 And Jesus says, "I'm the water and I refresh all."
27:04 So if you're a little bit dry and you need something,
27:07 God says, "I'm going to meet that need for you."
27:09 Because to me today the world that we live in,
27:12 there's millions perishing, you know,
27:14 for the lack of Jesus Christ in their life,
27:17 and He just says, "Come unto Me."
27:18 So we're looking at our lesson, it brings out, I like this.
27:22 Brother Mark Finley brought out, the Dead Sea.
27:25 Dead Sea marks the earth's lowest elevation,
27:28 you know, and illustration is good here.
27:30 Illustration that its salt
27:31 and its mineral content is very high is what?
27:34 Over 33%.
27:36 That means that really nothing really can live in that.
27:38 There's no fish, there's no plants,
27:40 there's little can survive in that situation.
27:44 No place to go. It's a dead end.
27:47 How about it with us?
27:48 Could this possibly illustrate us
27:51 in our Christian experience in our lives,
27:54 Christ flows in us, He flows His grace
27:57 and His love into us and then somehow
28:00 we have to by the grace of God let it go out.
28:04 It's not always just coming in,
28:05 it's what goes out to other people.
28:08 And if it doesn't just like the Dead Sea,
28:11 it becomes stagnant.
28:13 You know, some old pond,
28:15 we have a lot of dead end ponds here in Southern Illinois.
28:18 And after a while they become stagnant,
28:20 they're dead and actually it begin to stink.
28:23 And so as we look at this right here,
28:25 we'll find out stagnant means it becomes,
28:26 we become dull if we're not imparting it to others,
28:29 we become very sluggish
28:31 and we're without any kind of motion.
28:34 And God wants us to be as you mentioned
28:35 before in motion, so it becomes, we say,
28:38 it's stinky if there's not some movement going on.
28:40 So as a Christian, we don't want to be stinky,
28:43 we want to be what?
28:44 We want to be something that's moving forward
28:46 and will help others along the way.
28:47 So believers were to receive
28:49 those streams of living water that
28:51 Jesus offers to us.
28:53 John 7:37 and 38.
28:56 It says this, this, I mean, this is really good
28:58 when you look into it.
29:00 It says, "In the last days, the great day of the feast."
29:03 Notice he didn't say anything about the first few days of it,
29:06 just said the last day, there's something to this here.
29:09 The feast, Jesus stood up and cried, saying,
29:11 "If any man thirst," notice this,
29:14 "let him come unto me and drink."
29:17 The verse 38, "He that believeth on me,
29:20 as the scripture hath said, out of his belly,"
29:24 that would be out of his heart, wouldn't it?
29:26 "Out of his mind, out of his being"
29:28 and one of the word translates,
29:29 "out of his wound as it would be flows rivers."
29:32 And that word is translated floods, right,
29:34 floods of living water.
29:36 I looked at it and I thought, how interesting outflows water
29:39 and it says there one
29:40 of the translations is drinkable water,
29:43 not stagnant, not stinky water, but it's drinkable water
29:47 because Jesus wants to, you know, to come inside of us.
29:51 And here we see in this passage right here,
29:54 the fullness, the substance of the gospel.
29:58 Jesus says, "Come unto me",
29:59 notice, unto me, come unto Christ,
30:01 come to me I give to you,
30:02 but I want you to go and then give it to others.
30:05 This is our mission. This is our goal.
30:07 But I might encourage you, you know, you cannot,
30:10 I cannot give what I don't have.
30:13 We've heard that over a lot. You can't give what you...
30:15 And people try to give, but they don't have it.
30:18 You see, and so God wants us to come to Him,
30:20 be filled with this living water
30:21 and then give it to other people.
30:24 Notice that Jesus took
30:25 this opportunity on the last day,
30:27 you know, He always has a plan.
30:29 There's a plan. I love His plan.
30:31 It's always the best plan.
30:32 And He want to reach out and when He did,
30:34 He wanted to reach out to a bunch of people.
30:36 Now think about a bunch of people.
