The Habits of a Steward

The Habits of a Steward

Scripture: Psalms 119:9-11, Ephesians 5:15-17, Colossians 3:23
Date: 03/24/2018  Lesson: 12
"Of all the good habits a Christian could have, seeking God first thing every day would have to be the most important one of all."
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Hello, friends, we'd like to welcome all of you once again to Sabbath School Study Hour coming to you here from the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church. This is our in-depth Bible study portion of our worship service. We'd like to welcome our online members and also those who are joining us across the country and around the world, and also the members and the visitors right here at the Granite Bay church, always a joy to see you week after week as we study together. We've been studying through our lesson quarterly dealing with the subject of stewardship. We're nearing the end of our quarterly and we're on lesson number 12 today.

It is entitled "the habits of a steward". Then after that we have one more that we would be dealing with this subject. Now for those of you who are joining us that don't have a copy of the study, you can download one at the following website, just study.aftv.org. Just study.aftv.org, and you can follow along with us with the notes right there in front of you. And also for those joining us on Facebook, we appreciate all of the questions that have been coming in.

And about 20 minutes into the lesson this morning, Pastor Doug's going to give us a few moments to ask Bible questions. So those of you on Facebook, if you have a question related to the subject of stewardship or the subject dealing with habits, making good habits, type that in and we'll try to answer as many of those questions during our study time today. We also have a free offer. For those joining us in North America for free, we'll be happy to send you a book entitled "remember lot's wife". And this free offer is offer number 108.

And the number to call for that is 866-788-3966 or 866-study-more. If you're outside North America, you can still read it. Just go to the Amazing Facts website, just amazingfacts.org. Well, before we get to our study this morning, we're going to have a special musical item. I'd like to invite some of our members right here at Granite Bay and they'll be bringing us something in music this morning.

O sacred head, now wounded with grief and shame weighed down now scornfully surrounded with thorns, thine only crown O sacred head, what glory what bliss till now was thine! Yet, though despised and gory I joy to call thee mine What thou, my Lord, hast suffered was all for sinners' gain mine, mine was the transgression but thine the deadly pain Lo, here I fall, my Savior! 'Tis I deserve thy place look on me with thy favor vouchsafe to me thy grace What language shall I borrow to thank thee, dearest friend for this thy dying sorrow thy pity without end? O make me thine forever and should I fainting be Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to thee Let's bow our heads for word of prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, once again we are grateful for the opportunity together to get and open up Your Word and study this important subject of stewardship, and in particular how we can form good habits. So we pray, Lord, once again with the Holy Spirit. We're praising to God our hearts, our minds, lead us into a clear understanding of truth and your will for our lives, in Jesus' Name, amen. We're just delighted that Pastor Doug will be bringing us our lesson study this morning.

Amen. Delighted, that's what happened to the lightning bugs when it got hit by the long lawn mower. Morning, everybody. I'm glad to see you and I want to welcome our friends that are watching on satellite or on the internets. And Karen and I just got back yesterday from nashville, we met a number of people in the south there that were attending the national religious broadcasters convention and so many watched the program, both members and nonmembers and so that was very exciting.

And they want to encourage you as Pastor Ross mentioned that if you have any questions on the study today and the lesson today is dealing with habits of a steward, talking about your lifestyle, how to overcome habits, habits of time management, living out the ministry and the message, then you can text those to us, go to our Facebook page and you can text them, there's someone in the back, they'll then put them up on the screen. We're going to try and take some live questions during the program. But let's begin and by the way, it's lesson number 12, "habits of a steward" and there's a memory verse. And the memory verse is from the book of Psalms 119:9 through 11. I'd invite you to say this with me.

This is by the way from the new king James version. Are you ready? Psalm 119:9 through 11. "How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word. With my whole heart I have sought you. Oh, let me not wander from your commandments! Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin.

.." How many of you know that? "Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you." That's one part of that great psalm that all of us should remember. Well, you know, this suit, I like this suit, but it's just, it's a magnet. It just picks up hair all the time and it looks like I've been wrestling with a sled dog. Anyway, okay, back to our lesson. So we're going to be dealing with some of the very important core issues of being a Christian.

Talking about habits, you know, it all boils down to habits. Daniel had a habit of daily prayer, we'll talk about that in a minute. Paul, it says, "as his custom was..." What's a custom? It's a habit. As his custom was, he would go to the synagogue on the Sabbath. What about.

.. And that's acts 17:1. What about Jesus' custom? Have you read before where it says, as his custom was, he would go to the synagogue, that is Luke 4:16. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15, "do not be deceived, 'evil company corrupts good habits.'" So where is one of the ways that you get bad habits? Bad company. How many of you have seen good kids raised in a good home, they hang out with the wrong people and they start picking up the habits.

You ever have your kids come home and they use a word you know they did not learn at home? And you say, "who have you been playing with?" Right? And in the same way, picking good friends help develop good habits. So you need to cultivate good habits to overcome the bad ones, you overcome evil with good. You know, we're not exactly sure who originated this statement because there are several people who have shared different variations of it but you've probably heard it before. Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch Your Words, they become actions.

Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. And watch your character because it will become your destiny. And so the little daily habits really make up who you are and they determine your eternal destiny, so how important is this study, dealing with everything. Now, am I the only one that find it's easy to develop a bad habit and hard to develop a good one? How do you change your habit? Well, it's sort of like developing a habit in reverse.

I used to smoke, but you may be shocked to know I was not born smoking. I learned to smoke. And what happened is one day, the other kids after school were hanging around outside, they were smoking and I was now in junior high, they wanted to be tough. I don't know I must have been 12 years old. My mother had cigarettes on the piano that for company, anyone could take one back then everybody smoked.

So I said, I took one, I was so used to smoke as my parents smoked it, you know, some kids smoke and they start coughing, I was so used to secondhand smoke, I didn't have that experience. And so I smoked one cigarette walking to school and I just did one a day walking to school. I thought, "oh, I kind of like the feeling, that's a good drug. And then I started taking two, I take one to smoke on my way to school, one to smoke... And, you know, if I tried to stop after the first day, probably thought I can stop any time, I don't do this very often, not a problem.

I can stop any time. What difference can one make? You ever heard that? And then I started taking two, one to school, one on the way from school, and then I realized my mom's going to notice that I'm pilfering her cigarettes that she's put in, there is a little porcelain thing on the piano with cigarette sticking out, looked like a birthday cake, anyway for company. And they were all stale cigarettes 'cause they'd been sitting there a long time. I said, she's going to notice, so I managed to get a pack and back then they had cigarette machines and any kid could buy a pack of cigarettes, it's like 30 cents. So I started getting my own.

And then it just got worse and worse and so for years, I got to where then I couldn't quit. And once or twice, well, it's like Mark twain said, I quit 100 times, nothing not hard to quit, I did it a hundred times. It was staying quit that was difficult. So you're not born smoking, you learn it. Little by little you develop a groove.

And the way that you break a habit is the same thing, you need to take time practicing, doing something different. Let me see if I could illustrate it this way. Here is a big meadow and you want to get to the other side of the meadow 'cause there's a beautiful spring there you want to drink from, and there's cliffs on the side you can't get around, you got to get through the meadow. But the problem is, all through this meadow are berry bushes. Now, berries aren't so bad but walking through the berries, they tear you to pieces, I know because we have them up in covelo.

And the first time you tried, you notice, any of you tried to walk through hedges of berries. It just tears you up. It sticks to your clothes, you get scratched, this is miserable, but you want to get across there. And so the first time you try to get across, you stomp... And I've done it before, you just say, I mean, this is, you know, which is one I'm pulling a little berry aside and put my foot, I'm stepping on these, while I pull those aside and then I'm stepping on these.

Sometimes I have garden clippers and I'll clip a few, and you fight your way through and you get your drink and so wonderful, and then you fight your way back and it was tough. But the next day you want to go get a drink. It's a little easier, isn't it? Because you started a path and so you still find you miss stuff, you get snagged. Little by little that trail if you continue to use it, gets wider until pretty soon the berries don't touch you anymore. That's like breaking a bad habit.

The first time you say, I don't want to do this anymore, I want a new path, it's a struggle. But every time in your brain you say no to the temptation, you're building a path and it gets easier and easier and easier and conversely, when you develop a bad habit, every time you say yes to something bad... Any of you remember the sermon I did on cold confession about my addiction to ice cream? Do you know I was not born eating ice cream? I developed that habit and it started through once or twice that, you know, my mom, couple times a week she'd say, "you can have ice cream for dessert." And I enjoyed it so much. I want to do it every night. And when I moved to live with my dad, I got to be a teenager, I could do it every night.

And then just it got to where I developed a habit where I thought I had to have it every night, but it started little by little. The way you change your habit is the same thing in reverse, you got to say no little by little and then replace it with something good, instead, tofu ice cream or whatever it happens to be. So the whole Christian life it revolves around habits, and you want to have the good habits. Listen to this in testimonies volume 4, there's a quote, this is in your lesson. "We shall individually, for time and eternity, be what our habits make us.

The lives of those who form right habits, and are faithful in the performance of every duty, will be as shining lights, shedding bright beams upon the pathway of others." Our good influence will affect others. So we want to have the habits that will please God. All right, here we're going to start going into some of those sections now in your lesson. Here's a habit, a habit of making God a priority. Think it says in your studies, seeking God first.

Matthew 6:33, "what's to be the priority for the Christian?" Seek ye... How many of you know this one? You know The Song? Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, seeking the righteousness of God in your life, seeking his kingdom in your life, making that the priority of everything you do. When you evaluate what are the priorities for your day, and what you're going to say, and what you're going to do, always ask "how will this affect the Kingdom of God? How will this communicate the righteousness of Jesus?" You ever met anybody that the only way you could see things the way they see things as if you put on their glasses? You know what I'm talking about, they got the strange belief. I hope I don't hurt anybody's feelings. But Pastor Ross and I got a phone call last week at the radio station, and at the beginning of the call they just seemed so nice, and then they began to try to persuade me that the earth was flat.

