The Junior High students from Ruth Murdoch would like to invite you to join us for our "Virtual Tent" meetings. They began on Friday, May 22 and continue through June 2. Meetings are held at 7:00 PM each night, except Saturdays. Please come and support our kids and invite a friend or family member to watch so they can get to know Jesus better.
Tales from a Vineyard
Making Love in the Vineyard-An Old Song
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SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
More In This Series
“Tales from a Vineyard: Making Love
in the Vineyard—An Old Song”
»A Love Song in the Vineyard
• Song of Solomon 1 & 8/Isaiah 5:1-7
»A Parable about the Vineyard
• Matthew 21:33-43/John 15
»This may be the most important truth you have yet to learn:
• John 15:1-5, 8, 16
• Jesus talks about “fruit” seven times.
• What kind of fruit?
• Craig Keener: “In Palestine, the grapes ripen in late summer as the shoots stop growing and the bark changes from green to darker shortly before the vintage of August or September. Yet John writes figuratively; of what sort of fruit does the passage speak? . . . [T]he immediate context . . . suggests fruit.” (The Gospel of John: A Commentary 2:997)
• Galatians 5:22-23—“But the fruit of the is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
• Desire of Ages: “The life of Christ in you produces the same as in Him. Living in Christ, adhering to Christ, supported by Christ, drawing nourishment from Christ, you bear fruit after the similitude of Christ.”(677)
• Acts of the Apostles: “The sap of the vine, ascending from the root, is diffused to the branches, sustaining growth and producing blossoms and fruit. So the life-giving power of the , proceeding from the Saviour, pervades the soul, renews the motives and affections, and brings even the thoughts into obedience to the will of God, enabling the receiver to bear the precious fruit of holy deeds.” (284)
• But what about pruning (John 15:2)?
• Hebrews 5:8—“During the days of Jesus' life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He .”
• 2 Corinthians 12:8-10—“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ . . . That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am , then I am strong.”
• Philippians 3:10—“I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His , becoming like Him in His death.”
• Hebrews 12:10-11—“Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness [“Become like Me”]. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces the of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained [pruned] by it.”
• 2 Timothy 3:12—“Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus [connected to the Vine] will be [pruned].”
• Mark 10:30—Jesus promises all who give up all to follow Him will be rewarded a hundred times as much in this life with “ .”
• The point: we won’t get through this life without being .
• Desire of Ages: “The pruning will cause pain, but it is the Father who applies the knife. He works with no wanton hand or indifferent heart.  There are branches trailing upon the ground; these must be cut loose from the supports to which their tendrils are fastening. They are to reach heavenward, and find their support in God.  The excessive foliage that draws away the life current [sap] from the must be pruned off.  The overgrowth must be cut out, to give room for the healing beams of the Sun of Righteousness. The husbandman prunes away the growth, that the fruit may be richer and more abundant.” (677)
• Andrew Murray: “Christian, pray for grace to see in every trouble, small or great, the Father’s finger pointing to Jesus, and saying, Abide in Him! . . . A believer may pass through much affliction and yet secure but little blessing from it all. Abiding in Christ is the secret of securing all that the Father the chastisement to bring us.” (Abiding in Christ 122-123)
• “I will put my in Him.” (Hebrews 2:13)
• “Prune me, dear Father, that there may be more fruit . . . in my life . . . for Your glory.”
You gotta have fruit!
We are saddened to inform you that due to COVID-19 FLAG Camp will be canceled this summer. Thank you to each who has applied to be on staff. Please apply again next year for the summer of 2021. We will be working to make next summer a great and safe experience!
For your safety, Pioneer Memorial Church offices are now closed until further notice. Pastors and staff continue to work remotely to serve your needs.
University Medical Specialties is currently accepting patients who have both critical care and other medical needs.
This week I learned of our world church headquarters appeal for prayer throughout the global Seventh-day Adventist family. Originally timed to end during the recently-postponed General Conference session in Indianapolis, our church leaders are calling us to now focus 100 days of praying (March 27-July 4) on behalf of the global coronavirus pandemic. There could hardly be a more urgent need for earnest praying!
A pastor friend of mine, Jim Moon, pointed out a two-verse juxtaposition I'd not noticed before: "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a pestilence among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:13-14). While everyone knows the beloved prayer call in v 14, few of us connect it with the preceding divine action in v 13. "A pestilence among My people" certainly could represent a global pandemic like the coronavirus COVID-19. While Satan is the originator of destructive calamities, what more faith-appropriate response is our collective prayers to the One who can deliver this nation, this world, these people, from the grips of pestilence.
So let's join together in humbling ourselves before God and praying and seeking His face—that our world might be saved and our faith community might yet be mobilized to share the glad tidings of Jesus' soon return.
- Pastor Dwight
Over the summer and fall of 2019 Pioneer underwent significant physical renovation—including a new roof and a major Sanctuary makeover. During the same time congregation leaders engaged in multiple conversations about our missional renovation—how does a faith community like Pioneer seriously engage and impact the people around us for Christ? From this dialogue emerged a fresh new expression of our Pioneer mission: "Love on the Move."
For more events impacting our local university campus, please visit www.andrews.edu/agenda.