I'm in Germany since last Friday visiting friends and family. As always, it's nice getting a break, especially at this time of the year. Yesterday, I went to Stuttgart (about an hour from here) with a friend from my home church. We visited mutual friends there. Sylvia is German and used to be in our church (in fact, she became acquainted with the message there), and her husband Marlon is originally from Tobago. They have a little boy, almost two years old. We had a nice time together and time went by way too fast. Needless to say that I'm very thankful for still having friends in my home country I can connect with.
Tomorrow, I'm going to attend a funeral of a dear old man from church. I really liked Brother Erwin and always enjoyed visiting him at the nursing home where he spent the last few years of his life. I had hoped to be still able to see him, but he passed away the week before I came. But I'm glad for him that he can rest in Jesus now. Ninety-seven is a high age after all, and especially the last time was very rough for him.
So I'm keeping myself busy. This coming weekend, we will have a board meeting of our German ministry, about two hours from here. Then on Monday, I'm going to head back to Brussels.
I really enjoyed last week's Sabbath school lesson. Isn't it beautiful how righteousness by faith is depicted in the third chapter of Zechariah? I like the EGW quote below. Indeed, He will not forsake us - if we look and believe on Him!
"Joshua, standing before the angel of the Lord with defiled garments, represents those whose religious life has been faulty, who have been overcome by Satan's temptations, and are unworthy of God's favor. Today human beings stand before God with defiled garments. All their righteousness is "as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). Satan uses against them his masterly accusing power, pointing to their imperfections as evidence of their weakness. He points scornfully at the mistakes of those who claim to be doing God service. They have been deceived by him, and he begs for permission to destroy them.
But they trust in Christ, and Christ will not forsake them. He came to this world to take away their sins, and to impute to them His righteousness. He declares that through faith in His name they may receive forgiveness, and perfect Christlike characters. They have confessed their sins to Him, and have asked for pardon, and Christ declares that because they look to and believe on Him, He will give them power to become sons of God.
Their characters are defective, but because they have not trusted in their own merits and excused their sins, because they have asked for forgiveness through the merits of Christ, the Lord receives them, and rebukes Satan. Because they have humbled themselves, confessing their sins, He refuses to listen to the enemy's accusations. He has abundantly pardoned the penitent ones, and will carry forward in them His work of redeeming love if they will continue to believe in Him and to trust Him."
--Letter 173, Aug. 5, 1903