What Will You be Remembering this Memorial Day?

May 25, 2012 at 9:43 am | Posted in Biblical Remembering | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Remember that God made you and that you owe your existence to Him. (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
Remember that you belong to God and that He has kept you alive this far. (Jeremiah 51:50)
Remember the poor. (Galatians 2:10)
Remember the good examples that God has given you (Acts 20:31), and the bad examples. (Luke 17:32)
Remember your brothers and sisters in Christ. (I Thessalonians 2:9)
Remember your spiritual leaders. (Hebrews 13:7)
Remember those who are suffering and those who are in bondage. (Hebrews 13:3)
Remember your wife (or husband). (Ecclesiastes 9:9)
Remember the Word of God. (Jude v. 17)
Remember where you came from, who you were, and who you are now. (Ephesians 2:11-13)
Remember the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (II Timothy 2:8)

Here are some additional meditations on Biblical remembering:

1. Oh, Do Remember Me… (*)
2. Where Are They Now?
3. Forgetting to Remember – Part 1
4. Forgetting to Remember – Part 2
5. The “Ways” to Remember
6. Forget-Me-Nots
7. Remembering the Garlic

* most-read post in series

Advertisements

Forget-Me-Nots

June 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Posted in Biblical Remembering, Common Expressions, I Corinthians | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

I Corinthians 11:24, emphasis added

There are little flowers called forget-me-nots.

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS3lAeobmzxGgrNiN9fbdywIQ-B4gllhwOR1i_vQ0z12T8Uu0KA

They are usually blue, but can be pink or white. The legend of their name says that in medieval times a knight and a maiden were walking beside the river. He saw some little blue flowers growing on the ground and decided to pick some for her. When he bent over, his armor was so heavy and cumbersome that he toppled over and fell in the river. As he was drowning, he threw the flowers to her, and said, “Forget me not.” Ever since then they have been worn by ladies who don’t want their husband or fiance’ to stop thinking about them.

If you are a married lady there is a good chance you were married in a fancy ceremony. You had a special dress and some special jewelry. Although you had a lot on your mind on the day of your wedding, there is no way you could have forgotten your dress or your special piece of jewelry. But even if you had forgotten the dress or the wedding ring, there is no way you could have forgotten the groom.

Jeremiah the prophet was ordained by God to preach a stern message of repentance to God’s people:

Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.

Jeremiah 2:32

A maid can’t forget her ornaments or her jewelry, and a bride can’t forget her wedding dress. She can not forget the man she’s marrying. But the people who make up God’s church? The people He saved from sin and from hell – we can forget Him???? The One who gives us every breath we breathe? The One who gives us food and water every day? The One who puts shelter over our heads and clothes on our backs? We forget Him? And not just for a moment, but “days without number” – too many to count!

I’m so thankful God doesn’t forget us even when we forget Him. Maybe we need some forget-me-nots.

Here are two obvious “forget-me-nots:” Meditate upon the Lord and tell others about Him. It’s hard to forget about Someone if you talk about Him all the time. He has ordained the Lord’s Supper to help us remember Him, not just while we’re participating in it – but all the time.

Here are some more forget-me-nots that might help us remember our God: Don’t miss one chance to pray. Don’t miss one chance to read the Bible.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Ephesians 6:17

Another forget-me-not: Don’t miss one chance to go to church. One missed service can turn into two missed services, and that has a way of turning into missed services “without number.”

Try this forget-me-not: earnest repentance. I used to live in a house that was bordered by a dirt road. My neighbor, an elderly gentleman, would frequently spray this road down with his water hose. By doing so, he was able to keep the dust clouds to a minimum and more easily see what was going on around the neighborhood. Nothing will cloud up our lives and keep us from seeing clearly like sin. We must water down the cloud that sin has stirred up between us and God – with tears of repentance.

The “Ways” to Remember

May 19, 2010 at 9:51 am | Posted in Biblical Remembering, I Corinthians | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

I Corinthians 11:24, emphasis added

Previously, I noted that it is amazing that we have to be told to remember Christ. I also mentioned the importance of remembering His Person – Who He was and is – and Who He will be always. We must remember Who He is, what He does, what He did, and what He’s going to do.

We must not “forget to remember,” so we need to talk about the “ways” to remember. Not the “ways” meaning “means” or “methods” or “techniques.” Not really “how” to remember. But “ways” in the sense of “follow His ways.” Train up a child in the “way” he should go – not his route home – but the way he is to live.

For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.

I Corinthians 4:17, emphasis added

Imagine a pastor saying to the congregation, “I’m leaving, but I’m sending you a new pastor. You’re going to like him. He’s a good fellow. He’s going to remind you of me, and he’s going to continue my ways.”

“How arrogant!” we might think. “What do you mean, ‘your ways’ – what about Jesus’s ways?”

But that is essentially what the Apostle Paul is saying in this verse: “Listen to Timothy. He’s going to remind you of my ways – which are in Christ.”

Is it wrong to want to be so much like Jesus that our ways remind people of His ways? We are often so afraid of responsibility that we are quick to try to deflect criticism by saying, “Give me a break – I’m not perfect!” Trust me, if you’ve been involved in very much Christian ministry, it’s unlikely that anyone really thinks you are perfect – especially in the sense of being sinless. However, we ought to be striving to be better than we were before we were saved. I ought to be a better Christian now than I was ten years ago. In fact, I ought to be better than I was last week. I ought to be blameless. (Philippians 2:15) “Blameless” is not faultless. When my children write letters to missionaries, there are mistakes in the letters. The letters aren’t “faultless.” But they are “blameless.” Our “ways” should make it hard for people to know a great deal about our own personal likes and dislikes. Do you know certain mature, Spirit-filled Christians, who, when you think about them, you think about Jesus? We must decrease, so He can increase. If the thermostat isn’t set to my perfect satisfaction and I’m a little cold or hot in a room full of people, so what? Does everybody have to know I’m hot or cold? If someone is kind enough to serve me a hot dog, do I have to make it known that, in the future, I would like mustard instead of ketchup? What our opinion is on everything that’s not related to the Kingdom of God is really not that relevant most of the time. We need some folks whose ways have to remind us of Jesus – because they no longer have their own ways.

