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Monday: High Thoughts and Ways — 9 Comments

  1. One of the big changes in scientific thought that occurred in the early twentieth century was our perception of gravity. Since the time of Newton and Keppler we had thought of gravity as "action at a distance". Heavy objects attracted one another according to an inverse square law. Then Einstein came along and said that we had it all wrong. He proposed that space bends around heavy objects and that was the explanation of gravity. It was such a dramatic change in the way of thinking that it took a little while for scientists to believe it. (By the way it explains the precessional movement of planets; something that Newton and Keppler could not explain - but that is a digression). The point is that Einstein had a completely different explanation of gravity that other scientists had not even thought about.

    I think that illustrates the idea behind the main text for our lesson today.

    For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
    Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
    “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    So are My ways higher than your ways,
    And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8,9

    And if I venture a one-paragraph expansion of the meaning of this passage, does this suggest that we are thinking of salvation in the wrong way. We think of salvation of winning and being rewarded, of payment and wages, when all along, God's idea has been of one of "bending space towards him" so that we fall into his love. Something to think about as we read this passage of scripture again.

  2. God has more reason to destroy us than to save and revive us. Those who are now humble were once full of sin. God summarizes the sin with the words, unjust gain. Unjust gain is greed. It represents the opposite of God’s generous nature.

    Unjust gain is covetousness, which is idolatry. Unjust gain is the love of self more than others. Scripture tells us that the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

  3. If the study of the incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice, and mediatorial work will be our study as long as time lasts then it is not surprising that now during the probationary time that some aspects are still a mystery to us. However the LORD invites us to study - He says through Isaiah - come now and let us reason together. The Holy Spirit through Paul exhorts us to become mature in the understanding of the character of the LORD and His Principles of Life. However we are not to go beyond what the Word of the LORD reveals to us, for instance it clearly and repeatedly states that Jesus Christ died to make atonement for our sins, just because that is a mystery to us we should not try to reason it away.

    Heb 5:11-14 ISV  We have much to say about this, but it is difficult to explain because you have become too lazy to understand.  (12)  In fact, though by now you should be teachers, you still need someone to teach you the basic truths of God's word. You have become people who need milk instead of solid food.  (13)  For everyone who lives on milk is still a baby and does not yet know the difference between right and wrong.  (14)  But solid food is for mature people, whose minds are trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.
    Heb 6:1-3 ISV  Therefore, leaving behind the elementary teachings about the Messiah, let us continue to be carried along to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead actions, faith toward God,  (2)  instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.  (3)  And this we will do, if God permits.
    Deu 29:29 ISV  The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but what has been revealed belongs to us and to our children forever, so that we might observe the words of this Law."
    Rom 6:10 ISV  For when he died, he died once and for all as far as sin is concerned. But now that he is alive, he lives for God.

  4. The only explanation for the greatest sacrifice of all is the greatest love of all, shown by God through His Son Jesus Christ for us!

  5. The lesson in the first question "asks what do we think it means"
    The second question asks "why is it hard for us to grasp"
    God can create from nothing and with such diversity and are so far advanced that He/They can't ever be fully understood. They obviously have a code of ethics and morality above our understanding even though They are without equal in power and intelligence. And yet They still deal with us gently more than we deserve.

  6. Being that earthlings became, like our Creator, to have knowledge of good and evil, let us turn from our desire to be God like. Let us put off our fleshly evil desires and submit. Worship God for His thoughts and actions are so far above our thoughts and actions. Pray to Him asking for His Kingdom to come and His Will be done. Accept His invitation to join His waging of the war of Love Today!!

  7. To “*Why* God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours” I answer: they are higher because our ways are compromised by iniquity and so became lower than the ways of Heaven; heaven’s ways are complete, perfect - ours imperfect through our iniquity.
    Man’s ways are steeped in his inherited iniquity, his separation from God, and now dependent on the brain’s limited ability to help him function in his body of flesh; his flesh lost the capacity to know God.
    Our mind receives impulses from the brain to generate perception, memory, and action signals which are then processed by the will center which is influenced by our conscience to decide what to do with this information which, in the end, is acted upon.
    The interesting part in this lineup is the last part – our conscience. I believe our awareness of ‘right and wrong’ of ethical and moral conduct, which we call conscience, is the spark left over from our original intimate relationship with the Father in whose Image/Nature we were created.

    It is interesting to ask ‘how’ God’s ways and thoughts are ‘higher’ than ours; what causes the difference in His moral and ethical law reflected by His Righteousness? I can easily see that God’s ways are ‘higher’ in the way He uses His power to create, but what about His moral and ethical ways, how do they differ from ours.
    I do not think that ‘higher’ is limited to God being intellectually better equipped, but it means that the creature man does not know how to discern Widsom because he lost the capcity to receive it from his Maker. His mind is limited to what it can think of and is motivated by to aid his survival.
    The mind of God is different in that it is omnipresent and omniscent and so can address all aspects of time and space to meet the needs of man as part of His Creation, including and especially focusing on the spiritual component of man which is sustained by His paternal Love, but more than that, God's nature is LOVE!

    When those in Heaven created man, we received the capacity to spiritually communicate with them, and when man would think about matters pertaining to himself he indirectly engaged and reflected the ways of Heaven.
    We know that our existence is to reflect and so honor God’s *Name/Nature*, but under the present circumstances, the fallen creature man is left to only reflect his limited self; himself existing without adequate understanding of his true nature which is made in the Image of God.
    We cannot live the Image/Nature of God unless we are reunited with the Source which established His Image in us; without Him we exist no differently than soil, or water, or air, or all the other creatures God made. But we are more than a mechanical entity, we are a living soul which received its design and nature from God, destined to express the Father’s Will in all we think, feel and do.

    “Great is the mystery of godliness” , this mystery is what we will be able to understand better with time spend in Christ and with Him in the Father's Nature.
    Our mind still perceives us to exist outside of God as a separate ‘thing’, but in a short time we will be able to “know the Father as we are known by Him” - John14:6-20KJV. v. 10: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (11): Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” (20) “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, in I in you.”

    *To know and to be known* is what we strife toward because it is complete oneness; we act separately but are sustained by one Spirit. And this *Oneness with the Will of God* is being established in the believer who faithfully walks in Christ’s Way of Life and Light – action and wisdom.
    Christ Jesus directs us that “if we love Him we will be able to walk in His way and be one with Him in Spirit. Therefore the most salient aspect of the mystery of Godliness is that it exists and is manifest in God’s Love in us and our love in Him.

  8. In Isaiah 55:8,9, God is asking us to depend on and trust in Him. The evidence that supports His conclusion is all around us and throughout the Word of God, which He is merely pointing out. There is no argument against God's counsel, only acceptance or rejection. The context is our daily life; every moment of every day. God's conclusion/appeal is never irrelevant for any thought, word, or action on our part. We may either remain in unbelief and sin, or repent and believe. Just two options here, with no "neutral observer" position possible, and every word/action of ours is telling everyone what our decision on God's offer is.


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