The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"More Blessed To Give"
Part 2 - "A Bright and Shining Sun"
"The Lord Jesus said… It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). In His words, the very heart of God shines forth.
When thinking about God and His ways, as revealed in Scripture, we do well to remember and affirm that everything He does proceeds from a heart of pure and perfect unselfishness that "seeketh not her own" (I Corinthians 13:5). The Savior, whose life reflected God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, stated plainly, "the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28; John 14:10; Hebrews 9:14).
We must establish the infinite and eternal altruism of God's character in order to understand who He is and what He does. Be it grace, righteousness, mercy, holiness, salvation, wrath, peace, condemnation, power, patience, judgment, goodness, greatness, and of course, love, all must be known in the context of a triune Heart wherein never a step of egocentric self-centeredness has traced even a single footprint. Biblical consideration of the living and true God leads us to ponder and commune with One possessed of a nature for which we have no other frame of reference. Indeed, only of our Lord can it be said, both now and forevermore, "God is love" (I John 4:8).
Think of this the next time you read Romans 5:8, "Christ died for our sins." The thought makes great sense, doesn't it, as we consider so great a sacrifice made not for friends, but for enemies (Romans 5:10). However, think of it also when reading Revelation 20:15, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." This certainly involves a more difficult understanding. However, Romans 5 and Revelation 20 both declare the actions of a perfectly unselfish Being doing what He must do to be true to His sublime nature and to others. We must also be true to that nature by establishing within our hearts and minds that if God is love, then everything He does flows from His perfect devotion to others. Those mentioned in Revelation will surely not perceive their Judge's actions as such, but the truth will nevertheless abide. Love, the unselfish love of God, accounts for the lake of fire no less than the cross of Calvary.
Maintaining this Biblical understanding of Divine unselfishness presents a great challenge to us because our native tendencies flow with the current of "I, Me, and My" rather than devotion to others. We easily apply our fleshly sensibilities to our Lord, an error to be understood, but also to be consistently overcome. I try to frequently remind myself before praying, "I address One whose ego exists as a bright and shining sun, forever radiating outward, as opposed to a black hole that draws all into itself. I will commune with a perfectly unselfish Being whose Son bears the prints of nails because His heart bears the robes of a servant." The thought constitutes prayer as a very different reality, and one that leads us to the knees of our hearts, and often, to the knees of our knees.
Just before the cross, wherein Divine unselfishness most purely and perfectly manifested its glory, the Lord Jesus performed another act of grace that bears clear witness to the truth we consider. Note the Savior's explanation, which tells us much about what what He did, but even more, about who God is…
"So after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was set down again, He said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet."
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.