The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"More Blessed To Give"
Part 3 - "The Cheerful Giver"
The Lord Jesus said… "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).
Scripture teaches that "God loveth a cheerful giver" (II Corinthians 9:7). This originates in the truth that He is Himself the most cheerful of all givers. As the Lord Jesus Christ said to His disciples, "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). We should be most grateful for such a Divine disposition because all things, including ourselves, depend on the Lord for their original and sustained existence.
"By Him all things consist" (Colossians 1:17).
"What has thou that thou didst not receive?" (I Corinthians 4:7).
Generosity does not begin to adequately describe this character trait of the Lord who loves to bless, provide, and bestow the bounty of His heart and hand upon creation. Only one true Giver actually exists. God alone provides from resources that originate in Himself. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights" (John 1:3; Psalm 24:1; James 1:17). All others who give act as stewards of that which God first provides. We serve as conveyors, exerting time, effort, and sacrifice to bestow that which the true "Possessor of heaven and earth" distributes through us. Of this Cheerful Giver, the Apostle Paul wrote "Of Him, and through Him and to Him are all things" (Romans 11:36). Thus, everything we have ever received, or ever will receive, came to us and comes to us from the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. Everything. "He giveth to all life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25). Generosity? The word is not big enough.
We must know and embrace this truth about our blessed Lord. The hymnist did, and beautifully penned, "Out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again." God loves to give, and to give, and to give again, in perpetuity. This is who He is, and this is what He does. In fact, our Father so loves to supply for the need of His creation that if it means the sacrifice of that which is most dear to Him, He will do it. He did it.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only beloved Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
No words can describe the generosity that provides not only "life and breath and all things," but also gave the life and breath and totality of the Lord Jesus to the cross for the redemption of sinners. Such sacrifice tells us more than anything about the wondrously generous heart of God. It also confirms our Father's determination to provide for us in this day. According to His perfect wisdom and application of provision, we can be confident in His promise that "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). The cross assures us of such goodness as the Cheerful Giver continually reveals the infinite generosity of His heart by the indescribable grace of His hand…
"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
Weekly Memory Verse
Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day.
shared with a dear friend yesterday that 99.99% of the Bible involves God's revelation and glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ. We exist to know Him, and to find in such holy light the reality, reason, and ramifications of our existence (John 17:3). The Holy Spirit who indwells us ever works to reveal and glorify the Lord Jesus (John 15:28; 16:14). However, I also mentioned to my friend that a .01% place exists for the believer's self-knowledge and awareness. To know God means we will know ourselves in the context of Christ, as it were. "Ye are in Christ Jesus… He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (I Corinthians 1:30; 6:17). Of all that God sees of us, we can be sure this is first and this is primary. Indeed, how can it not be so when we consider…
"He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).
If God gave His Son to the cross to make possible and actual His giving of the Holy Spirit to our hearts, could it be that He sees us with any other essential focus? If He poured out His wrath on the Lord Jesus so that He might pour out the Spirit into our spirits, will He ever overlook this "hope of glory, which is Christ in you?" And if He left His beloved Lord Jesus to die alone in utter abandonment to make possible His presence within us, will He ever take leave of seeing us in terms less than "Ye are the temple of the living God?" (II Corinthians 6:16).
Find the most faithful believer on the planet in this moment, and you will find one viewed by God as united to the Spirit of His Son. Find the most failing believer on the planet in this moment, and you will find one viewed by God as united to the Spirit of His Son. Too much was sacrificed for the Divine gaze upon us to be other or less. Certainly, our faithful or failing response to Him matters much, and He works to enhance the former, and correct the latter. However, God's first gaze ever sees us in light of the cross, the empty tomb, and the Spirit of the crucified and risen Christ within us. We must see ourselves accordingly. "In Thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:9).
This is the .o1% - how we view ourselves - based on the 99.99% - how we view God. But how important it is. To share God's view of Christ in us and ourselves in Christ will go far in motivating and empowering a corresponding life of faith and faithfulness. Moreover, our Savior suffered agonized abandonment on the cross to bestow such grace upon and within us. We will never throughout eternity, or in this lifetime, live a moment apart from the Holy Spirit's abiding and empowering presence within us. Yes, God gave Himself to dwell within our hearts when we believed. He will not leave. This is how He views us. This is how we must view ourselves.
"I am with you always… I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
(Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5)
"Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Weekly Memory Verse