Monday, August 31, 2020

Orange Moon "Passing Prayers"

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


(A repeat from 2012)


   "Passing Prayers"   


   In Heaven, a fellow citizen may introduce themselves we never knew while upon the earth.  "I want to thank you for that prayer you prayed for me on August 31, 2020," they'll say with a grateful heart and smile.  "The Lord did wonderful things in my life and the life of my family in response to your intercession."


   In all honesty (and we will be completely honest in Heaven!), we might respond, "Dear Sister, it's kind of you to say that, but I must confess that I didn't know you during our earthly lifetime.  You must be mistaking me for someone else."  Our fellow believer will persist, however.  "No, it was you," she'll insist.  "You passed by me in a store on that day, and the Holy Spirit caused something about me to get your attention.  And you responded.  You prayed."  


    "Lord, I don't know that person or anything about them.  But You know her perfectly.  I therefore ask You to work in her heart and life according to Your glory and their need."  


   Our sister will conclude, "Our Heavenly Father answered that prayer, and it will take me awhile, a long while, to tell you how much He did in and through my life because of your request.  Thankfully, we have a long while, so here goes.  It all started..."


   The most wonderful thing about such passing prayers, offered briefly but consequentially, is that the Lord so obviously receives all the glory for them.  This is true of all genuine prayer, of course, but those intercessions offered with little knowledge and few words will likely be the ones through which His greatest work is done.  Thereby, "the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day" (Isaiah 2:11).  The pray-er will be blessed in his praying, the pray-ee will be blessed in the answer, and together both will fall before their Heavenly Father to praise Him for the gift of prayer both in its offering and its answers.


  The Lord Jesus Christ warned that "long prayers" can involve little more than the pretentious attempt to garner attention from others or foster fleshly pride (Mark 12:40).  Brief prayers, conversely, may lead to the most powerful Divine response.  Only God sees into the heart of people, wherein "the issues of life" truly exist (Proverbs 4:23).  He alone knows our true need, and the simple requests that focus on His knowledge and understanding may result in our finest intercessions.


   Certainly, long seasons of genuine prayer have their place at times in our lives.  We give thanks for them.  However, seemingly passing prayers, inspired and enabled by the Holy Spirit along the byways of life, accomplish much for the glory of God and the blessing of others.  Perhaps today He will lead accordingly, foreshadowing another day, in another time and another place, when some brother or sister will approach us on a glimmering street of gold.  "I want to thank you for that prayer you prayed for me on August 31, 2020. Here's how God answered..."


"Pray without ceasing."

(I Thessalonians 5:17)


Weekly Memory Verse 

     Keep thy heart with all diligence.  For out of it are the issues of life.

(Proverbs 4:23)



















































Saturday, August 29, 2020

Orange Moon "Leaning, Resting"

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


   "Leaning, Resting"


    "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3).


    A friend and I considered this verse yesterday, which led me to further pondering about what it means to "stay" our minds on the Lord.  The original Hebrew of the text, "camak," means to lean or rest upon.  This is exactly what we would expect our minds to require in order to be kept in peace.  The Apostle Paul elaborates.


    "Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).


    We "stay" our minds on the Lord by determining to see the path of our lives paved with opportunities to consciously and decisively lean upon and rest in Him.  "The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17).  Challenges, of whatever mode or measure, beckon us to remember God's involved presence in our hearts and lives, and also our desperate need for His working to lead, provide, and protect us.  We must make many choices to remember and affirm God's trustworthiness as the only safe harbor of our trust.  The peace of our hearts depends on this, and even more, the glory of the Lord Jesus revealed within and through us as "the Prince of peace" (Isaiah 9:6).


    We do not have to avoid stumbling by our own attempts to remain upright.  Nor must our hearts become weary because life so continually challenges our peace.  The "staying" of our minds assures us of this, or rather, the stability of the One upon whom we lean and in whom we rest.  In this, and in all days, many opportunities will call us to consciously and decisively trust God.  Peace awaits because as we often suggest in these messages, no one has ever trusted the Prince of peace and been disappointed for doing so.  And no one ever will.


"Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her Beloved?"

(Song of Solomon 8:5)

"Rest in the Lord."

(Psalm 37:7)

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee."

(Psalm 56:3)


Weekly Memory Verse 

     Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?  Then said I, Here am I, send me.

(Isaiah 6:8)




















































Friday, August 28, 2020

Orange Moon "Aptitude Or Achievement

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


   "Aptitude or Achievement"


    We all do things for which we seem to have natural ability or talent.  We also do things that require diligent effort to learn and perform.  Either way, the source of our doings originates in God.


   "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his step" (Jeremiah 10:23).


   We do well to frequently remind ourselves that natural aptitude originates in supernatural bestowal.  According to His purposes, our Heavenly Father gives capabilities that easily flow in our minds and hands.  Such gifts are all the more blessed when recognized as the handiwork of God.  However, they can also tempt us.  How easily we forget that the things that come naturally to us first came supernaturally to us as our Father's gift.


    Conversely, we all have to work at many things to capability.  Determination, discipline, and sacrifice pave the path for many journeys of accomplishment.  Again, when we venture with our Lord in these efforts, the realization of His guidance and enabling to learn greatly blesses us with His involved presence.  However, temptation also awaits us when our triumph of ability results from much training.  We may focus more on our sacrifices and efforts than on God's enabling us to do the things necessary to succeed.


    Whether by aptitude or application, we must realize how dependent we are on the Creator and Sustainer of our being.  Our ways are not in ourselves.  We do not direct our steps.  We live by the power of Another.  Indeed, even those who deny God's existence and use His gifts for wicked purposes nevertheless ply their wayward trade by misusing their Maker's bestowals.  For those who do realize our dependence, both natural abilities and hard earned achievements lead us to the same grateful realization of God's faithful provision and our utter need…


"In Him we live and move and have our being."

(Acts 17:28)

"Without Me, ye can do nothing."

(John 15:5)


Weekly Memory Verse 

    Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?  Then said I, Here am I, send me.

(Isaiah 6:8)




















































Thursday, August 27, 2020

Orange Moon Cafe "This Is Life Eternal"

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


   "This Is Life Eternal"


    What is eternal life?   The Lord Jesus Christ, in His prayer before going to the cross of Calvary, reveals the answer.


   "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).


   Our Savior reveals to us that eternal life primarily involves not the duration of our existence, but rather its relation.  Or rather, to know the Father and Son, as revealed by the Holy Spirit, is eternal life.  "He is thy life" (Deuteronomy 30:20).  Moreover, the word translated from the original New Testament Greek for "know" means more than mere mental awareness.  "Ginsosko" implies the intimate knowledge of relationship and active fellowship.  Those who receive the saving grace of the Lord Jesus experience spiritual birth into walking with God by faith through His Spirit, His Word, and fellowship with other believers.  This is life as defined by God.  Again, "this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).


    Certainly we will live forever if we have entered into eternal life.  However, the thrill of the everlasting will not be our perpetuity, but rather the ongoing possibility of loving fellowship with our Lord.  Wondrously, we already have eternal life in this most fundamental and vivid meaning. 

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life" (I John 5:13). 

We already possess the aforementioned possibility of eternal life in its blessed gift of fellowship with God.  We can open His Word today in confidence His Spirit will lead us in communion with our Father.  We can pray in the assurance that as we come to God with a humble, trusting heart, we will touch His holy and faithful heart.  And we can expect our fellow believers to bring us near to the throne when we have contact with them.  "This is life eternal."  Nothing else is, or can be.  The Lord Jesus Himself declared such truth, and we do well to joyfully access the grace of God He defined as our bond with the God of grace.


"To live is Christ."

(Philippians 1:21)


Weekly Memory Verse 

    Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?  Then said I, Here am I, send me.

(Isaiah 6:8)