Friday, March 6, 2020

“Hearts Made Large (the Indwelling of the Infinite)”

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

"Hearts Made Large (the Indwelling of the Infinite)" 

      Endurance athletes typically have larger hearts than most people.  Increased blood flow in the upper and lower chambers of the heart results in their expansion, along with increase in the muscle due to exertion.

    The Psalmist knew and expressed such truth in spiritual terms many centuries ago.
     "I will run the way of Thy commandments when Thou shalt enlarge my heart" (Psalm 119:32).
     The ultimate fulfillment of the Psalmist's hope came through the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, after the redeeming work of the Lord Jesus Christ through His death, resurrection, and ascension.  The mystery and the miracle of "Christ in you, the hope of glory" spiritually enlarges the hearts of all who believe by an infinite measure (Colossians 1:27).  Our knowledge thereof also provides a vital component as we access the grace of our Savior's living presence by believing the wonder that He dwells within us.

    "We have access by faith into the grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Colossians 1:27).

    The entrance of the Spirit of Christ into our hearts changed who and what we most deeply are.  "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).  After the new birth, believers no longer must navigate the paths of life as if alone.  We live Life as a we rather than simply a me.  Christ lives in us, we live in Him, and the potential for running the way of God's will results from our hearts enlarged to overflow with His living presence.  "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).  Our Heavenly Father made us for this hope that became factual in our being when we believed, and actual in our practice as we affirm with the Apostle Paul, "To live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).

   What if in this day we will enjoy the blessings of life with the Lord Jesus?  We will.  "I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20).  What if the challenges of life will also find Him nearer than our next breath?  They will.  "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).  This we must believe, first because it is true, and then because our role in running the race of life with enlarged hearts involves the faith that affirms our Lord's motivating, guiding, and empowering presence.  To be alive in God's life through Christ means we ever and forever journey with Somebody, namely, with the One who made us, redeemed us, and filled us with Himself when we trusted the Lord Jesus.  We need not live this, or any day, as if alone.  What a tragedy if we do.  But what "hope of glory" if we run with hearts made large by the indwelling of the Infinite.  This the gift given to all who believe, and the gift realized and accessed when we remember the magnitude of our spirits united to the Spirit of Christ…

"Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father."
(Galatians 4:6)

Weekly Memory Verse
       "The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility."
 (Proverbs 15:33)


Thursday, March 5, 2020

"Acknowledge Him"

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

"Acknowledge Him" 
     "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths" (Psalm 3:6).

    The light of God shines along very pathway of born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Our walk thereupon requires recognition of the blessed influence of our Lord and His illumination.  We must "acknowledge Him" in order to be guided, meaning we must see, perceive, and recognize Him as the Life of our lives and the great fact of every condition, circumstance, and situation.  "In Thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:9).

   We must acknowledge the Lord in our pleasant and happy experiences.  "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17).  To truly enjoy the blessings of life, we must realize their Source.  Indeed, it is one thing to rightly use our senses and emotions to happily appreciate family, friends, things, events, and experiences.  It is another thing altogether to remember the God who provides such goodness.  "The Lord is good to all… He giveth to all life and breath and all things" (Psalm 145:9; Acts 17:25).  Grateful acknowledgement of the Giver provides a fuller experience of things that bring happiness and pleasure.  Indeed, we miss something when we allow a happy moment to simply be a happy moment.  At the very least, a deep sense of inner thanksgiving must grace our hearts, and we also do well to frequently look toward Heaven with a conscious and expressed "Thank You!"  Yes, acknowledging our Father for the blessings of life must consistently and increasingly accompany our journey both now and forevermore.  "I will give thanks to Thee forever!" (Psalm 30:12).

    We must also "acknowledge Him" along thorny pathways.  This presents great challenge because pain and difficulty tempts us to divert our focus from the One who promises Himself as "a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).  Our flesh resists viewing difficulty as what one author called, "the strange garb of the Divine."  Of course, the cross of our Lord Jesus should tell us that God does wondrous things in sorrow, loss, suffering, and even death.  Our very salvation depends on our acknowledging Calvary not only as the horrific injustice it was, but far more, as the hope of our eternal redemption.  "He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).  All other trouble pales in comparison to the cross, and thus we must "acknowledge Him" in troubles as being present - "very present" - and working to fulfill His good purposes in our lives.

