Thursday, June 6, 2024

Orange Moon Friday, June 6, 2024 Grace - Beginning and Continuing Part 2 - Grace and Obedience

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

"Grace - Beginning and Continuing" 

Part 2 - Grace and Obedience


        How does grace motivate, guide, and empower obedience to God in born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ?  

    The answer lies in the meaning of grace, namely, God's favor provided as a free gift through faith in the Savior.  "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God though our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:1-2).  By definition, the favor of grace means acceptance and approval, based on relationship.  The Lord Jesus so imputes His righteousness to believers that our Heavenly Father sees us through the lens of Christ, as it were.  

   "Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus… who is made unto us righteousness" (II Corinthians 1;30).

   Certainly, God sees the entirety of our being and existence, including how well or poorly we respond to Him.  As a loving Father, He acts accordingly.  However, as a loving Father who sees His Son in His trusting sons and daughters, He also never deviates from the gaze of grace whereby He accounts us as "accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6).  

    This means that in any and every moment of need regarding obedience to God, we may approach Him for motivation, leading, and enabling to do His will.  This may sound obvious.  However, amid the challenges of life and the temptations we face (and have faced), we often feel disconnected from the Lord.  This is never the case, but our sensibilities in times of challenge tempt us otherwise.  Consider the Psalmist and his conflicting notions regarding God's involved presence:

    "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).

     "Why standest Thou afar off, O Lord?   Why hidest Thou Thyself in times of trouble?" (Psalm 10:1).

   David well knew, as a matter of truth, God's assurance of His presence in times of challenge.  However, he also at times felt, as do we all, a sense of alienation and separation from God.  Herein, grace comes to our aid.  When we realize our Heavenly Father's acceptance and favor of our person, based on the atoning and intercessory work of the Lord Jesus, we far more likely approach the throne of grace for mercy if we have fallen, and grace to enable us not to fall.  We relate to God personally.  Because we can.  Again, this seems obvious.  However, every honest believer will confess the fleshly tendency to not relate to the God of grace in those times we most need to do so.  Our spiritual enemies tempt us accordingly, seeking to move us away from our only hope for consistent faith and faithfulness… "Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrew 12:28).

    The God who loves us so dearly that He poured out His wrath on His beloved Son in order to lavishly bestow His freely given favor upon us awaits us in His Word, at the altar of prayer within our hearts, and along the pathways of life whereupon the power to obey ever lies in the provision of grace.  We have no other hope for obedience to God.  We need no other hope.  Yes, the realization of our Christ-provided favor with God will lead us to the only throne that could beckon our approach.  There, at the throne of grace, mercy greets us in times of failure, and grace rushes to enable us when we come "in time of need."  Because there, at the throne of grace, living and personal fellowship with God infuses our hearts with genuine desire to glorify Him, do His will, and serve to further His eternal purpose in the Lord Jesus.

How can it be, o Lord, 

that You call me to this place, 

to gaze upon Your face?

Oh it must be, it is!  Thy throne of grace!

I see the Blood-stained way

that nail-scarred Feet have traced,

I hear the Spirit call, O come unto this place.

Oh it must be, it is!  Thy throne of grace!

All other paths my broken feet would stay,

I could not come by any other way, 

no other access could I find to this blessed and holy place,

Oh it must be, it is!  Thy throne of grace!

So I will come to this blessed and holy place,

where ever You abide, where always you await

with mercy shining in Your face,

Oh it must be, it is!  Thy throne of grace!

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."

(II Corinthians 13:14)

Weekly Memory Verse

   How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God!  Therefore, the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings.

(Psalm 36:7)


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