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Managing for the Master–Till He Comes — 4 Comments

  1. It is easy to be cynical when you see a set of lessons turn up where the main theme is "Tithes and Offerings". In fact I was cynical enough to look back (something you can do fairly easily on this site) to see when we had the last set on the same topic. It was 1st quarter, 2018; so it looks like it is just the 5-year cycle of lessons.

    I hope that this time around we get beyond the same old questions about tithing gross or net income. Do we pay a second tithe? What do we do if ...? etc, etc.

    There is a bigger picture and hopefully, we will ultimately understand and appreciate it. Essentially we are in this Gospel enterprise together and with the Holy Spirit leading we can put aside those, "Where's my bit?" questions and accusations and learn that collaboration takes commitment and cooperation.

    I like the idea that we are starting this series about family. If you are a part of a functional family you know that family members look after one another and care for one another. Families that lose that "care for one another" principle become dysfunctional.

    Churches that forget to care for one another also become dysfunctional, and then when that happens, nobody wants to listen to us.

    (31)
  2. I would like to offer a framework for approaching this quarter's lesson - a framework that equally applies to all other quarter's lessons in a way that therefore reflects continuity across quarters.

    Last quarter, there was mention that the conclusion of 'The Great Controversy', the great polemos (war of truth vs lies/deception) is brought about when everyone - 'saint' and 'sinner' alike - comes to final inescapable awareness that God and His Ways are the only viable reality capable of actually fostering true life. How is it that even hardened sinners can no longer arrive at any other ultimate awareness? I would propose that the only way this can authentically happen is for there to be an inescapable, objective reality that they will no longer be able to avoid coming face-to-face with, so to speak. Consistent with this suggestion - which renders God absolutely non-arbitrary in absolutely every aspect - I find and believe that abundant/eternal life is an objective reality that we actually need to be in sufficient harmony with otherwise it just doesn't 'work'. Your need to breathe to be alive is but one small example of this wider principle. A bigger example, as testified by 'the fall' (Genesis 3:6; 6:5) is the essential need to be and live in harmony with the principle of other-seeking.

    Viewing aspects of life and living from this framework means that everything - and I mean absolutely everything - that God asks or 'requires' is for no other reason than because that is the only way abundant/eternal life objectively operates and will therefore help us progressively grow and be in harmony with such. Progressively learning about the details of these aspects, to the extent that we are able, assists us to better and better understand God and His Ways. All God is trying to do is inform us of the way to life in the hope that we will free-willingly choose life over perishing (eg Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Ezekiel 18:32; 2 Peter 3:9). And as we grow in awareness of this, not only does our 'informed' love for God deepen, but also our 'informed' love for others because we are aware of the objective reality we are each and all inescapably part of.

    Please note that none of what I have said above is done independently from God, but in co-operation with God (as per Philippians 2:12-13). This collaborative partnership with God is the inherent, necessary basis of life and living for all God's creation (eg Jeremiah 7:23), and as such is the most overarching and eternal 'covenant' between Creator and created (as reflected in Jeremiah 31:33).

    So, for every aspect that is raised in the lessons this quarter, you might be interested in contemplating how being either in or out of harmony with that aspect might objectively either facilitate or inhibit your progressive growing in harmony with that which fosters true life - rather than that which instead fosters perishing (as per Proverbs 14:12 applied principle). Perhaps this will assist you to approach this quarter with 'fresh eyes'...

    (15)

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