    Finally, much of life may seem to offer neither blessing or trouble, but rather the everyday matters of home, work, travel, and other repetitive functions that can seem mundane.  Perhaps they are.  However, acknowledging our Heavenly Father along well worn pathways of the ordinary opens our eyes to sometimes see glories we miss if we forget His working in "all thy ways."  Much of life may continue to seem mundane, ordinary, and repetitive.  However, something happens in our hearts when we "acknowledge Him" as the Life of our lives who shines His light into those who open their eyes to see...

"I will look for Him."
(Isaiah 8:17)

Weekly Memory Verse
       "The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility."
 (Proverbs 15:33)


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

“Truth and Praise”

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

"Truth and Praise" 
     Many things lead born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to praise God.  Experiences, emotions, the example and encouragement of other Christians - all have their place in motivating and empowering affirmation of our Lord's goodness and greatness.  However, the most powerful prompting of praise involves truth, that is, the more we know God and understand His Word, the more consistently we realize the rightness of expressing our admiration for Him.

    "I will praise Thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned Thy righteous judgments" (Psalm 119:7).

   Discovery of our Lord's character, nature, and way, as revealed in His Word and His corollary working in our lives, results in praise as He amazes us with wonder.  Emotion may be involved, but is not necessary.  Experience surely has a place as the Holy Spirit applies the principles of His Word in faithful application to the events of our lives.  Seeing His work in others also leads to the appreciation that fosters admiration and our expression thereof.  However, the most prevalent motivator for praising God remains the Psalmist's confession that learning God'"righteous judgments" (e.g., - perfectly correct decisions, manner, execution, ways) leads to praise.  "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31).  Truth, as revealed to our hearts and minds by the Scriptures and Holy Spirit, inspires us to the consistent affirmation for which our Lord is so worthy, and which has such mighty impact in our hearts.  

   Who is God?  What has He done?  What is He doing?  What will He do forevermore through the Lord Jesus, and by His Spirit?  Learning the answers to these primary inquiries of our existence cannot fail to ignite and perpetually fuel a Christ-admiring heart in all who respond to God's light regarding Himself.  Thus, a consistently read and pondered Bible leads to praise.  Prayer also leads us to extol our Heavenly Father as it prepares us for discovery of how present and involved He is in our lives, and in His working in all things.  Essentially, Truth most motivates and empowers a heart of praise as we learn the determinations and ways of God that lead to "I will praise Thee."

"Teach me Thy way, O LORD; I will walk in Thy truth.  Unite my heart to fear Thy name. I will praise Thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify Thy name for evermore."
(Psalm 86:11-12)

Weekly Memory Verse
       "The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility."
 (Proverbs 15:33)


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

“Expectation and Wonder”

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

"Expectation and Wonder"
     Infinite glories of God's Person and work await born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, both now and forevermore.  "The unsearchable riches of Christ" will never be exhausted, revealing the eternal magnitude of who our Lord is and what He does.  This should thrill our hearts with grateful remembrance of wonders already viewed, and joyful anticipation of wonders to come (Ephesians 3:8).

    "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).

    We will never fully plumb the depths of God's goodness.  Nor will we ascend to the summit of His greatness.  No horizon awaits us that concludes our journey into His abounding grace, and our Lord's truth will perpetually illuminate and stimulate our minds with Light that "shineth more and more" (Psalm 31:19, Psalm 145:3; Romans 5:20; Proverbs 4:18).  Our Heavenly Father made and redeemed us for this journey into forever, and into "wonders without number" (Job 9:10).  

    "Call unto Me, and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not" (Jeremiah 33:3).  

   Our role in the journey begins with the expectation of faith.  We must believe that God purposes to reveal Himself and His truth to our hearts and minds.  Scripture refers to the Lord Jesus in terms of communication - "the Word" - not merely as an exalted title (John 1:1).  It rather promises that faith in the Savior gives us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to receive the "great and mighty things" God desires His children to discover.  The Holy Spirit illuminates His Word, the Bible, and His world, God's creation, to all who anticipate by faith that God desires His dynamic presence and involvement to be known and experienced.  "Thy Word is truth… The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen" (John 17:17; Romans 1:20).  

