Monday, January 1, 2024

Orange Moon Monday, January 1, 2024. "Wonder.... Challenge"

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

"Wonder Challenge"  


     It abides as the most blessed wonder and also the greatest challenge of being a human being.

     "When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek" (Psalm 27:8).  

    God made us to lead us to Himself by His Spirit's working upon our hearts before salvation, and within our hearts thereafter.  Upon such a basis of grace, He calls us to freely respond in faith and devotion to Him.  We exist for such relationship and fellowship, whereby we possess the potential to please the heart of God, who so desires to bless our hearts.

     "The Lord taketh pleasure in His people" (Psalm 149:4).
     "In Thy presence is fullness of joy.  At Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).
    "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).

    What a wonder!  The infinite, eternal God, glorious beyond all imagining, beckons creatures such as ourselves into living and loving fellowship with Himself.  Job certainly wondered in the realization of such grace: "What is man, that Thou shouldest magnify him?  And that Thou shouldest set Thine heart upon him? (Job 7:17).  No day should pass without our thanking God for His interest in us, and without our gratefully recalling that since the cross of Calvary, He sets a spear-pierced heart upon us.   Indeed, God so loves fellowship with human beings that He gave His eternally beloved Son to a cross of agony, shame, sorrow, forsakenness, and death to redeem us unto relationship with Himself.  More than a wonder!    

    But also, what a responsibility!  We exist to glorify and reveal our Lord throughout His creation.  We best do this by the holy response of trusting devotion to Him, and by loving the fellow human beings He so loves.  This does not come easily in a fallen world, wherein believers still possess a flesh that "lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17).  We presently walk with God upon jagged rocks, broken glass, and pitfalls all along our way.  Through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we possess the ability to love our God in consistent and growing fellowship.  Much conflict and opposition await us, however.  Spiritual, worldly, and fleshly forces align against us, possessing cunning weapons of distraction, deception, and diversion.  Thus, the wonder of walking with our Heavenly Father also involves warfare, "the good fight of faith" wherein we expect the challenges that can drive us away from fellowship with Him (I Timothy 6:12).

   But… the challenges can also drive us to Him.  In fact, without opposition, we would presently not maintain any semblance of walking with God.  "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).  Recognized need supplies a primary motivator to faith.  Challenge and opposition serve as components of such motivation.  Indeed, "a messenger of Satan" battered the Apostle Paul (II Corinthians 12:7).  Messenger?  Surely, it must have been more a savage warrior.  But no, God allowed His enemy to attack His son and servant with the pain that communicated every bit as much as it hurt.  "Trust Me, Paul, I am here.  I am with you, and within you.  I am your strength in weakness, and this is the message: you are weak despite the abundance of revelations I have given to you.  Trust Me, Paul" (II Corinthians 12:1-10).  Doubtless, the devil chafed to be God's messenger.  Doubtless, he chafed even more to hear Paul respond to the message written on the parchment of his heart by a bloody thorn: "When I am weak, then am I strong."

    This first day of a new year lies before us, and upon us.  We have no guarantees for any other of this present earthly journey.  The day offers us the One who makes our days.  He makes them for relationship and fellowship with Himself, and for a life lived in devotion to others.  He grants much grace that we might not miss this, the opportunity of a lifetime.  Our Father beckons us to Himself, as led by the Holy Spirit for the glory of the Lord Jesus.  What a wonder!  What a challenge!  What a God more good and great and glorious than we will ever fully discover, and who calls us daily - and in this day - to know His grace and walk with Him by faith…

 "That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee."
 (Proverbs 22:19). 

Weekly Memory Verse
    Thou wilt show me the path of life.  In Thy presence is fullness of joy.  At Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore!
(Psalm 16:11)








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