Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Saturday Series - 30 - "With the Current, Or Against It'

(Friends:  Most Saturdays for the duration of this year, I plan on sharing a message that relates to the character and nature of God, and our response thereunto.  I hope you will find it helpful, and as always, thanks for allowing us to send the devotionals to you.  Glen).

The Saturday Series - 30

"With the Current, Or Against It"       
    Every atom, angel, and human being in God's creation serves "the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3:11).

   This presents a fascinating contemplation when we consider the curse placed on creation by the Lord after Adam's sin, along with the fact that many angels and all human beings have rebelled against Him by the misuse of their God-given freedom.  How can fallen things and beings be said to serve God's purposes?  The overall answer lies in His working of "all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11).  While not forcing either obedience and disobedience on angels and humans, the Lord is prepared to use either contingency as agents in His ultimate intentions.  Moreover, the imperfect creation that "groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now" fits into the fulfillment of those intentions (Romans 8:22).  As the Psalmist declared of sin's impact on the physical creation, "Fire, and hail; snow, and vapor; stormy wind fulfilling His word" (Psalm 148:8).  The upshot is simply that God is wise enough, powerful enough, involved enough, and loving enough to utilize everybody and everything for the purpose of glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and redeeming fallen creation unto holy perfection.

    In human terms, the issue lies in whether we will serve as bright lights of Christ by trusting and submitting ourselves to the will of God.  If we do, our experience of serving as willing components of God's purpose will lead to His pleasure, and to our own peace as we flow with the current of Christ's glory.  If we do not, the Lord will still fit us into His working, perhaps by using our darkness as backdrop for Light.  "There must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you" (I Corinthians 11:19).  He may also use the wicked as a means of chastening His children.  Or His revelation of wrath against sin and those who practice it without repentance can serve to display the purity of God's character, the desperate wickedness of unrighteousness, and our great need for spiritual and moral redemption through Christ.  Whichever path we travel, whether in faith or unbelief, our Father will use our journey in light or darkness to reveal and fulfill His ongoing purpose.  We will serve Him, whether by the blessedness of faith and faithfulness, or the sad experience of swimming against the current and thus revealing the wicked insanity thereof.

   One cannot exist in God's creation without serving His ultimate purposes.  With the current?  Or against it?  The Ocean inexorably flows toward the glory of Christ and His restitution and redemption of believers and the physical universe.  We can either joyfully swim with it, or miserably against it.  Either way we will swim, and the current will carry us in the flow of fulfillment, God's fulfillment of His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus.

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!  For who hath known the mind of the Lord?  Or who hath been His counselor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen."
(Romans 11:33-36)

Weekly Memory Verse 
    Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
(Hebrews 2:17)

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