Walking With God, Part 1
April 18, 2020
Nelson Mandela was one of the true heroes of the twentieth century. From his rural upbringing, he struggled to become a lawyer and became involved in the struggle to rid his home country—South Africa—of the system of apartheid, a legal system that forcibly separated people of different colors and races.
Mandela’s work with the African National Congress and his leadership in the Black community attracted the attention of the minority White government. He spent some years living and traveling in secret, trying to stay out of sight of the authorities.
Inevitably Mandela was arrested, tried for treason, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Mandela was imprisoned with hard labor on Robben Island. Over the 27 years he spent there, Mandela became a still more powerful leader and symbol of the struggle for equality and freedom in South Africa.
In the late 1980s Mandela began secret negotiations with the White South African government—at great personal risk. These delicate talks led to Mandela’s release from prison in early 1990, the reform of South Africa’s political system and the first free elections in South Africa’s modern history, at which Mandela was elected the first black president of South Africa.
Like all human stories, there are highs and lows, but Mandela’s commitment to the possibility of a peaceful transition to majority rule in South Africa is an inspiring example of noble struggle against seemingly overwhelming odds. It was a struggle to reclaim what Mandela and his people considered rightfully theirs.
Reflecting on his life journey in his autobiography, Mandela comments, “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my walk is not yet ended.”—Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (London: Little, Brown and Company, 1994), p. 617.
Memory Text: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14, NKJV).
Our Beliefs, no. 1, The Holy Scriptures: “The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration. The inspired authors spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to humanity the knowledge necessary for salvation.”
Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 7-9.
Read Matthew 18:20.
A group of five teens from your church meet one night each week to do Bible study with some older church members. You have been enjoying the studies and the time spent with the older people—whom you did not know well before—and feel that you are learning a lot, even though you might have found the study boring at first. Three of the teens told you they are not going to come any more because they get bored.
What would you say to them? Do you have any ideas that might help the meeting be more interesting for everyone? Why is Bible study and time with God important?
Read 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21.
God has given us everything we need to figure out how we should live and how to be ready for heaven. His Word, the Bible, gives us examples of men and women—both their failures and successes. The New Testament tells us about the life and death of God’s Son, Jesus. His life is an example of how we should live and treat others. The Bible tells us what is important and explains the great controversy between God and Satan. It tells us that Jesus is coming again, and explains how to be ready for His coming and life eternal spent with Him in heaven. The Bible was given to us to help us live in a world of sin and prepare us for a world without sin.
In what ways do you apply the truths found in the Bible in your everyday life?
What are you doing to take the messages given in the Bible seriously?
Unscramble this verse and find out what will help you in this life and prepare you for heaven. Write what it is on the line below. my lamp Your path a 105 on feet a Psalm word my 119: light is NIV for
Read Revelation 21:3.
When God perfectly created our world, He personally spent time with Adam and Eve, walking with them in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve sinned, this close relationship was no longer possible—in fact, they hid from God when they heard Him walking their way (see Genesis 3:8).
But God already had a plan to rebuild that relationship. He first worked through the people of Israel and lived among them, first in the Sanctuary tent and then in the Temple built in Jerusalem. However, this plan found its fullest reality in Jesus, who was God once again walking with people on the streets of our world. He was “God with us” (see Matthew 1:23).
In dying for us, Jesus paid the price for and made the way for our permanent reconnection with God. He promised to send the Holy Spirit to live in us as a continuing presence of God with us, and He promised that connection will one day be fully restored as again we can live in the actual presence of God (see Revelation 21:3).
Look up the texts from the New Living Translation and fill in the blanks. If you do not have a New Living Translation, go to www.BibleGateway .com, where you will find many translations of the Bible.
1. Genesis 3:8: “When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God about in the. So they from the Lord God among the.”
2. Exodus 25:8: “Have the of build me a holy so I can live among them.”
3. Matthew 18:20: “For where or gather together as my, I am there them.”
4. Luke 24:15, 27: “As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly and began with them. . . . Then took them the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the the concerning.”
5. John 1:14: “So the became and made his among us. He was full of and. And we have seen his, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”
6. Ephesians 3:17: “Then Christ will his home in your as you in him. Your will down into God’s and keep you.”
7. Revelation 3:20: “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you my and the door, I will come, and we will share a meal together as friends.”
8. Revelation 21:3: “I a loud shout from the saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his! He will live with, and they will be. God himself will be them.’”
Read Revelation 3:20.
Review the memory text.
Some Bible descriptions of God can be overwhelming to our human minds. Others are more comforting, like of a loving father or mother. All are important and help us have a balanced picture of God and His love. But the most appealing is God wanting to be with us, to share our days, to eat together and to talk—sometimes seriously, sometimes more lightheartedly. And ultimately, to live with you forever. Wouldn’t it be incredible to have such a relationship with God! In fact, this is truly possible. Jesus is willing and ready to start a genuine friendship with you right now!
Read Ephesians 3:12-20.
Monitoring the relationship. On these two tables, plot the progress of the relationship between God and humanity. On the first, observe the course of human history and how it reflects humanity’s walk with God, as reflected in the Bible verses listed in the God Says . . . section. For each event listed on the left, decide whether this was a step with God, toward God, or away from God.
|With God||Toward God||Away from God|
|Beginning— Genesis 1:27|
|The Fall—Genesis 3:8-10|
|God’s covenant promise to Noah— Genesis 9:14-17|
|Temple—1 Kings 6:13, 14|
|Israel continues to turn away from God—(rest of the Old Testament)|
|Resurrection—Luke 24:15, 27|
|Holy Spirit—Acts 2:1, 2|
|Babylon and this world’s system falls—Revelation 18:1-3|
On this second table, monitor your walk with God. Note significant points and plot the direction you would like the graph to continue into the future. Use the blank spaces to write in significant events in your own life and walk with God. Note some of the future choices you may have to make. In which direction do you want those decisions to move you?
|With God||Toward God||Away from God|
|A choice—Revelation 3:20|
|Growing closer—Ephesians 3:17|
|Your future walk|