30:38 People are getting ready to leave,
30:39 there are ready to go home, returning to home,
30:43 He wanted them to,
30:45 I think like we have meetings here at 3ABN
30:47 or you know, evangelistic crusade,
30:49 you want people to take something back with them.
30:53 If they don't take anything back with him,
30:54 it's not been a fruitful, you know, meetings,
30:57 whatever it might be here, but note,
30:58 we must consider every opportunity
31:00 as though it could be our very last.
31:03 I don't know about you, but I've missed out
31:04 on those opportunities in my life.
31:06 When you're talking to somebody, you know,
31:08 they need Christ, you know,
31:09 maybe that they've maybe fallen short,
31:11 maybe they're reaching out somewhat,
31:12 maybe they're not,
31:14 but you have an opportunity to talk to them,
31:15 or maybe just on this panel,
31:18 every person that I meet for this day,
31:21 it's impressed on my mind more and more,
31:22 I may not have that opportunity again, ever.
31:26 And I want the impression to be a good impression.
31:29 I want it to be something they can take home with them,
31:31 something that maybe by the grace of God
31:33 will meet their need in this hour
31:35 that we're living in.
31:37 So if there's anything that I can say,
31:38 anything that it can do, and certainly accompanied
31:40 by the Holy Spirit of the Living God.
31:42 We need to do it, now the Bible said
31:44 is the acceptable time.
31:46 Now's the time, right,
31:48 and they're talking about salvation.
31:49 It's not tomorrow, it's not the next week
31:51 or when things are like
31:52 I want them to be, but today is the day.
31:55 Jesus stood out and He cried. This always touched my heart.
31:58 He stood out as it were, the Bible said He cried out,
32:01 He got the people's attention
32:02 because He thought this may be the last time
32:05 that I'll be able to talk to them in this life.
32:08 And so all it showed,
32:09 when He cried out, it showed His love.
32:11 When you cry out as it were, reach out to somebody,
32:13 you're showing your love to them
32:15 and how you care for them
32:17 and how you want heaven to be their home.
32:19 He was crying out to those
32:21 who the Bible talks about have ears to hear.
32:24 We have to have ears to hear.
32:25 We need to pray that Matthew 13:9 talks about that.
32:27 And Jesus says, "I'm offering you know,
32:30 I'm offering this free grace, I'm offering this free mercy."
32:34 Isaiah 55:1 says,
32:36 "Ho, every one that thirsteth," do what?
32:40 "Come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money,"
32:44 I like this, that puts me in that class,
32:46 "you don't have any money, just come, buy, and eat,
32:48 yea, come, buy wine and milk
32:51 without money and without price."
32:53 God said, I'm offering you something free.
32:54 Man, your money is not going to buy it.
32:55 You can't earn it, but I'm going to give you
32:57 so just come
32:58 but you're going to have to ask.
33:00 Jesus gives a general invitation to come.
33:05 I think in meetings and evangelism
33:06 and sometimes there's a general call, right,
33:09 then there are specific calls.
33:11 Jesus was giving a general call, all.
33:14 And today, we're going to give that call,
33:16 all, all come just kind of, it's for everyone.
33:20 And so we have to ask ourselves a question,
33:21 are we really thirsty?
33:24 Do you really want or do you really need a change?
33:28 Are you just happy with the way that things are going?
33:31 You have to walk that change.
33:32 And I think people today are looking and say,
33:34 we need some changes.
33:35 And God said, "I want you to drink of this water.
33:38 I want you to drink this well. This will never run dry.
33:40 It'll meet all your needs." He said, "It's a peace.
33:44 I'll give you a peace in the midst of a storm,
33:46 a peace that the, you know,
33:48 the world can't give you and they can't take it away."
33:51 Only God can give you that.
33:53 And He simply says, bottom line "Come to Me."
33:56 He didn't say go to some person.
33:59 Go to this place over here. He said, "Come to Me."
34:03 It's not come to some philosophy.
34:05 It's come to Me, He said. But how, and then what?
34:10 He is the fountain, He passes on that water.
