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Thursday: Ishmael and Isaac Today — 12 Comments

  1. Persecution is rather harsh terminology. The ramifications can be more specific than the situation calls for. I see a difference between contrary opinions and persecution. Paul had some very strong differences, even accused them of being hypocritical. Paul also suffered persecutions of extremes during his missionary journeys and establishment of the different churches that were converts.

    • When "contrary opinions" become accusations that is persecution! We as a church family need tolerance and love of Jesus so that "my opinions" do not equal the only way to God and thus persecute someone who has found freedom to BE in Jesus! Guard ourselves carefully! It is God's way, not mine or yours!

  2. Hind sight is 20/20. Our human instincts are quite apparent to Abraham and Sarah. They both laughed, Gen 17:17 and Gen 18:12,13,15, Gen21:6. We have The scriptures and history of Gods' word to guide us the correct way. If we neglect to take advantage of this opportunity, we will suffer the consequences.

  3. I thank God for the freedom of worship. But I need His mercy to forgive my own slavery of sin! And that happens only throug accepting Christ's sacrifice for me! Every day!

    • I too thank God for the freedom to worship, but over the past week I have had cause to think about my attitude to others who choose to worship (or not worship) differently to me. In a multicultural society the rights of others, particularly non-Christians, we Christians feel that it is our freedoms that are being challenged without thinking about those of others. When our freedoms are being challenged, we like to defend them, but when other's freedoms are challenged we are sometimes a bit thin on the ground.

  4. Just this past Sabbath, the Sabbath school teacher for little ones told me to better take my 6 and 7 year old inside the church when I arrive late to church because we were interrupting the class when late! I felt so so sad when hearing that and I only pray that He helps her in her way of thinking and help me with the way I react to things like this. Yes even from within the church family!

    • You can also do something to your schedules to arrive before the door is shut. God keeps the time and it is He who opens and shuts the doors. Sometimes see the people he works through and react to them.

      • I don't think that is quite the point Jackson Chibwezo. I remember the time I made the choice to visit a Seventh-day Adventist Church when I was on one of my bird-watching trips. We had planned to spend Sabbath out in nature and did not know that an Adventist Church was even in the area. When we saw the sign to the church we made an on the spot decision to go to church. We walked into Church just as the sermon was about to begin. We were greeted from the pulpit with, "Better late than never I suppose!" What surprised us was that this was a little church off the beaten track with only about a dozen attendees in the congregation and one would have though that they would have been happy to have visitors, even late ones. But we were chastised for being late. Fortunately I have a thick skin and a good sense of humor so it did not bother me personally, but I did think of how uncomfortable I could have felt if I was a first time visitor.

        We should make everyone feel welcome, even latecomers. We do not know their circumstances and ours is not to judge. I know how hard it can be when you have two lively kids that are hard to get to stand still long enough to get dressed. I have been late to church because I stopped to help someone with a flat tyre. Have you ever stopped to talk to a teenager who is reticent about going inside for Sabbath School, not to chastise him or her but to encourage and to make them feel welcome. Clocks and appointment times can be useful, but we sometimes need to acknowledge that we need to extend the grace of time to others - because that is what God does for us.

        • Thank you for your kind consideration comment Maurice. I will pray for you Diana and your children to stay in church regardless of those who are will still for God's love and Mercy.

          Our merciful compassionate Father in heaven is standing with His arms open waiting for you and your children every Sabbath to give him praise. Happy Sabbath to you sister and May the Lord bless you.

        • I guess that even pastors sometimes fail at looking at the bright side of things even while they are preaching from a pulpit. That pastor should have just simply made himself a good example of this and just simply said something like "Welcome to our little church in the wildwood and thank you for joining us this fine Sabbath morning."

      • Sometimes we are so focused on “doing the Lord’s work” that we forget or sometimes do not really know the “Lord of the work.”

        Even though Jesus knew that Judas was a thief, He never openly chastised him. The Samaritan woman never heard a word of rebuke, but received open arms of love, tenderness and caring.

        We could name others –the woman with the issue of blood who “rudely” dared to touch the hem of His garment, the paralytic and his friends who unceremoniously broke through the roof, the parents who pushed through the crowds while Jesus was delivering important sermons, to bring their children to Jesus and were rebuked by the disciples.

        Jesus’ response to all of these and to numerous others has always been - “all that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 6:37.

        We should be willing to be “interrupted” for the cause of Christ. In the story of the good Samaritan, the priest and the Levite wouldn’t dare be “interrupted” on their way to handle "God’s business" at the temple.

        Nothing should be more important for us than being Christ-like, showing a Christ-like attitude, and being focused on the goal of the salvation of others rather than what is convenient and appropriate.

        To achieve this first requires a conversion from within, and a heart that is in tune with the Lord.

  5. I have a little bit of a problem with the wording to Thursdays' lesson. The question has the words "True descendants of Abraham." Arabs are true descendants of Abraham because of Ishmael his first born son from Hagar. All Jews are also true descendants of Abraham because of Isaac his first born son from Sarah. According to the apostle Paul, those who are in Christ are Abraham' seed and heirs "According to the promise," to Abraham. But that does not make any gentile christian a "True descendant" of Abraham at all. It just simply makes him or her an "heir," or "beneficiary," to God's promise to Abraham. In other words, all non-Jews or Arabs that have accepted Jesus are not descendants of abraham as to blood line but just beneficiaries of the same promises via faith. This does not make us descendants of Abraham, it just makes us beneficiaries of god's promise to him: "In thee (Abraham,) shall all families of the earth be blessed." the word in pails' statement "seed," is symbolic only because of the equality in blessing to being beneficiaries of God's promises but not descendants.


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