Why Not Try This? …Become More Earth Friendly

Before you read this I recommend you read “Why Not Try This? …Explore the Bible Evidence for Balanced Environmentalism

Twelve Practical Steps for Adventists

Here are twelve practical steps an Adventist can take to be more earth friendly that are in harmony with our Fundamental Beliefs[1] and counsel we’ve been given as a church. Sure, they don’t show up on most of the lists of things you can do to be earth friendly. But they will have a greater impact because they are based in inspired counsel.

1) Do an intensive Bible study on God and His creation

  • a. How is this earth friendly? The foundation for all decisions in life for a Christ-follower is “What would please Jesus?” and “What does the Bible say?” Studying God’s word in a humble and teachable way on any subject allows the Holy Spirit to reprogram our thinking so it reflects the thoughts, ideas and attitudes of heaven. The Creator, Owner, Sustainer and Provider has placed in His word all that is needed to understand how to live a balanced, earth friendly lifestyle.
  • b. Related Adventist Fundamental Belief- #1 Holy Scriptures[2]
  • c. What is a simple first step I can take today?
    • i. Read Genesis 1:1-2:3 and imagine your were there at creation.
    • ii. Read Revelation 21-22 and picture what it will be like in the New Jerusalem.
    • iii. Read Genesis 3 and make a list of how earth changed as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve.
    • iv. Read Job 38-41 and list all things from nature described in the passage that you have personally observed.
    • v. Circle ten Proverbs that refer to nature.
    • vi. Read one chapter in Proverbs then go out and reflect on something in nature it refers to.
    • vii. Reflect on one passage and what it says about man’s relationship to His Creator, other creatures and God’s creation.
    • viii. Pick one of the “Twelve Bible Truths about the Environment” and read the related Bible passages.

    

2) Move closer to nature or bring nature closer to you.

  • a. How is this earth friendly? The more we are surrounded by nature, the more opportunities we have to appreciate and value nature. “It was not God’s purpose that people should be crowded into cities, huddled together in terraces and tenements. In the beginning He placed our first parents amidst the beautiful sights and sounds He desires us to rejoice in today. The more nearly we come into harmony with God’s original plan, the more favorable will be our position to secure health of body, and mind, and soul.”[3] “There is not one family in a hundred who will be improved physically, mentally, or spiritually, by residing in the city. Faith, hope, love, happiness, can far better be gained in retired places, where there are fields and hills and trees. Take your children away from the sights and sounds of the city, away from the rattle and din of streetcars and teams, and their minds will become more healthy. It will be found easier to bring home to their hearts the truth of the Word of God.”[4] “Parents can secure small homes in the country, with land for cultivation, where they can have orchards and where they can raise vegetables and small fruits to take the place of flesh meat, which is so corrupting to the life-blood coursing through the veins.”[5]
  • b. Related Adventist Fundamental Belief- #6 Creation[6]
  • c. What is a simple first step I can take today?
    • i. Take a day hike
    • ii. Plan a camping trip soon
    • iii. Grow a garden
    • iv. Add plants and flowers around the house
    • v. Plan to build a natural shelter and re-enact the Feast of Tabernacles[7]

    

3) Eat more unprocessed food

  • a. How is this earth friendly? Processing and packaging contribute greatly to pollution. While recycling is good, wouldn’t it be better to slow down the processed and packaged food (and other items) in the first place so not as much needs to go into the recycling bin? “Fruits, grains, and vegetables, prepared in a simple way, free from spice and grease of all kinds, make, with milk or cream, the most healthful diet.”[8] “Those who eat flesh are but eating grains and vegetables at second hand; for the animal receives from these things the nutrition that produces growth. The life that was in the grains and vegetables passes into the eater. We receive it by eating the flesh of the animal. How much better to get it direct by eating the food that God provided for our use!”[9]
  • b. Related Adventist Fundamental Belief- #7 Nature of Man[10]
  • c. What is a simple first step I can take today?
    • i. Eat three pieces of unprocessed fruit today
    • ii. Clean out your refrigerator and pantry of anything that doesn’t qualify as food according to the list in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14
    • iii. Become familiar with the fresh produce section of your local grocery store
    • iv. Decide to become a vegetarian if you aren’t already

    

4) Become an expert in some area of nature study.

