The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe
(Thanks to Jay for inspiration on this one)
In a series of text messages yesterday, a friend and I considered axioms of life. The one I most apply to him is, "Better than I deserve." You will never ask him how he is doing and fail to hear that response. Of course, as a born again believer in the Lord Jesus, my friend bases his axiom on the grace and truth of the Lord Jesus, as revealed in Scripture. "By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, and not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The consideration caused me to realize that a number of similar guiding lights exist in my heart. I think of them as altars whereupon the Lord leads us to sacrifice earthly or devilish notions regarding life, replacing them with fundamental determinations based on the Word of God. I have included a number of them below. Let me say that these my response and practice regarding these principles do not always align with their presence in my heart. Far from it. Far from it. The altars stand nevertheless, secured by the God who calls us into His light, leads us to live in the glory thereof, and thankfully, forgives and restores us when we falter.
1. In all things, the person and work of Christ serves as the guiding theme and purpose. "He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence" (Colossians 1:18).
2. In all things, the Scriptures are the Light of life, with Christ as the primary subject of every letter, word, sentence, verse, passage and book. "Thy Word is truth… "Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me" (John 17:17; 5:39).
3. Relationship with God, both in its inception and its eternal continuation, is a matter of freely given grace, received by freely exercised faith. "Freely ye have received… He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things" (Matthew 8:10; Romans 8:32).
4. "To live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21). The essence of life, as defined and supplied by God, is to know His love in the personal terms made possible by the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the principled terms of doctrine revealed in Scripture. Knowing His love then leads to loving Him and others as the fruit of such grace. "We love Him because He first loved us… His love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (I John 4:19; Romans 5:5).
5. "Show up." First, day by day, we appear at the Throne of grace to trust and submit unto the Lord for His leading and enabling. Then, we devoted ourselves to the privileged responsibilities of life established by the Lord's callings. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, to obtain mercy, and to find grace to help in time of need… Here am I. Send me" (Hebrews 4:16; Isaiah 6:8).
6. We "get to," as opposed to "we've got to." Life is first privilege, then responsibility. When duty is realized first as privilege, everything in heart and experience changes. "But without thy mind would I do nothing, that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly… They departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name" (Philemon 1:14; Acts 5:41).
7. God makes todays, not yesterdays or tomorrows. We cannot change the past, or live the future. We have this day in which to love the Lord by trust, submission, and obedience in the power of the Holy Spirit. We have this day in which to love others through Christ. We have this day in which to rejoice in God's freely given grace and mercy. We have this day in which to truly live in the life of Christ. We have this day in which to be amazed by the wonder of God and the things He made. We have this day in which to expect His loving, living, and involved presence in our hearts and lives. And we have this day in which honoring and representing Him serves as the guiding light and purpose of our existence. "This is the day which the Lord hath made. We will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).
8. "Fear not" (Isaiah 35:4). Temptations to insecurity are opportunities to trust in the presence, provision, and protection of the Lord. So long as He is with us, there is nothing of which to be afraid. Nothing. "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee" (Isaiah 43:2).
I seek to live in the light of these altars. Success in doing so directs all glory to the Lord who works in us "both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). Failure involves the repentance and faith of another axiom: "Get up!" If I could audibly hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, the echoes of His mandate to arise in the forgiveness, cleansing, and restoration of Christ would ring in my ears. They ring in my heart as I recall how often our Heavenly Father has both led and rescued me by the axioms I long to more faithfully remember and more fully follow in the light of Christ.
"Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
(I Timothy 4:15-16)
Weekly Memory Verse
"Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might."