The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
No human being has ever seen his or her own face. Of course, we have seen reflections in mirrors or other surfaces from which photons of light bounce back and retrace the path originally traveled. These reflections, however, are not our face, but merely representations thereof. God set our eyes in their sockets to look outward, upward, and away unto Him and to others. This must constitute our focus in life, as confirmed by the two great commands of Scripture:
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:30-31).
Redeemed from sin through the Lord Jesus Christ to be conformed to His image, born again believers Christ blessedly find redemption from the distorted gaze whereby the unholy trinity of "I, Me, and My" leads us to blinded misery in this life, and if left unchecked, to eternal sorrow and darkness in the next. We were not made for a gaze that looks inward for the purpose of exalting or emphasizing ourselves. We rather find light and reality when realizing that even more than our physical vision, the eyes of our hearts exist to "look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith," and to establish the needs of others as more important than our own - "Let each esteem other better than themselves" (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 2:3).
No command exists in Scripture to focus on ourselves, or to love ourselves. This is because if we will devote ourselves through the grace of the Lord Jesus to love for God and others, He will take the most excellent care of us by His direct devotion, and through others. The next time we gaze into a mirror, seeing only a facsimile of our faces, we do well to notice our eyes set in a manner that can only look outward, upward, and away. Great light will shine upon us in the realization, and great peace awaits as the glory of God and the blessing of others more and more becomes our focus.
"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
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."
Weekly Memory Verse