Now if I heard that a few years ago, I thought this is a joke but they are dead serious. And they started looking at all the verses in the Bible and I had never looked at the verses that way to say the earth was flat. And I had to see what they see the way they see it, you have to wear their glasses. As a Christian, you need to put on glasses where you see everything in life through the spectacles of God's kingdom is the priority. That's good, those are good glasses.

Some people put on the wrong glasses and they see everything through the perspective of how will this benefit me? What will this get me? And as a Christian you don't think that way, you think how will this glorify God? How will this spread His Word? So seeking God first must be the priority. Was that the priority with Jesus? Luke 2:46, "so it was after three days..." Remember, mary and Joseph on their way back from the feast, they thought Jesus was somewhere in the parade of people heading north and they didn't see him. Says after three days, they found him in the temple sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking questions, and all who heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. So when they, mary and Joseph saw him, they were amazed. And his mother said, "son, why have you done this to us? Look, your father and I have sought you anxiously.

" And he said, "why did you seek me? Did you not know I must be about my father's business?" What was the priority for Jesus? The Father's business, more than his mother and his father? Matthew 10:37, "he who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Now did God model what he teaches? Did God put his son on the altar for us? So his love for us, did Abraham put his son on the altar for God? Did Jesus put himself on the altar to save us? God is saying, I need to be your priority, even at the expense of your life, seeking first his kingdom. That's easy in theory for me to stand here and teach that, I'll tell you it's really hard in practicing that. And I talk to somebody just this last week that lost a child in a terrible accident, a pastor, actually lost a grandchild. And we wrote a note and said, "we know how you feel." And they understood that's all we needed to say, we know. Matter of fact, I didn't even said, I think I said, "how you feel?" We just said, "we know.

" And it's hard to explain. So when you're talking theory about putting it all on the altar, it sounds really good in church, but when you get out of church... You talk about will, I love him more than my father and mother, Jesus said, you know, even for seeking husband or wife for my sake in the Gospels, really making God a priority. That's hard. But when you think about it, it's the logical thing to do because what do you love more, a gift or the one who gives you the gift? It should be, I mean, are you going to love the.

.. It's like people worshipping the sun instead of the one who made the sun, right? So we're to worship the giver more than the gift, and so even our family and our loved ones come from God. I knew a lady that she learned the truth and she was going to church for a while and that bothered her husband, he didn't believe, and then she started missing church. And I said, "sister, you know, I haven't seen you for a while." "But my husband, he, you know, I got to honor my husband, he doesn't want me to go to church." And I said, "you know, there's a lot of areas where I think that would be true, but if you're putting him above God that's a mistake, you need to put God first." And her husband had a terrible accident at work that nearly killed him, put him in the hospital, I went to the hospital to visit him. And she said in front of her husband, "I had made a mistake, I put my husband ahead of God and God almost took my husband away.

" And reminding me that he needs to be first in my life and sometimes the best thing you can do to reach the ones you love is by putting God first, not by putting them first. And so he really needs to be the priority. Now someone's going to read for me in a moment Proverbs 2, if you have that, all right. I'm going to read a couple of others. Hosea 5:15, said "I will return again to my place, I will return again to my place till they have acknowledged their offense.

They will seek my face in their affliction, they will earnestly seek me." Why does God sometimes allow us to go through trials? To get our priorities right. Have you ever discovered that? Sometimes you get shocked all of a sudden you think, you know, the only thing that really matters is a loving God, loving my neighbor, and it is so easy for us to get distracted with other things. Now go ahead and read for us please your verse. "If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." Thank you. Yeah, that's Proverbs 2:4 and 5.

Seeking after the wisdom of God, of course, that's the Spirit of God. One of the gifts of the Spirit is wisdom. And so it's talking about seeking after God. How? More than any earthly treasure. I don't know if I should tell you this, but this week Karen and I were at a convention, we're in a hotel room, turned on the tv.

I always feel little conflicted mentioning tv 'cause I think most Christians would be better if they didn't even have a tv. Many believers would be Christians if they didn't have tv, anyway so I'm confessing, we turn on the tv. And then I thought we'll put on discovery channel, maybe there will be something edifying. And they went in this long thing about these people that have been spend years and millions of dollars, looking for treasure on an island called the oak island or something like that. People died looking for the treasure and it's all based on some legends and myths, and personally from what I saw, I don't think there's any treasure there.

But they dug holes and friends died, and they're looking for treasure, years, generations, looking for treasure. And I thought would God, that people would look for God that way, invest their means, invest their energy, put their lives on the line, seeking after God like treasure. And this is what Solomon is saying, and that we should make that priority. Psalm 27:8, "when you said, "seek my face," my heart said to you, "your face, o Lord, will I shall seek." What was the big desire in the heart of Moses? I mean, Moses had a close relationship with God. If you could ask God a question, what would you ask? Solomon asked for wisdom.

