Our medical professionals are on the front line of this epidemic and we want to show them love and support. In the next week or two, we want to send a prayer caravan to drive around the hospital. We'll let them know ahead of time that we'll be praying—and perhaps honking our horns—at a designated time. To get more information and to register, please click below and select the prayer caravan option. We'll see you soon!
The Last Letter
Game of Thrones, Crown of Thorns-1
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SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
More In This Series
“The Last Letter: Game of Thrones,
Crown of Thorns—1”
» Revelation 3:21
• The promise: You will sit with Me on My one day.
• The condition: You must first today.
• Sigve Tonstad: “Awareness of conflict changes the way we construe victory and defeat. While Jesus makes promises ‘to everyone who conquers,’ with no object in the sentence, the tenor of conflict is better preserved if we translate it ‘to everyone who overcomes .’ It is not wrong to say that the believers ‘overcome’ or ‘conquer,’ but it is implied throughout that they are engaged in a .”
• Revelation 12:7-9, 12, 17
• “If the curtain could be rolled back, and each one could discern the constant activities of the heavenly family to preserve the inhabitants of the earth from Satan’s seductive
wiles, . . . [t]hey would see that the armies of heaven are in continual warfare with satanic agencies, to obtain victories in behalf of those who do not sense their danger, and who are passing on in unconscious indifference. Angels are belting the world, refusing Satan his claims to supremacy. . . . We hear not the voices, we see not with the natural sight the work of these angels, but their hands are linked about the world, and with sleepless vigilance they are keeping the armies of Satan at bay.” (In Heavenly Places 98)
• “To the one who overcomes as I .”
• John 16:33— “‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have the world!’”
» Why don’t more Christians live victorious lives?
• Reason #1—We do not fully appreciate the sinfulness of .
• Vaughn Allen: “We do not realize how utterly detestable sin is; we do not comprehend how contrary sin is to God’s character and how terribly offensive it is to Him. We have lived with sin and its results so long and toyed with it so much that for us it has lost much of its horror and repugnance.” (The War Is Real: And So Is the Victory 71)
• Steps to Christ: “We shall not renounce sin unless we see its .” (23)
• Vaughn Allen: “The absolute horror of sin can be seen only when we look at the . It would be well for us each day to pray that God would give us a genuine abhorrence of sin and a for it because of what it did to the Son of God and because of what it does to us.” (71)
• Reason #2—We are not convinced that sin is possible in this life.
• Great Controversy: “If those who hide and excuse their faults could see how Satan exults over them, how he taunts Christ and holy angels with their course, they would make haste to confess their sins and to put them away. Through defects in the character, Satan works to gain control of the whole mind, and he knows that if these defects are cherished, he will succeed. Therefore he is constantly seeking to deceive the followers of Christ with his sophistry that it is impossible for them to overcome.” (489)
• Signs of the Times: “Without Christ we cannot subdue a single sin or overcome the smallest temptation.” (August 10, 1891)
• Jesus: “‘Without Me you can do nothing.’” John 15:5
• Philippians 4:13—“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
• Jude 24—“Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.
• Selected Messages: “He who has not sufficient faith in Christ to believe that He can keep him from , has not the faith that will give him an entrance into the kingdom of God.” (3:360)
• 1 John 2:1, 13-14; 5:3-4
• Revelation 3:20
• Before Jesus commands Laodicea to “ ” the devil, He invites us to “ ” the door.
• Selected Messages: “John pointed the people to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. He said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ There is a great deal in that ‘taketh away.’ The question is, Shall we keep on sinning as though it were an impossibility for us to overcome? How are we to overcome? As Christ overcame, and that is the only way. He prayed to His heavenly Father. We can do the same....When tempted to speak wrong and do wrong resist Satan and say, I will not surrender my will to your control. I will cooperate with divine power and through grace be conqueror.” (3:195)
“Faith is the Victory”
This week I learned of our world church headquarters appeal for prayer throughout the global Seventh-day Adventist family. Originally timed to end during the recently-postponed General Conference session in Indianapolis, our church leaders are calling us to now focus 100 days of praying (March 27-July 4) on behalf of the global coronavirus pandemic. There could hardly be a more urgent need for earnest praying!
