The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"More Blessed To Give"
The Lord Jesus said… "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).
The Apostle Paul could just have truly declared, "The Lord Jesus lived, It is more blessed to give than to receive." Indeed, the planet earth bears the footprints of one perfectly unselfish human being who tread its challenging paths, the God who became man, and the man who remains God. "Great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh" (I Timothy 3:16).
"The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works" (John 14:10).
"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14).
The life of an unselfish Savior bore witness to the unselfish Father and unselfish Holy Spirit who led and enabled Him to live in perfect devotion to others. Indeed, of all the glories that will thrill and fulfill the redeemed in our Heavenly eternity, none will surpass the wonder of beholding a triune Being who has never had - or ever will have - a self-centered or egotistical notion pass through His glorious heart. "God is love… Charity (love) seeketh not her own" (I John 4:8; I Corinthians 13:5). We must presently hold this view of our Lord near and dear to our hearts, even as we "see through a glass darkly" (I Corinthians 13:12). That is, whether we consider the grace of Calvary, or "the wrath to come" of God's necessary judgments, all proceed from a purity of unselfish devotion to others that will forevermore cast us to our faces in awed reverence of "the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge" (I Thessalonians 1:10; Ephesians 3:19).
"It is more blessed to give than to receive" proceeds directly from the epicenter of the heart of God, and from His character and nature. Nothing more defines Him, even as the two great commands of Scripture - to love God and others - tellingly reflects the primary truth of the One who mandates our unselfish devotion to others because this is who He is (Mark 12:30-31). The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit bear this unutterably beautiful disposition of altruism toward one another, which then issues forth unto the creation He made to love. No words exist to even begin adequate consideration of such beauty of being, character, and nature. Thus, we do well to close in wonder, and in remembrance of the Savior whose devotion to others, as led and enabled by His Father and the Holy Spirt, tells us the most important reality we can know our God, and about what He calls us to be in Him…
"Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor."
"The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many."
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