34:13 He gives it to us, our cup is full,
34:15 and our fountain and then we begin to by
34:16 the grace of God to pass it on to others.
34:19 There's several songs certainly got to pass it on.
34:22 I always like that, pass it on. Don't hang on to it.
34:26 Bible says there in verse 30 as we read on down and He said,
34:29 "He that believeth on me out of his belly shall flow,"
34:32 notice, "this living water."
34:33 That means what?
34:35 Running water, that means water
34:36 that is in motion, living water,
34:39 prompts us to action.
34:41 I've often said I like to be around people of action.
34:44 I like to be where things that are going on.
34:46 I don't want to become stale in my Christian experience.
34:49 I want to be alive, I want to be to new,
34:51 I want to be a new experience every day
34:53 which God promises
34:54 if we're drinking of that living water.
34:57 It's not whole hum, it's not dough.
34:59 It's a new experience every day with Him.
35:02 We can get up with excitement, say, "God, what is it...
35:04 What are we going to do today?"
35:06 Almost said that in a nice way by the grace of God,
35:08 how are you going to use me today
35:09 for Your honor, for Your glory?
35:11 This is the acceptable time. Amen.
35:14 Thank you, Brother Kenny. That's great.
35:16 It's encouraging us to go forward.
35:18 I love this because the witnessing,
35:20 of course, 3ABN is an evangelistic tool,
35:24 is a witnessing tool.
35:25 But today we're going to be talking more about individuals,
35:28 at least in my mind when I read this,
35:30 it's not about what's everybody else doing.
35:32 It's what God asked me to do.
35:34 How am I faithful to the cause of Christ command?
35:38 Loyalty to Christ requires a commitment to do His will.
35:42 Again, I'm like you, Ryan.
35:43 Some of that Mark laid some of this out so well,
35:46 I just have to go right with it,
35:48 couldn't have done it better as you say yourself.
35:50 It necessitates obedience to His commands.
35:53 It places priority on the things that
35:56 He places priority on.
35:59 1 Timothy we've heard it already,
36:00 but 2:3-4 says, "For this is good
36:04 and acceptable in the sight of God,
36:06 our Savior, who will have all men
36:08 to be saved," not some, "all men to be saved
36:11 and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
36:13 Very important. Let's hang on to that.
36:15 2 Peter 3:9, The Lord
36:17 is not slack concerning his promise,
36:20 as some men count slackness;
36:22 but is longsuffering to us-ward,
36:24 not willing that any should perish,
36:26 but that all should come,"
36:29 I love that little word all, right, it's so complete,
36:32 "all should come to repentance."
36:33 The SDA commentary makes an observation
36:36 on the little word but.
36:38 The Greek for the word but is alla,
36:41 it says here alla we'll call it.
36:43 It's used here to emphasize the contrast
36:46 between the misinterpretation of God's nature namely,
36:50 that He might be willing for some to perish
36:53 and the truth, of course, that He wants all to be saved.
36:58 John 3:16, "For God so loved the world
37:00 that He gave His only begotten Son
37:02 that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish,
37:06 but," there's that word, "but have everlasting life."
37:09 Christ's command for each and every one of us
37:12 is to participate in His mission
37:15 as witnesses of love
37:16 and grace and truth, as an out...
37:19 It's actually an outgrowth
37:20 of His desire for all humanity to be saved.
37:24 These passages tell us about the heart of God that is
37:28 passionate about saving people, the love of God,
37:31 how rich and pure, right?
37:34 Amazing, are we going back to these songs again?
37:37 Acts 13:47 says,
37:39 "For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying,
37:42 I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles,
37:46 that thou shouldest be for salvation
37:48 unto the ends of the earth."
37:50 And Isaiah 49:6, "And he said,
37:53 'It is a light thing that thou shouldest
37:55 be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
37:59 and to restore the preserved of Israel:
38:01 I will also give unto thee a light to the Gentiles,
38:05 that thou mayest be my salvation
38:07 unto the end of the earth.'"
38:09 So in a nutshell here, what Jesus is saying is
38:12 I call it literally Matthew 28:18.
