"If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea" (Isa 48:18).

Theme: If only you had listened...

Preamble: No, we cannot ever lose "peace with God." But we can lose what Isaiah calls "peace like a river" (Isa 48:18; 66:12). Nothing can touch the peace with God which justification brings (Rom 5:1) and the peace which is Christ's gift (Jn 14:27), the peace which, indeed, is Jesus himself (Eph 2:14). But a river belongs in this world making its way through all the changing scenes of life and it can become clogged and polluted ... unless we are careful. The cares and blows of the world can easily take over and we lose our peace. But it need not be so. Think of deeply, steadily, silently flowing waters, the same whether the scene on its banks is turbulent, whether under sunny or loweing skies, whether through fertile fields or through barren lands. On it flows, serene, calm. But if we lose the life of peace, it is because we forsook obedience to the Word of God. (Alec Motyer, Isaiah by the Day)

"Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other" (Isa 45:22).   Theme: God is the only Savior. What is God like? Check out the exchange between Aslam the Lion (the Christ figure) and Jill, a very thirsty girl:

“Are you not thirsty?" said the Lion.
"I am dying of thirst," said Jill.
"Then drink," said the Lion.
"May I — could I — would you mind going away while I do?" said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
"Will you promise not to — do anything to me, if I do come?" said Jill.
"I make no promise," said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
"Do you eat girls?" she said.
"I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms," said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
"I daren't come and drink," said Jill.
"Then you will die of thirst," said the Lion.
"Oh dear!" said Jill, coming another step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream then."
"There is no other stream," said the Lion.” From C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair

"Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it." "Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one. All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless." "Remember these things... Return to me, for I have redeemed you." (Isa 44:7a, 8b-9a, 21a, 22b)

Idolatry: It's so easy to make something related to God (even church success, passion for ministry) as more heartfelt than God himself. This turns a good thing into an ultimate thing, a god thing. Thus, anything and all good things can be an idol. [Previously: Stupid Idols and the Predicting God (Isa 42:22-23).]

Quotes on the love of God (Isa 43:4):

"The love of God for man is so great that it cannot constrain [us]... Divine will always will submit itself ... even to revolts of human will [in order] to bring it to a free consent. . . . God is a beggar of love waiting at the soul’s door without ever daring to force it." Vladimir Lossky.

"Grace ... by its very nature, confers independence on the object of its love. It gives, compelling no return ... it liberates rather than enslaves, strengthens rather than weakens free volition ... 'the service of God is perfect freedom.'" Martin Thornton.