04 May 2012

Reunions (Part 4)..What to remember

Yesterday we looked at some Bible passages about memory and remembering. We saw that remembering is actually a defense against idolatry and human self-aggrandising. Pride causes us to reject all of the past and not to remember at all.

Today we look in more outline form at what we are to remember. After all, not everything can be substantially useful to remember, right? So what are the guidelines in memory? What ought we to remember?

First, we remember who God is.  He is the Creator and Redeemer. He is the Sustainer, Deliverer, Friend, Lover of our souls and Saviour. Remembering who God is and was and will be is strengthening for us, to be sure. Ponder each of these aspects of God's nature, and rejoice in His person. Love Him for who He is.

Secondly, remember what God has done. Not only for the planet in creation, but in human history, in Jewish history, in your history. He made covenant with you. He has forgiven us of our sins. All our sins are forgiven. When He sent Y'shua to die for us, He died for all our sins, and since they were all in the future at that stage of history, the blood of Messiah washed us of all our sins in the past (to us), present, and future.

He taught us His truths, and by them has challenged us. Back in the day God destroyed the world in Noah's generation leaving only 8 souls alive. Throughout time He delivered Israel time and again (and thus will deliver us, forgive us, teach us, challenge us into the future, too)

Thirdly, we are to remember what He has told us to do. We are reminded of His Law, precepts, and commands. That Law keeps us, rather than we keep the Law. We are told to love one another in the same way that Y'shua loves us. We are told to tithe and be very generous, and I recommend that all of us bring an offering (or send one later) to the church today here at the Mustard Seed. We should ever be thankful for what God did for us here. Beyond this, we are told to take care of widows and orphans, for that is true religion. Similarly we are to honor elders. Don't miss it, honoring often carries the meaning of 'payment' and thus we are required to monetarily tend to those who teach us and watch out for our souls. We are told to look beyond yourself and care for others, even those outside the household of faith.

And I wouldn't be much of a Jewish adviser here if I didn't remind you of God's heart for the 'apple of His eye,' the Jewish people. We are told in Psalm 137 to remember Jerusalem, and if we don't, we are in trouble. We read, "If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you. If I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy. (Psalm 137.5-6) and thus this still teaches us and commands us and expects from us. God wanted you to obey Him back then; He still does and those commandments actually help us to be maintained in Him.

Fourthly, we are to remember our own human conditions. What God says about the nations/ our sin/ our separation from Him is pretty substantial. "REMEMBER, DO NOT FORGET HOW YOU PROVOKED THE LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD." (Deut. 9.7) We provoked him. And again here: "The enemy has come to an end in perpetual ruins, and You have uprooted the cities; the very memory of them has perished."(Psalm 9) and again to the wicked God says, "These things you have done and I kept silence; You thought that I was just like you. I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes. Now consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver." (Psalm 50.21-22) It’s not good to be on opposite sides of the Almighty.

I believe he wants us to share our testimony. That is, we should be telling our own personal stories to others. The unbelievers might have a go (ridicule) at you because of your beliefs in the Triune God or eternal hell, but they can never knock the power of a living testimony. I believe there is a two-fold power in that. 1) The power of testimony to the unbelievers, in that they can hear hope even in their lives as they identify with you at one place in the story or another. And 2)the power of testimony to ourselves to remember how we needed God, our own condition, our desperation, and His power to save. We were lost. He saved us.
We are to remember the human condition summed up in "Our sin nature." (Romans 3.23) and as a result that we deserve judgment.

Within this I found a very interesting verse about how God is ever surprised with our forgetfulness (Jer. 2.32) 


Fifthly, we are to remember to expect God to move in human history. Listen, God wants to do things to us. God wants to do things for us and God wants to do things for the world in which we live.

This is from today’s reading in “My Utmost for His Highest” a devotional I’ve read since 1973 when Mack Harnden from the Yeshua House gave me my first copy. I’ve read it ever since, then listened to it daily on cassettes, and now read it online. Written from talks given by Oswald Chambers in around 1920.

The Graciousness Of Uncertainty
"It doth not yet appear what we shall be." (1 John 3:2)
Naturally, we are inclined to be so mathematical and calculating that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We imagine that we have to reach some end, but that is not the nature of spiritual life. The nature of spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty; consequently we do not make our nests anywhere. Common sense says - "Well, supposing I were in that condition . . ." We cannot suppose ourselves in any condition we have never been in.

Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life: gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness, it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. Immediately we abandon to God, and do the duty that lies nearest, He packs our life with surprises all the time.

When we become advocates of a creed, something dies; we do not believe God, we only believe our belief about Him. Jesus said, "Except ye become as little children." Spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, but uncertain of what He is going to do next. If we are only certain in our beliefs, we get dignified and severe and have the ban of finality about our views; but when we are rightly related to God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy.” (29 April devotional)

In tomorrow's blog, we will continue with the question of How to remember and see what else we can learn about musing and pondering. Shalom for now

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