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!
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.
“How To Be More Like Jesus: The Impregnable Gift”
□ Matthew 16:13-21
#1—Who is the of the Church?
- Jesus blessed Simon with these words, “You are Peter [petros—a small ], and on this Rock [petra—a towering ledge] I will build My Church.”
- Peter himself was never confused over who was the Leader of the Church—Acts 4:12: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
- Deuteronomy 32:4—“The LORD is the .”
- Psalm 18:2—“The LORD is my .”
- Psalm 95:1—“Let us shout aloud to the of our salvation.”
1 Corinthians 10:4—“The spiritual [petra] that accompanied them was
- Matthew 7:14—“The wise man built his house on the .”
1 Corinthians 3:11—“No one can lay any other than Jesus
#2—Who is the of the Church?
Matthew 16:18—“I will My Church.”
#3—Who is the of the Church?
- Matthew 16:18—“I will build Church.”
Acts 20:28—“Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own
#4—Who is the of the Church?
- Matthew 16:8—“The gates of will not overcome the Church.”
Actually what Jesus is describing here is not a defensive stance (where the church is
trying to fend off the forces of hell)—rather He describes an stance
(where hell is trying to fend off the forces of the church).
Revelation 19:16—“And on His robe He has this name written: “KING OF KINGS
AND LORD OF LORDS.”
4 defining questions that declare the Church of Christ to be , a
fortified position unable to be captured.
- “Enfeebled and defective as it may appear, the church is the one object upon which God bestows in a special sense His regard” (Acts of the Apostles 12).
- Richard John Neuhaus: “We must be sure it is the Church we are talking about: the Church in all its thus and so-ness, in all its contradictions and compromises, in its circus of superficiality and its moments of splendor.” (Freedom for Ministry: A Critical Affirmation of the Church and Its Mission 8)
□ John 6:14-18
- Desire of Ages: “Those were hours of large blessing to the disciples, but they had
- forgotten it all. They were in the midst of troubled waters. Their thoughts were stormy and unreasonable, and the Lord gave them something else to afflict their souls and occupy their minds. God does this when [we] create burdens and troubles for [ourselves]. The disciples had no need to make trouble. Already danger was fast approaching.” (380)
- “Send the storm and save the Church.”
- Desire of Ages: “Jesus had not forgotten them. The Watcher on the shore saw those fear-stricken men battling with the tempest. Not for a moment did He lose sight of His disciples. With deepest solicitude His eyes followed the storm-tossed boat with its precious burden; for these men were to be the light of the world. As a mother in tender love watches her child, so the compassionate Master watched His disciples. When their hearts were subdued, their unholy ambition quelled, and in they prayed for help, it was given them.” (381)
□ “I want to be more like Jesus, I’m following in His ways.”
- Then let us for His Church as He did.
- Then let us for His Church as He did.
Then let us His Church as He did.
- Ye Shall Receive Power: “Let all who believe the truth for this time put away their differences; put away envy and evil speaking and evil thinking. Press together, press together.” (188)
- GROW Groups are a third millennial strategy to "press together."
- One-step sign-up: www.pmchurch.org/growgroup
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).
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.
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
We are looking for teams of volunteers that can help people who are more vulnerable in our community to run errands such as picking up groceries and medicine. We're also asking for volunteers to make calls and pray for our members and community.
Community and gathering in some form remains vital. We have asked Grow Groups of more than ten people to start meeting online. For Grow Groups of less than ten people, we're asking them to practice safe social distancing of at least six feet—as per the CDC.