Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Orange Moon Wednesday, January 31, 2024. "Satisfied"

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



    "He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied.  By His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities" (Isaiah 53:11).

   God is perfectly satisfied with the travail of the Lord Jesus Christ,  whereby He made possible our justification by bearing our iniquities on the cross of Calvary.  Do we share His satisfaction?

    "For we which have believed do enter into rest" (Hebrews 4:3).

   The Lord Jesus so perfectly fulfilled the righteousness of God in His atoning work on the cross that all who receive His grace can - and must - join our Heavenly Father in His assessment of a finished work of redemption.  Indeed, "blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin" exulted the Apostle Paul - because God so completely imputed our sins to the Lamb of God at Calvary (Romans 4:8).  Paul even declares that Christ was "made to be sin for us," a mystery doubtless never to be solved in our understanding, but which can have profound effect on our hearts (II Corinthians 5:21).  Is it possible that our Heavenly Father could ever view believers as unjustified when He looked upon His beloved Son as sin and poured out the fullness of His wrath against Him for our sake?   "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" cried out the Savior on the cross (Matthew 27:46).  Scripture plainly answers.  Again…

    "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).  

     The Apostle John taught that believers can and do still sin (I John 1:8).  God, however, does not impute our sins to us.  He does not place them on our account because He so fully placed them on the debit ledger of the sinless Lord Jesus at Calvary.  Certainly, He deals with us as a loving and righteous Father when and as necessary.  "Whom the Lord loveth, He chastenteth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth" (Hebrews 12:6).  It was to believers the writer of Hebrews warned, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31).  Never, however, are our sins accounted to us in any jeopardizing debit that would render us as unrighteous in God's sight.  The travail of Christ's soul satisfied our Father in this sense, and it must satisfy us as well.  As the hymnwriter beautifully penned, "And lest the shadow of a spot should on my soul be found, He took the robe the Savior wrought, and cast it all around!" (Isaac Watts, "Awake My Heart, Arise My Tongue!").

   To live a life whereby we are "filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ," we must see the Savior bearing on our behalf - and being on our behalf - our sin (Philippians 1:11).  We must rest in His freely given righteousness if we are to arise in the power of His freely given presence and power.  We live the Christian life from satisfaction, both God's and ours, satisfaction in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus perfectly executed to fulfill our Father's righteousness and our redemption.  Yes, we live for God by living from Christ, that is, who He is to God, and who He is to us.  Only thereby will our motivation be genuine, our faith Biblical, and our life empowered by a resting spirit that results in hands and feet ever restless to "do the will of God from the heart" (Ephesians 6:6).

"Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God, To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."

(Romans 3:24-26)

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."

(Romans 5:1-2)

Weekly Memory Verse

    "Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."

(Ephesians 3:21)



Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Orange Moon Tuesday, January 30, 2024 "The Giver In the Midst"

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

"The Giver In the Midst"


    What is salvation in its essence and most fundamental reality?  The Psalmist knew.

    "Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation" (Psalm 35:3).

    The saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ imparts more "unsearchable riches" than we will ever fully discover (Ephesians 3:8).  The "I AM" of all, however, is God Himself.  

    Consider, for example, the forgiveness our Heavenly Father grants to those who receive the Lord Jesus in salvation.  When God pardons our sins, He does so personally.  

    "And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers?  Hath no man condemned thee?  She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more" (John 8:10-11).

    God does not impart forgiveness or any of His other gifts from afar.  The Lord of grace comes with the grace He promises and provides to all who trust Him.  "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).  The forgiven woman did not hear a decree from Heaven proclaiming her pardon, but rather knew the Lord Jesus "in the midst" of her reception of God's grace.  The Forgiver granted pardon Face to face in the physical sense, and even more, Heart to heart in the most spiritually vital bestowal of mercy.  "He that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass (surround) him about" (Psalm 32:10).

    Of course, "Face to face" is yet not available to us in this earthly lifetime wherein we "walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7).  "Heart to heart," however, is.  God's all-pervasive presence graces every breath He gives, and every marvel of His abundantly generous heart and hand.  In Heaven and the life to come, we will better know that the God who gave us salvation is Himself our salvation.  He was not and is not satisfied with providing a redemption that does not include Himself as its very essence and reality.  "Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" (I Corinthians 1:30).

     Let us join the Psalmist in his wise request: "Say unto my soul, Thou art my salvation."  Yes, let us ask our Lord to make the myriad glories of His grace so personal in our hearts and minds that we realize the Giver "in the midst."  A far richer experience of love, faith, devotion, and wonder will result, and we will find ourselves being far more personal with the One who comes with His gifts.

