Greetings MOL Family!
Welcome back to the conclusion of our lesson on what it means, because of your love for the Master, to choose to be a servant – forever! Question: When we look at the Example that was given to us, through Christ, was it only His ear that was pierced, because of His love for us?
The Scars of Calvary
Turn to Matthew 20:25. This, you remember, is when James and John had come asking for the highest place. Jesus had guided their minds into a view of the cup that He must drink, the suffering that He must endure, and invited them to share it. The ten disciples that had been left out, as it were, they were indignant that John and James had dared to ask for the highest place. And now Jesus called them all together – the 12. He said:
Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. – Matthew 20:25-28
Ah, my friend, ‘twas not His ear alone that was pierced; His hands were pierced; His feet were pierced; His thigh was pierced; His heart was broken. As the servant back there, in Mosaic times, bore forever the mark, the brand of his choice to be a servant, rather than go free –for love’s sake– so it is written that through eternal ages, our Lord Jesus will forever bear the marks of His humiliation.
There were bright beams, the prophet said (beholding Him in vision), coming out of His side, horns coming out of His hands; and there was the hiding of His power. The scars of Calvary will tell, through eternal ages, the story of that wonderful love that led Him to leave the throne, and become a slave – obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Oh, my friend, it’s wonderful to know Somebody who loves us like that, isn’t it? He’s invited all, who will, to share with Him in that experience of servanthood. But I tell you this, my dear friend, young and old: We cannot be like the unbranded calf on the hillside, and at the same time know the experience that we’re studying today. We cannot go here and there, at our own volition, following our own impulses, and enter into this fellowship of our Lord.
The apostle Paul, of whom we have spoken, longed that he might know the Master, not only in the power of His resurrection, but in the fellowship of His suffering. In the words of our text from part one of our lesson, he said, “I bear the mark of Jesus branded on my body.”
Enter Into This Experience – Without Delay!
There are many to whom religion is something like a fire escape – useful to have handy in case of an emergency. There are many to whom soul-winning work is like a hobby – like stamp collecting, or leather work, or collecting fossils or butterflies. Something interesting to do on the side, occasionally when one has leisure. But to Paul, there was only one thing to live for: To be a bond slave of Jesus Christ, and to go wherever Christ might call, at whatever personal cost, to rescue the lost.
To such devotion, Christ is calling us. To finish the work of the Third Angel’s Message will call for sacrifices beyond anything any of us has yet known. When the servant of God saw the remnant in vision, traveling back happily; as the way grew narrower, she said that at every point, some were left behind. Oh, I trust that every one of us going through these studies will have such a personal fellowship with Jesus, in this experience of complete dedication, that we’ll never turn back. I hope we will rejoice to get His brand on; His mark on.
And may I tell you this, friend? In the final roundup, every one of us will either have His brand, or another brand. For it is written that soon there will be a decree that no one may buy or sell save he that has the mark of the beast in his right hand or in his forehead.
The brand of Jesus can be received only here [the forehead]. But the brand of the beast, if not welcomed in the mind, will be enforced in action. If you want it, you will receive it. If you don’t want it, you must receive it, unless the space has been occupied already. All the power of satan, all the power of the beast and the image cannot force a single soul to receive the mark of apostasy, if we have accepted the seal of God in our foreheads.
John saw in holy vision that angel ascending from the east with the seal of the living God. He saw four angels holding back the winds until the servants of God should be marked, sealed, branded, if you please. Isn’t it a thrilling thought? Isn’t it a solemnizing thought that everything in this world is under the control of One who is holding back tremendous forces for just one thing: That you and I may decide which brand we shall receive, which mark we shall accept.
Do not think then that the choice is between having your own way and having God’s way. Those who choose their own way will wake up to find themselves satan’s slaves. Those who choose to be the bondservants of Jesus will, through eternal ages, know the freedom that He shares with those who serve Him through love.
I want you to read a message, from a song, that has blessed my soul; and I know it’ll bless us as we meditate on the things we have shared from the Book, in our lesson.
My stubborn will at last hath yielded;
I would be Thine, and Thine alone,
And this the prayer my lips are bringing,
“Lord, let in me Thy will be done.”
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee;
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee.
I’m tired of sin, footsore and weary,
The darksome path hath dreary grown,
But now a light has ris’n to cheer me;
I find in Thee my Star, my Sun.
Thy precious will, O conqu’ring Savior,
Doth now embrace and compass me;
All discords hushed, my peace a river,
My soul a prisoned bird set free.
Shut in with Thee, O Lord, forever,
My wayward feet no more to roam;
What pow’r from Thee my soul can sever?
The center of God’s will my home.
– Hymn “Sweet Will of God”
The One who knows has told us that in every congregation there are souls who are hesitating, almost persuaded to be wholly for God. If you’re that one, today [that is going through this study], not wholly for the Lord: If you’d like to have the brand of Heaven upon you, to be a servant forever, we’d like to remember you in prayer. Please let us know, in the prayer/comment box, below.
Heavenly Father, we pray that Thou wilt bless each heart, and also bless our entire MOL family. May it be that our hope in Thee will be in eternal servanthood. We ask it in the name of Jesus, Amen.
This concludes our study on what it means to live the Eden Life. Next week, we will begin a new series, learning “How to Live”, following after our loving Example. Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then… Maranatha!
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.