The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Straw and Bricks"
Unlike Pharaoh, who demanded that the Israelites make bricks without straw, God provides abundant supply for born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to live in a manner pleasing to Him (Exodus 5).
"His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who hath called us to glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3).
"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).
"God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (II Corinthians 9:8).
The commands of the New Testament, far greater in measure and scope than the mandates of the law of Moses, would be a cruel joke were it not for the Christ of the New Testament. We would find ourselves more strawless, as it were, than the Israelites of old. Thankfully, God never acts cruelly, and He most certainly does not jest about our doing His will. Thus, He sends His Spirit to inhabit the innermost being of those who trust the Lord Jesus, birthing a "new man, created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24). Thereby, Christians become supercharged vessels of faith and obedience in our innermost Christ-inhabited being. "I delight in the law of God after the inward man" declared the Apostle Paul, an affirmation every believer can and must make about ourselves in the light of promise: "It is God which worketh in you both to will and do of His good pleasure" (Romans 7:22; Philippians 2:12).
Of course, we still live in natural bodies not yet graced by our Lord's supernatural presence and working. "The flesh lusteth against the spirit… If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin" (Galatians 5:17; Romans 8:10). Thus, we do not always make bricks of faith and faithfulness despite the vast abundance of straw God provides in Christ. Contrary emotions, inclinations, and thoughts, along with past experience, tempt us to view ourselves as lacking both desire and enabling regarding the will of God. If we view ourselves after the flesh and its desires, this is absolutely true. We will find no straw in that barn. "To be carnally (fleshly) minded is death" (Romans 8:6). However, if we determine to view ourselves in terms of the living Christ who dwells in our enlivened spirits, we will make enough bricks in this day to build whatever house God wills, with many left over. "Exceeding, abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…"
"Without Me, ye can do nothing" declared the Lord Jesus (John 15:5). We are strawless apart from our Savior. However, born again believers are never without our Lord. "I am with you always… I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5). This is truth. This is reality. This is life, life in and through Christ. This is straw in overabundance and unending supply whereby the brickmaking of obedience to God becomes not only the delight of our hearts, but also the joyful labor of our hands. "I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is within my heart" (Psalm 40:8).
The challenge will ever be great to walk in the light of such truth. The flesh screams. The Spirit quietly utters in the still and the small voice heard only by faith. Who will we believe? What will we believe? A garner overflowing with straw beckons us to see the Lord Jesus as He is, and ourselves as we are in Him. Our Father calls us to make bricks today, and He has given us no less than the Spirit of His Son to empower our endeavors of faith and faithfulness. May we set forth in confidence of God's abundant supply, rejoicing that in the grace of the Lord Jesus, His promises and provision of straw always precede His commands to make bricks. Always.
"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)
"Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Weekly Memory Verse
Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.