Father, are You there?

No, My child, I am not there,

I am here, nearer than any other.

And I will always be not there,but here, 

of this you can be sure,

and this you will discover

as the years roll on, and forever draws nigh,

I am with you always, so near,

nearer than any other.

"In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge is in God."

(Psalm 62:7)

Weekly Memory Verse

    "Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."

(Ephesians 3:21)



Monday, January 29, 2024

Orange Moon Monday, January 29, 2024 "Our Greatest Need"

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

"Our Greatest Need"


    When God is glorified in our hearts, lives, circumstances, situations, and conditions, our greatest need is met.  "Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31).

    Our Heavenly Father made us for the most loving purpose imaginable, namely, to serve as the created beings most capable of honoring and revealing the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We exist to be the lamps of His light, and to "shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:15).  He does so by imparting the Spirit of the Lord Jesus into our hearts when we believe, and then ever working to so illuminate our inner being with Christ that He shines forth from our countenance, demeanor, attitudes, words, and deeds.  Our greatest need?  To fulfill the reason for our existence and to serve as the light-absorbing and reflecting moon to His sun (Son).  His glorious supply?  To motivate, guide, and empower us accordingly.  "His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness...We should be to the praise of His glory… Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (II Peter 1:3; Ephesians 1:12; 3:21).

    This does not discount the many other needs of our "fearfully and wonderfully made" humanity (Psalm 139:14).  From the smallest atom of our body, to the marvel of our soul with its mental, emotional, and volitional capabilities, to the wonder of our spirits serving as the holy of holies wherein Christ dwells, we are beings of more need than we will ever know.  Gloriously, of course, our God is a Being of more supply than we will ever need, "exceeding, abundantly above all we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20).  Eternity will not exhaust His joy in providing His grace in all things, or our joy in witnessing the wonder of "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).

   Nothing, however, compares with God enabling us to glorify His Son more profoundly than all other created beings or things.   Originally made in His image, and redeemed by salvation to a greater reflection of Christ than any other aspect of creation, believers will forever rejoice as our Heavenly Father directs His universe to look upon the church of the Blood-washed and the Spirit-enlivened. "Behold My Son dwelling in My sons and daughters He redeemed by His sacrifice!  This is who I am!  This is who He is!  This is who they are, and this is My love, My grace, My righteousness, My holiness, My power, My life, and My glory as wrought in them by My Spirit!"  Yes, the great need of our existence and the great reason for our existence are one and the same, to honor the Person, Name, and work of the Lord Jesus and to brightly shine as the lamps of His light both now and forevermore…

"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

    Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

 (Ephesians 3:21)



Friday, January 26, 2024

Orange Moon Friday, January 26:2024 "Servant... Lord"

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

"Servant...  Lord"


    In one of the most hallowed portions of the Bible, we discover the Lord Jesus Christ in a sublime dual expression of His role in God's purposes.

    "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.  And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:5-11).

    Note the passage begins with Christ as servant, and ends with Christ as Lord.  He is both, that is, the Lord who serves, and the servant who rules.  This includes His presence and working in our lives.

   "Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am" (John 13:13)

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

   "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).

   We serve the Lord Jesus as our master, and He dwells within us to empower our service.  "His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3).  God calls us to "life and godliness," that is to submission to His glory and will.  He does so, however, by "the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:19).  The Lord who commands our obedience empowers our obedience.  He does not call us to make bricks without straw, as it were, but indwells us to make possible a life of devotion to Him not possible without Him.  

     The Lord who serves.  The Servant who rules.  The Lord Jesus occupies both offices in God's purpose, and in our hearts.  "Without Me, ye can do nothing" declared the Savior who well knows we cannot independently fulfill even the least of His commands according to the divine standard (John 15:5).  Thus, He supplies Himself as the Life of our lives whereby we join the Apostle Paul in his confident confession, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).  

    This blessed truth of our Lord's dual office constitutes obedience to God not as a burden, but as a delight.  Of course, this does not preclude challenge because "the flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17).  We do not always feel pleasure in the will of God, and we do not always obey (I John 1:8).  However, the more we grow in the knowledge of the Lord who serves and the Servant who rules, the more we find ourselves motivated and empowered to fulfill the will of God as the fruit of both Christ's direction and enabling.  We can "do nothing" without Him, but "all things" through Him.  A sublime role indeed, and one in which must grow in our understanding of both offices our Savior occupies in service to God, and in both Lordship and service to us.

"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."

(Matthew 11:28-30)

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus."

(II Timothy 1:1)

Weekly Memory Verse

      "Fight the good fight of faith."

 (I Timothy 6:12)