The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Dual Witness"
We have all experienced challenges that seemed to threaten with destruction, but which actually served as prelude to great blessing and benefit.
"They crucified Him… He gave up the ghost… They came and took up His corpse, and laid it in a tomb… They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him" (Matthew 27:35; Luke 23:46; Mark 6:29; John 20:13).
The suffering and death of the Lord Jesus Christ cast the disciples into despair, despite His having told them it would happen. They didn't understand. In terms of God's wisdom and ways, they could not have understood.
"The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (I Corinthians 2:14).
Only after they received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost did the Lord's followers comprehend what He had told them before His death and resurrection. Subsequently, they went forth with a message of triumph and the clear declaration that the wicked human hands responsible for Calvary paled in comparison to the Divine heart's purposes in Christ's suffering and death.
"Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain, whom God hath raised up" (Acts 2:23-24).
Through the dual witness of the Word of God and the indwelling Holy Spirit, believers can see the Light that ever shines in darkness. Thereby, our Lord enables us to expect His best in circumstances, situations, and conditions that seem to threaten us with destruction. Certainly, we feel the challenges of life, and the temptations to doubt and despair that assail our flesh. However, we possess advantages the disciples did not. The Spirit of God in our hearts and the completed Word of God before our eyes enable us to realize that crosses serve as preludes to empty tombs and triumphs unknown in any other way. "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God… Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (I Corinthians 2:12; Romans 10:17).
Whatever the realities and appearances of the challenges we presently face, something else is going on. Somebody else is present, involved, and working out purposes that could never be fulfilled apart from crosses that lead to resurrections. The Spirit of God and the Word of God unite to assure us of such truth. Our faith began in this holy light. It continues as we remember, and as we look to our Lord for the grace to overcome temptations to despair with affirmations of hope. His presence in our hearts will lead us to a place of faith the disciples could not have known until that day when the Christ who had walked with them became the Christ who dwelled within them. Calvary made that possible, as it makes possible our determination in this hour to rejoice with the Apostle Paul…
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Weekly Memory Verse
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
(I John 5:4)