Moses said, "Lord, I want to see your glory. Can I see your face?" And so often in the Bible says, "no man could see God and live." Meaning, we can't see The Father and his glory in our sinful condition. But Revelation concludes by saying and they will see his face. Blessed are the pure in heart for, what? They will see God. And so that ought to be the big desire of our life.

Someone was talking to martin luther about, you know, all the different things in heaven, what will you want to do in heaven and there will be golden streets in heaven, and he said, I just want to see the face of the Lord. Two of the most exalted angels in all of eternity, their job is to be in the presence of God and look at his face, and they just declared glory, glory, glory, holy, holy, holy, just to see the face of the Lord. All right, and we do this through our personal devotions. Now we're talking about habits. In the… it's letter 36, 1901, it says, "every morning dedicate your soul, body, and spirit to God, establish habits of devotion, trust more and more in your Savior.

" Now, what does it say about Daniel in chapter 6, when he went to his upper room? He knelt on his knees and he prayed for Jerusalem, windows are open. How many times? Three times a day. Did he just start doing that when darius became king, or what does it say? As he had done, since he was a youth. He developed a habit of reading the word. How do you know he read the word? You read in Daniel 9, it says, I was reading the prophecy of Jeremiah.

Another reason I know that Daniel read the word. Why did he prayed towards Jerusalem? Because he read in the Bible where Solomon said, if you're carried away because of your sins then you pray towards this place. Why did he pray three times a day? 'Cause Daniel read in the Bible in psalm 55 where king David said, "morning, evening, and at noon will I pray." So it wasn't just Daniel that had the habit of personal devotions, what about David? King David says so much about meditate, and David's meditation is not eastern meditation, I'm talking about thinking on the Word of God. And so often, you'll see the words selah in the Psalms and that means think on this. So that something profound would be written, it says, "think on this," that means meditate on this.

And so meditating on the Word of God, I tell you we just got back, I told you twice already from this convention. And they had some kids there that were from a Bible be around the country, all different churches came together, and these kids, all different ages, one of them looked like she was seven years old, were reciting the long passages of Scripture. That to me was one of the most inspiring things I saw. We saw these kids, just one passage after another. You could open your Bible and follow along, there are some who are not using the King James but you could see that they had it.

And they were memorizing entire chapters, difficult ones, like, you know, Paul, read what Paul says in Colossians 1, try and memorize that. It is so deep and here, a nine year old using these lofty terms, it was inspiring. So we need to have habits of studying the Word of God, memorizing the Word of God. How do we resist temptation? By word I have hidden in my heart. What does that mean? Stored it, that I might not sin against you, prayer, having habits of devotions.

This is what it means to walk with God, not just praying three times a day, but thinking about him and his presence. All right, another habit, next section here is the habit of looking for, living in the expectancy of Christ's return. I'm really glad this is in the lesson because I've seen some things written, even in our own church lately where it says, you know, we need to be thinking about the here and now and not just constantly believing for some future event, it's, you know, 100, 50 years have gone by and adventists have talked about the second coming and we need to stop focusing on prophecy and start focusing on how to minister socially now to people. And the idea of living with an expectancy of the second coming has been played out. Am I the only one that's heard that or if you noticed that? Oh, no.

And, you know what? You're in good company if you make the priority of Jesus coming big in your life. How does the new testament end? Even so come Lord Jesus. Did the apostle John lived with an expectancy of the second coming? Adventists, people live in, especially in the last phase of church history, should have an expectancy of Jesus' coming. Titus 2:13 just going to give you a bunch of verses here, then I see some Scriptures or questions are on the screen. "Looking for the blessed hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

" You know, living with the expectancy that you're going to see someone you love is a motivating power. Living with an expectancy that you're going to soon be with Christ is it's a wonderful thing. And, you know, every believer knows that whether you see the Lord because you live and you're alive when he comes, or you live a faithful life and then you see him, it's short either way. I mean, if we've had three score in 10 years or if by reason of strength, we live longer. What is that compared to eternity? Our lives are short.

Jesus is coming soon for you. Ready or not, you know what I'm saying. And so we need to be living in a sense of expectancy, and that's why the Bible writers wrote this. Philippians 3:20, "for our citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." How are we to do it? We're living with an eager anticipation. Now someone is going to read Hebrews 10:25 in just a minute.

I'm going to read Luke 12:35. Here Jesus is sharing a parable, "let your waist be girded and your lamps burning and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he knocks they may open to him immediately." Why did they open immediately? Because they're expecting him. "Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching." Living within the essence of expectancy. "Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed." At any cost if you knew a thief was coming, you would stay awake. "He would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also be ready." The Bible says that we should live looking up with our heads lifted, praying that we should be accounted worthy to stand before when he comes. "Therefore, you also be ready for The Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not expect." In Matthew 24, how does Jesus end Matthew 24? "If that evil servant says in his heart, 'my Lord delays his coming.'" And begins to eat and drink with the drunkard and beat his fellow servants. The master of that servant will come in an hour he is not looking for and a day he is not prepared for.

