January 12, 2019
Jim is a kind person. In fact, everyone thinks that Jim has it all figured out. He leads out in singing at church, he gets good grades, and everyone seems to really like him. You can often see Jim running errands for teachers or making sure that no one is left out of a game on the playing field. Jim is one of those people that seem to know the secret to happiness. He is never down or depressed. He always has a smile on his face for anyone who needs it. He continually tries to be better and better. In fact, some are strongly motivated to follow Jim’s positive example and make a difference for others. He is not even late to class unless he is helping out someone else.
The path of following Jesus’ example of holiness and obedience is what God desires for each of us. We are saved through the grace of Jesus Christ alone, and all those good things we do are a response to His love for us —a manifestation of His transforming grace working in us. We cannot earn salvation by our good works. However, if we accept Jesus’ sacrifice, good works will follow naturally. As James has written: “He who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25).
When we experience God’s saving grace, we will want to obey His commandments. Jesus says: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). As we live to honor God, He extends to us salvation freely. What a marvelous gift!
Memory Text: “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22).
Our Beliefs, no. 10, The Experience of Salvation: “Through Christ we are justified, adopted as God’s sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship of sin. . . . Abiding in Him, we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment.”
Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 46, 47.
Read Philippians 4:8.
Johnny has a bad habit. It seems as if no matter what he does, he keeps falling into the same thing again and again. He has asked God for victory, but he can’t stop wasting his time with useless entertainment.
Read Isaiah 45:22; Romans 10:17; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Titus 3:3-7
Becoming more like Christ is dependent on how we occupy our minds— what we focus on, look at, read, and think about. How do the above texts help us live a life free of fear so we have confidence in our eternal future?
“The cross of Calvary is to be lifted high above the people, absorbing their minds and concentrating their thoughts. . . . Then there will be a concentration of the energies in genuine work for the Master. The workers will send forth to the world beams of light, as living agencies to enlighten the earth” (Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 44).
Can you find the Bible reference that goes with this verse? Use the references listed below to find the correct one.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (, NKJV).
Mark 9:23 Jeremiah 31:31-34 Romans 3:21-26 John 3:3-8 Isaiah 53 Galatians 1:4 1 Peter 1:23 Romans 12:2 John 3:16
Read Hebrews 12:14
Why is holiness important? It is a mandate from God. However, don’t be confused. We still have sinful natures. We know that total perfection is received only through the grace of God and at the second coming of Jesus. But we have been called to be obedient to Christ and His will for us in every way that He reveals. This obedience always includes a desire not to sin and hurt our Best Friend, and to overcome temptation through the power of His grace.
As we seek what the Lord wants for us, we continue to grow in His grace. This becomes a more powerful desire in us the more we seek the heart of God. While we leave the work of perfecting to God, we concentrate on an ever closer walk with Him, and a better understanding of His grace.
As well, God has said He wants to give us life more abundantly. That is a life without the regrets that come from living our own way instead of His way. We want to be Christians who are walking in the light of God and looking at our past with happiness, not with regret. Obedience to God helps us with that.
Refer to the Lesson Study Guide for the activity.
Read 2 Peter 1:3, 4.
Review the memory verse.
You are the one who makes the choices in your life. “The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holiness” (Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 43). God is waiting for you to ask for His help, and He will bless you abundantly.
So the question becomes: What are you going to do with this knowledge? Continue on in making good decisions, and be encouraged in your pursuit of holiness.
Read Philippians 4:13
“God is the fountain of life, and we can have life only as we are in communion with Him” (Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 61).
The 21-Day Challenge
1. I would like to be obedient to God’s will in my life when it comes to:
2. A family member, Christian mentor, or trusted Christian friend would be interested in being accountability partners with me.
3. By God’s grace, I will commit the next three weeks (21 days) to overcoming one bad habit I have.
Here are some words of encouragement that God has already spoken to help you through the next 21 days:
Proverbs 3:5, 6—“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
1 Timothy 4:12—“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
Colossians 4:2—“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.”
Colossians 3:23, 24—“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”