The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
So long as the tomb of the Lord Jesus Christ remains empty and His Heavenly throne occupied, born again believers will never be on the defensive.
"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" (Romans 8:35-37).
Had we witnessed the life of the Apostle Paul during the years of his ministry, there would have been many times when it seemed that Satan had our brother on the run. Imprisonments, beatings, stonings, shipwreck, ridicule, rejection (not only by unbelievers, but also by his brethren in Christ), all seemed to indicate Paul in frequent jeopardy regarding his calling and his very life. Regarding the latter, Nero finally put Paul to the sword and ended his time on the planet. "More than conquerors?" How can that have been true of the Apostle? (II Corinthians 11:24-33).
We know the answer. The empty tomb and the occupied throne of the Lord Jesus bears witness. As he prayed, Paul's life and death both affirmed the reality of Christ's triumph. "My earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death" (Philippians 1:19-20). The Apostle lived his life on the offensive by God's grace, realizing that battles and skirmishes won by our enemies do not affect the triumph of the ages already won by the Lord Jesus. Yes, we live from that victory, not for it. Let the foes of Christ and Christians do what they will. They can bluster, they can badger, and they can batter. They nevertheless always fight an uphill, defensive battle wherein they lose even as they win. Certainly, this does not minimize the challenges and very real sufferings of God's people. However, it does affirm the "very present help in trouble" reality of our Lord, and His wondrous capacity to bring light in darkness, joy in sorrow, peace in turmoil, and even life in death (Psalm 46:1). "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place" (II Corinthians 2:14).
It does not look this way quite frequently. It does not seem this way. It does not feel this way. But it always is this way. The tomb is empty. The throne is occupied. Jesus Christ is Lord. So long as these truths are true, we cannot be on the defensive. We live and fight in the light and life of our Lord's triumph. Yes, from victory, not for it. We do well to often remind ourselves and each other that we fight the good fight of faith not to defend, but to attack. Always relentlessly on the offense. Always.
"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place."
(II Corinthians 2:14)
Weekly Memory Verse
He is thy life.