The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Gift, the Responsibility"
The freest gift ever given, the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ, works in the recipient to elicit the highest sense of personal responsibility a human heart can know, the fulfillment of God's glory and will.
"By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).
"It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
A genuine experience of God in the new birth so freely given in Christ leads to personal responsibility because the Holy Spirit comes with the gift of salvation. He changes the heart of the recipient from self centeredness unto a "new creature" that seeks to please God and bless others. A "new heart" inhabited by a "new spirit" united to the Holy Spirit begins and perpetuates the work of turning us inside out, as it were (Ezekiel 36:26). From self-centeredness to unselfish devotion, the gift of grace in Christ does not spoil us because His indwelling nature comes with the blessing. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).
Of course, believers do not always walk accordingly, and we can live selfishly if we walk after the flesh. We oppose the nature of the "new man" we are in Christ when we do so, with built-in consequences of discomfort and misery (Ephesians 4:24). Moreover, when necessary, our Heavenly Father chastens and scourges His trusting children in Christ. Thereby, He works to ensure that the free gift of salvation in Christ does not lead to a sense of entitlement or disregard of the life to which our Lord calls us (Romans 8:6; Hebrews 12:6). Indeed, God works to ensure that the freest gift ever given bears no possibility of spoiling rather than sanctifying us. "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Ephesians 2:10).
In such assurance, we can confidently, decisively, and uncompromisingly proclaim salvation in the Lord Jesus for what it is, the freest gift ever given, purchased by the highest cost ever remitted. God will ensure His graciousness will not be distorted or taken for granted by His sanctifying work that includes confirmation of faithfulness, and correction of waywardness. He will also administer such working through us for each other as we encourage and challenge one another to honor so great a gift, provided by so high a price.
"Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called."
Weekly Memory Verse
But as for me, I will come into Thy house in the multitude of Thy mercy: and in Thy fear will I worship toward Thy holy temple.