A pastor friend of mine, Jim Moon, pointed out a two-verse juxtaposition I'd not noticed before: "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a pestilence among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:13-14). While everyone knows the beloved prayer call in v 14, few of us connect it with the preceding divine action in v 13. "A pestilence among My people" certainly could represent a global pandemic like the coronavirus COVID-19. While Satan is the originator of destructive calamities, what more faith-appropriate response is our collective prayers to the One who can deliver this nation, this world, these people, from the grips of pestilence.
So let's join together in humbling ourselves before God and praying and seeking His face—that our world might be saved and our faith community might yet be mobilized to share the glad tidings of Jesus' soon return.
- Pastor Dwight
Since October 2018, our Pioneer congregation and the Andrews campus have joined together in setting aside the first Tuesday of every month as a Day of Fasting and Prayer. Since most of us this coming Tuesday will be safely ensconced in our homes, it will be a fitting opportunity to band together to seek God's face on behalf of our nation, our world, our church. The economic collapse on multiple fronts as a result of this pandemic has seriously affected the Adventist church and schools globally and locally. Let's unite our petitions to appeal to Christ to minister to the members, the leaders, the students, the teachers and all who serve our faith and academic community in this time of financial duress for many. "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
In a world changing now by the nanosecond thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, want to celebrate something that isn’t? Join us in a house-bound Agape Feast, as we celebrate the unchanging love of God poured out through Jesus at Calvary. All you need is some fruit, crackers and nuts. Invite your family and friends to join you online Saturday morning (9AM/11:45AM ET—pmchurch.org or Facebook Live). It’s time to the good news overwhelm the bad news—be a part of the Feast!
Neighbor To Neighbor is hosting a food giveaway on April 6, 2020, sponsored by Feeding America. It will begin at 11:00 AM.
Due to the COVID-19 stay at home mandate, Pioneer is unable to provide physical copies of the Adult Sabbath School Lesson at this time. Both teacher's edition and standard edition are available online for free.
Each year, FLAG Camp seeks enthusiastic, responsible high school and college students to work as counselors, teachers and support staff. If you have a love for children and are committed to setting a wholesome example for our campers, consider joining our team. The application deadline is April 5, 2020. At this time FLAG Camp is still scheduled this summer. Due to the COVID-19 virus, please stay tuned for further updates.
The Board of Elders, under the leadership of Bryan and Becky von Dorpowski, has responded to the immediate spiritual and emotional needs of our oldest Pioneer members. Recognizing many of them will chose to protect themselves from the coronavirus by limiting their time in the wider community and thus missing the weekly fellowship that worship and Sabbath School provided, the elders will be focusing on those Pioneer members in their 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s—and will be reaching out by phone to visit with them. (In order to protect the health of our members our elders will not be making home visits at this time.)
If you know of an at-risk member who needs personal attention, please call Claudia Sowler 269.471.3134. The elders are praying these targeted phone calls will bring the ministry of our Good Shepherd Savior to these who have faithfully walked with Him throughout their lives.
During this time of potential boredom and cabin fever, enjoy these fun ideas for spending quality time together as a family.
After the long winter of gray and brown, get outside and look for all the buds, sprouts, and new leaves you can find. Try to identify what each one is. You can use your phone to look on the Internet or use an app like Pl@ntNet to identify leaves. Currently, you can see things like crocuses, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lilies, snowdrops, moss, ferns, ramps, and wild chives. It is so nice to be reminded that even when things look bleak, God is still there and recreating!
You can also "adopt a friend" each day or week! Send several encouraging and kind notes to a friend via text, email, Messenger, etc. Let them know you are thinking about them and even praying for them.
Sponsored by the Family Life Committee