38:15 I've lived on this for, Ryan, almost 35 years,
38:19 the great gospel commission
38:21 is Jesus spake unto them and I love it.
38:24 He says, "All, that word again,
38:25 all power is given me in heaven and earth.
38:28 Go ye therefore, right? You know the rest of it.
38:31 Teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
38:34 the Son, and the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe,
38:38 the word again, all things
38:40 whatsoever I have commanded you to do,
38:42 and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the earth.
38:45 I mean, this is an incredible thing
38:47 what Jesus has said, I've counted my resources
38:50 in advance and found him not wanting.
38:52 Dr. Thompson taught me that a long time ago.
38:55 So when He said, "Go ye into all the world."
38:56 We can do it.
38:58 May not be literally
38:59 in the other parts of the earth,
39:00 but your world that God has put you in,
39:03 your neighbors, your church members.
39:05 So this great gospel commission is tremendous.
39:08 As we've already said, it's go ye.
39:11 Now, while all this seems so easy,
39:13 and it's all set out for us,
39:15 and we all should be able to do it.
39:16 You think the devil is happy about this to have in churches,
39:19 and in these churches?
39:21 All right, we know the truth.
39:22 We can take the Bible, we can go through
39:24 The Ten Commandments,
39:25 we can go through all kinds of prophetic doctrines,
39:27 we can do all of these things.
39:29 So the devil says, "I can't beat that,
39:31 but I'm going to go work into the church."
39:33 So what I want to focus on for just a few moments
39:36 is how does all this relate to us as a church,
39:39 in the community, our local church?
39:41 Are we doing what God told us to do?
39:44 We know about witnessing,
39:45 but I'm with you, Brother Kenny,
39:47 how can we give something if we don't have it?
39:49 You can't give somebody something
39:50 that you don't already have.
39:52 So the problem I see in the church today
39:54 the devil has set us up for failure.
39:57 The Lord wants us to be witnesses,
39:59 but a witness for Jesus must tell the truth.
40:01 So, to me, it says we must first come
40:05 to the foot of the cross.
40:06 I'm gonna say it again,
40:08 we must first come to the foot of the cross
40:10 and experience forgiveness and mercy before we can go out
40:13 and truly be a witness for Christ
40:15 by representing His character within our lives,
40:19 right, so people can see it.
40:20 If we're not fully committed to Christ,
40:22 several things happen.
40:23 Number one, it knocks out a lot of professed Christians
40:27 who interpret the Bible to say what they wanted to say,
40:30 rather than what it really says.
40:32 Right?
40:34 So to be a witness, we have to tell the truth.
40:35 You all talked about being a witness while ago.
40:37 Secondly, many of us
40:39 will not pass the witness for Jesus test,
40:42 because frankly, we don't love God enough
40:45 or people enough to sacrifice our time,
40:47 our talents, our abilities, our finances,
40:50 to take the gospel to the world.
40:52 So many people are trying to be Christians in the flesh.
40:56 They haven't experienced that relationships with Jesus
41:00 because they don't want to go to hell.
41:01 Way too many preachers spend their efforts
41:03 trying to scare people into heaven.
41:06 I'll tell you a little story.
41:07 A few years ago, I was out to West Frankfurt Park,
41:10 had a baseball game, kids were playing.
41:13 Preacher came up to me, not of our faith
41:15 but he came up to me and he said,
41:17 "Danny, I've known you for years.
41:18 I watched 3ABN, but no more.
41:20 I am done with 3ABN. I said, "Why?"
41:23 And he said, "You better pay attention
41:24 to who you have preaching on there."
41:26 And he was upset. I said, "Why?"
41:28 He said, "I heard a guy
41:29 the other night saying that the people don't,
41:32 God don't burn people for forever and ever."
41:34 And he said, "That is just wrong.
41:36 That is terrible for you."
41:37 He said, "Are you aware of that?"
41:39 I said "Yeah, God doesn't torture people forever."
41:42 And he said, "You believe that junk too?"
41:45 And I said, "Yeah."