I messed up a little bit but that's the idea. But who is a faithful and just servant that will be giving his fellow servants a meat in due season. That servant will be blessed. You're waiting for the Lord's coming. I remember years ago, I have probably told you this, when I went to military school, they used to.

.. Once a year have the big inspection they call that gi, government inspection. You weren't just inspected by the local officers, they brought in someone from the pentagon who inspected the rooms of all the cadets at New York military academy. And, I mean, we spent weeks getting ready for government inspection, we polished, every button were shining, we literally polished with brasso, and our shoes were shining. And we cleaned our windows, you couldn't have one streak in your window.

Our beds were made so tight, they look like plastic. I mean, and you could bounce a quarter on the bed, you didn't see a single wrinkle in the sheet, and everything on the shelves was stack, all the books in order. No dust anywhere, you could literally... I would have eaten off my floor, it was that clean. And so we had to get the whole room clean, but there is hundreds of cadets at the school.

And so when the government inspection began something came over the place, government inspection has began. You had to stand in your dress, uniform, white gloves on. And wait for, at this point it was general, was it george westmoreland, some of you may remember that name. And he was coming through to inspect, a general. And we're all standing at our doors waiting, and then someone would say, you know, "attention, he is coming to the hall.

" But it took, you know, minutes went by, hours went by. And we were boys, you know, I was like 13. And you're kind of, you're all looking around, you're picking your heads out the door and just waiting and starting to get more and more relax, you know, how it was. I mean, hours we're waiting all day for this inspection to happen. Now what I didn't tell you is we used to wax our floors, we buffed them with a buffing machine.

We used this butcher wax and spread out, buffed it. It was so slick. And we used to have fun. You take off your shoes and you run up the hall, and you just slide just like a skating rink. And so some of the boys, they looked around, they flipped off their shoes, and they would go running.

.. They thought it would be funny to go sliding by, you go, you know, they're showing off, look, I'm not scared that the general might come. And so some of the guys were sliding up and down the hall, and I didn't do it, I thought, "you guys are going to get busted." And all of a sudden someone came up our land and they announced, attention... I forgot they had some command they gave when the general was there. And right when he entered.

.. Came up the stairs on to our floor one of the kid that went sliding by. And the general said, "you wicked and faithless servant." No, he didn't say it. But you could see and that's human nature, isn't it? We get tired of waiting, and we don't live with the sense of expectancy that we should be ready at any movement because we don't know, amen? All right, let's... Wait a second, we're going to read a verse.

Go ahead. Hebrews 10:25, "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching." Now, if Paul wrote that back then in Hebrews as you see the day approaching exhort people even more to not forsake assembling together, and we should exhort people as we see the day approaching. Is it just me or do you see the day approaching? And, you know, I see signs of the coming of the Lord. People go, "oh, they've seen that for years. Pastors have been talking about the coming of the Lord for years and.

.." Yeah, one of these days we're going to be right and he is going to come. And we all have been saying he's going to come soon and when he does come, I can promise you it will be too soon for many people. Also look at Hebrews 11:10, it says, "he waited for the city that have foundations, whose builder and maker is God." They look forward, the Bible picture that, even in the old testament lived with the sense of expectancy, looking for it. So don't ever be ashamed of the name adventist that you're a person who is looking forward to the coming of the Lord. The Bible writers were adventists in that sense.

All right, practical question here that came in, looks like through Facebook. "What should I do if I am starting daily devotions?" Great question. Some people say, I think you try and read through the Bible in a month. Don't overwhelm yourself. One of the most important things is not that you read a lot, you may not even understand everything you read.

The most important thing about starting is starting. Make up your mind, I'm going to take this time and then stick to it, and continue it, be, yes, religious about it. And say I'm going to take this time and I'm going to pray and, of course... What I do, I get on my knees and I pray, and I try not to get in the ritual of saying the same thing. Have you noticed? Having the habit of devotion doesn't mean you say and do the same thing, you'll just be repeating the Lord's prayer and hail mary.

And it stops really being devotion. You want to have real interaction with God where you're talking to him, you spend time, listening to him talk to you. And then have something regular, you're studying through or you're reading through. And, yeah, I'm always reading through the Bible. The only day of the week I don't read a section of Bible going through the Bible is Sabbath morning because I'm usually touching up the sermon.

And the manna fell from heaven six days a week, right? So that's my excuse for that. But, yeah, I study Sabbath don't worry. And you might want to begin by getting an overview of the Bible, and I recommend you read the books that give you history. Read like Genesis up to Exodus, and then go Joshua, and Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings. You don't have to do Chronicles, it's sort of a repeat of Kings, and then you can read Ezra, and Nehemiah, Esther, they give you history, so you're getting the picture what's going on because then when you get to the Gospels and you read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and acts, their history.

