Friday, December 1, 2023

Orange Moon Friday, December 1, 2023 "The Cheerful Giver"

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

"The Cheerful Giver"

  "This may be the greatest of all God's cheerful giving, that at the highest cost to Himself, He made possible and actual in believers the joy He Himself knows in seeking the blessing of others."


   "Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

    He would know, wouldn't He?

    "The son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).

    Our Savior lived "It is more blessed to give than to receive" even more than He said it.  Such sublime character and corresponding unselfishness of attitude, word, and deed proceeded from the nature of God, who "loveth a cheerful giver" because He is Himself the most cheerful of givers (II Corinthians 9:7).  "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" declared the Lord Jesus to His disciples, revealing the divine disposition of joy in selfless devotion to others (Luke 12:32).  God loves to give.  It is who He is in the deepest essence of His sublime being, and who we must know Him to be in order to relate to Him rightly and righteously through the Lord Jesus.  "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).

    We do well to think of this as we breathe our next breath.  Certainly, we are glad to receive it from the One who "giveth to all life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25).  God, however, is far gladder to have provided it.  "More blessed to give than to receive."  Perhaps the greatest confirmation of such goodness lies in the truth that our Lord gives at great sacrifice to Himself.  Had He never created all things that require His provision, He would not bear upon His hands, feet, and side the prints of nails and a spear suffered to redeem a fallen creation.  Our next breath  comes to us by the price of blood, of sorrow, of agony, of grief, of forsakenness, and of death.  God could not justly provide for us had He not made a way to be both "just and the justifier of Him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:26).  Thus, we not only joyfully feel and express our gratitude when God gives.  We also solemnly remember the cost of gifts so freely and willingly given, but purchased by so a remittance far more expensive than we will ever know.  "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (I Peter 1:18-19).

   Wondrously, this disposition of sacrificial and cheerful giving now dwells in all who trust the Lord Jesus.  "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).  The love of God for us, that came to us, now lives within us, constituting our greatest joy not in receiving, but in giving.  We do not presently know or experience such grace in perfection.  We can still live selfishly if we walk after the flesh.  However, nothing changes our deepest and truest delight in sacrificial devotion to others, as effected in us by the Spirit of Christ.  "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). This may be the greatest of all God's cheerful giving, that at the highest cost to Himself, He made possible and actual in believers the joy He Himself knows in seeking the blessing of others.  Indeed, the heart of the kingdom God gave to His Son's disciples, and to all who believe, provided the King Himself to dwell not only among us, but also within us as the very Life of our lives.  Through such a gift, we may "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" (Ephesians 5:2).  Yes, God loveth a cheerful giver because He is Himself the Cheerful Giver, so much so that He lives and works in us that we know His joy in devotion to others, at whatever cost…

 "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him… If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us…. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
(I John 4:9; 12; 16)

Weekly Memory Verse
   "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 
(I John 5:4)






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