The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"For Christ's Sake"
Part 2 - His Poverty, Our Riches
"I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake" (Genesis 30:27).
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).
Just as Laban learned "by experience" that God blessed him for Jacob's sake, born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ must become well acquainted with the reality that our Savior's merits serve as the basis for "all spiritual blessings" that come our way both now and forevermore. God blesses us for Christ's sake. The stanza of the familiar hymn, "Jesus Paid It All," could justifiably be accompanied by another: "Jesus paid for it all." Yes, every measure and moment of grace that will ever come our way flows upon the current of Christ and His merits that make possible God's supply and sustenance for all who believe.
"My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich" (II Corinthians 8:9).
What was "poverty" to the Lord Jesus? Conception in the womb of Mary as a human being began the experience of loss. Thereby, He exchanged the infinite abundance He knew as God the Son for human limitations that must have been (and may still be) the greatest loss any conscious being will ever know. "Great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh" (I Timothy 3:16). He then lived an earthly lifetime whereby He experienced lack, weakness, sorrow, pain, and ultimately, death. As difficult as such experience is to every human being, what would it have been in the sensibilities of One who had forever known only pristine perfection and limitless supply? We do not know. We cannot know. We will never know. We can only be sure that when the Bible declares "Christ suffered for us in the flesh," His poverty transcends anyone else's deprivation by the vastest of all measures (I Peter 4:1).
In direct proportion to such loss, "the unsearchable riches of Christ" await all who trust in Him (Ephesians 3:8). Of course, the abundance comes to us in accordance with God's wisdom, purpose, glory, and will. We do not presume upon our Heavenly Father to demand that He administer His supply according to our parameters or definitions of provision. Sometimes the Christian who most experiences the blessing of God may for all the world appear to be bereft of all the world has to offer. A full heart, that is, a heart full of Christ, may often most reveal that our Savior's great loss serves both now and forevermore as the basis of the saints' great gain. "What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord" (Philippians 3:7-8).
We "learn by experience" that God blesses us "for Christ's sake" in the light of Scripture, and by embracing the truth that on the cross, God gave to Christ what we deserve so that He might give to us both now and forevermore what Christ deserves. The more we know this, the more we will find heartfelt love arising and abounding within us, and the more we will seek to live our lives in a manner that honors so wondrous and so glorious a Savior. Yes, what Laban said to Jacob in a moment of time, believers will be saying forever to our Savior, with loving praise and thanksgiving: "I have learned by experience that God hath blessed me for Thy sake."
"God 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)
"We love Him because He first loved us."
(I John 4:19)
Weekly Memory Verse
"In this world ye shall have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world."