So much of what Jesus said is referring back to the history in the old testament, it all started making sense for me. I started out reading the new testament and it moved my heart, but lot of what was said I had no idea what they're talking about because I didn't have the history. So read the history and then you may want to completely read through, get good devotional books to read with your Bible. Commentaries are great, so you read a verse, you say I don't understand. They got Bible software now where you'll see the Bible on one side, get a trustworthy commentary and it will help you understand.

Now some of those commentaries you're going to watch out for. Be aware of who the commenter was, and where they're coming from because, you know, every commentary is jaded a little bit or is slanted a little bit towards that person's beliefs. Reading the Spirit of prophecy, you can't improve on that. Hms richards sr. Said that the average layman if they have read Patriarchs and Prophets, Prophets and Kings, Acts of the Apostles, Desire of Ages, not in that order, and Great Controversy will know much more about the Bible than the typical pastor that is pastoring a church out there in Babylon.

So those books will give you such an education, it's phenomenal, so you might do that with a Bible. All right, another question. "How do I get ready for the second coming?" Surrender your heart to the Lord to start with, that's the first step. So if you have accepted Jesus, repented of your sins, that's the first and most important thing. It's not buying, storing away foods somewhere in a, you know, cave and being a prepper.

The best prep for the second coming is make sure you get the heart preparation, right? And then live day by day, surrendering your will to his, saying, "Lord, help me be willing to do your will in every area where I know you will." And search to know God's will. All right, here is another question. "What do you do if a family member has a bad habit?" And I'm assuming they're meaning it's affecting you. Where you got to be careful? Sometimes you don't win your family members to the Lord by badgering them, but sometimes it might be helpful to bring to their attention that this is not good and encourage them. If you just keep doing it over and over, you know, you can drive a person away.

There's three things you've often heard me say, there's three things you can do when you want to reach or help someone that you love. One is, if they're open, share information, because truth sets you free. The word is information. So share the word if they listen. Two, pray, and sometimes people always act like that's the last resort, you know, like that used to have in our school, they had a little hammer hanging by a glass box so you could pull the alarm, they don't have them any more.

And it said, break glass in case of fire. Some people will think prayer is like that, in case of fire break glass, you know, some emergency you're going to start praying. But prayer is powerful and you continue to pray. And the third thing is be a good example. Make sure you don't replicate the habit in your own life when you're preaching to them.

My dad, I remember beat me up a little bit because he caught me smoking, but he had to put out a cigar to do it. So how do you think that? So I didn't quit. And so you want to be a good example, right? All right, "I'm addicted to eating sweets, how do I stop?" Remember the illustration I gave about the field covered with berry bushes? You know, how you cross the field like that, one foot at a time. And with any habit, whether it's smoking, or sweets, or whatever it might be, we live in time, and you have to go moment by moment and say, "Lord, can I make it?" I've got several friends that quit smoking by saying, "can I make it another hour?" Sometimes it would get so tough they say, "can I make it another five minutes?" And they just kept saying five minutes at a time praying for strength and they finally got where, then they'd say, "can I make it another day?" And they'd say, "can I make it another month or a week?" And we live moment by moment, you know that song? So you just pray God, he'll give you the strength whatever the struggle is. So another one.

"How do I know if someone has the Holy Spirit?" Jesus said, you'll know them by their fruits. And so, if they've got the fruits of the Spirit, what are they? Galatians 5, love, joy, peace so forth, look that up Galatians 5 and I think it starts in verse 22 and look at the fruits of the Spirit. And Jesus said, you'll know them by that. "How do you overcome the habit of white lies?" What's a white lie? Is that a lesser lie? So someone brings you a baby at the door after church and you look at the baby and say ugliest baby I've ever seen. Are you lying if you don't say, "you know, I just got to be honest, that is the ugliest baby I have you ever seen.

" No, you probably don't want to do that. And Jesus said, there's many things I have to tell you, but I can't tell you now because you cannot bear it. So you need to pray for tact and diplomacy, you don't have to always say everything you're thinking, but I don't think you should ever, ever utter anything that is dishonest. You know, I think some of us probably get close to the border because you're trying to be... How do you feel? I feel fine.

You don't really feel fine. But, you know, people say it. And so you might say, you know, God is good, you deflect. You might be struggling. People say, "how are you doing? I say, "a lot better than I deserve.

" That's sort of an answer that works all the time, right? And so you always want to be honest, you might say but don't you need to lie sometimes just because if your kids want to ask how little brother suddenly showed up, you don't have to tell a five-year-old all the details of the birds and the bees. And so you just pray for wisdom that God will help you put things in the simplest terms, but don't say the stork brought the baby or that santa claus brought the parents, you're lying, right? So, yeah, you just always want to be honest. Amen? Amen. Okay, I'm going to get back to the lesson here, I've got a few minutes and a lot of neat things. So we need to have a habit of talking about the eminence of Jesus' coming.