    How present and involved is He?  "God… worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:3; 11).  How much do we see?  Little, compared to what can be known and perceived.  However, we can always know more, and the expectation of faith prepares our hearts to be enlightened and enthralled as the Psalmist's promise graces our expectant hearts, "In Thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:9).  This day offers the possibility in the Word of God as we ponder and apply its truth, and in the world of God as our Lord walks with and within us along every pathway.  Presently, "we see through a glass, darkly" (I Corinthians 13:12).  But we do see as we anticipate God's Person and work.  David realized this blessed life of expectation resulting in wonder, and may we join in his affirmation…

"My expectation is from Him."
(Psalm 62:5)   

 Weekly Memory Verse
       "The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility."
 (Proverbs 15:33)


Monday, March 2, 2020

“Search Me”

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

"Search Me"
     I recently read a book by a fairly well known Christian communicator of the mid 20th century.  Many of his thoughts blessed me with their Scripturally reasoned insight and sometimes brilliant analysis.  However, I also found myself disturbed by a recurring feature that raised questions about the gentleman's perception of himself and others.  When referencing positive aspects of Christian life and experience, he tended to use the pronouns "we" and "us".  Conversely, when mentioning occasions of sin, wandering, and failure, "you" and "your" characterized his rhetoric.   

    "The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility" (Proverbs 15:33).

   I mean no disrespect to the brother in Christ I reference.  However, I found his focus disconcerting and even disturbing.  Certainly we all see imperfections in fellow believers as we journey together through this present lifetime.  Moreover, Scripture calls us to sometimes serve as God's correcting agent when brothers or sisters stumble (Galatians 6:1).  We do so, however, with the attitude of humility that acknowledges our own susceptibility to sin and too many occasions of unbelief and disobedience.  No believer perfectly orders his steps along the path of righteousness.  Note the Apostle John's use of the proper pronoun regarding this reality: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8).  Certainly sin is never inevitable or excusable in the Christian's life and experience.  It does happen, however, and if my primary focus involves the wandering of others, my attitude reveals my need to humble myself before the Lord in personal repentance.  Again, David expressed the proper pronoun in his cry for the Lord's correction and restoration: "Search me, o God, and know my heart.  Try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24).

   Pride ever lurks as the deceiver and destroyer it is.  Satan and his minions are not above using devotion to God as an enticing influence, tempting believers who sincerely seek a faithful walk with God with pride of accomplishment rather than gratitude for the grace that motivates and enables godliness.  The temptation also involves our forgetting how often we have not availed ourselves of such freely given provision in Christ.  Regarding the brother mentioned, I again mean no disrespect, and I realize that my notice of his focus must lead me to emphasize my own need for the Lord's ongoing work of growth and correction. "Search me, o God…"

"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
(Luke 18:10-14)

Weekly Memory Verse
       "The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility."
 (Proverbs 15:33)


Saturday, February 29, 2020

“Short Term Sacrifice, Longterm Benefit”

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

"Short Term Sacrifice, Longterm Benefit"
     Many of the beneficial and enjoyable physical activities of our youth (or sometimes, our adulthood) may also result in discomfort in later years.  The strengthening and stretching of muscles may also impact bones, ligaments and tendons with injury that may not be manifest until decades later.  

    "But though our outward man perish, our inward man is renewed day by day" (II Corinthians 4:16).

   Short term benefit sometimes bodes of longterm harm.  Indeed, the star athlete of yesteryear may be the physically challenged unfortunate of today.  Moreover, a relatively short athletic career sometimes results in many years of pain.  By this, I do not mean to ignore or deny the benefits of physical and athletic activity, which are many.  I simply state a truth that many former athletes readily acknowledge.  The principle applies in many ways, and also infers its antithesis: short term sacrifice often ensures longterm benefit.

    "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).

    The Christian life involves much sacrifice in time that leads to blessing in eternity.  This begins with our salvation, made possible by the Lord Jesus Christ suffering forsakenness and death on the cross of Calvary in order to make possible freely given salvation to all who believe.  "For the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross, despising the shame" (Hebrews 12:2).  We are that joy known by our Savior (Luke 15:7).  He willingly gave Himself to loss in the short term that resulted in our benefit forever.  He also lives in believers by His Spirit to motivate and empower the same quality of a life lived self sacrificially in time for the blessing of others to benefit eternally: "eChrist in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).  As we exemplify and bear witness to the Lord Jesus by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we lead both others and ourselves into a tomorrow of joy, based on a today of sacrifice.  "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" (Psalm 30:5).

   I have long maintained that a primary function and responsibility of fathers involves teaching their children this principle of short term sacrifice resulting in longterm benefit.  This is tru of earthly parents, and far more true of our Heavenly Father.  As we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, we more and more discover the blessedness of foregoing pleasure in the moment for the purpose of ensuring greater glories in the future.  Certainly this does not preclude present enjoyment of many blessings.  It does mean, however, that many opportunities arise wherein challenging responsibility must be fulfilled before pleasurable privileges can be relished.  This is presently our Father's way in our lives, and He greatly honors and benefits us to lead us along paths of sacrifice in the moment that result in blessedness both tomorrow and forevermore.

