This quarter, Sabbath School students around the world will be studying Acceptable Worship. What is worship? It refers to the reverent love and allegiance accorded a deity, idol, or sacred object. The Greek words for worship combine the ideas of “falling down before,” “paying homage to,” and “serving.” From these defining concepts it is clear that worship involves recognition of worth in God, and the offering of our honor, praise, and adoration to the One altogether worthy.
What makes the worship of human beings—utterly steeped as we are in our fallen, sinful nature—acceptable or unacceptable to a pure and holy God? This will be considered throughout the next three months. We are reminded that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8, 9). Just as we need to learn certain things in order to communicate more freely and effectively with persons having a different culture and language than our own, how much more do we need to learn the appropriate language and customs when approaching the heavenly courts! This requires humility and a teachable spirit on our part.
We are warned, “if defiling sins are cherished by those who claim to believe the truth, the displeasure of God rests upon the church, and He will not remove it until the members do all in their power to show their hatred for sin, and their determination to cast it out of the church” (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 144).
“Unless correct ideas of true worship and true reverence are impressed upon the people, there will be a growing tendency to place the sacred and eternal on a level with common things, and those professing the truth will be an offense to God and a disgrace to religion. They can never, with their uncultivated ideas, appreciate a pure and holy heaven, and be prepared to join with the worshipers in the heavenly courts above, where all is purity and perfection, where every being has perfect reverence for God and His holiness.”—My Life Today, p. 285.
“The displeasure and judgments of God are against those who persist in walking in their own ways, loving self, loving the praise of men. They will certainly be swept into the satanic delusions of these last days, because they received not the love of the truth. Because the Lord has, in former days, blessed and honored them, they flatter themselves that they are chosen and true, and do not need warning and instruction and reproof. The True Witness says, ‘As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent’ (Revelation 3:19).”—The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 764.
The General Conference Sabbath School Department
SABBATH, OCTOBER 6, 2012
First Sabbath Offering for a chapel in Fiji
Situated in the South Pacific, Fiji is a group of about 300 islands scattered 1000 miles across the Pacific Ocean. With the equator crossing the tip of the second largest island, Vanua Levu, Fiji enjoys a tropical climate, hot sunshine, sandy beaches, lush vegetation, abundant fruits, vegetables and, root crops. The population totals about 900,000. Dominated by the two major races, the native Fijians make up 48%, the Indo-Fijians 45%, and other races 7%. English is the official language. The major races speak Fijian and Hindi. Most native Fijians are Christians (Methodists, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Seventh-day Adventist), and most Indo-Fijians are Hindu and Muslim. The Reformation message entered our shores in 1974 when Brethren Alfredo C. Sas and Milan Vukotic visited Fiji and baptized the first four souls. The Australasian Union sent Brethren John Ciric and Chris Grehan as missionaries in 1997, and through the canvassing work 30 souls were baptized in 1998. The work has continued to grow. By the grace of God the believers here, though poor in the things of this world, are still able to spread the gospel, reaching new interests in the highlands, in the cities, and into the smaller islands.
“Never was there greater need of earnest, self-sacrificing labor in the cause of Christ than now, when the hours of probation are fast closing and the last message of mercy is to be given to the world. My soul is stirred within me as the Macedonian cry comes from every direction,
. . . from across the Atlantic and the broad Pacific, and from the islands of the sea: ‘Come over . . . , and help us’ (Acts 16:9). Brethren and sisters, will you answer the cry?” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 732).
Our great need is a house of worship and also an office space to be our headquarters and solely for the distribution of literature. Rentals are currently very high, and our finances are low. It is our earnest prayer that the Lord may impress your heart with the needs here in Fiji as part of His great vineyard. When the special mission First Sabbath Offering is gathered on October 6, 2012, please give generously, that a chapel may stand to God’s glory in this country. Thank you, and may the Lord richly bless each gift and giver.
Your brethren and sisters from Fiji
That the Lord may grant us grace in these matters is the earnest prayer of