Friday, June 7, 2019

"The Most Terrible Consequence"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…


"The Most Terrible Consequence"


     Why does God hate sin so much?  Why must we join Him with the same revulsion regarding unbelief and disobedience to Him?  Many Biblical answers address this question.  One, however, surely provides the primary reason our Father finds sin so reprehensible, and why we must share His view.

    "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all… We did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God… My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Isaiah 53:4-6).

   Sin not only resulted in humanity torturing the Lord Jesus Christ to death on the cross of Calvary.  It also led God the Father to pour out the fury of His wrath on His eternally beloved Son.  Moreover, God abandoned His Son to suffer and die utterly alone for our sins.  "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46).  Little wonder that our Father despises the sin that resulted in His acting completely contrary to His love for the Lord Jesus.  Indeed, we do well to consider the loving affirmations from Heaven that sounded at our Lord's baptism and transfiguration: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17; 17:5).  Then, ponder the wrath that descended upon our Savior as He died on the cross.  How could God not hate that which led Him to smite the Son He so loves?

    A further consideration takes the matter even further into both the light and the darkness of our Lord's suffering death at the hands of God and man.  "It hath pleased the Lord to bruise Him" (Isaiah 53:10).  How can such a thing be?  How can the Father who finds so much pleasure in His Son also have found pleasure in pouring out wrath upon Him?  The Apostle Paul provides a possible answer:

   "He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).

   Paul reveals that the Lord Jesus not only bore our sins on the cross.  He also became sin - "made to be sin."  What does this mean?  Only God knows.  Somehow the Lord Jesus became everything He was not as He suffered and died at Calvary.  Only thereby could His Father have been "pleased... to bruise Him."  Moreover, what did our Savior who so loves righteousness experience as He suffered not only the bearing of sin, but also the be-ing of it?  We will never know.  "He is... a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3).

   Why does God hate sin?  Why must we share His utter rejection of unbelief and disobedience?  Look no further than Calvary for the answer that most explains the horrors of sin, and its most terrible consequence…

"Christ died for our sins."
(I Corinthians 15:3)
"Ye that love the Lord, hate evil."
(Psalm 97:10)


Weekly Memory Verse
   "Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy and Thy truth's sake."
(Psalm 115:1)




  






















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Thursday, June 6, 2019

"Demolition"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…


"Demolition"


     We are currently having work done on our house that involves some significant demolition.  It is really something to see an exterior wall removed, and a portion of your home simply not there anymore.

    "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (II Timothy 3:16).

   "Reproof" and "correction" administered by the Word of God speak of spiritual demolition.  Throughout the born again believer's earthly lifetime, walking with our Lord involves the removal of things that do not correlate with the character and nature of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This includes patterns of thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, words, and faulty ways of relating to God and people.   We require our Heavenly Father's ongoing work to expose and remove anything that hinders our experience and expression of Christ's loving presence within us.  God called the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah not only "to build and to plant," but also "to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down" (Jeremiah 1:10).  The same process applies to Christians as the Holy Spirit works in us to demolish as well as to construct.  

   As difficult as it may be, we do well to consistently seek our Father's exposure and removal of fleshly distractions and deceptions that hinder the peace of our hearts and our calling to honor our Lord in every aspect of our life.  Another Old Testament saint, David, greatly helped us in this matter by including a prayer in the Psalms that should reflect our ongoing submission to the Lord's demolition:

    "Search me, O God, and know my heart.  Try me and know my ways, and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24).  

    It may disturb us when our Heavenly Father must "root out… pull down… destroy… throw down."  However, the end result of such destruction is newness in Christ whereby the presence of His life that indwells us becomes known, experienced, and expressed to the glory of God, the blessing of others, and the joy of our hearts.

"Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults."
(Psalm 19:12)


Weekly Memory Verse
   "Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy and Thy truth's sake."
(Psalm 115:1)




  






















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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

“The Best He Can"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

(a repeat from 2011)


"The Best He Can"


     "I'm doing the best I can!"  We've all likely said it, responding to pressures from others or even from ourselves to do more or better.  Certainly it's true that we can only do what we can do, and no more.  Or is it? 

    "We shall live with Him by the power of God" (II Corinthians 13:4). 

    Rather than the best we can, God enables born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to do the best He can.  We trust in God's understanding and abilities rather than our own.  We see ourselves as branches of a Vine that that teems with the life of Christ Himself (John 15:5).  "My expectation is from Him" exulted the David who would never have slain Goliath had he merely lived by the paltry power of his own best (Psalm 62:5). 

   "Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee" (I Samuel 17:45-46).

     The best God could do against the giant was to deliver a mere stone slung by the mere hand of a mere boy directly into the forehead of the mighty Philistine champion.  He then led David to draw his sword, resulting in the removal of Goliath's head.  David clearly did God's best.  "For by Thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall" (Psalm 18:29). 

     What will God's best be for us in this day?  We don't know as yet, but we will as we trust and submit ourselves to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The living God dwells within us, and He loves to reveal His strength in our weakness (II Corinthians 12:9).  As did David, we must expect that this will be the case in the particular arenas of challenge where our own Goliaths await us.  We do not live by the best of our own wisdom, but by the wisdom of God.  We do not live by the best of our own willingness, but by the willingness of God.  We do not live by the best of our own planning, but by the planning of God.  And we do not live by the best of our own ability and strength, but "we shall live with Him by the power of God."  Such is the grace bestowed upon all who believe in the Lord Jesus, and such is the gift of a life lived not by the best we can, but by the best He can.

"We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead."
 (II Corinthians 1:9).


Weekly Memory Verse
   "Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy and Thy truth's sake."
(Psalm 115:1)




  






















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