Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2017
Texts: Acts 7:51; Hebrews 10:24, 25; Ephesians 4:25–5:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:19–21; Mark 3:28, 29
“I want to help you, but you have to be a willing participant. If you’re not, then I am no longer helping you up; it is you who is pulling me down.”
–Dr. Steve Maraboli
The above quote summarizes the experience of firefighters in San Luis Obispo last week when they received a call that a man was in the surf waving his hands. First responders quickly arrived on the scene and launched a boat to help the man. At the same time another responder scaled down the side of the cliff by rope and reached the victim.
But when the firefighters offered to help, the man refused. The man was actually wearing street clothes and had a backpack on, evidently clinging to the rocks. Apparently he didn’t want to be rescued by rope or boat, but said he would just wait for the tide to go out.
The Battalion Chief said he has never heard of a person refusing help in a situation like this, especially since it was high tide. “That is time someone else could have had a problem and we weren’t able to get there fast enough,” he said.
Before the firefighters left this scene a call came to help a woman who fell on a trail just five minutes up the road. The woman, who broke her ankle, and her friends were shocked at how quickly the rescuers showed up and were grateful for their assistance.1
Can you imagine someone in a crisis who refuses help? It happens all the time … not just on a physical or emotional level, but on a spiritual level. This week’s Sabbath school lesson looks at the sad reality of people who refused the help of the Holy Spirit.
No other Helper could be of more assistance than the third Person of the Godhead. All the blessings of heaven are at our disposal through the Spirit, who freely gives strength, peace, wisdom, hope, comfort, and even a repentant heart to those who simply ask. The Spirit is quicker than a first responder and able to know exactly what we need in times of crisis.
The Bible warns us that repeatedly pushing away the help of the Holy Spirit will “grieve” the Spirit. That usually happens when we refuse to let go of sin in our lives. Paul says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).
When you’re up to your neck in sin and the Spirit offers a helping hand, don’t refuse it, or you may be eternally swept away.
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