Monday, January 15, 2024

Orange Moon Monday, January 16, 2024. "Lights In the World"

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

"Lights In the World"

    A noted atheist once suggested that Christians are the primary evidence that God does not exist.  This is to be expected from one who does not know or believe in the Lord.  What was not expected was that a noted Christian author and pastor agreed with Him.

    "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" (Ephesians 3:20-21).

    Throughout her history, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ has been decidedly less than perfect.  The New Testament epistles confirm this, as the apostles often dealt with issues that arose among believers in whom dwelt the Spirit of God, but who were also far from being perfected and glorified.  We can all still walk after the flesh rather than the leading and enabling of the Holy Spirit.  Moreover, we all deal with a world system and wicked spiritual enemies who ever seek to lead us astray.  Thus, if one seeks to find failures among God's people, he will easily find them.  However, while honestly acknowledging our need for necessary correction and growth, we must not join the Lord's enemies in ignoring the innumerable steps the Lord Jesus has taken in His people for God's glory and the blessing of others.

    "Ye shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:15).

    "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16).

    When I became a born again believer in 1975, I was surprised to discover my spiritual birthing into a new family.  I began to see Christ not only in the pages of Scriptures, but along the pathways of life as His character, nature, and way shined brightly in my brethren.  Certainly, I also witnessed failure, and I saw how much all of my fellow believers experienced the same need for growth in God's grace that so characterized my own walk with God.  However, I witnessed the Lord Jesus in the countenance, attitudes, words, and deeds of fellow Christians who sought to honor Him in their hearts and lives.  I felt then as I feel now, that is, I well understood the Apostle Paul's sentiment expressed toward the Philippians: "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now" (Philippians 1:3-5).

    I think about that brother who piled on his fellow Christians, joining the atheist in ignoring the truth that every day since Pentecost, born again believers have performed more service to God and man than can ever be measured.  I must include him in remembering that despite his error in the matter we consider, he apparently served God well in many ways during his earthly lifetime.  We can all easily find fault with one another, and certainly, we seek to encourage and challenge one another that regardless of how much we may have done for our Lord, we need to "increase more and more" (I Thessalonians 4:10).  Indeed, other than the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures, the brightest light on the planet that confirms the existence of God is "the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (I Timothy 3:15).  While we honestly acknowledge our imperfections and need for casting a brighter light of Christ, we do well to never join our enemies in seeking to tear each other down rather than build each other up.

"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God, and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord, in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit."

(Ephesians 2:19-22)

Weekly Memory Verse

   I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now."

 (Philippians 1:3-5).



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