Friday, June 28, 2024

Orange Moon Friday, June 28, 2024 Full of Compassion"

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

"Full of Compassion" 

"Who will be the most glad in that day when 'God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes?' It will not be those who shed them." 


    Scripture beautifully affirms our Lord as "the God of all comfort" (II Corinthians 1:3).  This originates in another sublime Scriptural declaration…

    "But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth" (Psalm 86:15).

   Devoted and involved caring for His creation fills the heart of God.  "The Lord is good to all, and His tendermercies are over all His works" (Psalm 145:9).  Human sorrow and suffering matter to our Heavenly Father.  Our sins, whether individual or collective, do not prevent His grieving for what those sins have brought to our experience.  In His righteousness, He must act against that which jeopardizes the well being of all He has made.  However, in no way does this preclude the sorrow He knows regarding the consequences of unrighteousness in the world.  A heart "full of compassion" cannot view or feel any other way.  

    We must be sure to perceive the Lord in this light of His entering into our sorrows and pains.  He does not care from afar.  "Compassion" means far more than that.  The incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ confirms this blessed truth of "tendermercies… over all His works."  Our Savior lived an earthly lifetime as "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3).  The sorrows to which Isaiah refers were not the Lord's own sadnesses.  "He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4; emphasis added).  The Lord Jesus rather sorrowed in our sorrows, and grieved in our griefs.  To see the ravages of sin upon the creation He made must have daily pierced His heart no less than the spear plunged therein on the cross.  "But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd" (Matthew 9:36).

   Who will be the most glad in that day when "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes?" (Revelation 21:4).  It will not be those who shed them.  It will be the One who feels our present sorrows and griefs far more than do we ourselves.  Understanding this about our Lord will greatly encourage us to "cast all your care upon Him" (I Peter 5:7).  It will also fill our hearts with compassion for others as God's caring becomes our caring - "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).  "The God of all comfort… full of compassion."  Few truths about our Lord more reveal who He is, and more lead us to approach Him with our cares and the cares of others.

"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
(Galatians 6:2)

Weekly Memory Verse

    As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness.

(Psalm 17:15)


Thursday, June 27, 2024

Orange Moon Thursday, June 27, 2024 "Wonders Without Number"

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

"Wonders Without Number" 


    Human history is not written.  History is lived, and sometimes chronicled by those who witness it personally, or who study it academically.  Real history involves everything ever done by all the human beings who ever lived, and everything that occurs in our lives.  Recorded history involves the most minuscule narrative of these events and occurrences. Indeed, far more than 99.99% of human experience has not been chronicled.  Most of us live our lives in a relatively small circle of people. We pass on with no historian knowing we existed, and no words written about all that happened during our earthly sojourn.

   "For what is your life?  It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14).

    Of those whose lives are chronicled to one degree or another, precious little of all that actually happened finds its way into any record of events.  The Apostle John declared this to be true of the greatest and most narrative-worthy human life ever lived:

    "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written" (John 2:25).

    The living God walked this planet as a human being, living three decades in almost complete obscurity, and three years of recorded history that does not begin to detail all He did, and all that happened in His life.  The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of Scripture to perfectly provide all we need to know in order to receive the saving grace of the Lord Jesus, and to live a life faithful to God and people.  Of all that actually occurred and could be known in our Lord's life and doings, however?  "Even the world itself could not contain the books…"

   This consideration escorts us to the threshold of another narrative of profound mystery.  What has God done throughout the human history in which He "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will?" (Ephesians 1:11).  Let us also make it personal: what has He done in our lives unrecorded to others, and so beyond our own awareness that our left hand does not know all the doings of our right?  What is He doing right now?   We have no recorded history to tell us, and if  we did, we could not begin to process His pervasive and dynamic presence in our lives.  "God…doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number" (Job 1:2; 10).

   History is lived, and sometimes - rarely, in actual terms - chronicled.  This is true of of human history, and far more, of divine history.  This moment involves more of the latter presence and working than we can begin to imagine.  What is God doing in His creation?  In our lives?  I chuckled as I wrote the words.  How could we, who know so very little of human doings, begin to know more than the merest modicum of God's "wonders without number?"  It suffices to know that His recorded history - the Bible - tells us all  we require to know that our lives teem with the real history of His doings.  May our hearts be filled with wonder in the realization of such grace.  And let us be encouraged that every moment matters in a lifetime wherein our many doings serve as the venue of far more divine doings than books could ever chronicle.

"Oh Lord, how manifold (many) are Thy works!" 

(Psalm 104:24)

"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)

Weekly Memory Verse

    As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness.

(Psalm 17:15)


Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Orange Moon Wednesday, June 26, 2024 "The Beautiful Cycle"

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

"The Beautiful Cycle" 

"In order to have genuine fellowship with God, we must know Him in both personal and principled terms.  He made us accordingly, our inward being being composed of both heart and mind."


