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Friday: Further Thought ~ Seeing the Invisible — 5 Comments

  1. Last night I watched an interesting discussion on Youtube. A group of eminent scientists were discussing dark matter and energy. Scientists have an observational problem. When they measured the behaviour of distant galaxies they noted that the outer part of the galaxy was spinning faster than their current models predicted. Two ideas were discussed. Either the mathematics and physics is wrong or there is a lot of stuff in the universe that we cannot see. It was a very interesting amicable discussion even though the scientists differed in their explanations.

    The problem with the dark matter explanation is that we cannot see it. The only stuff in the universe that we can see emits or reflects light (OK, electromagnetic radiation for the purists). The issue for those that think the maths and physics is wrong is that we may have to make some fundamental shifts in field theory)

    Sitting, watching the discussion I thought that the "Silent God" is a bit like the dark matter issue. We cannot see God but we can see love functioning in a way that encourages, surprises, and challenges us. It makes our spiritual galaxy spin faster. We cannot see or explain the cause, but we can observe its effect. Or, perhaps we have got some of the theory (theology) wrong, and need to modify some of our ideas about how the love of God really works.

    There is a consequence to all of this. The "effect" of God has to be observable in our lives to make a difference in others. It is when others experience that effect through us that they may be drawn to God.

    We could look at the lesson this week from a personal perspective: What do we do when God appears to be silent to us? My experience has been that the support (effect) of my community of believers has always been helpful in restoring my faith.

  2. In and through our lessons this quarter regarding the unfortunate reality of crucible experiences, there are two vital points that we necessarily need to keep bringing to mind with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.

    1) God is ABUNDANTLY COMPASSIONATE toward us! Hebrews 12:2 informs us that Jesus willingly underwent whatever was necessary to redeem us "for the joy that was set before him". That joy was and is the joy God experiences from us being in relationship with Him. This is also why God created us. It can be hard to fathom how much God actually longs to fellowship with us and to have us experience abundant life (zoe). Thus, God isn't just a little bit for us or somewhat for us. Rather, like the prodigal son's father who showered his returned son in so much acknowledgement and celebration (Luke 15:20,22-24), God is ABUNDANTLY for us (Romans 8:31).

    2) Unfortunately, we are temporarily within a sin-infected reality and that is what is causing the difficulties we face (Romans 8:20-23). As Jesus hilighted, because of this we inevitably encounter and experience trouble in this world - even though this world has already been ultimately overcome by Jesus (John 16:33). Associated with this is the unfortunate reality that restoration and growth now come via pain. However, James and Paul point out that this pain, though unpleasant and undesirable, nevertheless produces necessary character growth (James 1:2-4; Romans 5:3-5). Note that even Jesus character was strengthened as a consequence of what He suffered while on this sin-infected world (Hebrews 5:8-9a). Knowing this helps us realised why bad stuff is happening and why God doesn't always stop it from happening.

    God's message for you for today is: "For reasons you can't yet understand (though one day will be able to), for now you will experience crucibles of suffering. But I am not leaving you alone to do that, I AM right with you far closer than you think and feel (Matthew 28:20; John 14:18,16-17). And be assured that I AM working mightily on your behalf in a way that you cannot yet see (Romans 8:28). Trust me - I will not let you down! (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5)"

    I see these same two key points reflected in the Ellen White quotes that make up today's lesson.

  3. Last night as we read and prayed, I suddenly realized that when Jesus comes to take us home and He makes our bodies new with no scars or deformities He will carry the scars in the palms of His hands and on His side. He who will take away all the “un-beautiful” marks from our bodies and make us perfect is willing to carry the scars that we laid on Him. Again, I fall on my knees and praise Him who will do all for me.

  4. Good Works:
    What did Jesus mean when He said let people see your "good works"?
    Jesus said the "works" the Father gave Him to do were His miracles and His teachings. And He said His followers would do greater 'works' than He did. So I believe we are called to be "Caring Light Bearers". In His parable of the sheep and the goats Jesus made it clear that He was talking about caring for those in need. Usually, only when people see that the LORD, through His followers, cares for them, will they then care about His message.

    John 5:36 But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that He sent me.
    John 14:12 Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

    Matt 5:16NKJV Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
    Matt 5:16 Amplified Version Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.

    Matt 25:32-36,40 - Am I a sheep or goat?

  5. God the Father leading us through the Holy Spirit would never cause us to engage in any action contrary to His Word or Will. I found that the closer I have come to Him, the more I loved Him and His Word, the deeper He established Himself in my heart and mind. I found that it is not only when we ask Him that He guides us, but that He guides our hearts and minds always – some of us are just not sure about His constant guidance and cannot perceive His presence clearly.

    I think that the believer will want to ask for more and more clarity and an ever deepeing understanding of the Holy Spirit's promptings to do right in the eyes of God.
    There is the obvious right and wrong of our conduct, and there is the invisible right and wrong born by our intentions and aims; the Holy Spirit will point out the difference.
    If our intentions and aims, together with our actions, are to follow the Will of the Father, I think that little doubt about what to do will remain.
    Phil.4:8 - ”Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice.
    Phil.4:12-13 ”I know how to live humbly, and I know how to abound. I am accustomed to any and every situation – to being filled and being hungry, to having plenty and having need. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”


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