The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Promises and Commands"
What if every command of Scripture comes to us also as a promise? They do.
"I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints, that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus" (Philemon 1:4-6).
The Apostle Paul called Philemon to what would have been a hard thing in his day, namely, to receive the escaped slave Onesimus as "a brother beloved" rather than as a fugitive (Philemon 1:16). Paul called for such an act of loving obedience by Philemon based on "every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus." The Apostle Peter identifies those good things as "all things that pertain unto life and godliness" (II Peter 1:3). Thus, the power to obey Paul's mandate of love in Christ had resided in Philemon from the moment he had trusted the Lord Jesus. Or we might say, "the promise of life in Christ Jesus" preceded the command to "walk, even as He walked" (II Timothy 1:1; John 2:6).
God never calls His children to make bricks without straw. He rather fills our barn full to overflowing by indwelling us with the Holy Spirit in the moment of our salvation. Thereafter, the power to obey always resides within us, constituting every command as a promise of grace to fulfill the will of God. We may or may not respond to such abundance of enabling. Obedience is not inevitable for the believer, as comfirmed by many accounts of sin and failure in the New Testament epistles. However, we always can obey through Christ. Knowing such truth of His abiding and enabling presence makes far more likely the trust and obedience that should characterize every Christian's walk with God.
A just Lord could not and would not command His children to obey a standard far beyond their inherent capabilities if He did not also supply necessary grace to fulfill His mandates. Thus, dwelling in every "Do" and "Don't" of Scripture resides the promised power to act accordingly. Yes, God's commands are no less filled with promise than are His promises.
"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
(II Corinthians 7:1)
Weekly Memory Verse
My times are in Thy hand.
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