The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
In his epistle to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul beautifully revealed the heart of God toward His trusting children in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-7).
Find the most loving and devoted earthly parent, whose desire for the blessedness of their children burns with the most earnest intensity. Then realize the inclination not only pales in comparison to God's yearning for His trusting children in Christ, but also that any genuine human desire to bless sons and daughters actually serves as a reflection of the heart of our Heavenly Father. "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).
We must see God in this way, first, because it is true, and then because our response of faith and submission to Him ever flows from the fount of His devotion to us. "We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19). Such love includes intention, that is, our Father's eternally ongoing determination to be everything we need Him to be. Thankfully, Paul's affirmation to the Ephesians begins not only with mercy, but with "rich" mercy. Our Father's sees us through lens of the Lord Jesus, as it were, bestowing undeserved grace because in Christ the Son, we are sons and daughters to the degree that "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12).
If our Father's intentions rested solely upon ourselves and our response to Him, He could not possibly "show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us." His holiness would not allow it. If, however, God bestows such favor "through Christ Jesus," we can and must be confident that the wellspring of His lovingkindness will ever flow "in the ages to come."
As it will in this day. Indeed, find the most wayward believer on the planet in this moment, the brother or sister who has most inexcusably wandered from the path of righteousness. Has the bright light of God's loving devotion and intention flickered to even the tiniest degree toward His wandering child? We all know the answer. While the Father doubtless administers His disciplinary hand toward His son or daughter, His devoted heart remains inviolably fixed in faithful affection, commitment, and the promise, "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). Yes, God sees us as united to His Son. He accepts us "in the Beloved." Nothing changes the good intentions of His heart, based upon the redemption of His Son (Ephesians 1:6).
"If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). In our best moments and our worst, our Father's heart abides in the grace of "For us." Realizing this truth in accordance with Biblical revelation will go far in establishing and maintaining our devotion to our Father. Paul stated the wonder of such glory plainly, and we close with His assurance of God's faithful heart and unshakable intentions…
"Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
(II Corinthians 3:18)
Weekly Memory Verse
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."