Monday, May 20, 2024

Orange Moon Monday, May 20, 2024 "Gentleness and Greatness"

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

"Gentleness and Greatness"  


    "Thy gentleness hath made me great."

(Psalm 18:35)

    King David found a heart of "tender mercies" in God (Psalm 145:9).  As will we, the more we relate to Him through the Lord Jesus Christ, thereby discovering our God's character and nature of sublime gentleness.  David also learned that knowing the Lord as He is in gentleness results in becoming like Him in the greatness of His presence and working in us.  This precisely accords with the Apostle Paul's assurance of Christlikeness flowing from Christ's light shining upon and within us:

    "Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18).

   Consider the Apostle John.  He wrote 5 books of the New Testament, all of which speak to the love of the Lord Jesus, and John's experience of his Master's  humble devotion to God and others.  This stands as a stark contrast to the Apostle's stated desire as a young man to see God's wrath fall upon others, as opposed to His loving mercy…

    "And they did not receive Him, because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem.  And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?" (Luke 9:53-54).

    One who has often been called "the Apostle of love" did not begin that way as a disciple.  Rather than the loving humility that results in prayers for enemies, as the Lord Jesus commanded, John rather sought a fiery exhibition of God's wrath during his earthly journey with Christ.  Time changed this hard disposition, or rather, the indwelling presence of the Spirit of the Lord Jesus received after the cross, resurrection, and ascension made John great through His Master's gentleness.  Indeed, in the sight of God and according to His redeeming presence in our spirits, gentleness and greatness go hand in hand, heart in heart.  "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up" (James 4:10).

   The better we know our Lord, the more we become like Him in character, nature, and disposition.  This will result in tender mercies, dwelling and flowing from a tender heart.  Thereby, we never compromise truth, righteousness, and holiness.  But we seek also to never forget that our God is "ready to forgive" and "full of compassion" (Psalm 86:5; 15).  John learned this by beholding the Lord Jesus, ultimately witnessing Him suffer and die on the cross for His enemies (John 19:25-26).  John saw greatness and gentleness hanging on a tree, united in grace.  Not long thereafter, the great and gentle Spirit of Christ would enter John's heart, becoming not merely an example to emulate, but a Life through which to live.  John would later bear witness to such grace, "We shall live through Him" (I John 4:9).  Yes, we know, love, and admire the Apostle John, read his words, and rejoice in the gentleness that, like King David, made him great.

"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."

 (Philippians 2:5-7)

Weekly Memory Verse

    "Thy gentleness hath made me great."

(Psalm 18:35)


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