Read through the lesson below (if you are in a group take turns reading). Then have a discussion, possible questions are included at the end. If you are alone, try to pair up with others in a small group though texting or even a phone call.
“’For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares 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.
‘For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,’” Isaiah 55:8-11 (NASB)
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)
Is it the peace of God you are after? Is it to live in His ways? Is it to know His will and plan for your life? All of these are reasons that we turn to God and God’s word. In these few passages we see that God wants what is good for us in our lives, our careers, our families. Not just in some spiritual realm of religion or ‘Church Life,’ but in all of our life. Every area of our life God wants to show us His way and give us His blessing. We cannot be part time Christians and expect God to be our full-time provider and protector. He loves us, but that is not in His character. We have to be as we have called it in the past ‘all in’ to receive His blessings in ALL of our life. To make Him Lord as well as Savior.
It can be hard to understand in times like this how God’s good and righteous will can allow some things to happen. But we must remember these things are happening because of us. Yes, because of our choices. Starting in the Garden of Eden we, humans, have been choosing to follow our own will instead of God’s will, and that is the reason evil is loose in the world. God could easily stop all of this from happening, but to do so He would also have to remove our freewill. Which He will not do, because that would also take away our ability to choose to love Him, and follow Him, and do what is right on our own out of love for Him.
So, here is the thing, if all we want from Him is to save us for later, for eternity, for ‘fire insurance’ as we say; He will, but that means He will only be the savior, and not all the other goodness that He is. Why is it that we call Him Lord? Is it just out of respect, or is it something else? Why did Peter refer to Him four times as “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”? Because He is both. He is not just a savior; He is also our Lord and Master and Savior. Yes, I said Master. It is hard for us to understand the concepts of sovereignty in our world today. Kings and queens are not much more than figure heads. But in Jesus' time a king was absolute, he was the ruler of everything he chose to be and could do as it pleased him. The problem with human kings though is there ‘absolute’ will always be corrupted by this world.
Jesus Christ is not this way; His ‘absolute’ is absolutely righteous and good. There is no end to His Goodness. So, for us to choose His sovereignty is not like submitting ourselves to a master that is hard or self-centered. No, to put ourselves under His authority is to choose His goodness. Yes it means we leave the things of the world behind, but think of all His goodness that is poured out on us if we give Him authority in all of our life.
This is what this week’s lesson is all about, for us to make Jesus Christ not only our savior (notice I used the lower case indicating just merely a savior, but also our Master and LORD. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This week there is no question, but instead I have an exercise for you. Through studying the word, praying and discussing this with others make a list of all the goodness of our LORD and SAVIOR Jesus Christ. Keep doing this, write down his goodness and how his ways and thoughts are good for and to us. I’m sure you will never run out or get them all.