  • a. How is this earth friendly? When we take a careful look at the wonders of God’s creation we are more likely to appreciate the God who created it all. At the same time we need to recognize that what we see in nature has been impacted by the fall of mankind and a worldwide flood.
  • b. Related Adventist Fundamental Belief- #8 Great Controversy[11]
  • c. What is a simple first step I can take today?
    • i. Take a nature walk and list evidences of sin that were probably not present in the perfect world God created in the beginning
    • ii. Earn a Pathfinder Nature Study honor (see list and links in the endnote)[12]
    • iii. Earn the Pathfinder “Naturalist Master” or “Conservation Master” Award[13]

    

5) Be reconciled to your Creator

  • a. How is this earth friendly? At the heart of all good earth care is a recognition of and a respect for the Creator. Once we are reconciled to God we begin to participate in the work of reconciliation with other human beings and with all creation.[14] When we respect our Creator and His omnipotence we are more inclined to live Godly lives that respect ourselves, others and God’s creation.[15]
  • b. Related Adventist Fundamental Belief- #10 The Experience of Salvation[16]
  • c. What is a simple first step I can take today?
    • i. Ask God right now to be in charge of every part of your life
    • ii. Admit and confess your sins to God and thank Him for forgiving you and cleansing you of all unrighteousness[17]
    • iii. Commit yourself to getting to know your Creator better every day through Bible study, prayer and surrender of your plans to His word

    

6) Participate in a ministry for the homeless.

  • a. How is this earth friendly? Humans are made in the image of God. Those who are going through difficult times need the help of others. When we show kindness to those in need we are showing respect for their Creator as well.[18] How we treat those in need is how we would treat Jesus if He were walking this earth today.[19]
  • b. Related Adventist Fundamental Belief- #11 Growing in Christ[20]
  • c. What is a simple first step I can take today?
    • i. Feed a hungry person
    • ii. Take a food basket to someone who might need it
    • iii. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
    • iv. Write a donation check to a homeless shelter
    • v. Read Patriarchs and Prophets Chapter 51 “God’s Care for the Poor” (pp 530-536)[21]

    

7) Go on a mission trip.

  • a. How is this earth friendly? Seeing poverty and the joy of simplicity on a mission trip to a third world country can help us break the power of consumerism in our lives. It helps us value people more than things. While technology can be our friend in the spread of the gospel it can also be our enemy by plunging us into a desire for the latest technological gadget, by distracting us from real communication with those we love because we are always involved in cyber-relationships, and by making evil more accessible in our homes through the media and internet. Going on a mission trip can break the power of technology by taking us away from it for a period of time. It can show us the joy of living a simple life. And it can refocus our life purpose when we return home. The Adventist message needs to go to the entire world and this is a great way to be right in the middle of our mission.
  • b. Related Adventist Fundamental Belief- #13 Remnant and Its Mission.[22]
  • c. What is a simple first step I can take today?
    • i. Give money to help someone else go, particularly a young person
    • ii. Pray for God’s work in a specific country every day for thirty days
    • iii. Read mission stories at http://www.adventistmission.org/

    

8) Wash the feet of someone you don’t get along with

  • a. How is this earth friendly? Not all parts of nature are of equal value according to the Bible. God gives higher priority to human beings than to other aspects of His creation. If we are going to be truly earth friendly we must be friendly to all human beings who are part of planet earth.[23] Jesus set an example for us by washing the feet of His disciples, including Judas, the one who betrayed Him to death.[24] We must be willing to reconcile with other humans so we can treat all creation, including those created in the image of God, with kindness.
  • b. Related Adventist Fundamental Belief- # 16 The Lords Supper[25]
  • c. What is a simple first step I can take today?
    • i. Read Matthew 18:15-17 and list the steps Jesus gave us to reconcile with those who have wronged us
    • ii. Read Christ’s Object Lessons Chapter 19 “The Measure of Forgiveness” (pp. 243-251)[26]
    • iii. Call someone who you need to talk to but don’t feel like talking to
    • iv. Write a note, letter or email to open communication and acknowledge a relationship problem with someone you don’t get along with
    • v. Find out from the church office, elder or pastor when is the next scheduled communion service and determine to be there

    

9) Remember every Sabbath to keep it holy.

