Bob and Michelle Gustafson Talk About the Narrow Path
The church service in the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on February 4, 2017 began with an introit by Penny Thomas on the organ.
Dorka Ellis had the Personal Ministries Corner. She had a friend’s memorial service recently. In her friend’s Bible, she found a paper authorized by Dr. Lynn Sauls, who taught at Southern Adventist University and Atlantic Union College, on the types of church members – unknowing or nearly invisible people, acquaintances, telemarketers, and friends. We can look for the spiritual gifts in others and help them develop these by encouragement and time with them. She also listened to a recording of Senate chaplain Berry Black speaking to the National Prayer Conference. He said that we should pray for our opponents. Next week there will be a special dedication of the new local radio station.
Bob Gustafson welcomed everyone, made the announcements, and had prayer. There will be a fellowship lunch in the cafeteria, a hike in the afternoon, and vespers at 5:00 in the academy auditorium.
The congregation had a silent invocation. The congregation then sang “Stand Up! Stand Up for Jesus!” Bob Gustafson then had the Morning Prayer; the congregation sang “Hear Our Prayer”.
Leilani (9th grader) then called for the offering. Matthew (senior) and Daryll Ellis then collected the morning offerings; the loose offering went to the local church budget. The congregation sang the doxology, and Michelle Gustafson prayed for the offering.
Matthew (senior) then told the children present a story. Mark (9th grader) read Philippians 4:6-7 “6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Ginny White and Keren (senior) played a flute duet, accompanied by Edi (elementary) and Samantha (9th grader) on the piano. Leilani turned the pages for the flute players. Bob and Michelle Gustafson discussed the topic “Have You Found the Narrow Path?” The congregation sang “Give Me the Bible”. Bob Gustafson had the closing prayer.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Bob Gustafson – Laurelbrook vice-president and men’s work coordinator / works with Laurelbrook’s used furniture program
Daryll Ellis – local church deacon / works for nearby Majestic Stone Company
Ginny White – academy girls’ dean
Michelle Gustafson – helps her husband Bob Gustafson with his work
Penny Thomas – caregiver for Laura Mae Zollinger
Following are some notes on the sermon by Bob and Michelle Gustafson:
- We don’t always do what we really want to do in the Christian life. Even when doing the work of God we need to listen to the Holy Spirit.
- 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
- 2 Timothy 3:17 “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
- The time we spent with God determines how our day goes.
- Do you meditate on the right things Timothy mentions?
- Matthew 7:13-14 “13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
- Why is this so difficult? Our self, want for what others have, easier path.
- We know we will have trials, but God will turn them into blessings.
- God’s path is narrow but gives life eternal (Ellen White). The Golden Rules excludes all pride and self-seeking.
- The way to destruction is wide and clear. Those who follow Christ cannot meet the world’s standards or accept the world’s opinions.
- It’s our choice to stay on God’s narrow path, and trusting God makes it easier.
- Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
- If you wants to know the truth, you must accept all that the truth reveals.
- We hold on to Jesus, else we will be among the elect who are deceived.
- If one sin or wrong practice is cherished, the whole being will be contaminated.
- We have the choice of serving God and doing what is just and right or we can serve Satan.
- God doesn’t want us to be scared but knowledgeable of Satan’s sins.
- Matthew 6:25-33 “25 ¶ Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
- We are to do nothing that would hinder the progress of God’s righteousness in us.
- Matthew says that we must not judge others. Matthew 7:1-3 “1 ¶ Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
- It’s easy to complain but hard to come to God.
- Matthew 7:15-20 “15 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
- Don’t judge people immediately so you can help them by accepting their open-mindedness.
- How do you know if a friend bears good or bad fruit? Use the Bible to show guidelines.
- Galatians 5:16-26 “16 [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
- We must understand what is good to do.
- Philippines 4:6-9 “6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
- Philippines 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
- Claim all God has promised you. Light your candle and keep it lit and light your world.
- God wants us to take what we know and share it with the world. Have you done this? This is the way people know about our fruits.
- God has created each of us and gives us the thoughts we need to replace Satan’s thoughts.
- Philippines 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:”
- God wants us to reflect His character.