The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
We must "earnestly contend for the faith," while being "harmless as doves" (Jude 1:3; Matthew 10:16).
How do we do this? How do conviction and compassion flow through as complementary streams of God's truth? Only He can answer this question and implement our capacity to relate to our world in the love that reflects the character and courage of the Lord Jesus Christ:
"Behold My servant, whom I have chosen; My beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall show judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory" (Matthew 12:18-20).
"To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth" (John 18:37).
The Lord Jesus perfectly contended for the faith with both compassion and conviction. He never failed to say what needed to be said, and no one ever more forthrightly bore witness to truth. Our Lord did so always, however, with a heart of compassionate devotion to the needy hearts He came to illuminate and redeem. The earnest and the harmless perfectly united in the Savior, resulting in a Roman centurion uttering a simple statement of reality that peals through the ages unto this day: "Never man spake like this man" (John 7:46).
How do the streams of compassion and conviction flow together in us? The indwelling Holy Spirit provides the answer. He works in us to implement the harmlessness of a dove, while ensuring that humility enhances rather than impedes testimony to truth. Only the Spirit of God can accomplish such a miracle of grace and truth in us. We must recognize and yield to His faithful enabling, while acknowledging our desperate need. Indeed, who among us would boast that he knows exactly how to be harmless while also being affirmative? Who would say he begins to know? Not one of us can cause the complementary streams to flow in life-giving provision to a world that must hear truth communicated with both confidence and compassion. The Holy Spirit can move within us, however, revealing the Lord Jesus to once again walk upon the paths of the planet - in us - breaking no reed while breaking the stranglehold of sin's darkness in human hearts.
As James declared, "The tongue can no man tame" (James 3:8). Indeed, we will either speak as a ravaging lion or cower as a timid pussycat apart from the Holy Spirit's leading and enabling. Little wonder the Psalmist prayed, "Set a watch, o Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3). Our spheres of influence need to hear truth, spoken in love (Ephesians 4:15). This will involve compassion and confidence. We need the Holy Spirit to work within the sphere of influence in our hearts to cause the complementary streams to flow within and through us as "rivers of living water" (John 7:38). We also need to trust our Lord about this most vital matter in this day, and in all to come. A desperate world awaits harmless doves who nevertheless powerfully and effectually bear witness to truth through the holy Dove who dwells within us.
"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth, and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
(II Timothy 2:24-26).
"Pray…for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel."
(Ephesians 6:18; 19)
Weekly Memory Verse
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.