  • a. How is this earth friendly? The Sabbath is a weekly reminder of the fact that God created the world and all nature in six days and rested the seventh. It is a God-given gift of rest from the fast pace of society so we can be refreshed. The Sabbath allows us time to be re-energized and to spend time out in the wonderful creation of God. Jesus spent His Sabbath mornings in Bible study fellowship with others[27] and Sabbath afternoons in helping the poor and needy.[28] All these activities take our minds away from mankind’s accomplishments and focus them on God’s accomplishments.
  • b. Related Adventist Fundamental Belief- #20 Sabbath[29]
  • c. What is a simple first step I can take today?
    • i. Determine to not work on Sabbath unless it is to care for the sick and needy or provide protection or assistance in extreme emergency[30]
    • ii. Inform your boss that you are no longer available to work Friday sunset to Saturday sunset
    • iii. Plan a Sabbath welcoming activity for your family to do as the sun sets this Friday
    • iv. Memorize the Sabbath commandment found in Exodus 20:8-11
    • v. Give any employees and/or animals the Sabbath free according to the Sabbath commandment
    • vi. Plan a Sabbath afternoon activity of helping those in need or visiting someone sick or discouraged spiritually
    • vii. Plan a Sabbath afternoon nature walk and activity

    

10) Return tithe regularly and give offerings generously

  • a. How is this earth friendly? Releasing the first ten per cent of our income to the tithe fund we cannot control, and giving generous offerings, reminds us that the entire earth and everything in it belongs not to mankind but to God. It strikes at the root of greed and covetousness that is part of the human heart. It breaks us away from our self-centered exploitation of the world and the things and people in it. “God asks not only the tithe, but says we are to come to Him with tithes and offerings. Some will say that this was one of the rigorous laws binding upon the Hebrews: But it was not a burden to the willing heart that loved God. It is only when the selfish nature is made stronger by withholding that which God has given us that we might bless others, that we value earthly treasures above souls, above the blessings that are for the unselfish…Many have felt that the lot of the Israel of God was hard, because they were required to give the tithe and also make liberal offerings. An all-wise God knew what was best when He gave to His people the plan of systematic offerings. They found that when they tried to increase their possessions, by withholding from God their tithes and offerings, the effort was sure to be a failure…When we humbly use what God has given us for the honor of the Giver, we may feel at all times the peace and assurance that God’s hand is over us for good; for the treasure which is used to advance the cause of God, and which is given to the needy in Christ’s name, is given to Christ, and He lays it up for us in heaven. Then we grow rich. There is no danger of loss nor poverty when one has everlasting riches in heaven’s bank. Covetousness is idolatry; and it was to aid us in keeping the commandments that God originated the plan for tithes and offerings.”[31]
  • b. Related Adventist Fundamental Belief- #21 Stewardship[32]
  • c. What is a simple first step I can take today?
    • i. Write a check for 10% of your most recent income and send it to your local church or conference tithe fund
    • ii. Give an offering to help with local, conference and world needs
    • iii. Make a list of 100 things God owns
    • iv. If you haven’t been returning tithe confess this as a sin to God and ask for His forgiveness and strength to follow Him from this day forward

    

