Friday, March 3, 2023

Orange Moon Friday, March 3, 2023 "Character... Capability"

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


"Character Capability"


   Scripture opens with a wondrous expression of God's capability.

   "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).

    Moses, however, does not directly address the character of God in His opening affirmation.  The remainder of Scripture does that for us.  Indeed, in light of the Lord we discover throughout the Bible, we could think of Genesis 1:1 in these terms:

   "In the beginning, a Being of infinite and eternal love, goodness, greatness, grace, mercy, righteousness, holiness, and purity created the heaven and the earth."

   All of these Biblically revealed character qualities identify the Creator of wondrous capability presented in the first statement of Scripture.  That He exists, and that He actively exists, proclaims Moses.  But what kind of Being is He in heart, mind, and disposition?  The Old and New Testament writers join Moses in being led by God to reveal Himself to us.  All identify the living Lord of Genesis 1:1 in ever greater terms of wonder as we consistently expose our hearts and minds to the light of God, as proclaimed in the light of His Word.  "In Thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:9).

   While in no way minimizing God's capabilities, this truth leads us to the proper sequence in how we view Him.  

    "Thou art good, and doest good" (Psalm 119:68).

   With our Lord, character always precedes capability.  His being guides His doing.  I Corinthians 13 plainly tells us that probity prescribes power, that is, who God is as an infinitely moral Being always directs what He does as an infinitely mighty Being.  Always.  Indeed, reverse the sequence as a matter of conjecture.  What if God's might guided His morality?  Devilish and human history reveal the horrific outcome of such distortion by created beings fallen into sin.  Thus, the opening Biblical declaration of God's existence and expression of His power must be followed by a chronicle that tells us who it is possessed of such wondrous ability.

    That chronicle leads us to Calvary, the birthplace of a new creation originated by God's character of a love that "passeth knowledge."  The old creation began and continues with "the Word of His power."  The new creation began with the Word being "crucified through weakness" (Ephesians 3:19; Hebrews 1:3; II Corinthians 13:4).  On the cross, we see not what God can do as His hands hang pinioned and immovable.  We rather see who God is as His Son's heart, pierced by a sword, issued forth the blood of sacrifice and water of purification for His enemies (John 19:34).  We see a character too wondrous for words, and the glory of God He defined to Moses as His goodness (Exodus 33:18-19).

   The power of God ever flows with the current of His character.  Who He is directs what He does.  Goodness motivates, guides, and enables greatness.  The seeds of such truth lie in Genesis 1:1.  However, the abundant and fragrant garden through which we will journey forever must be known in the pages that follow.  We do well as we open the Bible to realize that amid the history of His doings, the eternality of His Person lies before us.  "Who art Thou, Lord?" (Acts 9:5).  Saul of Tarsus asked the greatest of all questions as the risen Christ stood before Him.  We do well to join him in this moment, knowing that God's answers will ever reveal new wonders of His character, making the wonders of His capability all the more glorious and thrilling…

"Oh how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee before the sons of men!"
(Psalm 31:19)

Weekly Memory Verse
   "Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." (I Corinthians 1:30)



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."
(Romans 6:11)

Weekly Memory Verse






















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