Now here's one that's very important habit, use your time wisely. Priorities. Job 8:9, "for we were born yesterday, and we know nothing, because our days on earth are like a shadow." We've got a limited amount of time. We need to pray that God will know, teach us how to prioritize our time. Psalm 39:4 and 5, "Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I might know how frail I am.

Indeed, you have made my days as a handbreadth." We need to know how frail we are, our days are short. "And my age is nothing before you. Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor." You know as you live a little longer, it seems like you go, "I felt like it was just yesterday, I was a teenager. And here I look in the mirror I say who is that wrinkled old duffer staring back at me." And it just seems like it goes by, it goes by so quick, and so knowing that you want to prioritize your life to seek first his kingdom, right? There's a quote where... Someone's going to read a verse for me in just a moment.

Ellen white says, this is Christ's object lesson. This is a powerful quote, page 342 in Christ's object lessons. "Our time belongs to God. Every moment is his, and we are under the most solemn obligation to improve it to his glory. Of no talent has he given will he require a more strict account than of our time.

" That makes me shudder, but it's true. We'll give an account to God for what we do with our lives and that's basically your time that you have. Go ahead and read for us, I think you've got Ephesians 5:15, 16. Ephesians 5:15, 16. "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as a fool but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

" Thank you. You know, one of the ways you can spot a fool is just they're wasting their time and trying to get you to waste yours. Now time management, you know, you got to be careful if you're a workaholic that, you know, that part of what God wants you to do with your time is spent time with your family. And I'll just share with you, two days ago I sat down for about half an hour with dr. David Jeremiah who is pastor, has a radio, tv program, he was at this conference.

A wonderful man of God, and I really respect. And he's a little older than me. And so I said, you know, one of the things I struggle with, I don't get to talk very often to somebody that has a television ministry, radio ministry, publishing ministry, you know, evangelism training, a lot of the same things we do, so how do you manage your time? And he said, "boy, I don't know it's hard," he said, "but, you know, this is one thing I learned is my wife had to stop me when our church and ministry really began to grow, and she said you're sacrificing your family on the altar of ministry. And that someday Jesus is going to ask you, where is your flock. And so you've got to make priority for family, you have to spend time with family.

And I'm telling you that not because I got the answer, but because I've made the mistakes. You've got to take time for your body. I've known people that don't take..." Bible says, "if you don't sharpen the axe, you're going to work twice as hard trying to cut that piece of wood." That means you've got to stop swinging the axe and sit down and sharpen it. And whatever your work is that means you need to take time to study. If you're a pastor, you can't just be preaching, you've got to take time alone to study so the axe is sharp and you've got something to give, whatever your field happens to be, it's a principle.

So knowing how to manage your time and taking care of your health, you have to have a certain amount of recreation, you need to get exercise because you live longer, and you accomplish more. So having the right amount of exercise, and you need to be religious about certain things when it comes to your time. Don't cast your pearls before swine. There are people that the devil sends along sometimes that will try to monopolize your life, and distract you from what God's plan is for you, and I know you want to use that verse very carefully. But I think you all know what I'm talking about.

And so think about, plan your days, sit down, you know, sometimes at the end of a day say all right, now you just map out the next day God willing, set your plans before his feet and say, "Lord, if you bless, these are the things I'd like to get accomplished. And Ecclesiastes 9:10, "whatever your hand finds to do then with your time," do it how? When you finally get around to it, "do with all your might," wherever it happens to be. Bible says there's a time for everything. "Walk in wisdom towards those who are outside, redeeming the time." Another verse that says redeeming the time. And then Romans 13:11, "and do this, knowing the time, that it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than we first believed.

And the habits of self-discipline. Wow, how much of this can I cover in 26 minutes, probably not very much. So with that I'm going to... I'm gonna have to say please forgive me, I will post my notes online if you want to see the last part. I want to remind our friends about the free offer that we're making available.

It's a great book called remember lot's wife by brother Joe Crews, I read this, and it is encouraging and sobering too. Ask for offer number 108 when you call the number 866-788-3966. It's simply 866-study-more. Read it and then share it with your friends. God bless you, friends.

And we look forward to study in His Word together again next week. For over 60 years jeepneys have been the virtual king of the road here in the Philippians. These unique vehicles that are festered with colorful stickers, lights and chrome. Go into the cheap source of transportation in the country. Let's go.

These iconic four-wheel drive military vehicles made by the willys company or known as jeeps because it's stood for general purpose, but it also came from a character in a popeye cartoon that was known as eugene the jeep. He was an imaginary dog that can crawl across the ceilings and the walls, and these jeeps could go anywhere. When the Americans left the Philippines following world war ii, it was just cheaper for them to leave these thousands of military vehicles behind rather than to transport them back to the states. The creative filipino people modified these military vehicles by extending the frame about six feet. They added a couple of cozy inventions that are designed to carry about 15 people.

