Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Orange Moon Cafe "It is Written?"

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

(a repeat from 2009)

   "It Is Written?"     

   Satan views the Scriptures as a viable weapon in his hands, even to the degree of wielding it to tempt the Lord Jesus Christ.

    "Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, If Thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone" (Matthew 4:5-6).

     The devil misapplied the truth.  The  Lord Jesus countered with the rightly interpreted and applied Word of God. "Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God" (Matthew 4:7). This presents a powerful lesson to us concerning Scripture: both God and Satan seek to communicate the Bible to us. The latter misrepresents the truth, but often very subtly and skillfully. To the unsuspecting, our enemy will subtly wield the Scriptural sword in a distorted manner that may wound us even as we are seeking the healing light of God. Failure to understand this danger guarantees our deception, particularly in a generation wherein so many voices and influences beckon to us.

    "Try (test) the spirits, whether they be of God or not, because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (I John 4:1).

     A friend recently gave me a book describing the views of a particular movement that ostensibly prides itself on  adherence to the Word of God. Sadly, however, many in this group have no qualms about redefining the meaning of long established Biblical words.  They rely on their theology to interpret Scripture rather than allowing Scripture to say what it says (a tendency against which we must all be on guard). The serpent's subtle voice can be heard in the distortions as he wields the Bible as a weapon against the unsuspecting.  "If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:23).

    We are a race prone to deception, and allowed by God to live our lives in close proximity to the devil and his influences of darkness (I Peter 5:8). Wise is the believer who understands this, and who recognizes the devil can  deceive  people with distortions of truth as well as obvious falsehood.   Every believer instantly recognizes the darkness of the latter, and quickly arises to stand against it. The Bible, however, is so blessed and perfect in its declaration that if someone opens its pages and declares, "It is written," we may let our guard down.   But is it really written?  Does the perspective meet the "precept upon precept, line upon line" protocol for proper interpretation of Scripture? (Isaiah 28:10).  We must increasingly know the Word of God ourselves, and also be keenly vigilant regarding those who communicate it.  We will not find perfect voices and pens, of course, but even in times such as these, a remnant remains through whom the authentic light of God shines. May our Lord lead us to them, may He protect them, and may He raise up many more who brightly shine as faithful lights in the darkness.

"Such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
(II Corinthians 11:13-15)

Weekly Memory Verse
    His commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.
(I John 5:3-4)


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Orange Moon Cafe "Tempted... Triumphant!

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

   "Tempted... Triumphant!"

     The Lord Jesus Christ experienced temptation more than any other human being who has ever lived.  Moreover, despite retaining His divinity when becoming incarnate, Scripture clearly teaches He was tempted and overcame as a man.

    "God cannot be tempted with evil" (James 1:13).
    "We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).

     Since "God cannot be tempted with evil," the Lord Jesus did not face temptation in His Divine nature.  He was tempted "like as we are," and thus faced temptation in His humanity.  He trusted and submitted to His Father when challenged, remembering and affirming the Scriptures, and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to provide more than adequate enabling to overcome.  This He did over and over for thirty three years, never once succumbing to thousands upon thousands of devilish challenges to compromise His Father's will.  "Christ... did no sin" (I Peter 2:21-22).

   No contemplation of our wondrous Savior should more drive us to our knees and faces than His overcoming - as a man - every temptation He ever faced.  Had the Lord Jesus sinned even once, He could not have died for our sins.  He would have had to die for His own sin.  "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4).  Ponder also how incessantly and savagely Satan must have attacked our Lord with enticements: "tempted in all points like as we are." Of no one else can this be said.  Finally, let us realize He could not have identified with us as our High Priest who was "touched with the feeling of our infirmities" had He did not experienced temptation in the same way we face the challenge (Hebrews 4:15).  Certainly this transcends our understanding as we ponder the earthly experience of the God who became man, and the man who remains God.  However, we can be sure the Lord Jesus knows what it means to be tempted in the same way we know it.  Even more.

    Most importantly, He also knows what it means to overcome temptation.  Every time.  For a lifetime.  Little wonder He is the beloved of His Father, and the beloved of His trusting children.  Little wonder the hymnwriter exulted, "Hallelujah, what a Savior!"  What a Savior indeed, and what grateful remembrance should fill our hearts upon every contemplation of so wondrous a Redeemer.  Tempted in all points?  Yes, but far more, triumphant in all points!  Let us in this moment direct our hearts and voices Heavenward, where the victorious Captain of our salvation sits in glory at the right hand of His Father.  And let us rejoice that His Spirit dwells within our hearts to enable our overcoming as we access His triumph as our own.

"In the world ye shall have much tribulation.  But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
(John 16:33)
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
(I Corinthians 10:13)

Weekly Memory Verse
   "His commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world."
(I John 5:3-4)