11) Thin out your stuff

  • a. How is this earth friendly? The more “stuff” we have and use, the more we contribute to the trash and pollution on planet earth. By learning to live with less we train ourselves to enjoy people and use things rather than use people and enjoy things. The things we have were given us by God to provide for our needs, assist those in need and take the gospel to all the world. “The converts to the gospel [in the early Christian church] were “of one heart and of one soul.” One common interest controlled them–the success of the mission entrusted to them; and covetousness had no place in their lives. Their love for their brethren and the cause they had espoused, was greater than their love of money and possessions. Their works testified that they accounted the souls of men of higher value them earthly wealth. Thus it will ever be when the Spirit of God takes possession of the life. Those whose hearts are filled with the love of Christ, will follow the example of Him who for our sake became poor, that through His poverty we might be made rich. Money, time, influence–all the gifts they have received from God’s hand, they will value only as a means of advancing the work of the gospel. Thus it was in the early church; and when in the church of today it is seen that by the power of the Spirit the members have taken their affections from the things of the world, and that they are willing to make sacrifices in order that their fellow men may hear the gospel, the truths proclaimed will have a powerful influence upon the hearers.”[33]
  • b. Related Adventist Fundamental Belief- #22 Christian Behavior[34]
  • c. What is a simple first step I can take today?
    • i. Sort one dresser drawer or closet section into four groups- Sell, Give away, Throw away or Keep
    • ii. Give away something of value that you aren’t using- a used car, nice outfit, piece of furniture or equipment, etc.- to someone else who can use it now
    • iii. For each new item of clothing you buy over the next three months give away two items of clothing
    • iv. Walk a mile or two instead of going shopping
    • v. Reduce the trash on the planet by going a week without buying anything unless it is essential to life
    • vi. Pick up trash along a highway or path
    • vii. Read the parable in Luke 12:15-21 a write a list of suggestions you would like to give to the rich fool. Then ask yourself what you would do if you received such a list of suggestions
    • viii. Watch “The Story of Stuff” at http://www.storyofstuff.com/ and share it with someone else.

    

12) Be kind to animals

  • a. How is this earth friendly? God created animals to be our friends. They can teach us many things about God and life. We can be amazed that most animals can see, hear and/or smell better than humans! We can learn many lessons from animals. How we treat animals can sometimes show how we treat humans we see as weaker than ourselves.
  • b. Related Adventist Fundamental Belief- #28 New Earth[35]
  • c. What is a simple first step I can take today?
    • i. Sing a song about animals in family worship (e.g. “Animals, animals, Jesus made the animals”)
    • ii. Visit a zoo
    • iii. Volunteer at a humane society
    • iv. Take care of someone’s animal for a few days
    • v. Read Isaiah 11:6-9 and talk with someone about how animals will be different in the new earth from how they are today

Why not pick a step, even a small one, and take action today to become more earth friendly?

Blessings to you,

Dan Serns

[1] Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Beliefs are found at http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html

[2] #1 Holy Scriptures: The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.)

[3] Ellen White. The Ministry of Healing p. 365

[4] Ellen White. Country Living p.13.

[5] Ellen White Counsels on Diet and Foods p. 400

[6] #6 Creation: God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days the Lord made “the heaven and the earth” and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was “very good,” declaring the glory of God. (Gen. 1; 2; Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 104; Heb. 11:3.)

[7] Leviticus 23:34-44; Deuteronomy 16:12-17; Nehemiah 8:14-18

[8] Ellen White, Counsels on Health p. 115; See also Ministry of Healing p. 296-7: “Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet. But not all foods wholesome in themselves are equally suited to our needs under all circumstances. Care should be taken in the selection of food. Our diet should be suited to the season, to the climate in which we live, and to the occupation we follow. Some foods that are adapted for use at one season or in one climate are not suited to another. So there are different foods best suited for persons in different occupations. Often food that can be used with benefit by those engaged in hard physical labor is unsuitable for persons of sedentary pursuits or intense mental application. God has given us an ample variety of healthful foods, and each person should choose from it the things that experience and sound judgment prove to be best suited to his own necessities.

Nature’s abundant supply of fruits, nuts, and grains is ample, and year by year the products of all lands are more generally distributed to all, by the increased facilities for transportation. As a result many articles of food which a few years ago were regarded as expensive luxuries are now within the reach of all as foods for everyday use. This is especially the case with dried and canned fruits.