"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."
(Hebrews 12:11)

Weekly Memory Verse
   In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. 
(Isaiah 30:15).


Friday, February 28, 2020

"It Is I"

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

(a repeat from 2017)

"It Is I"
    Because we "live and move and have our being" in God, He saturates our existence to a degree we cannot presently comprehend (Acts 17:28).  Our residence in a fallen world hinders our awareness of the greatest truth in our lives, namely, the Person, presence, and pervasive activity of our Creator.  David nevertheless realized the reality:

    "Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit?  Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?  If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me" (Psalm 139:7-10).

    God dwells as the Blessing of every blessing.  He provides the meaning of every seemingly mundane moment.  He supplies Himself as "a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).  Thus, there is Someone to gratefully appreciate along pleasant pathways.  There is Someone to remember and affirm in the midst of seemingly ordinary, repetitious responsibilities of life that may seem like drudgery, but which actually teem with the living presence of God.  Most of all, there is  Someone to trust in trouble, Someone who speaks to His trusting children in Christ the same promise of hope declared to His disciples as He walked to them upon storm-tossed seas: "It is I, be not afraid" (Mark 6:50).  Whatever the conditions and circumstances this moment brings to our doorstep, God promises Himself as the Great Fact of all.

   "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness" (Isaiah 41:10).

    "It is I."  The Voice resounds from the center of all things.  "It is I."   Creation teems with the risen life and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.  "God… worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:3; 11).  This includes our moments, our circumstances, our situations, and our conditions.  The great God, the God and Father of our Savior, supplies the Great Fact of this moment.  We see it - or rather, Him - "through a glass darkly"  (I Corinthians 13:12).  The truth nevertheless prevails as the reality of this moment, and as the Life of our lives.  The Voice we cannot hear, but the fact we can know as we trust the God who assures us in all things,  "It is I."

"To live is Christ."
(Philippians 1:21)

Weekly Memory Verse
   In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. 
(Isaiah 30:15).


Thursday, February 27, 2020

“His Pleasure”

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

"His Pleasure"
      Salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ provides to the recipient a new heart, the heart of God Himself in the Person of the Holy Spirit dwelling within our innermost being.

    "I will dwell in them… Christ liveth in me…. Ye are the temple of the Holy Spirit… Christ in you, the hope of glory" (II Corinthians 6:16; Galatians 2:20; I Corinthians 3:16; Colossians 1:27).

    God made human beings to serve as His spiritual home.  He delights to inhabit us, just as we would expect of Someone who loves us to the measure He sacrificed His Son into order to redeem us to Himself - "the Lord taketh pleasure in His people" (Psalm 149:4).  Indeed of all the wonders we can ponder regarding His indwelling presence, perhaps the most awe-inspiring involves the blessed truth that we matter so much to our Lord that in Christ He draws as near to us as He possibly can.  This involved pouring out His wrath and abandoning the Lord Jesus to die alone on the cross of Calvary -  "we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God… My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 27:46).  The holy result of such grace?  "I am with you always… "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5).  This is how much our Heavenly Father loves our hearts, and how dear they are to Him as His spiritual home.

    Let us make this personal.  God loves your heart and mine so very much that in the moment we trusted Christ, His Spirit rushed as a mighty wind into our spirits no less than He indwelt the 1st century disciples on the day of Pentecost.  Moreover, He came to stay in your heart and my heart. Such realization changes everything when we embrace the truth as a matter of general belief, and even more, when we apply it to the specific aspects of our lives.  Indeed, when "in all thy ways acknowledge Him" becomes in this particular way, acknowledge Him, the presence of God in our hearts becomes by faith the presence of God in our minds, hands, and feet (Proverbs 3:6).  The realization that our Lord loves His presence within us far more than we love His presence within us goes far in establishing and securing a more consistent experience of the wonder that He "taketh pleasure in His people".   Again, let us make this personal.  He takes pleasure in you and me because are hearts are so dear to Him that He dwells within them as the very Life of our lives.

"He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."
(I Corinthians 6:17)

Weekly Memory Verse
   In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. 
(Isaiah 30:15).


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

“The Gospel: Breathtakingly Simple”

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

"The Gospel: Breathtakingly Simple"
      Salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ is breathtakingly simple to the sinner.

     "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand, by which also ye are saved  for I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (I Corinthians 15:1-4).

