Sabbath School Lesson Review 2018 Quarter 1 Lesson 1
Sabbath School Lesson 2018 Quarter 1 Lesson 1 Friday
How would you define the word “stewardship?” Since this word has fallen out of use in many circles, can you come up with a more up-to-date English word for that? How would you define the word “materialism?”
Read Romans 12:2. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” KJV
Why does Paul use the word “conformed” in relation to the world and “transformed” for the work God is doing in our lives? The remedy bible version “Do not continue to practice the destructive methods of selfishness, which infect the world, but be completely transformed into God’s image by the renewing of your mind. Then you will value God’s principles, practice his methods, and discern his will–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Read 1 John 2:16 For everything in the world (including sinful people) is infected with selfishness, and this selfishness is expressed in three primary avenues: sensualism, materialism and egotism. And this terminal infection does not come from the Father but is part of this sick world. 17 This sick world and its selfish desires will pass away, but those who willingly experience God’s healing and re-creation of hearts and minds will live forever.” REMEDY
What are some different options for understanding the term “world” in the Bible? How is it used here? How does this passage describe what really matters in life as well as some of the other options that people choose?
Read Luke 14: 26 “Any person who loves their mother, father, wife, children, brothers or sisters—and yes, even their own life—more than me, keeps selfishness supreme in their heart and cannot be on my spiritual health-care team. 27 Anyone who refuses to die to selfishness and follow me in loving others more than self cannot be trusted by me to distribute the Remedy that I bring. 28 “If you want to build a tower, would you not, before you start, consider the cost and be sure you have enough resources to complete it? 29 If you lay the foundation but then don’t complete it, all who see it will think you are foolish 30 and say, ‘That person doesn’t complete what they start.’ 31 “Or what kind of king would go to war without first considering whether his ten thousand soldiers could win against the twenty thousand of his enemy? 32 If winning is unlikely, would he not send a peace delegation, long before the battle begins, to seek a peaceful solution? 33 In the same way, anyone who does not die to selfishness—giving up heart attachment to all they possess—cannot be trusted by me to distribute the Remedy that I bring.
How does Jesus portray what really matters in life and how to achieve it? How can we know if the things we own, even if not many, own us as well?
Read Luke 12:15 Then he said to the crowd, “Stay alert! Be on guard against selfishness and greed, the value of a person’s life is not determined by how much wealth they possess.” 16 Then he told them this parable: “The farm of a rich landowner produced an abundant crop. 17 He thought to himself, ‘This is more than I can store, what should I do?’ 18 So he decided, ‘I know, I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones to store up all this wealth. 19 And then I’ll say to myself, “You have wealth—plenty of reserves for years to come. Relax and enjoy the good life.”‘ 20 “But God enlightened him to reality: ‘Oh, you foolish man! Don’t you realize that tonight you will die? Then who will get all your wealth?’ 21 “This is what happens to those who—motivated by fear and selfishness—store up wealth for themselves but don’t become rich in God’s love.”
What is the primary principle Jesus is illustrating here? Could the same principle apply to someone who is not rich?
Read Deuteronomy 8:10-16 After a meal, satisfied, bless God, your God, for the good land he has given you. Make sure you don’t forget God, your God, by not keeping his commandments, his rules and regulations that I command you today. Make sure that when you eat and are satisfied, build pleasant houses and settle in, see your herds and flocks flourish and more and more money come in, watch your standard of living going up and up—make sure you don’t become so full of yourself and your things that you forget God, your God,
the God who delivered you from Egyptian slavery;
the God who led you through that huge and fearsome wilderness,
those desolate, arid badlands crawling with fiery snakes and scorpions;
the God who gave you water gushing from hard rock;
the God who gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never heard of, in order to give you a taste of the hard life, to test you so that you would be prepared to live well in the days ahead of you.
How does this description apply to the developed world today? How can one avoid this syndrome?
Read Matthew 6:22 “Your eyes are windows into your mind. If your eyes are open wide and you are honest with the evidence, your mind will be filled with light and truth. 23 But if you view things through jaded eyes, tainted with selfishness, then you will distort the evidence and your mind will be darkened; then, even the light that enters will be warped into greater self-deception, and the darkness will be great! 24 “No one can be loyal and true to two antagonistic principles: If you embrace selfishness, you will hate selflessness; and if you love beneficence, you will hate greed. You cannot serve both the God of love and the god of money.
What does the eye represent? What does it mean by an unhealthy eye? How should Christians react when they see images that tempt them to buy things, use things or otherwise act out in ways that are not consistent with God’s will or even their own best image of themselves?
What strategies do advertisers use to get our attention and get us to act?
Read Galatians 5:16 So I tell you plainly: Live by the principles and power of the Spirit, and you will not practice the selfish methods of survival-of-the-fittest.
We tend to associate lust with sexuality. What other kinds of lusts are there?
