The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Part 2 - The Gift and Gifts
We began yesterday's message with the question:
"To what degree is salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ "not by works of righteousness which we have done?" (Titus 3:5). How free is the gift?"
We then considered Luke's narrative regarding the thief on the cross who journeyed with the Lord Jesus as a saint to Paradise (Luke 23:39-43). We answered the question by noting that the thief did nothing to become a saint other than trusting that the Savior who died alongside Him would live beyond death, with the power to save others.
"If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9-10).
Salvation in the Lord Jesus is the freest gift ever given, purchased by the highest cost ever remitted. Wonderfully, the life God calls us to live after receiving the Lord Jesus also involves gifts freely received, with the result being the consistent and growing fulfillment of God's glory revealed in our lives.
"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).
"His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3).
Living the Christian life involves no less free a gift than receiving the life of Christ in the new birth. In fact, the greatest challenge we face in a life of faith and faithfulness involves our ongoing reception of God's grace in a world that tempts us to trust in something other than Him. It often doesn't feel this way, largely because our fleshly tendency so flows with current of seeking to be strong in our fleshly ability, as opposed to being "strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10). God's standard of life regarding thought, attitude, word, and deed are far too high for trusting in anything other than His freely given enabling to "Walk, even as He (Christ) walked" (I John 2:6). Thus, we must view the Christian life as a gift given, with our privileged responsibility being the ongoing reception by faith of the Holy Spirit's leading and enabling. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).
In this and in every day, the smallest act of faith and obedience to God transcends our human ability. We need a Gift and gifts to empower our fulfillment of God's will. This He has given. Christ Himself is the gift. The Holy Spirit Himself applies the gifts of specific leadings and enabling as we join the Apostle Paul in his joyful testimony of the freest Gift, and its freely given grace for the challenges this and every day will bring…
"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon 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 15:10)
"We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh."
Weekly Memory Verse
I will love Thee, o Lord my strength.