Monday, March 4 2024 - 8:04 PM

Sharing Scripture — December 30, 2023

The End of God’s Mission

 

For use: December 24 – 30, 2023
Texts: Revelation 1:1-7; 14:6-12; 21:1-4; 1 Peter 2:9; Luke 11:23; 1 Timothy 2:4

 

George Ting, a retired San Francisco physician, was on a mission. Wanting to say, “Thank you,” to his high school principal, he set out to contact Joe DeMarsh. The mission was complicated not only by the 60 years that had passed, but also by the fact that Ting had attended school in Japan.

When he was a small child, George’s parents had moved from China to Japan. They worked hard to provide education for their children in a prestigious school. His mother opened a Chinese restaurant and his father a small import-export business.

One day, at age 16, George, wanting some extra money for a date, noticed an unattended purse in an empty room. Even though he was junior class president and a member of the honor society, he felt that he didn’t fit in because he lacked the affluence that many other students enjoyed. It was then that Ting slipped his hand into the purse, removed the wallet, took a few dollars, and looked up into the eyes of his principal.

DeMarsh motioned him into the office, and Ting knew what would meet him. He would be disgraced, expelled, the trajectory of his life would be forever changed. However, DeMarsh’s discourse was brief, only six words. “You can do better than that.”

Upon completion of his senior year, Ting moved to the United States, completing university and medical school. Then, 60 years later, he wanted to contact Joe DeMarsh to express appreciation for the gift of grace he had received. After trying various online resources, he contacted the school in Japan and was able to find out that DeMarsh lived in Pendleton, Oregon. Susan, Joe’s wife explained that George should come soon because DeMarsh was in the final stages of kidney failure.

After flying to Portland, Ting rented a car and drove to the remote area near Cabbage Hill. The interaction was brief, consisting of a tearful Ting taking his former principal’s hand, looking into his face, and uttering two words. “Thank you.”

Ting soon returned to give a memorial dinner for the family and friends of Joe DeMarsh. But it didn’t stop there. He set up an endowment scholarship of $850,000 at The American School in Japan in honor of Joe DeMarsh in appreciation for kindness and grace.

In any mission, the expected culmination of the mission is necessary to formulate a plan. Without the projected end in sight, how would one decide what direction to take?

Some of the passages from this week’s Sharing Scripture describe in detail what will happen to those who do not follow God’s commands. As we compare those commands to other passages, we are reminded that we serve a God of grace, a God of love, a God whose desire it is to lead us to accept the love, grace, and forgiveness that is lavished on us.

God gives us direction, but it doesn’t stop there. We are shown how we will experience love and acceptance in the place prepared for us. This divine mission had the end in sight from the beginning. It is one carefully planned to lead us to choose, to accept, to long to be with God in the home promised to those who accept forgiveness.

 

For Reflection

 

Connecting: As we are beginning a new year, what thoughts fill your mind? If you were to graph them, what portion of the graph would be devoted to finances? Relationships? Career? Learning more about how much Jesus loves you? Take time to share your goals with a trusted friend or your small group.

Sharing: Revelation 14:6-12 describes messages from three angels. What is the purpose of these messages?

  1. We should tell everyone about these messages. If they decide to join our church, we should then take time to get acquainted with them.
  2. These messages are intended to make sure we are afraid enough to make only the right choices.
  3. The three angels give messages that portray the extent of God’s love for us.
  4. The messages are a continual reminder that Jesus wants us to place our faith in Him no matter what may happen.
  5. These messages, when read in the context of God’s grace, are filled with hope and love.
  6. Other

Applying: Prayerfully read 1 Timothy 2:4. Are there relationships in your life that need restoration? Could you be carrying some feelings toward someone that might change if you were to pray for that individual, remembering that God desires to save all men?

Valuing: Revelation 21:1-4 promises us that not only will God’s kingdom be free of death, mourning, crying and pain, but it also assures us of God’s presence. We will be God’s people and God will live with us. Are you able to thank God for these promises?

~ Joy Veverka


Before you go…

 

Thank you for being with us throughout another year! It is our prayer that your holiday season has been and will continue to be a blessing.

And may the next year together be one of even more growth together!

God bless you and your loved ones,

The Center for Creative Ministry Team

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Center for Creative Ministry
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We need your help and we need your prayers that God will continue to lead us as we deal with new realities.

Thank you,

Monte Sahlin | Chair of the Board

 

The Center for Creative Ministry is fully recognized by the North American Division (NAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church; it is also a 501c3 nonprofit organization which makes donations tax deductible in the U.S.

 

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