The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(Friends: I had prepared another message for today, but then remembered the following, a repeat from 2018 that seems appropriate for April 15th, the deadline for filing taxes in the United States. Thanks, Glen).
"Of Taxes and Gifts"
"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed… And ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger… For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given" (Luke 2:1; 12; Isaiah 9:6).
At the same time Caesar Augustus taxed the citizens of the Roman Empire, God gave to humanity the freest gift ever given. The taxation ultimately ended - "it came to pass" - as the power of ancient Rome perished. Conversely, the gift of God continues to be freely bestowed unto all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ and walk in the ongoing presence and power of His dynamic working on our behalf.
"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?" (Romans 8:32)
We must understand continuing reception as the basis of continuing faithfulness. Born again believers no less depend on the Lord Jesus for the living of the Christian life than we did for the initial experience of salvation. "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Colossians 2:6). The Apostle Paul's command reveals God's perpetual giving of Christ to the Christian regarding our moment by moment need of life, supply, enabling, and His working in us "both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). Our calling involves the recognition and affirmation of our Lord's continuing provision of such grace, and our continuing need for it. "Without Me, ye can do nothing... I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13). From "nothing without Me" to "all things through Christ," we proceed as we began by availing ourselves of freely given gifts that enable our faith and faithfulness to God. Unlike doomed Caesar Augustus and his tax, God's grace in Christ abides forevermore as the Gift that keeps on giving.
"But my God shall supply all your need according to riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Weekly Memory Verse
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.