41:46 And I said, "Well, why don't we do this?
41:47 Why don't we have a little study?
41:49 We'll get together, pastor,
41:50 we'll study and see if we can maybe help each other
41:52 and see what the Bible really has to say."
41:54 You know what he said?
41:55 "I don't, I'm not going to do that.
41:57 I don't need to study.
41:58 Listen, let me just tell you this.
41:59 If you don't teach people that you're going to burn forever,
42:02 how are you going to get them saved?"
42:05 He said that, put my hand up.
42:07 Pastor said to me,
42:08 "How else you're going to get them saved?"
42:11 He warned us.
42:12 I said, "Well, you tell them about the love of Jesus."
42:15 You don't try to scare people into being saved.
42:18 God is love.
42:19 We should serve the Lord because He first loved us
42:22 and gave His life for us on the cross of Calvary,
42:24 not out of fear.
42:26 When we try to do God's will
42:27 without having the heart of God instilled in us
42:31 by the Holy Spirit, we become very unhappy,
42:34 critical, judgmental, impatient,
42:36 and crappy people, right?
42:38 Hardly anyone's worst to be
42:40 around than legalistic Christian.
42:42 Did you notice that?
42:43 So all you have to do is read Facebook posts
42:46 by those who claim to be Christians.
42:48 I have actually had people cuss me
42:50 in the name of religion,
42:51 because they didn't like what I said on Facebook.
42:54 Now, think about that.
42:55 What does that do to people when they read
42:58 all these things we put on Facebook
43:00 that are not Christians?
43:01 How does it impact them
43:02 the folks that don't go to church,
43:04 are not Christian?
43:05 It feeds into the...
43:07 I don't go to church
43:08 because there's just way too many hypocrites category.
43:12 That's where it fits in exactly.
43:13 We should ask the Holy Spirit to fill us with joy,
43:16 the joy of the Lord.
43:17 The Bible says the joy of the Lord,
43:19 right, is your strength.
43:21 The joy of the Lord gives us strength to reach
43:23 for God's provision of love and salvation.
43:25 For the Lord your God is living among you.
43:28 He is a mighty Savior,
43:29 He will take delight in you with gladness.
43:31 With His love, He will calm all your fears,
43:34 He will rejoice over you.
43:36 Ryan, you said this with joyful songs.
43:38 Speaking of music,
43:39 our music in many of our churches
43:41 are either dead or on the critical list, right?
43:44 And I see you one or the other or just the opposite,
43:49 they're all about hype and entertainment.
43:51 So that's a whole another subject.
43:53 We don't have time for that.
43:54 You make known to me the path of life
43:57 and you will fill me with joy.
43:59 It's the joy that people need to see.
44:01 The joy in your presence
44:02 with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
44:05 With joy, you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
44:10 When that happens,
44:11 people will want to come to church.
44:13 They'll want to get to know you.
44:14 They'll want to be around you.
44:15 When we have the joy of the Lord in our heart,
44:17 it makes its way out as a bright light to others.
44:20 John 12:32 says,
44:22 "And I, if I be lifted up from this earth,
44:24 will draw," what's that word again,
44:27 "all men unto me."
44:28 Isn't that amazing?
44:29 Remember, if we're going to be a witness for Jesus
44:31 and our words in our life will line up with God's word,
44:36 yes, we will still make mistakes,
44:38 we'll still come short of the glory of God,
44:40 but we can confess our sins and when we do,
44:43 He is faithful and just to forgive us
44:45 from our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
44:49 Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life."
44:53 I'm about, I've run out of stuff
44:54 but let me just leave your last one here.
44:56 My time is about out to encourage you, Hebrews 12:1,
44:59 "Wherefore seeing we are compassed
45:01 about with so great a cloud of witnesses,
45:04 let us lay aside every weight,
45:05 and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
45:09 and let us run with patience
45:12 the race that is set before us."
45:14 Amen. Thank you so much Danny.
45:17 What an incredible lesson. Why witness?
45:20 We witness because it's God's desire
45:22 that we are saved.
