The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Promises and Commands"
Promises and commands fill the pages of the New Testament, assuring the born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ of God's presence and working, while challenging us to realize our walk with Him is not inevitable.
"His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue, whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature" (II Peter 1:3-4).
"He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him" (I John 3:24).
Our Heavenly Father's promises encourage and strengthen us to realize His promised grace whereby "we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28). We can no more walk in faith and faithfulness by our own abilities than we could have spiritually birthed ourselves in salvation. Thus, we "partake of the divine nature" by availing ourselves of the "exceeding great and precious promises" whereby the power of God motivates, leads, and enables to live in a manner possible only through Christ. "The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17).
The many commands of the New Testament challenge us to realize that we may or may not avail ourselves of the power to trust and obey God. By definition, no commands would be required if it were inevitable we would always do His will. Believers are supercharged vessels of potential faith and faithfulness through the presence and working of the indwelling Holy Spirit. "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." However, we must "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12-13). Thus, the possibility of not walking faithfully with God remains, meaning we must attend our hearts to both His promises and commands.
Interestingly, every commandment comes to us pregnant with promise, as it were. That is, when Scripture mandates a particular step of obedience, it presents the command with either direct or implied grace to respond. Note the Apostle Peter's affirmation in the passage above: "His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness." We may or may not avail ourselves of this abundant enabling. However, the enabling perpetually resides within us through the Holy Spirit. This we must believe because it is true, and because obedience to God must flow as the natural - or rather, supernatural - current of our lives. The promises of Scripture make this an abiding potentiality in every believer, and even more, an abiding likelihood as we grow in assurance that "God cannot lie," and that obedience to His commands flows through confidence in His promises (Titus 1:2). Yes, every step of faithfulness proceeds from the promised presence and working of God, and our faith to believe that His promises are true and the power to obey His commands is available to be accessed through His abiding and empowering Spirit.
"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)
"The just shall live by faith."
Weekly Memory Verse
My times are in Thy hand.