Wednesday, May 15, 2019

"Ascents and Descents"

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

(Friends: Frances and I hiked in the mountains of North Georgia last week.  As always, such ventures resulted in numerous ponderings regarding the Lord's glory and truth.  I plan on sharing some of those thoughts with you in this week's messages.  Thanks, Glen).

"Ascents and Descents"

   In yesterday's message, we considered the challenges of both ascents and descents.  This applies not only to hiking in the mountains, but also to our walk with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.  We require both blessing and difficulty.

   "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ… "Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now have I kept Thy Word" (Ephesians 1:3; Psalm 119:67).

   Our Heavenly Father knows that He alone serves as the fulfillment, peace, and joy of our hearts, or as we frequently suggest, "the Life of our lives."   "To live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).  Moreover, He knows that we require both His lovingkindness and His loving discipline if we are to consistently walk with Him in faith and faithfulness.  The blessings we rightly enjoy; the difficulties we find challenging and often bewildering.  On numerous occasions in the Psalms, David wondered about God's ways regarding trouble, asking "Why?"   Numerous Biblical answers address this question, one of which forms and informs our present consideration.  Again, without difficulty, tribulation, heartache, and even at times heartbreak, no human heart will walk with God to the degree we find Him as the Life, the Life of our lives.  Sometimes this constitutes the primary answer to "Why?"  And sometimes, God uses our challenges accordingly, even if other purposes form the main reason He determines or allows difficulty, pain, and loss.

   We must join our Father in the knowledge of His singular role as the Life of our lives.  The matter involves Biblical doctrine.  We must know in principle that "He is thy life" (Deuteronomy 30:20).   We must also know such truth in personal terms of faith and practice.  This requires the blessings He loves to bestow upon His children (Luke 12:32).  It also makes necessary the challenges that more and more reveal God's faithfulness in filling and fulfilling our hearts.  They teach us that no true fulfillment exists anywhere else, especially in the present fallen world in which we live.  Nothing of earthly substance can serve as the peace and joy of our hearts.  This our Father knows perfectly.  This we must know better.  Trouble offers such illumination.  If we will trust and submit to the Lord when we enter dark valleys, we will come forth with His glory shining more brightly in our hearts, and more beneficially (to others) in our countenance, attitudes, and actions.  To live is indeed Christ.  Nothing else is, or can be.  The blessings and challenges known in both the ascents and descents of life teach us this Truth, and both are required.

"Christ… is our life."
(Colossians 3:4)

Weekly Memory Verse
    "The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even His eternal power and godhead."
(Romans 1:20)


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