The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Lens of Grace"
"Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord… By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house" (Genesis 6:8).
Numerous references in Scripture speak of grace in terms of how the Lord views those who, like Noah, have received His freely given favor by faith.
"Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" (I Corinthians 1:30).
God looks upon those who have received His free gift of salvation in Christ through eyes of grace. He sees us as "in Christ Jesus." Our Heavenly Father's first and primary view of believers is not what we do or don't do, or how well we may be responding to Him in the present moment. Such things matter much, and certainly our Father works in our lives accordingly. However, His first gaze focuses upon His acceptance of us based on the Person and work of the Lord Jesus on our behalf.
How could it be otherwise? Indeed, consider these truths of finding grace in the eyes of God:
"The Lord looketh on the heart" (I Samuel 16:7). What does He see in the innermost spiritual depths of believers? The Apostle Paul answers in his epistle to the Galatians: "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father" (Galatians 4:6). Our Father looks into our spirit, where He sees the grace He imparted, the grace of His beloved Son dwelling in the "new creature" and "new man" we are in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24). Certainly, in any venue where His Son abides, God the Father will see Him first and foremost. This includes the redeemed, in whom His Son lives. "He hath made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6).
Our Lord also sees righteousness, His freely given and eternally secured justification whereby we are made "accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). Grace provided such blessedness, and grace maintains it, to the degree that "blessed is the man unto whom the Lord will not impute sin" (Romans 4:8). The hymn writer Isaac Watts beautifully proclaimed the wonder of God's seeing us as forever righteous in His sight because of grace in Christ:
"And lest the shadow of a spot should on my soul be found, He took the robe our Savior wrought, and cast it all around!" (From "Awake My Heart, Arise My Tongue").
The Father sees His trusting children in Christ as spiritually enrobed with the righteousness of the Lord Jesus. We may or may not reflect well upon the garment, and our Father will work accordingly in loving approval of our response, or discipline in times of wandering. However, nothing will ever defocus His primary gaze on "the robe our Savior wrought," the holy garment of righteousness ripped away from Christ at Calvary so that it might freely array us with the grace of righteousness forevermore. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
Perhaps most vividly, our Father's looks upon us in grace because He turned His gaze away from the Lord Jesus as He suffered and died on the cross of Calvary. "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me!" (Matthew 27:46). Our Savior suffered the wrath of His Father and utter abandonment as He died alone for our sins so that the eyes of Heaven might fix their eternal gaze upon the redeemed, never to turn away. In precise proportion to the degree the Lord Jesus was forsaken on the cross, we will never be forsaken. "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5). The Father's eyes that turned away from His Son in rejection will forever see us in the sublime light of grace. "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous" (Psalm 34:15).
Few truths will more cast us to our knees and faces in wonder. Few truths will more lift us to our feet to walk in the worship of a life devoted to bearing "the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:11). In this moment, our Father's eyes see us through the lens of grace, as provided through the freely given righteousness of Christ. Surely we wonder, and surely we worship in the light of so glorious a gift, and so high and holy a calling to live in a manner that bears witness to our having "found grace in the eyes of the Lord."
"He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
(II Corinthians 5:21)
Weekly Memory Verse
Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.