The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Things of Others"
The Christian faith began with the sufferings of One resulting in the redemption of many.
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (I Peter 3:18).
The Spirit of this same Lord Jesus now dwells within the hearts of born again believers.
"God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).
In the light of our Lord's indwelling presence, we might expect that He would replicate the quality of His life in us. He does, which means that God purposes our challenges to serve as a conduit of ministry to others.
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (II Corinthians 1:3-6).
"So then death worketh in us, but life in you" (II Corinthians 4:12).
Of the reasons believers experience pain, problems, difficulties, heartaches, and heartbreaks, the presence of the Christ devoted to the needs of others constitutes one of the most vital. As happened in His earthly lifetime, our challenges grant us opportunity to minister His grace to our sphere of influence. The simplest expression of such devotion involves prayer. When we hurt, our initial human reaction will likely be to focus on ourselves. "Why is this happening to me?" Love, however, asks a different question: "Who is this happening for?" That is, for whom can I pray, based on the challenge I now face? We likely know others who hurt, and can seek God's grace for them. Or, we may simply pray a general prayer for those facing challenges. Whatever the case, prayers for others offered from the altar of our own sufferings reflects the love of Christ in our hearts and His sublime devotion to His Father's glory and the needs of others.
"The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).
The Lord referred to His earthly lifetime, of course. However, His Spirit comes again to all who receive His saving grace. Thus, we must expect our Heavenly Father to lead us along the same paths as He did His Son. This involves our sufferings, which offer us the privilege to "walk, even as He walked" (I John 2:6). Rather than descend into the black hole of self centeredness when we hurt, the Holy Spirit beckons us to "shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:15). Prayer for others, ascending to the Heavenly throne of grace from the rough and rocky paths of a fallen world, reflects the wonder of Christ's redeeming presence in our hearts. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).
We will rarely know in this lifetime God's answers of comfort, restoration, healing, and help administered to others when we pray from our pains. This does not matter. What does matter is that we can know the Christ who physically walked in this world long ago now spiritually walks in us. "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16). Thus, we expect our Heavenly Father to lead us in His love, as He led the Lord Jesus. The Apostle Paul confirms such truth, and we close in the light of Christ's devotion to others once revealed to us, and now, in us…
"Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor."
"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
Weekly Memory Verse
He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.