They put a cab over to prevent the water from coming in, but I've seen that looks like 20 to 25 people hanging on every possible edge and ledge of a jeepney. They're jumping off, they're jumping on as it goes through in just in the middle of traffic. Every jeepney is little bit different. Some are just held together with patches of daily wire and bubblegum, a little bit of duck tape. Some are little more ornate and modern, they've got chrome and stainless steel.

And there's good reason that the ceilings are padded. When one of the local filipinos wants to ride on a jeepney, they just flag them down, they shout, they tap on the hood, then they jump on board. They may not even slowdown when they do this. Then they pay about 8 pesos which is equivalent of 16 cents for us. It's by far the most economical way to get around in the country.

Some jeepneys are even equipped with an old emergency privy. One little downside to the jeepneys is because the cabs are open like this, they're not air-conditioned, it gets very hot in summertime and all the fumes from the street coming in which to make it an exhausting experience. One of the downside of the jeepney is they don't have all of the modern safety features, no seatbelts. You have to take advantage of the padding if you hit a hard bump. And if there is a serious accident, there is no airbags other than the friends that might be sitting around you.

And that's the upside of the jeepney because you're up close and personal with everybody, you make some new friends. Riding on a jeepney requires teamwork. If you buy something from one of the vendors, you all sort of pass it back to each other. And when passengers get on board, you just pass your money upfront. Thanks a lot.

Friends, it's safe to say there are no two jeepneys that are exactly the same. They're all unique and distinct and so are you. Have you ever felt that you get lost in a massive humanity and God doesn't notice you? Bible tells us that he knows your name, the very hairs of your head numbered and he hears your prayers. More than that, the Lord wants to take you to his kingdom, you just have to get on board. Amazing Facts changed lives.

Hi, my name is diamond garcia, and I'm from the beautiful islands of Hawaii. I was raised in a very dysfunctional family like most families. Being in that environment I would lie, cheat, steal, rob houses, cheat in school, in tests, and lying to teachers, and getting into fights, and all kind of stuff. One day I was asked to take this little box of something and I had to walk down the road and give it to someone, and they would give me money, and I would walk back home, and I later realized I was dealing drugs. Growing up in that environment, I thought that, you know, being an adult was a life of drinking, and smoking, and partying, and that's just what adults did.

When I looked at my family and saw the road that they were going down, getting arrested, getting beaten up, coming home drunk, and puking all over the floor. I just didn't want that for myself. Growing up I had a grandma who was baptized as a Christian in her 20s, but then she wasn't a real practicing Christian. And so one day I was at her house and there was a box of various books, and I went to the bottom of that box and found a book called the Great Controversy. And I picked it up and I said, this is interesting.

And I opened to the first page of that book and I said, "if thou hadst known." I had no clue what it meant. And so I said, you know what, forget this, I put the book down, I just walked away did my thing, but then something told me, you know, diamond go back to that book. And so I went back to the book, picked it up went to the last two chapters and I read it. And I said to my grandmother, I said, "what church is this from? I want to go to that church." So she brought me down to the local church and then I walked in from the back door and the piano was off key, people were off key, it's like, man, this is really kind of I don't want to be here. And I got to the front of the church, and I sat down I was listening to the sermon and the whole service was so boring to me, but then someone gives me the set of dvds, and it was called the prophecy code.

It was through watching Doug Batchelor explain the truths found in the Bible that really brought me to Christ, and brought me to realize that, you know what, there is a life better than my family's life. My second week at church on Sabbath, there was one person there, he basically told me, "hey, diamond, do you want to make some money?" And I said, "sure," I said, "what do you do?" He says, "well, I'm a colporteur, we go door-to-door and we sell Christian books. I said, "oh, okay, well that sounds interesting. I do want to make some money too." And so he said, "okay, well, why don't you come with me?" We drove out to the neighborhood, parked the car, and that night it was just raining, it was pouring and pouring, it could not stop raining. He prayed, he said, "God, this is diamond's first night, if it's your will, stop the rain so we can go knocking on doors.

" And as soon as he said amen, the rain just stopped. I was just thinking in my head, is this guy a prophet or what? I mean, he just prayed and asked God and it happened. And so I was so happy, I grabbed the books, and I went to the first door. And the first door I went to, that person gave me 50 bucks. That night was actually a big night for me because it was where I saw God's power work in stopping the rain and people are actually giving me lots of money.

I then became a colporteur or a canvasser, and I've saved money to pay for my way through academy. And when my church began to see how God was using me and they immediately recognized that it was God's Spirit moving in me, put me, you know, preaching, and teaching, and sharing my faith. And I've been engaged in ministry for the past six or seven years now, and God has taken me all over the world on multiple continents sharing my testimony how God has brought me out of darkness into his marvelous light, which is total contrast as to how I was before and now, you know, it's a total contrast. My name is diamond and Amazing Facts has helped to change my life. 812

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