    "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away, but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you" (I Peter 1:23-25).

    "The Word of God" must be known and embraced in both living and written reality.  As the Apostle Peter declares, the new birth involves both aspects of God's redemption and our relationship to Him through the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Our Savior is the living Word.  "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14).  The Bible is God's written Word.  "They received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11).  In order to have genuine fellowship with God, we must know Him in both personal and principled terms.  He made us accordingly, our inward being being composed of both heart and mind. Through the Lord Jesus, personal knowledge and principled understanding journey on twin rails within our inner being.  

   "The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge" (Proverbs 15:14).

    When born again through faith in the Lord Jesus, as revealed in the Bible, the Holy Spirit enters our hearts and imparts the realization that we know the One for whom we were created.  "The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16).  He also works in us to bear witness to the words of Scripture that confirm our knowledge of God through Christ, and that call us to "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18).  In terms of Solomon's counsel mentioned above, if we have understanding, we will seek to better know our Lord.  Moreover, the better we know Him, the more we will seek to understand His truth.  A beautiful cycle of the personal and the principle moves within us, resulting in the worship of God "in spirit and in truth" to which the Lord Jesus calls us (John 4:24).

   Let us pray for one another that we will better know and understand our Lord and His truth.  He made us for living, personal fellowship with Him in the heart, and for comprehension of His truth in the mind.  Christ, the living Word, and the Bible, the written Word, supply the necessary components of reality whereby the beautiful cycle of life and truth fills and fulfills our inward being forevermore.

"Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened."

(Ephesians 1:15-18)

Weekly Memory Verse

    As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness.

(Psalm 17:15)


Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Orange Moon Tuesday, June 25, 2024 "Which Is Greater?"

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

"Which Is Greater?" 

"Goodness triumphed over the most dreadful evil, and even used evil as the means to achieve its most glorious accomplishment."


   The  Scriptures teach that two powerfully influential realities presently exist in the earth.

     "The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD" (Psalm 33:5).    

     "The whole world lieth in wickedness" (I John 5:19).

      Which is greater?  The cross of Calvary and the empty tomb of the Lord Jesus Christ answer the question.  

   "When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against Me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness" (Luke 22:53).  

    God allowed the world, the devil, and the flesh to have free rein for the purpose of executing the worst evil ever committed.  The hour and power of darkness tortured the Lord Jesus Christ to death.  No sin compares with this most horrific of acts.  The Creator visited His planet in love, and was ultimately killed by the hatred that led to the cross.  "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not" (Isaiah 53:3).  How dark indeed must be the wickedness in which the world lies.

    And yet… 

    "When they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulchre.  But God raised Him from the dead" (Acts 13:29-30; emphasis added).

    The Lord Jesus lived so purely as a man and died so perfectly as "a Lamb without blemish and without spot" that His cross led to an empty tomb, an occupied throne, and His exalted place as King of kings, and Lord of Lords (I Peter 1:19).  Goodness triumphed over the most dreadful evil, and even used evil as the means to achieve its most glorious accomplishment.  It always has, and always will in a world that may lie in wickedness, but which far more consequentially teems with the presence and involvement of the living God's goodness.  "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" declared the Lord Jesus long ago (John 5:17).  Such truth abides in this moment, and always will as God fulfills His purposes amid all the wickedness His enemies can devise and perform.

   This does not discount, of course, the horrors perpetrated by evil throughout human history, and in this present hour.  Sin and its effects are real, and bear dark consequences regarding both time and eternity.  Again, however, which is greater, the goodness of the Lord declared by the Bible to fill the earth, or the evil in which the earth lies?  Every believer in the Lord Jesus will arise to affirm an empty tomb, an occupied throne, and the Lordship of our risen Savior as the joyous answer.  So long as this is true, goodness will be greater than evil, even when evil seems to have its most powerful sway and influence.  It never actually does, and we do well to see by faith the Light that ever shines in the darkness, the light of a cross, an empty tomb, and the Bible's exultant declaration that "Jesus Christ is Lord" (Philippians 2:11).

Sometimes it seems that the enemy of our soul wins

over and over and over again.

But if we could see the Truth much more clearly, my friend,

we'd see Christ triumph over death, hell, and sin,

over and over and over again.

The tomb is empty, the throne above occupied.

For Christ is risen again, from death glorified.

So remember when hot, stinging tears fill your eyes,

the triumph He's shone so many times in our lives,

over and over and over again.

Forever draws nigh, we will be with Him there soon, my friend.

The trials of this life will be gone when we're with Him in Heaven.

Glories we'll see, majesty without end, 

that sing the glad hymn, Christ is risen again,

over and over and over again.

"Though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God."

(II Corinthians 13:4)

Weekly Memory Verse

    As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness.

(Psalm 17:15)