45:23 We witness because it makes the heart of Jesus glad,
45:27 as you shared.
45:28 We witness because it grows our own faith
45:31 and walk with Him
45:32 and we don't become like the Dead Sea.
45:34 We witness because it is God's command to witness
45:37 and because He has changed us
45:40 and we want to share that joy with others.
45:43 We witness because He first loved us
45:47 and because we are motivated by love.
45:49 That's my lesson Thursday is "Motivated by Love."
45:53 We witness because He loved us.
45:56 This is an incredible lesson.
45:57 Special thanks to Pastor Finley.
45:59 I know everyone said that,
46:00 but I've just been so blessed by this study.
46:04 He said this, in the lesson, here's a quote from him,
46:07 "There are things you will do
46:08 for love that you will do for no other reason."
46:13 Is that why you go to work when you'd rather stay home?
46:17 Is that why you take out the trash
46:19 when you'd rather sit and watch TV?
46:21 Is that why you cook the meal
46:22 when you'd rather just order pizza?
46:24 Is that why you release the remote
46:27 and let your spouse watch what they want to watch?
46:30 Is that why you stand for your spouse or your friend,
46:33 when others turn against them?
46:36 There are things that you do for love when you do it
46:38 for no other reason.
46:41 They say to love dearly from the heart,
46:43 all those that love you,
46:45 and to love even more those that hate you.
46:50 When I think about love, I think about 1 Corinthians 13.
46:53 What better illustration of love
46:56 than 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter.
46:57 So let's go there.
46:59 We're going to read the whole chapter.
47:00 1 Corinthians Chapter 13.
47:03 I've broken it down into three different sections,
47:06 you knew that was coming, Pastor John.
47:07 That's right.
47:08 The pre-eminence of love, the practice of love
47:13 and the perpetuity of love.
47:16 So the pre-eminence of love
47:17 we see in the first three verses.
47:19 "Though I speak
47:21 with the tongues of men and of angels."
47:22 And I want to pause a moment,
47:24 that word though, means in the Greek if.
47:27 It's conditional, so you could replace
47:30 the though with if.
47:32 "Though I speak or if I speak
47:34 with the tongues of men and of angels,
47:36 but have not love,
47:37 I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal."
47:41 And though or if I have the gift of prophecy,
47:44 and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,
47:46 and if I have all faith,
47:49 so that I could remove mountains,
47:50 but have not love, I am nothing.
47:53 And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,
47:56 and if I give my body to be burned,
47:58 but have not love, it profits me nothing."
48:02 Now this is the pre-eminence of love.
48:04 1 Corinthians 12, which just finished
48:07 before we got to 1 Corinthians 13
48:08 is all about the spiritual gifts
48:11 that God has given to the body of Christ.
48:15 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that
48:17 any of those spiritual gifts
48:18 that Paul referenced in 1 Corinthians 12,
48:21 even if they're exercised
48:22 to their highest level of performance,
48:26 they're greatly diminished
48:27 if they're exercised without love.
48:30 Think about the gift of tongues.
48:32 The loveless exercise
48:33 of that gift doesn't edify others,
48:35 it irritates them because
48:36 it becomes like a clanging cymbal.
48:39 I remember my cousin when he began to learn
48:41 to play the violin, it was very irritating,
48:43 because all you heard
48:45 was squeaking right on those strings.
48:49 The loveless exercise of it
48:51 does not edify others but it irritates them.
48:53 The loveless exercise of the gift of prophecy
48:55 or faith leaves one worthless
48:58 because it says even if I have that gift of prophecy
49:01 or the gift of faith,
49:02 but have not love I am nothing.
49:06 The loveless sacrifice does not benefit the giver even
49:10 if I give all my goods to feed the poor,
49:13 but have not love, it profits me nothing.
49:16 Now clearly it would profit other people.
49:18 If you gave away all your possessions
49:20 it would definitely help the poor,
49:22 but it would not benefit you.
49:25 I think about Jonah preaching to the Ninevites,
49:28 it clearly helped them, they repented,
49:30 but it did not benefit him.