Read Romans 12:3 For by God’s grace poured out on me, I say to all of you: don’t get caught in the trap of thinking you are somehow better than others; rather, be honest with yourself about your own state of spiritual health. The greater your trust in God is, the more you will realize that all your strength, wisdom, and godliness of character has come from him, and you will no longer consider yourself in any way superior to others.
How is faith related to an accurate assessment of oneself? What is it that drives us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think?
Read 1 Timothy 6:6 But taking the Remedy–experiencing transformation of character to be like Christ–is wealth beyond words. 7 We entered the world with nothing, and we won’t take any earthly belongings with us when we die. 8 All we need is the basics to provide us enough physical and mental health to be able to appreciate and partake of the Remedy. 9 People who pursue earthly wealth fall into the trap of self-advancement, fail to appreciate and partake of the Remedy, and their selfish desires lead to foolish choices and ultimate self-destruction. 10 The love of money is rooted in selfishness, which is the source of all evil. Some greedy people have rejected the Remedy, injured others to get ahead, and have ultimately damaged their own character.
What does Paul call the root of all evil? What is Paul’s cure for the love of money?
Read Philippians 2:3 Don’t do anything for selfish reasons or seek to promote yourself ahead of others, but in humbleness and love be more concerned for the welfare and good of others than for your own.
How does this verse help us understand why materialism is so contrary to the Christian ideal?
Read Deuteronomy 7:6 Do this because you are a people set apart as holy to God, your God. God, your God, chose you out of all the people on Earth for himself as a cherished, personal treasure.
1 Peter 2:9 But you, who trust God and build upon the Stone, are a select and special people—royal ministers of God’s healing Remedy, a clean and purified nation, a people whose hearts and minds are in unity and oneness with God—who with words and lives may commend him who called you out of the darkness of fear and selfishness into his wonderful light of truth and love.
John 15:5 “I am the vine from which all truth and life originates, and you, who receive truth and life from me, are the branches. If a person remains connected to me and in unity with me, I will never sever the connection, and they will develop a fruitful, Godlike character; but separated from me–they can do nothing good.”
Galatians 2:20 The old me who lived for self–who sought to get instead of give, the me who lived on the survival-of-the-fittest principle–died when I recognized the true significance of all that Christ has done. That old me no longer lives, but Christ–with his character of self-sacrificing love–now lives in me. The life I now live in this body I live by trust in the Son of God, who loved me and freely gave himself to win me back to trust and to purge humanity from selfishness and death.
What does it mean to be God’s possession? Where do we find our true identity? If all our possessions were suddenly taken away, would we feel that we have lost our identity?
Is there any message in this lesson for the poor, or is it primarily directed toward those who have more than enough?
Everyone needs some money in order to live. How can we keep money, and our need for money, in the right biblical perspective?
Some additional commentary; “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,” so look after it, please, “that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” What I like about this is, the kind of worship God desires is described as rational, intelligent, spiritual worship; not mechanical, not ritualistic, not ceremonial. But we worship an intelligent God.
He wants us to worship him in spirit and in truth, Jesus said. So to do something mechanical, learned by rote, is a terrible misrepresentation of the truth about God. Remember Isaiah? “Your worship of me is but the commandments of men learned by rote.” You come into the temple, but your hearts aren’t in it.
Remember the Sabbath-keepers in Amos? All that kind of unthinking obedience suggests an unthinking God. So Romans 12: 1, 2 is a magnificent passage. Therefore with all my heart I urge you, brothers and sisters, to consider how merciful God is in providing his Remedy, and to surrender your entire being to God as a living sacrifice—to be healed and transformed into God’s image. This is the most reasonable, logical and intelligent worship you could ever offer. Do not continue to practice the destructive methods of selfishness, which infect the world, but be completely transformed into God’s image by the renewing of your mind. Then you will value God’s principles, practice his methods, and discern his will–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The kind of worship God wants is worship that is appropriate to the kind of God that he is. And I think that really affects the way we worship. You know when we go through an hour of worship—you remember the things we all do in the right and proper order.
We have a song service, and get the books out, and we sing, and have you ever sung a song through and hardly noticed the words? Have you ever repeated the Lord’s Prayer and come to the Amen, and you can’t remember saying anything in between? Well, you hope God enjoyed it, anyway. Or, you hold that last note long and high, which is fun at times, but why do we do it? Or if we repeat things over and over, and over and over and over, as some do, does God kind of like that?
If you were God, how would you want to be worshipped? The way we worship God? If you were God, would you want people to meet for an hour and do the things we sometimes do for the hour? We sometimes worship God as if he were less intelligent than we are. I love Paul’s comment here. He wants intelligent, rational, spiritual worship. Or do you have “worship of heart and mind” in your version? Do you have that in yours? The worship of heart and mind? It’s intelligent worship, because he’s that kind of a God. I believe if God is the kind of a God we are convinced he is from going through the sixty-six, it will greatly affect the way we worship, the way we pray, certainly the way we treat each other.
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