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Insight #4 January 27, 2018
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First Quarter 2018
Sabbath School Insight #4
“Escape From The World's Ways
January 27, 2018
 
"Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. . . . He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage" (Proverbs 11:4, 28, NKJV).
 
We have spent this week examining how to "Escape from the World's Ways." 
 
Recently, I listened to the testimony of a young man who was baptized twice. The first time he was baptized, he said he had a knowledge of the truth in his head. He was convicted about the Sabbath and the state of the dead. He even witnessed to his friends about his newfound faith. But one day a friend asked, "If you're a Christian, why are you still smoking weed?"
 
The young man's faith wavered; he still had much to learn. Several years later, he was baptized again. This time he said he gave his heart to the Lord. His conversion was not merely an intellectual assent to truth, but a heart appreciation for Jesus' sacrifice.
 
The world allures us in so many ways. What is the secret to resisting its insatiable pull?
 
Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself" (John 12:32). "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it will be done for you" (John 15:7, NKJV). "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love" (John 15:9, NKJV).
 
To be drawn to Jesus we must allow ourselves time to behold Him, to think of His wonderful works, to meditate on His Word. Jesus' portrayal of our relationship is one of intimacy, akin to that of the marriage relation, "For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones" (Ephesians 5:30).
 
In the beginning when Adam first met Eve, he said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" (Genesis 2:23). Adam was speaking of his new bride, Eve, and Jesus was speaking of us, His bride.
 
Today, the divorce rate is going up. The chances of first marriages failing are one in two. Many people who have chosen Christ as their Savior are also experiencing separation from Him. Why?
 
Common reasons for failure in marriage include infidelity, finances, poor communication, growing apart (not spending quality time together), distractions such as social media, addiction, and lack of forgiveness.  
 
Our relationship with Christ can also experience trouble for many of the same reasons. John warns us, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. for all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2:15-17, NKJV).
 
The Bible describes the closest union possible between God and man, made possible by the gift of Jesus, which is "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).
 
Solomon, one of the wealthiest men who ever lived, said, "The sleep of a laboring man [is] sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep" (Ecclesiastes 5:12).
 
The things of this world multiply the cares of this life. Solomon's life started out wonderfully, but the cares of this life and the lure of the world dragged him down. None of us are strong enough to resist the pull of the world. We need the most precious message of Jesus and His righteousness filling our hearts and lived out in our lives. 
 
In a practical sense, what does this mean? My daughter recently decided to delete social media from her phone. Now, instead of reading up on the activities of her friends and enjoying their pictures, she is reading Christian Service, and each day since she made that decision, the Lord has brought people to her who are searching for truth. Deleting social media freed her to listen to His voice and see where He is working.
 
The signs in the world point to the nearness of Jesus' soon return. Recently, we were visiting an island in Hawaii when an alert came across our phones warning us that a missile was on its way. "This is not a drill," the message concluded.
 
As it turns out, it was a false alarm, but we have inspired warnings that are just as clear: "Transgression has almost reached its limit. Confusion fills the world, and a great terror is soon to come upon human beings. The end is very near. God's people should be preparing for what is to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise." (CG 555)
 
We have been entrusted with a most precious message of Jesus and His righteousness. Now is the time to immerse ourselves in the Word, as we abide in Christ and His love.

~Patti Guthrie