Sabbath School Summary
To Love Mercy
Memory Text: Psalm 112:4, 5
SATURDAY: Our greatest adversary—Satan & his right-hand helpers—angels are in our world furthering their own malicious designs. They causes evil to abound through slavery, violence, oppression, & poverty. Although God’s restoration of our world will be made complete when He comes again, He bids us to show love & compassion to the downtrodden & oppressed. He calls us to “love mercy” (Mic. 6:8).
The Bible is filled with passionate descriptions of God’s concern for the poor and oppressed, as well as calls for His people to work in their behalf. Despite the attention given to these issues, this biblical mandate has seen just sporadic and partial fulfillment and will be made complete only with the return of Christ and the supernatural events that follow.
Until then evil persists in many forms, fueled by the dark spiritual influences of the devil and his angels. This evil is often made most visible in poverty, violence, oppression, slavery, exploitation, selfishness, and greed. In such a world, our communities, our churches, and our families need to stand up against these evils no matter how hard at times it is to do so. In response to the love and commands of God, living in light of the ministry and sacrifice of Jesus and empowered and guided by the presence of the Holy Spirit, we must be compassionate, creative, and courageous in seeking “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Mic. 6:8, NIV).
SUNDAY: The candidate for heaven “live by a different set of values & priorities than does the world”. He prioritize others above himself. He put human life above food & cloth (Matt. 6:25-33). He puts God first in all his doings & possesses pure affections for the needy (Rom. 13:1-7; Acts 5:29; Matt. 22:21). “When the laws of men conflict with the word and law of God, we are to obey the latter” (1T, pp. 201, 202).
MONDAY: Our love to do good should not be overshadowed by the troubles in this world. Our compassion should outweigh our weariness. Jesus in His ministry taught us that there’s nothing like “compassion fatigue”. We must educate ourselves about the injustice in this world, commit ourselves to prayer (1 Tim. 2:1, 2; Prov. 2:7, 8), and to have proper expectations (see Matt. 7:12).
TUESDAY: Generosity is an abiding principle in God’s glorious city. “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). The true mark of “those who fear the Lord” is generosity (Ps. 112:5). Generosity is not only about money (Mark 12:41-44), but a life of service just like Christ’s (Philem. 1:6). We should live more for others than for ourselves (Lev. 25:35-37, Ps. 119:36, 2 Cor. 8:12-15, 1 John 3:16-18, see 1 Tim. 6:17-19).
“God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7, NIV), and generous giving is an important aspect of the Christian life. While we must allow the Bible to challenge our giving and financial priorities, generosity is more than just throwing money at a cause, no matter how worthy.
Instead, generosity is one of the largest of life attitudes and a key quality of “those who fear the LORD”, as noted a number of times in Psalm 112: “Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice” (Ps. 112:5, NIV).
WEDNESDAY: At the heart of war, troops are deployed to the battlefield for peacekeeping. At the heart of the conflict in our world, as God’s troops, He has deployed us to be peacemakers (Matt. 5:9, Mark 13:7). Christ Himself came to earth to reconcile us back to God, He was & is our peacemaker (2 Cor. 5:18-21). We should seek peace, kill not & love our enemies (Matt. 5:21-26, 43-48, read MB, p. 28).
THURSDAY: The silence of good men have prospered evil in our world. We’re not to be indifferent. God bids us to be “a voice for the voiceless”. Yes, there is a time to be silent, but not in the midst of oppression (Eccles. 3:7). Jesus calls us to be His voice—speaking on behalf of God & those He wants to defend before becoming His hands & feet—practical service (Ps. 146:6-10, read Isaiah 58:1-10, 1 Pet. 3:17, Luke 6:20, Matt. 25:35, 36).
FRIDAY: The cross reveals God’s mercy. It is our duty to proclaim the gospel of mercy. We must ensure others obtain the mercy we have received. Our love for God should be supreme, and our love for others should be unselfish. The golden rule must be put into practice. “This love, cherished in the soul, sweetens the life and sheds a refining influence on all around”.
—Ellen G. White, “A Higher Experience,” pp. 503-516, in The Ministry of Healing; “Duty to the Unfortunate” and “Man’s Duty to His Fellow Men,” pp. 511-526, in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3; “Doing for Christ,” pp. 24-37, in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2. Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 137. The Acts of the Apostles, p. 551.
1T- Testimonies for the Church, Volume 1.
Compassion Fatigue- “the idea that we are so exposed to sorrow and tragedy that many of us become weary of the many causes that call for our emotional energy and financial support.
MB- Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing.
SUNDAY- Kingdom Priorities
MONDAY- Compassion Fatigue
THURSDAY- A Voice For The Voiceless
📌 As we have seen in this week’s study, the gospel continues to be the template and motivation for acting on behalf of others as Jesus acted on our behalf. How has this expanded your understanding and appreciation of the good news of what God has done for us and how He shows His love for us?
📌 Raising our voices for the voiceless, engaging in peacemaking, and similar activities may draw us into public and political arenas. However, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been a champion of the separation of church and state. What is the difference between inappropriate political involvement and speaking up and working to make peace in public ways?
📌 What one step or action discussed in this week’s study would you like to take in your life and community? How can you make it happen?
📌 What issue of evil and oppression have you decided to pray for in your community or in the wider world?
Entire Lesson Summary
Becoming a follower of Jesus will change our lives in many ways, including producing in us a passion to join in with God’s active concern for the poor and downtrodden. Never an easy task and rarely popular, this will change our priorities and motivate us to take active steps to heal the hurt in the world around us.
U.S. Biker Embraces Sabbath
By Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission
The invitation startled Richard Smith as he stopped at a senior center to collect meals to deliver on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle to retirees in the U.S. state of West Virginia.
“Would you like to go to the Seventh-day Adventist church with me?” asked Ruth, who also worked at the senior center.
“I don’t know”, Richard said. “I don’t know anything about the Adventist Church”.
Richard, 72, had visited various Sunday churches during two marriages and two jobs. But he had never been baptized. He didn’t know which church to join, and he often thought, “If God wakes me up one day and says go to a different church, I want to be able to pack up and move”.
So, when Ruth invited him to church, he replied, “Let’s try my churches first”.
He asked Ruth, a divorced nurse six years his junior, for her opinion after visiting a first church together on Sunday.
“If I just wanted breakfast, it was good”, Ruth said about the church’s doughnuts and fruit juice.
In reply to his query after the second church, Ruth noted that the pastor had spent much more time on the announcements than the sermon.
Ruth’s observations gave Richard a new perspective, and he finally agreed to go with her to an Adventist church. Soon he began to ply its pastor, Bill Hunt, with questions about the Bible, and the answers amazed him.
“It was like I had this veil over my head”, Richard said. “I could see through it, but everything was kind of hazy. Bill yanked that veil off my head and I said, ‘Wow, things are as clear as a bell!’”
Richard also shared a common interest with the pastor; they both are bikers.
Then the pastor invited Richard to attend an evangelistic series—one of 35 evangelistic series in West Virginia that were funded by a 2015 Thirteenth Sabbath Offering. Richard attended with Ruth and was baptized. In all, eight people were baptized after the 2016 meetings at the Huntington church.
Today, Richard, pictured left, is 72 and sharing his love for Jesus with anyone who will listen.
“The Lord takes such good care of me, and I think, ‘Why?’” he said. “I know He talks care of everybody, but why? It’s like I am sitting down at the table, looking at my plate, and everything on it I like to eat. What more can I ask for?”
For September 14-20. Happy Sabbath.