Friday, December 22, 2023

Orange Moon Friday, December 22, 2023 "How?"

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

(Thanks to Scott M.  for inspiration on this one)


  "Our God is so good, so great, so, wise, so present, so involved, so powerful, so righteous, and so loving as to synthesize every moment of our lives into an eternal glory of grace that will forever return us again and again and again to our faces in awed wonder."      


      Trillions of choices will be made in this day by the human race, many in accordance with God's glory, will, and eternal purpose in the Lord Jesus Christ (as motivated, led, and enabled by the Holy Spirit).  Many, however, will flow with the current of sin rather than faithfulness to God (as motivated, led, and enabled by the world, the devil, and the flesh).  Wondrously, the Great Coordinator will fit all into the fulfillment of His determination to establish His perfect reign of all things in the Lord Jesus.

     "God… worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:3; 11).

     How does He do this?  After falling to our faces in wonder and awed praise, let us arise to ponder the security we find in so good and so great a Lord.  Amid the choices of faith and faithfulness referenced, His glory shines in the beauty of holiness.  This we understand, as trusting obedience clearly coincides with God's presence, involvement, and working.  However, in the wonder of His ability to "work all things after the counsel of His own will," our Heavenly Father's light glimmers in those things that do not proceed from His determinations.  Consider Joseph languishing in a hole through the wicked agency of His brothers' sin (Genesis 37:20).  "Come now therefore, let us slay him, and cast him into some pit" said they in defiance of all things decent, righteous, and good.  If privy to the triune counsel of God from everlasting, however, we might also hear echoes of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: "Come now, let us fulfill Our purpose for Joseph and Our people not only through his faith in Us, but also through the faithlessness of his brethren."  Ultimately, other echoes, recorded in the pages of God's sacred Word, find their way to the hearts of the trusting: "Ye thought evil against me.  But God meant it unto good" (Genesis 50:20).

      Let us consider even more not Joseph's dark hole, but an even blacker and more terrible tree.  "They crucified Him… Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" (Matthew 27:35; Acts 2:23).  Was Calvary the sublime, wisely administered goodness of God, or was it the horrid wickedness of unbelieving and disobedient humanity?  It was both, of course, as the Great Coordinator fulfilled His purpose by nail-pierced hands of a faithful Son, and also by "wicked hands" whose sin He did not determine, but which He nevertheless used to make possible our salvation (James 1:13; II Corinthians 5:19-21).  

    Let us waste not a moment attempting to comprehend how such a wonder works according to choices determined by God, and those His holiness could not allow Him to cause (Psalm 145:17).  Let us rather return to our faces in grateful wonder, particularly because through His beloved Son, the Father personally worked in all things of our lives to redeem and spiritually birth us as His "dear children" (Ephesians 5:1).  Then, let us arise again in the assurance that He continues His coordination of all things in our lives to fulfill the very best thing He could possible do for any created being:

    "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:28-29).

    "We shall be like Him" (I John 3:2).  In each of His born again children in Christ, the Great Coordinator works to make us like the Lord Jesus in character, nature, and way.  He works in all things, be it the gracious gifts of His hands, or the cruel sins of the world, the devil, and the flesh.  Our Father will not be thwarted in this purpose.  "He will finish the work" (Romans 9:28).  Let us not be thwarted in the faith that should and must flow in our hearts when pondering Joseph in a hole that led to a throne, and even more, the Lord Jesus on a cross that led to an infinitely greater seat of authority.  Yes, our God is so good, so great, so, wise, so present, so involved, so powerful, so righteous, and so loving as to synthesize every moment of our lives into an eternal glory of grace that will forever return us to our faces in awed wonder.  Indeed, we will ask the question forever:  "How does He do this?!"  No answer will ever be forthcoming.  Yet again, we fall to our faces in wonder as the glory of this moment and forevermore shines with the light of "all things work together of good to them that love God"…

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved), and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." 

(Ephesians 2:4-7)

Weekly Memory Verse

     Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." 

(Philippians 2:4)






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