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!
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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
#RxF4Now—Dead Man Walking
- The Self-portrait—Romans 7:7-24
- Psalm 38:5 NLT—“My wounds fester and because of my foolish sins.”
- Isaiah 1:6 NLT—“You are from head to foot—covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds—without any ointments or bandages.”
- Martin Luther: “Human nature is like a peasant. Lift him into the saddle on one side, over he topples on the other side.”
- Philippians 3:4-6—“If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day . . . in regard to the law, a Pharisee; . . . as for righteousness based on the law, .”
- Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28: “‘You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “You shall not murder” [6th Commandment] . . . But I tell you that anyone who is with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. . . . You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery’ [7th Commandment]. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his .’”
- The Tenth Commandment (“You shall not covet”) radically shifts our focus on the Law of God/Ten Commandments from compliance to obedience.
- Psalm 119—David sings about the Law of God:
- v 97—“Oh, how I love Your ! I meditate on it all day long.”
- v 172—“May my tongue sing of Your word, for all Your are righteous.”
- v 127—“I love Your more than gold, more than pure gold.”
- v 18—“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your .”
- v 64—“The earth is filled with Your , O LORD; teach me Your decrees.”
- Romans 7:12—“So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and .”
- John Bunyan, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners: “I was more loathsome in my own eyes than was a toad; and I thought I was so in God’s eyes too; sin and corruption, I said, would as naturally bubble out of my heart, as water would bubble out of a fountain. I thought now that everyone had a better heart than I had; I could have changed heart with anybody; I thought none but the devil himself could equalize me for inward wickedness and pollution of mind. I fell, therefore, at the sign of my own vileness, deeply into despair.” (quoted in Camron Schofield Heralding the Loud Cry 32).
- The Savior—Romans 7:25
- The purpose and point of the Law is to us to .
- Galatians 3:24—“Therefore the law was our tutor [guardian] to us to Christ.”
- To throw the Law out, to get rid of the Ten Commandments—as some are inclined to teach and to do—is to cut your soul off from the very Law Giver who is your only .
- Christ’s Object Lessons: “His law is a transcript of His own , and it is the standard of all character. This infinite standard is presented to all that there may be no mistake in regard to the kind of people whom God will have to compose His kingdom.” (315)
- Camron Schofield: “So if you did everything right in your whole entire life, will the law be satisfied? It can’t be satisfied because your right-doing [the definition of “righteousness”] is not what the law wants. What the law wants is God’s right-doing, God’s perfect life—and we, in ourselves, do we have it to offer? We don’t. Is there any room for you in this picture? Can you satisfy the law? Can you? Have you in your life attained unto the very perfection of God? To do that you would have to be God yourself. Are you God? You’re not God!” (Heralding the Loud Cry 33)
- “We CAN NOT. We can do nothing to effect our own salvation. And it’s a frightful realization when we meet the law as it really is. We are dead men walking.” (35)
- “The question is: are you bad enough to come to Christ, because if you don’t think that you are too bad, you won’t come to Christ.” (35)
- Steps to Christ: “If you see your sinfulness, do not wait to make yourself better. How many there are who think they are not good enough to come to Christ. Do you expect to become better through your own efforts? . . . There is help for us only in God. We must not wait for stronger persuasions, for better opportunities, or for holier tempers. We can do nothing of ourselves. We must come to Christ just as we are.” (31)
- The purpose and point of the Law is to us to .
“Just as I Am”
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.