[9] Ellen White, Ministry of Healing p. 313

[10] #7 Nature of Man: Man and woman were made in the image of God with individuality, the power and freedom to think and to do. Though created free beings, each is an indivisible unity of body, mind, and spirit, dependent upon God for life and breath and all else. When our first parents disobeyed God, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position under God. The image of God in them was marred and they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences. They are born with weaknesses and tendencies to evil. But God in Christ reconciled the world to Himself and by His Spirit restores in penitent mortals the image of their Maker. Created for the glory of God, they are called to love Him and one another, and to care for their environment. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7; Ps. 8:4-8; Acts 17:24-28; Gen. 3; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:12-17; 2 Cor. 5:19, 20; Ps. 51:10; 1 John 4:7, 8, 11, 20; Gen. 2:15.)

[11] #8 Great Controversy: All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe. This conflict originated in heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became Satan, God’s adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the angels. He introduced the spirit of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. This human sin resulted in the distortion of the image of God in humanity, the disordering of the created world, and its eventual devastation at the time of the worldwide flood. Observed by the whole creation, this world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be vindicated. To assist His people in this controversy, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and the loyal angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation. (Rev. 12:4-9; Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:12-18; Gen. 3; Rom. 1:19-32; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; Gen. 6-8; 2 Peter 3:6; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:14.)

[12] Here is a list of the Pathfinder Nature Study honors as of 3/5/2008- Nature

[13] See requirements at http://www.pathfindersonline.org/html/honors/masters_requirements.htm

[14] 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Romans 5:8-21

[15] 2 Peter 3:12-14; Revelation 14:6-7

[16] #10 Experience of Salvation: In infinite love and mercy God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God. Led by the Holy Spirit we sense our need, acknowledge our sinfulness, repent of our transgressions, and exercise faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ, as Substitute and Example. This faith which receives salvation comes through the divine power of the Word and is the gift of God’s grace. Through Christ we are justified, adopted as God’s sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship of sin. Through the Spirit we are born again and sanctified; the Spirit renews our minds, writes God’s law of love in our hearts, and we are given the power to live a holy life. Abiding in Him we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment. (2 Cor. 5:17-21; John 3:16; Gal. 1:4; 4:4-7; Titus 3:3-7; John 16:8; Gal. 3:13, 14; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; Rom. 10:17; Luke 17:5; Mark 9:23, 24; Eph. 2:5-10; Rom. 3:21-26; Col. 1:13, 14; Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 3:26; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:23; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 8:7-12; Eze. 36:25-27; 2 Peter 1:3, 4; Rom. 8:1-4; 5:6-10.)

[17] See 1 John 1:7, 9

[18] Proverbs 14:21, 31; 17:5; 19:17; 22:9

[19] Matthew 25:34-46

[20] #11 Growing in Christ: By His death on the cross Jesus triumphed over the forces of evil. He who subjugated the demonic spirits during His earthly ministry has broken their power and made certain their ultimate doom. Jesus’ victory gives us victory over the evil forces that still seek to control us, as we walk with Him in peace, joy, and assurance of His love. Now the Holy Spirit dwells within us and empowers us. Continually committed to Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we are set free from the burden of our past deeds. No longer do we live in the darkness, fear of evil powers, ignorance, and meaninglessness of our former way of life. In this new freedom in Jesus, we are called to grow into the likeness of His character, communing with Him daily in prayer, feeding on His Word, meditating on it and on His providence, singing His praises, gathering together for worship, and participating in the mission of the Church. As we give ourselves in loving service to those around us and in witnessing to His salvation, His constant presence with us through the Spirit transforms every moment and every task into a spiritual experience. (Ps 1:1, 2; 23:4; 77:11, 12; Col 1:13, 14; 2:6, 14, 15; Luke 10:17-20; Eph 5:19, 20; 6:12-18; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:17, 18; Phil 3:7-14; 1 Thess 5:16-18; Matt 20:25-28; John 20:21; Gal 5:22-25; Rom 8:38, 39; 1 John 4:4; Heb 10:25.)

[21]Found online at http://www.whiteestate.org/books/pp/pp51.html

[22] #13 Remnant and Its Mission: The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This remnant announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; it coincides with the work of judgment in heaven and results in a work of repentance and reform on earth. Every believer is called to have a personal part in this worldwide witness. (Rev. 12:17; 14:6-12; 18:1-4; 2 Cor. 5:10; Jude 3, 14; 1 Peter 1:16-19; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Rev. 21:1-14.)