49:33 That's the pre-eminence of love.
49:35 Let's look at the practice of love.
49:36 Now Paul, instead of defining love,
49:39 he gives us characteristics of love.
49:41 We see that seven characteristics of love
49:44 and eight attitudes of love that we are to shun.
49:47 I see that just in these couple verses here.
49:50 Let's look at those characteristics.
49:51 It says love suffers long and is kind.
49:55 That's the first two characteristics.
49:56 Suffers long literally means long tempered as opposed,
50:00 Danny, to being short tempered.
50:03 Love suffers long, God is long suffering.
50:06 Romans 2:4, "Do you despise the riches of His goodness,
50:09 forbearance, and longsuffering,
50:12 not knowing that the goodness of God,
50:14 is what draws us to repentance?"
50:18 Love suffers long. Number two, love is kind.
50:22 If patience is the passive side of love,
50:25 kindness is clearly the active side.
50:28 Doing good, reaching out.
50:30 Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind to one another,
50:33 tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
50:36 even as God in Christ has forgiven you."
50:38 Now, we're going to remember
50:40 there were seven characteristics of love,
50:41 but when you read it through the Bible,
50:43 it gives the first two, love suffers long and is kind.
50:46 And then it goes to all those attitudes
50:48 we're to shun,
50:49 so let's go to the negative side.
50:51 These are those attitudes that we are to shun.
50:53 Attitudes that are foreign to love.
50:55 It says love does not envy.
50:59 In other words, we're to shun jealousy.
51:01 Jealousy is wishing for something or wishing
51:05 for someone that
51:06 I cannot have wishing for your car
51:09 or your boat or your home,
51:11 or your spouse or your position or your money, jealousy.
51:16 Love does not envy. Love does not parade itself.
51:21 Love is not arrogant.
51:23 I think arrogance and boasting
51:25 are the opposite side of jealousy.
51:28 You see, jealousy is my sinful response
51:31 to the prosperity of other people.
51:32 While arrogance is my sinful response
51:35 to my own seeming or apparent prosperity.
51:39 It's letting other people be
51:42 aware of my seeming success in a way that
51:44 tempts them to be jealous.
51:46 Think about Isaiah 14.
51:48 That's arrogance is definitely a character trait of the devil.
51:51 What did he say?
51:53 "I will ascend to heaven,
51:54 I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.
51:57 I will sit on the mount
51:58 of the congregation in the sides of the north,
52:00 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
52:02 I will be like the Most High."
52:06 It says love is not puffed up.
52:09 The word in Greek is from the word we get bellows,
52:12 literally puffed up you know
52:13 if you like blow the bellows to on a fire,
52:16 get puffed up.
52:18 We are not to be arrogant or prideful or puffed up.
52:21 Love does not behave rudely.
52:24 Have you met any rude Christians in your life?
52:27 Love does not seek its own. It is not self-seeking.
52:31 From the cradle to the cross,
52:33 Jesus lived a self-sacrificing love,
52:37 and He lived to bless others.
52:39 It is not provoked, love does not have anger.
52:43 It keeps thinks no evil
52:46 or literally keeps no score of wrongs.
52:49 It does not rejoice in iniquity.
52:52 Now we jump back
52:53 to those characteristics of love.
52:55 But it rejoices in the truth.
52:57 That's a positive thing.
52:58 But it bears all things and believes all things
53:02 and hopes all things and endures all things.
53:06 So we see the pre-eminence of love.
53:08 We see the practice of love
53:09 how we are called as Christians to practice love.
53:12 And then the perpetuity of love.
53:15 That is the last part of the chapter.
53:17 We won't read it all.
53:18 But it simply says that love never fails.
53:21 We can have prophecy, we can have knowledge,
53:23 we can have all kinds of spiritual gifts,
53:26 but they're all eventually going to pass away
53:28 but love never fails.
53:32 What takeaway lessons do I get from this lesson?
53:34 I'm motivated by love.
53:36 Number one, God is the originator of love.
53:39 1 John 4:8, the Bible says, "God is love."
