1. JESUS AS A MAN
a. What qualities did Jesus exhibit while on earth? Philippians 2:8; Luke 22:42.
“Tender, compassionate, sympathetic, ever considerate of others, [Christ] represented the character of God, and was constantly engaged in service for God and man. . . . As Jesus was in human nature, so God means His followers to be. In His strength we are to live the life of purity and nobility which the Saviour lived.”—Sons and Daughters of God, p. 21.
b. What was the focus of Jesus’ life on earth? John 17:4; 4:34; Psalm 40:8.
“[Jesus] endured every trial to which we are subject. And He exercised in His own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us. As man, He met temptation, and overcame in the strength given Him from God. He says, ‘I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.’ Psalm 40:8. As He went about doing good, and healing all who were afflicted by Satan, He made plain to men the character of God’s law and the nature of His service. His life testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 24.
2. PUTTING GOD FIRST
a. What should we make the highest priority in our life? Matthew 6:33; 1 Thessalonians 2:11, 12.
“The yoke that binds to service is the law of God. The great law of love revealed in Eden, proclaimed upon Sinai, and in the new covenant written in the heart, is that which binds the human worker to the will of God. . . . ‘I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me’ (John 6:38). . . .
“[Christ] bids those who are serving the world] seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and His promise is that all things needful to them for this life shall be added.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 329, 330.
b. What does it take to follow God fully? Jeremiah 29:13; Luke 14:33; Galatians 2:20.
“Seek God with all the heart. . . . In sincerity, in soul hunger, cry after God. Wrestle with the heavenly agencies until you have the victory. Put your whole being into the Lord’s hands, soul, body, and spirit, and resolve to be His loving, consecrated agency, moved by His will, controlled by His mind, infused by His Spirit.”—Our High Calling, p. 131.
c. What will be the positive result when we enter into a deep relationship with God, surrendering ourselves fully to Him? Isaiah 26:3; Matthew 5:16.
“Those who take Christ at His word, and surrender their souls to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace and quietude. Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence. In perfect acquiescence there is perfect rest. . . . Our lives may seem a tangle; but as we commit ourselves to the wise Master Worker, He will bring out the pattern of life and character that will be to His own glory.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 331.
3. A LIFE OF LOVING SERVICE
a. What are the two basic principles of Christianity? Matthew 22:36–40. How are we to express our love for our neighbor? Luke 10:29–37.
“In the story of the good Samaritan, Christ illustrates the nature of true religion. He shows that it consists not in systems, creeds, or rites, but in the performance of loving deeds, in bringing the greatest good to others, in genuine goodness. . . .
“Man’s destiny will be determined by his obedience to the whole law. Supreme love to God and impartial love to man are the principles to be wrought out in the life.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 497, 498.
b. What should be our basis for a life of service to the world? 1 John 4:11, 12; 3:16–18.
“A thoroughgoing Christian draws his motives of action from his deep heart love for his Master. Up through the roots of his affection for Christ springs an unselfish interest in his brethren. Love . . . illuminates the countenance and subdues the voice; it refines and elevates the whole being.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 490.
c. What was Jesus’ life mission? Luke 19:10.
“From His earliest years [Jesus] was possessed of one purpose; He lived to bless others.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 70.
“Jesus worked to relieve every case of suffering that He saw. He had little money to give, but He often denied Himself of food in order to relieve those who appeared more needy than He. . . . He possessed a tact which none of [His brothers] had, or desired to have. When they spoke harshly to poor, degraded beings, Jesus sought out these very ones, and spoke to them words of encouragement. To those who were in need He would give a cup of cold water, and would quietly place His own meal in their hands. As He relieved their sufferings, the truths He taught were associated with His acts of mercy, and were thus riveted in the memory.”—Ibid., p. 87.
4. WORKING FOR THE SPIRITUAL NEED OF OTHERS
a. What character trait do we need in order to minister to others as Jesus did? Philippians 2:5–8; Luke 22:26; Matthew 23:11, 12.
“In His life and lessons, Christ has given a perfect exemplification of the unselfish ministry which has its origin in God. God does not live for Himself. By creating the world, and by upholding all things, He is constantly ministering for others. ‘He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.’ Matthew 5:45. This ideal of ministry God has committed to His Son. Jesus was given to stand at the head of humanity, that by His example He might teach what it means to minister. His whole life was under a law of service. He served all, ministered to all. Thus He lived the law of God, and by His example showed how we are to obey it.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 649.
b. What group of people did Jesus especially encourage to come to Him for help? Mark 10:13-–16.
“In the children who were brought in contact with Him, Jesus saw the men and women who should be heirs of His grace and subjects of His kingdom. . . . In His teaching He came down to their level. He, the Majesty of heaven, did not disdain to answer their questions and simplify His important lessons to meet their childish understanding. He planted in their minds the seeds of truth, which in after years would spring up, and bear fruit unto eternal life.”—Ibid., pp. 512–515.
c. With whom else does Jesus want us to labor? Luke 5:32.
“[The Redeemer] came to represent the Father in bringing the message of hope and salvation to our world. He lived not for Himself; He did not consult His own ease and pleasure; He did not yield to temptation; and He condescended to die in order that sinful men might be redeemed, and live eternally in the mansions He was to prepare for them. His mission was to teach souls who were dying in their sins.
“This work Christ has laid upon every one whom He has purchased.”—Lift Him Up, p. 208.
5. GOD WORKING THROUGH US
a. What was the source of Jesus’ power? John 14:10.
“If Christ is dwelling in our hearts, He will work in us ‘both to will and to do of His good pleasure.’ Philippians 2:13. We shall work as He worked; we shall manifest the same spirit. And thus, loving Him and abiding in Him, we shall ‘grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.’ Ephesians 4:15.”—Steps to Christ, p. 75.
b. How can we too have this experience, and what will be the result? John 15:7.
“‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.’ When you pray, present this promise. It is our privilege to come to Him with holy boldness. As in sincerity we ask Him to let His light shine upon us, He will hear and answer us. But we must live in harmony with our prayers. They are of no avail if we walk contrary to them.”—Child Guidance, p. 499.
“Be sure that Christ is in you, that your heart is broken and submissive and humble. God will accept only the humble and contrite. Heaven is worth a lifelong, persevering effort; yes, it is worth everything. God will help you in your efforts if you strive only in Him.”—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 259.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How did Jesus represent God’s character when He was here on earth?
2. How can we find the peace and rest that only God can give?
3. What will love for God lead to, and how will this love manifest itself?
4. What did Jesus see in the children brought to Him, and how did He minister to them?
5. What does it mean to “live in harmony with our prayers”?