    The Apostle Paul'declaration to the Corinthians provides the most elemental Biblical affirmation of the Gospel.  Note that it says nothing about us, but rather reveals the centrality and totality of God's emphasis on the redemptive Person and work of His Son.  Who is the Lord Jesus?  What has He done to make salvation possible and actual?  This is the Gospel in its essence.  Certainly the matter involves our response of repentance and faith.  "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).  However, as we share the Lord Jesus with unbelievers, we do well to have confidence in the Spirit of God and the Word of God that as we shine the spotlight on the Savior, many will realize and respond to His ability to save and their need for salvation.

   No less than Paul was accused during his lifetime of preaching a licentious and scandalous message of "Let us do evil, that good may come" (Romans 3:8).  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  The Apostle knew that the Gospel was "the power of God unto salvation" (Romans 1:16).  He knew that preaching grace unadulterated would lead to genuine faith in those who "with the heart… believeth unto righteousness" (Romans 10:10).  Paul believed and affirmed that salvation in the Lord Jesus provides the freest gift ever given, purchased at the highest cost ever remitted.  Thus, he did not alter his Christ-centered and saturated message, being rightly confident that the Holy Spirit would bear witness in sinful hearts of the repentance and faith required if we proclaim the Lord Jesus crucified and risen again as the heart of the Gospel.  

    Of course, Paul knew that some would "believe in vain" (I Corinthians 15:2).  Merely praying a prayer or professing faith does not mean that a genuine experience of salvation has occurred.  Again, the matter involves the heart, that deepest, innermost sanctum of our being.  Some merely believe on the surface, as it were.  Others receive the Lord Jesus in the spirit.  How can we avoid the former and assure the latter in our communication of the Gospel?  The answer is simple, and perhaps disturbing to some degree: we cannot.  "Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9).  We do disservice to sinners and distortion to the Truth if we add to the work of Christ, or fail to have complete confidence in the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit as we bear witness to our Savior.  That some believe without redemptive effect is unavoidable, according to Paul.  That many "believe to the saving of the soul" is unassailable in accordance with the work of God (Hebrews 10:39). Thus, we go forth with our breathtakingly simple declaration of a Savior whose Person and work are more sublimely wonderful than human hearts can imagine.  The freest gift, at the highest cost.  This is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, prophesied in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New…

"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."
 (Isaiah 55:1)
"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."
(Romans 5:18)

Weekly Memory Verse
   In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. 
(Isaiah 30:15).


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

"For God... From God"

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

"For God… From God"
      As each day begins, God offers born again believers with the privilege of living from the resources He provides by His Son, His Spirit, and His Scriptures.

     "His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (II Peter 1:3).

    Of course, we can neglect such grace, forgetting or ignoring that "we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Ephesians 2:10).  During our present earthly lifetime, we can still walk after the flesh despite the truth that "ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9).  Our spiritual enemies cannot steal our relationship with God through Christ.  They can, however, tempt us to forfeit our experience of His indwelling life by attacks of distraction and discouragement.  Failure to realize and remember such assaults by the world, the devil, and flesh results in our seeking to live from carnal resources that cannot begin to supply the strength required for living according to God's standards.  "Walk even as He walked" mandated the Apostle John, referring to the Lord Jesus (I John 2:6).  Even a cursory consideration of this command requires that we take our shoes off, as it were, on such holy ground (Exodus 3:5).  Our feet are not capable for the journey of life to which our Heavenly Father calls us.  Our Savior must rather walk in us so that we may walk by Him.

    "I will dwell in them and walk in them… As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (II Corinthians 6:16; Colossians 2:6).

   What if God privileges us to take our next step through Christ?  And the next?  And all others thereafter?  He does.  He calls us to pray, as enabled by His Spirit.  He beckons us to read and absorb His Word, as enabled by His Spirit.  He commands that we love our family, as enabled by His Spirit.  We are to fulfill our earthly responsibilities, as enabled by His Spirit.  We overcome temptation thereby, we maintain our hearts in peace and joy through Christ, and the list goes on and on.  Indeed, we live for God by living from God.  No other hope exists for the life to which our Heavenly Father calls us.  "Without Me, ye can do nothing" declared the Lord Jesus to His disciples (John 15:5).  Many years later, however, the Apostle Paul would utter his exultant affirmation, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).  Yes, Christ lives in us so that we may "live through Him" (Galatians 2:20; I John 4:9).  No other resources are available for the quality of life to which God calls us.  Nor are any other necessary.  This is the gift our Father offers to us as each day begins, and as it continues.  May we more consistently and increasingly avail ourselves of the grace that began our relationship with Him, and which leads us into the blessed realization that "to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).

"Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear."
(Hebrews 12:28)
"By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain, but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."
(I Corinthians 15:5)

Weekly Memory Verse
   In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. 
(Isaiah 30:15).