Thursday, February 10, 2022

Orange Moon Thursday, February 10, 2022 "Live To Give"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Live To Give" 

   True ministry and service to others will feel in the heart as if we ourselves have been the recipient rather than the giver.  The Lord Jesus Christ confirmed this way of God to His disciples:

   "And upon this came His disciples, and marvelled that He talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest Thou? or, Why talkest Thou with her?  The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?  Then they went out of the city, and came unto Him.  In the meanwhile His disciples prayed Him, saying, Master, eat. But He said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.  Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought Him ought to eat?  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work" (John 4:31-34).

  Having just dispensed the water of the life to the woman at the well, the Lord took the opportunity to teach His disciples that in terms of truth and reality, we eat by feeding, or rather, we receive by giving.  Indeed, if we could ask any martyr in Heaven about the sacrifice they made for God and people, their response would be, "Sacrifice?  No.  It was the greatest of all privileges."  As the Lord's followers expressed after one of the first persecutions of the early church, "They departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name" (Acts 5:31).

   The love of the Lord Jesus does that in hearts.  It turns us inside out, redeeming us from the deadly self-centeredness of our original birth unto the delight of a life lived for God and others.  "I delight in the law of God after the inward man" confessed the Apostle Paul, referencing "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" that indwells every believer (Romans 7:22; Romans 8:2).  Paul referenced this in another passage, revealing the law of the Spirit in terms of unselfish devotion to others: "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).  Those in whom Christ dwells live to give, as it were, finding their truest joy in His love flowing outward toward others.  "The Lord Jesus said… It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

   Of course, we still find ourselves tempted to walk in selfishness rather than love.  Our flesh resists the way of Christ's love and the path upon which our spirits delight to walk.  "The flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17).  Thus, we face many challenges regarding the life of self sacrifice to which our Heavenly Father calls us.  Remembering that His love dwells within our hearts, and that our truest delight involves the glory of God and the blessing of others prepares us to meet the challenges and make the choices to "walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us" (Ephesians 5:2).  We can do this because Christ Himself dwells within us by the Holy Spirit, thereby motivating and empowering His devotion to others as our devotion.  This is joy, the delight of our redeemed hearts, and the way of Heaven revealed upon the earth as we remember and affirm that we receive by giving.  Yes, in Christ, through Christ, and for Christ, we live to give.

"Charity (love)… seeketh not her own."
(I Corinthians 13:5)
"The Son of man came not be be ministered unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many."
(Matthew 20:28)
"God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father."
(Galatians 4:6)

Weekly Memory Verse
Pray without ceasing.
(I Thessalonians 5:17)




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