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Friday: Further Thought ~ Waging Love — 10 Comments

  1. When I finally realised I was too fat for my own good, I went on a strict diet to lose weight. It worked and over a period of 4 months I lost 25kg of weight. To put that in frightening perspective, that is 50 tubs of margarine. It was great; I bought new clothes and I had the joy of people looking at me and not recognising me, or shyly asking me if I was sick or something. But somewhere in that 4 month period I learned the hard truth: If I wanted to keep that weight off, I had to change my lifestyle. It wasn't just a 4 month period of self-denial of foods that I liked. It was the rest of my life, that I had to act on. I have to say that it was also an opportunity for exploring new food ideas and getting creative with foods too. Fortunately even though my big weight loss occurred in 2003/4 I have managed to keep my weight off since then. But importantly, that weight loss is only maintained because I have seriously changed my lifestyle.

    Isaiah's message this week has to a large extent been aimed at changing the spiritual lifestyle of the Hebrew people. They have a long history of heeding the prophets for a while, only to fall back into their old spiritual ways. In Isaiah's time they were going though the show of being religious but not the 24/7 action.

    And in our 21st century the message is just as pertinent. I have been through a couple of revival movements in the Seventh-day Adventist church. Folk have gone on a "spiritual diet", but grow tired of it and revert back to their old ways. Today, as in Isaiah's time, we need to understand the importance of a lifestyle change. That does not mean a six-week period of self-denial - it means the rest of your life!

    What changes do we need to make.

    And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
    For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. Luke 9:23,24 KJV

    That is the challenge!

  2. At two of the main universities of my country the students are holding mass protests because of the lack of funding for needy students to continue with their studies.
    Just imagine if a billionaire stood up and said don't worry come and study for free and then work for me for the rest of your lives!
    Is this what the LORD is saying to the Jews (kingdom of Judah)?
    Isa 55:2-3
    Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live;
    And I will make an everlasting covenant with you — I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.

  3. "Either we may live to serve or we do not serve to live"... God is the donor of all that we have! Thus, these talents/gifts are not to be waisted! Body, mind, soul, and all material things, we owe to manage with wisdom, for our own good and for the good of those in need surrounding us.

  4. The day of atonement in Isaiah's time was only the type of what has come to the world today. This is THE true "day" that this type pointed to, and the True High Priest is in the heavenly sanctuary "purifying unto Himself a peculiar people zealous of good works"(Titus 2:14). This is how Jesus is preparing a "place"(Zech 3:7, John 14:2) for God's people. So it seems vital to have a right understanding of how we are to observe this "day".

  5. Shirley- can we reason? you said-

    'Just imagine if a billionaire stood up and said don't worry come and study for free and then work for me for the rest of your lives'!
    But, wait. That would not be fair. If someone paid for your education for 4-6 yrs according to your career, no one should be asked to work for them for the rest of their lives. Was not that the same problem with the Jews that caused the Lord to introduce the Year of Jubilee. To let the oppress go free. Also the 7th year freedom for the slaves? A slave cant be held forever unless they agreed to stay and serve their masters through love. The Lord wants us to be his servants/slaves and serve him through love, he is not forcing, threatening, coercing no one to stay with him who do not love him.

    It they said to work for them until you pay back for the college might sound more reasonable. Many people like myself, have gone to college/univ and their work place paid a part of the fee. Presently those who work with SDA institutions benefit also for school fees and other things. I don't think the conference/institution should ask no one to work for them for the rest of their lives. They stay with them and work through love.
    What a loving Jesus who bargains but does not force anyone to love Him.

    • Lyn, yes let us reason. You assumed the billionaire was saying work for nothing, but what if he was saying I will guarantee you will always have a job and I will pay you a generous salary? Anyway that was just a discussion starter.
      The LORD says two things:
      Come to me that your soul shall live - you will have an abundant eternal life and we will enter into an everlasting covenant of love. A covenant is like a marriage, a promise to love each other as long as we live.

      Isa 55:3. Incline your ear and come to Me; listen, so that your soul may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant—My loving devotion promised to David.

  6. The book of Isaiah is truly a blessed, remarkable record of the history of God’s work to open the eyes of man and recognize the forces that govern the circumstances wherein he finds himself in his life here on earth. How else would man know who he is or what his destiny is if not by the Word of God as revealed to him by the prophets and recorded for posterity to all generations.
    Should the person respond to God’s revealed Word, he starts on a spiritual journey designed to further open his eyes and change his life forever. Fears and trepidations related to the struggle for survival will be calmed by the understanding that his true life is not bound to or found in possessions, food, drink, or clothing, but that his life has a higher purpose – to reunite with his Maker and to reflect His Nature; he receives instructions from heavenly sources to undergird this quest.

    Yes, understanding himself in the Light of true Life will change the direction and purpose for his life; changing it from fear and anxiety to joy and gratitude. His mind’s and heart’s perception have changed. He clings no longer to perishables, but willingly and joyfully shares them with others. He does not ‘go about organizing to meet the needs of others’. His daily life becomes a sharing of that which God has blessed him with; including time, energy, loving consideration as well as material resources. The faithful believer's life has a new purpose - sharing his reconciliation – sharing God’s Love in him with all he comes in contact with.

    Our spiritual relationship with our Lord and Savior is not reflected by observing a special day or ceremony, it is reflected in the way we live our lives. The Son of God who became our Savior Christ Jesus showed us the Way to live our lives which we accepted and walk by faith and not coercion. It is based on having accepted God’s love into our heart and loving Him back as we live His Way by faith; waking up in the morning to greet Him with a glad heart, and laying down at night assured that we will rest in His arms whether we wake up in this body to live another day of this life or not. It really does not matter whether we live or die, we do both in the Lord - Rom.14:8KJV

    His admonishments recognize and respect the response of our free will. His messengers have been giving His Words of wisdom and admonishment and the Father is watching our every step in the hope that we will turn to Him and remain faithful.
    His Holy Spirit became the believer's personal Guide to lead them along their unique path of life. After accepting God’s Word of Truth we start to live our life after His Way. The desire to go back to the old ways diminishes and His Way becomes our way.
    Our new life’s purpose is the Ministry of Reconciliation; the Gospel message and Way of Life is His Word of Reconciliation!

    2Cor.5:15-19KJV - ”Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. (17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he(let him be) a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) to wit , that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”

  7. True Christianity is not only through strict adherence to religious rituals .....it is more that this. It is the changing of lifestyle into a examplary Christian lifestyle of love. We know Him if we keep his commandments. We can't claim to love God if we don't even love our neighbors, family and friends. Visiting the poor, the oppressed, prisoners.....sharing to the poor, preaching God in our daily endeavors.

  8. Upon the walls of our homes, the pictures, the furnishings,
    the opening sentence here on Friday's lesson,
    Can someone explain what this means?

    • I think this is a reference to Deut 11:18-21:

      Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
      And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
      And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:
      That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.

      The idea is that we are to remind our children of the leading of God and our response to his love.


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