[23] Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 8:4-8=Hebrews 2:6-8; Genesis 1:28; 2:18-25; 9:1, 7; Isaiah 53:5-6; Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; Revelation 1:5; Genesis 1:24-25; Genesis 1:28; Matthew 10:31; The laws of restitution show that animals are valued but mankind is of greater value. See for example Leviticus 24:18-22; Matthew 6:28-29; Genesis 1:29; Genesis 3:18, 19; Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 3:19-20; 12:7; John 5:28-29

[24] John 13:15; v1-30

[25] #16 Lord’s Supper: The Lord’s Supper is a participation in the emblems of the body and blood of Jesus as an expression of faith in Him, our Lord and Saviour. In this experience of communion Christ is present to meet and strengthen His people. As we partake, we joyfully proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes again. Preparation for the Supper includes self-examination, repentance, and confession. The Master ordained the service of foot washing to signify renewed cleansing, to express a willingness to serve one another in Christlike humility, and to unite our hearts in love. The communion service is open to all believing Christians. (1 Cor. 10:16, 17; 11:23-30; Matt. 26:17-30; Rev. 3:20; John 6:48-63; 13:1-17.)

[26]Found online at http://www.whiteestate.org/books/col/col19.html

[27] Luke 4:16

[28]Man with withered hand in synagogue- Matthew 12:9-13 (Mark 3:2f.; Luke 6:7f.) ; Demon- possessed man in Capernaum synagogue- Mark 1:21-27 (Luke 4:31f); Peter’s mother-in-law with a fever- Matthew 8:14-15 (Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39); Woman crippled eighteen years in synagogue- Luke 13:10-17; Man with dropsy in house- Luke 14:1-6; Man lame thirty-eight years at Pool of Bethesda- John 5:1-18; Man blind from birth along road- John 9:1-16

[29] #20 Sabbath: The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation. The fourth commandment of God’s unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the day of rest, worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of delightful communion with God and one another. It is a symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a foretaste of our eternal future in God’s kingdom. The Sabbath is God’s perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people. Joyful observance of this holy time from evening to evening, sunset to sunset, is a celebration of God’s creative and redemptive acts. (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5, 6; 58:13, 14; Matt. 12:1-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Eze. 20:12, 20; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:32.)

[30] Matthew 12:10-12; Mark 3:4; Luke 6:9; 14:3-6

[31] Ellen White Pacific Union Recorder October 24, 1901, paragraphs 1, 5-6

[32] #21 Stewardship: We are God’s stewards, entrusted by Him with time and opportunities, abilities and possessions, and the blessings of the earth and its resources. We are responsible to Him for their proper use. We acknowledge God’s ownership by faithful service to Him and our fellow men, and by returning tithes and giving offerings for the proclamation of His gospel and the support and growth of His church. Stewardship is a privilege given to us by God for nurture in love and the victory over selfishness and covetousness. The steward rejoices in the blessings that come to others as a result of his faithfulness. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15; 1 Chron. 29:14; Haggai 1:3-11; Mal. 3:8-12; 1 Cor. 9:9-14; Matt. 23:23; 2 Cor. 8:1-15; Rom. 15:26, 27.)

[33] Ellen White Acts of the Apostlespp. 70-71 Found online at http://www.whiteestate.org/books/aa/aa7.html

[34] #22 Christian Behavior: We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heaven. For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things which will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty. While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit. It also means that because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we are to care for them intelligently. Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well. Instead, we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness. (Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 John 2:6; Eph. 5:1-21; Phil. 4:8; 2 Cor. 10:5; 6:14-7:1; 1 Peter 3:1-4; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; 10:31; Lev. 11:1-47; 3 John 2.)

[35] #28 New Earth: On the new earth, in which righteousness dwells, God will provide an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in His presence. For here God Himself will dwell with His people, and suffering and death will have passed away. The great controversy will be ended, and sin will be no more. All things, animate and inanimate, will declare that God is love; and He shall reign forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:13; Isa. 35; 65:17-25; Matt. 5:5; Rev. 21:1-7; 22:1-5; 11:15.)

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