53:45 Number two, love awakens love.
53:49 1 John 4:19, "We love Him
53:52 because He first loved us."
53:56 You see, we don't even love without God loving us first
54:00 and awakening in our heart that love response for Him.
54:05 Number three, a true Christian will love others.
54:09 1 John 4:7-8, "Beloved,
54:12 let us love one another, for love is of God,
54:15 and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
54:18 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love."
54:23 A true Christian will love others.
54:26 Number four, God's love in us
54:29 is what motivates us to witness
54:32 and to share Him with others.
54:35 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.
54:38 Paul says, "The love of God compels us,"
54:41 the love of God constrains us,
54:43 the love of God urges, motivates, impels us,
54:48 "because we judge thus: that if One died for all,
54:51 then all died; and He died for all,
54:53 that those who live should live no longer for themselves,
54:56 but for Him who died for them and rose again."
54:59 The love of God in our hearts constrains us,
55:03 compels us to share Jesus with others.
55:07 And finally, number five,
55:08 we are called to be His ambassadors.
55:13 2 Corinthians 5, we are called to share
55:16 that reconciling message of God with the world.
55:20 I'm so grateful that love is the motivation.
55:23 Amen. Wow.
55:25 We'll give each one of you a chance oh,
55:27 happy day making God happy.
55:29 What could you say? No, I appreciate it, Brother.
55:32 Yeah, you know Brother Kenny
55:33 actually said something that's sparked my attention.
55:35 He said no one likes stinky water.
55:37 And you referenced the Dead Sea and as we were talking,
55:41 going through these lessons,
55:43 I remembered, you know, very, very nice illustration here.
55:46 The Dead Sea is dead for a reason.
55:47 Not only is it the lowest point,
55:49 but it receives water.
55:51 In other words, it receives most of its water
55:52 from the Jordan River,
55:53 but it doesn't put out anywhere.
55:56 You know, much like our experience,
55:57 are we receiving the goodness of God,
55:59 but not putting it out and not sharing it with others.
56:01 This series is going to help us have
56:03 a new perspective that hopefully
56:05 in sharing the gospel with others.
56:07 Amen. Stinky water?
56:12 Tuesday's lesson, I was drawing
56:13 something else I've been going by giving.
56:15 Now here I see a promise.
56:17 And I like a promise with satisfaction guaranteed.
56:20 And Jesus simply says, "Let him come and drink.
56:23 If any man's thirsty just come unto Me."
56:25 He's going to give you what you come for.
56:27 He's going to give you more maybe than what you even ask.
56:30 You can count on that. And then what?
56:33 We grow by giving by simply as God gives to us,
56:35 we simply just give to others.
56:37 That's right. Amen. Good.
56:39 Our dad used to say mine and Kenny's dad used to say
56:42 people do what they want to do.
56:45 So really, there's no excuse not to witness today.
56:48 Maybe you're confined to home,
56:50 whatever else most of you have at least one of these.
56:52 You can go on this, you can use your telephones,
56:55 you can write letters, you can talk to people.
56:58 There's all ways to communicate.
57:00 But in order to communicate the gospel,
57:03 we need to come to the foot of the cross,
57:05 deny ourselves, then it says,
57:07 pick up the cross and follow Him.
57:09 And then go give our own personal testimony.
57:11 Ellen White says, "Our greatest asset
57:13 is our own personal testimony of what God has done for us."
57:17 Amen.
57:18 Romans 5:8, "God demonstrated His own love for us
57:21 and that while we were still sinners, He died for us."
57:25 Thank you so much for all those happy days,
57:28 stinky water.
57:29 It's about all the things that people love.
57:32 And finally, we are witness to give people
57:34 their only chance to be saved,
57:36 we witness to give people their best chance to be saved.
57:40 We thank you for taken the time to join us.
57:42 We'd like to encourage you,
57:43 we have another wonderful lesson coming up.
57:45 When some witness
57:46 the power of personal testimony,
57:49 may you experience the power of your personal witness
57:52 until we see you again.


Revised 2020-07-06