Presentation on theme: "Lesson 11 for December 15, 2012. The Christian life involves several areas: 1.Stewardship. 2.Tithes and offerings. 3.Caring for oneself. 4.Marriage. 5.Labor."— Presentation transcript:
Lesson 11 for December 15, 2012
The Christian life involves several areas: 1.Stewardship. 2.Tithes and offerings. 3.Caring for oneself. 4.Marriage. 5.Labor relations. 6.Civic duties. 7.Social responsibility. “The Lord now calls upon Seventh-day Adventists in every locality to consecrate themselves to Him and to do their very best, according to their circumstances, to assist in His work. By their liberality in making gifts and offerings, He desires them to reveal their appreciation of His blessings and their gratitude for His mercy” E.G.W. (Last Day Events, cp. 6, pg. 78)
“We are God's stewards, entrusted by Him with time and opportunities, abilities and possessions, and the blessings of the earth and its resources. We are responsible to Him for their proper use. We acknowledge God's ownership by faithful service to Him and our fellow men, and by returning tithes and giving offerings for the proclamation of His gospel and the support and growth of His church. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15; 1 Chron. 29:14; Haggai 1:3-11; Mal. 3:8-12; 1 Cor. 9:9-14; Matt. 23:23; 2 Cor. 8:1-15; Rom. 15:26, 27.)” (21st fundamental belief) Everything is His, and He has given us all things. We must manage them wisely by living a useful life for Him, for ourselves and for others. We must consistently use our talents, time and possessions. Being God’s stewards involves admitting that Jesus is Lord over us and glorifying Him in with our lives. “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1) “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20)
The North-American Division Stewardship Department suggested the next steps to cheerfully give our tithes, since “God loves a cheerful giver” (2Co. 9:7): Step 1: Accepting our relationship with God. True worship only arises from the heart that is in harmony with God. Therefore, the first step is to accept our relationship with God. Step 2: Accepting God as our Creator. The Creator provides us for our needs and that’s something we admit when we give our tithe back. When we seek His Kingdom and His Justice first, we choose to live a new life. Tithing helps us to change our priorities. Step 3: Renouncing our ownership and accepting His. We worship God with our tithe so we remember that everything belongs to Him and that we need His help to manage it. By giving our tithe we accept the responsibility of carefully managing all the gifts He has given us to care for.
The North-American Division Stewardship Department suggested the next steps to cheerfully give our tithes, since “God loves a cheerful giver” (2Co. 9:7): Step 4: Admitting God’s care, direction and love. The tithe we give God back remind us about how He cares about us; because He has already provided for all our daily needs before we tithe. Step 5: Accepting that we must be holy for God. He is our Owner and He makes us holy, putting us aside for a special use. When we tithe, we admit that every part of our lives belongs to Him. Therefore, tithing is saying that we are also “put aside” for God. Step 6: Reconsecrating our lives to God. If we accept that the tithe is holy and it belongs to God, we also admit that we are blessed to handle what is holy. Tithing is a chance to completely reconsecrating our lives to God.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt. 22:39) When we read this words Jesus quoted from Leviticus 19:18, we understand that the first step to love our neighbors is to love ourselves. We are high valuable treasures and we must respect and love ourselves. If you love yourself, you want what’s best for you; and what’s best for you is a life that is committed to God, a life that reflects the character and love of God, a life that is lived not for self but for the good of others. But, why must we love ourselves? Because Christ loves us first (1Jn. 4:9). He gives us life (Jn. 20:31) and loves each one of us as the most precious thing (Zech. 2:8) “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:15)
“And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:23-25) According to the Bible, marriage is an institution put in place by God, in which two adults of different gender covenant to share an intimate and lasting personal relationship. Biblical marriage is marked by an appreciation of the equality of the male and female, a deep bond of unity where goals are blended and a sense of permanence and faithfulness and trust. As with a relationship with God, the relationship between a husband and a wife should be sacredly guarded.
How must the believer treat his/her manager or employees? 1.As employer or manager: We must treat our employees with love and respect. “And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him” (Ephesians 6:9) Our employees must be fairly paid. “Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth” (James 5:4) 2.As an employee: Do our job as if we were working for Jesus. “Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:5-6)
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor” (Romans 13:1-7)
Submit to and respect the civil authority Pay taxesTake part in the civic duties Respect the traffic code Respect the property laws Cooperate with the civil authorities on stopping or controlling crime and violence Regarding the civic duties, Christians…
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3) “It is through the social relations that Christianity comes in contact with the world. Every man or woman who has received the divine illumination is to shed light on the dark pathway of those who are unacquainted with the better way. Social power, sanctified by the Spirit of Christ, must be improved in bringing souls to the Saviour. Christ is not to be hid away in the heart as a coveted treasure, sacred and sweet, to be enjoyed solely by the possessor. We are to have Christ in us as a well of water, springing up into everlasting life, refreshing all who come in contact with us” E.G.W. (The Ministry of Healing, cp. 41 “In contact with others”, pg. 496)