The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Best Day"
I'm thinking about Jim Kelly this morning. Again.
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you."
Those of you who have been with us awhile may remember that Jim lived at a local retirement community where we conduct services. He was in his late 90s when we began our meetings, and lived until just after his 101st birthday. And when I say "lived," I mean that word in the truest sense of the term. "To live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21). Jim loved the Lord, he loved people, and he loved the life God had given him in the Lord Jesus. If you asked Jim how he was doing, he invariably responded, "You know, I think this is the best day of my life!" And he meant it! I think Jim really believed a verse we all quote, but sometimes fail to adequately realize the import of its meaning: "This is the day which the Lord hath made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!" (Psalm 118:24).
Jim realized the importance of attitude as a Christian, that is, of "attitude based on Altitude" (Jim takes a back seat only to my wife Frances in the understanding and practice of that truth).
"God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-6).
Born again believers in the Lord Jesus are spiritual beings. "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9). We live in earthly temples of flesh, of course, and must navigate the dusty and often difficult paths of a fallen world. However, nothing changes that fact of our Heavenly being in Christ, and our capacity through Him to live here while already spiritually dwelling There. Note the present tense of Paul's declaration: we "sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus." By faith, we thereby possess the capacity in Christ to overcome the challenges of our current earthly environment by realizing and affirming who our Lord is in us, and who we are in Him. "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ" (II Corinthians 2:14).
I suppose some might say that Jim's attitude resulted from genetics, upbringing, training, life experience, and other natural factors. Not a chance! While we all have innate personality tendencies based on such influences, the reality of attitude in believers proceeds from the awareness and affirmation of our Altitude in Christ. If He is who He is, and we are who we are in Him, only unbelief keeps us from joining Jim in realizing that no matter what, "this is the day which the Lord hath made." And thus, it is the best day of our life. Jim knew that truth while sitting in a wheelchair during the last three years of his earthly lifetime. But no, he actually knew that truth while "sitting together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Yes, I'm thinking about Jim Kelly again this morning, and I am giving thanks. But even more, I am remembering his example, encouragement, and challenge to see this day, the only day we have in this life, as the best day, the Lord's day!
"That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known unto thee this day, even to thee."
Weekly Memory Verse
How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, o Lord! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings."