The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"What a gift God gives to those who trust the Lord Jesus, the gift of Himself, and the gift of each other. We can take such grace for granted. We do so to our peril and to the failure to avail ourselves of the marvelous benefit the Holy Spirit administers through fellow believers."
When I first became a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1975, I knew a few things that had occurred in my heart and life. I knew my sins were forgiven. I knew God had become my Father, the Lord Jesus my Savior, and the Holy Spirit my guide, teacher, and power to live the Christian life. I was also aware of other things, although my understanding was rudimentary, to say the least.
I particularly did not know that receiving God's saving grace in the Lord Jesus had birthed me into a new family, composed of millions upon millions of brothers and sisters. I very quickly discovered the sublime blessing, and continue unto this day being amazed by loving and living relationship with fellow believers who "have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 1:1).
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments, as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life forevermore" (Psalm 133:1-3).
Having grown up as an only child and with my father having died when I was very young, I had no frame of reference for a large family, or for having brothers and sisters. I therefore could not anticipate the enormity and magnitude of the gift God gave to me in fellow believers. To this day, I still marvel at how the Lord Jesus Christ shines in His people, and how His love flows within and through us for God, and for our brothers and sisters. I also realize why Satan ever seeks to foment division and unrest amid the body of Christ. The devil knows better than do we ourselves how powerful an influence believers effect in the world when we "dwell together in unity." He cannot disconnect us from the Lord Jesus Himself. Thus, He seeks to divide us from each other by tempting us to resentment, bitterness, and failure to appreciate the gift God gave to us in Christ, which includes His people. Satan also works to inculcate false doctrine among us, which can lead to necessary division in order to maintain the church's purity of communicating the Lord Jesus and His truth (II Thessalonians 3:14).
This is written as an expression of gratitude to God, and as an appreciation of the family I did not initially realize had become the fellowship in which I would live my life. Certainly, this includes all of you who allow us to send you these devotionals. What a gift God gives to those who trust the Lord Jesus, the gift of Himself, and the gift of each other. We can take such grace for granted. We do so to our peril and to the failure to avail ourselves of the marvelous benefit the Holy Spirit administers through fellow believers. Yes, I could not anticipate the blessing of a new family when first trusting Christ. I now know, and desire to know far more as our Father reveals His love for us and to us through each other. We close by including one of the most beautiful prayers in the Bible, the Apostle Paul's earnest plea that we will all know God's love as revealed and exalted amid "the whole family of Heaven and earth."
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 0f whom the whole family in Heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
"By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another."
Weekly Memory Verse
We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."