Thursday, September 29, 2022

Orange Moon Thursday, September 29, 2022 "Journey To Christlikeness"

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

(Thanks to my son Noah for inspiration on this one)


               "Journey To Christlikeness"

     No possibility exists of overstating the wonder of Scripture, or of the infinite beauty of its holy light.  We can never give enough thanks for the gift the Bible is to us, or of the vital necessity of its place in our salvation and subsequent walk with God by faith.

    "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17).
    "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (II Timothy 3:16).
   "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts"' (Jeremiah 15:16).

    This being said, it remains true that mere knowledge of the Bible, or memorization of its passages, does not suffice in our relationship and fellowship with our Heavenly Father.  Christ must be "formed" in us, that is, the truths of Scripture must become infused into the very depths of our being by God's working along often difficult pathways of our lives (Galatians 4:19).

   "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body" (II Corinthians 4:10).

   He who dwells within our trusting spirits must become manifest in the temple of our earthly humanity.  This requires our fellowship in "the dying of the Lord Jesus," not in atonement for our sins - a fully accomplished reality - but rather in the formation of His character in us.  The Apostle Paul referred to this as "the fellowship of His sufferings" (Philippians 3:10).  We will refer to it in no lesser terms as our Father works in us to conform us to the spiritual and moral image of the Lord Jesus.  No possibility exists regarding this holy process  that does not involve pain and sorrow felt in the most visceral terms deep in our souls and bodies.  "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).

   Every believer sometimes wonders, "Why is this happening to me?"  In detail, we may never know.  In the larger picture, the eternal picture, we can always know.  God works in us to make us like His Son, first, for the glory of the Lord Jesus, and then to enable us to further others in their own challenging, but glorious journey to Christlikeness.  This requires both sublime blessing and necessary sorrow and pain.  A wounded Savior returned to Heaven, bearing the prints of nails.  To be made like Him, we must bear our own scars, imprinted by the particular "nails" of our own woundings.  God could do nothing better for us.  But the way will not be easy, and we will sometimes look to Heaven and wonder why the pathways of earth must often be so rocky and treacherous.  This is why...

All things work together for good, 
in the hearts and lives of those who love the Lord.
The pleasures and the pains, 
the sunshine and the rains,
all things work together for good.

An unseen Hand weaves all the threads,
a Heart of grace works for our best.
To make us like His Son, 
He leaves nothing undone.
All things work together for good...
All things work together for good.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified." 
(Matthew 8:28-30)

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed, always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you."
(II Corinthians 4:6-12"
"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
(II Corinthians 3:18)

Weekly Memory Verse    
  "Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy and Thy truth's sake!"
(Psalm 115:1)


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