Monday, January 5, 2015

"Sun, Moon, and Stars"

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

"Sun, Moon and Stars"
    Having just passed through the season in which much giving takes place, we do well to continue both the practice and consideration of the generosity empowered by the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in our hearts.

    The first mention of giving in the Bible involves the sun, moon, and stars.  "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also" (Genesis 1:14-16).

    Heavenly bodies exist to "give light upon the earth."  Indeed, earth must do nothing to earn or merit the illumination freely provided by sun, moon, and stars.  God freely gave them to us in order that they might freely give.  Moreover, He sustains the light-giving capacity of these gifts to us - "by Him all things consist" (Colossians 1:17).  First, the sun, moon, and stars receive.  Then they give.  This clearly speaks to the same privileged responsibility with which our Lord graces His trusting children in Christ.

    "Freely ye have received.  Freely give" (Matthew 10:8).

    Life takes on new meaning when we view everything we possess and everything we are as God's good gifts to us.  Even greater meaning blesses us when we realize that we receive such generosity for the joy of giving to others.  "It is more blessed to give than to receive" declared the Lord Jesus, who Himself lived His earthly lifetime in complete dependency on His Father's provision, and then gave all "for the joy that was set before Him" (Acts 20:35; Hebrews 12:2).  Let us apply such truth to ourselves, in whom Christ lives.  We receive in order to give.  We give in order to bless others.  However, we receive more in the giving than the recipients enjoy in the reception.  Sacrifice is involved, and sometimes we profoundly and even painfully feel the cost of giving, as did the Lord Jesus.  We nevertheless experience a joy that transcends as we realize the truth of receiving to give (and then receiving as we give).

    In this day, our Heavenly Father will offer to us countless opportunities to freely give as we freely received.  Our generosity may constitute the sacrifice of time, effort, personal inclination, possession, reputation, and our own comfort and well being.  As we respond to the Holy Spirit's leading of love, we will shine as sun, moon, and stars to our world, revealing the Lord Jesus.  Indeed, we will be who and what God made and redeemed us to be as we illuminate our sphere of influence not with ourselves, but with Him.  No greater joy exists than this holy and dynamic process of grace received, then bestowed, and received again as the heart of Christ shines within our own…

"Ye shine as lights in the world."
(Philippians 2:15)

Weekly Memory Verse
    In the day of my trouble I will call upon Thee: for Thou wilt answer me.
(Psalm 86:7)

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