“… [A]s he is, so are we in this world.” Those are the nine words that end I John 4:17, and they make a wonderful outline: three words in each of three sections.

As He Is: There’s only one thing I can think of that Jesus ever was, but that He’s not anymore, and that’s “dead.” He is certainly alive today! We can remember Him and remember His ways by walking with Him right now.

As He is, So Are We: We can be like Him. In fact, with His imputed righteousness covering up our iniquity – with His blood buying us access into the Holy of Holies in Heaven – we are like Him, in a sense, right now. He is in us and we are in Him.

As He is, so are we, in this World: Even now, in this modern Sodom and Gomorrah, we should be able to say to our children and to new Christians, “Follow my ways – because I’m following His ways.”

This do in remembrance of Him – and make your ways remind others of His ways.

Forgetting To Remember – Part 2

May 5, 2010 at 11:16 am | Posted in Biblical Remembering, I Corinthians | 6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

I Corinthians 11:24

It’s somewhat of a cliche’ to say, “Sometimes we just need to be reminded.” But it is true that sometimes the simplest things are the easiest to forget. We forget we are breathing – but we don’t forget to breathe. We don’t spend a lot of time intentionally remembering to eat – but we usually find that, when the day is over, we have done plenty of it.

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

Ephesians 4:22

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:1-2

We tend to forget things that are good – but we have little trouble remembering that which is evil. We remember every wrong done to us. Even if we remember not to get “hysterical,” we usually have good enough memories to be able to get “historical.”

We forget to remember the ways of Christ; we should remember to forget everything else.
The devil would like to remind you of your sin. But God remembers His people and forgets their sins.

I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Isaiah 43:25

Remember Christ when the devil attacks. Remember how Christ defeated Satan with Scripture. We must imitate Jesus in saying, “It is finished.

Remember Christ when you encounter daily temptations. He was jeered, mocked, scorned, and ridiculed. Frivolous arguments were thrown at Him.

Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

I Peter 2:23

When we eat and drink at the fellowship of the Lord’s Supper, we will remember Christ – but we must remember every day to commit ourselves to the One Who judges righteously. In general, we shouldn’t seek to imitate Pontius Pilate – the Roman governor involved in Jesus’s crucifixion – but one thing he did do right was to make sure people were confronted. He brought Jesus right out in front of His accusers and said,

Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!

John 19:5

Remember – not just what He has done (thorns) – but who He is (the purple robe). Remember His Person.

Sanctification is becoming conformed to the image of Christ. Remembering what He was like will help us. Be what God wants you to be, and you will find it easy to do what He wants you to do.

The Bible is specific about the places where Jesus did the things He did. One reason why I want people to be in church (other than the fact that it tends to be a place where people can more easily stay out of mischief) is that it is an excellent place to remember Christ.

Jesus said, when you partake of the Lord’s supper, “This do in remembrance of Me.

Forgetting To Remember – Part 1

April 23, 2010 at 9:28 am | Posted in Biblical Remembering, I Corinthians | 13 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

I Corinthians 11:24

Many times, the Word of God tells us to do things that it seems like we just should not have to be told to do. “Husbands, love your wives.” (Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:19); “Wives, submit to your husbands.” (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18) “Children, obey your parents.” (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20) “Love one another.” (starting in John 13:34 and 18 more times) “Be kind to one another.” (Ephesians 4:32) When we think of all these things that we have to be told to do – often more than once – maybe it shouldn’t surprise us that, even though we owe Him everything, we still have to be told to remember the Lord Jesus Christ.

How could we forget Him, even for a moment? I am afraid it has to do with proximity – with what we are close to.

You might say, “Nothing is closer to me than My Savior! His very blood has washed my soul! He is my Lord, my Master, my Friend, my Constant Companion.” I hope that is your testimony – but you have another one living within you who might argue with you about that: the flesh man. He still desires the pretty things of this world – the pleasurable things of this world. Dare I say, the sinful things of this world? The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – these things are very, very close to him every day. Yes, God’s love, and God’s presence, is far greater and far more powerful than the lure of these things. But the sun’s size and gravitational pull are far greater than the moon’s. In fact, the earth is bigger than the moon. Yet the moon pulls the seas and causes waves. It has a great effect on the earth simply because it is closer to it. That is why, if we are to obey the Lord – and remember Him – we must also be in a constant effort to fortify the spirit man for battle against the flesh man.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

II Corinthians 10:5

According to the Lord, we are a forgetful people. Perhaps we are too forgetful because we don’t pause to truly consider how glorious our Lord is – and what a glorious thing He has done in providing for our salvation. I once heard a story about a missionary in Asia or the Philippines who preached to a group of Christian converts, and then retired to his own tent for the night. In the morning, when he went back to the place of meeting, he was surprised to find that the converts had not gone home and had not slept all night. He tried to explain to them that, when he left for the night, the meeting had been over, and they had been free to go back to their own homes. “What?” was their shocked reply, “You told us last night that the Son of God died to save us from the punishment we deserve because of our sins, and that He then rose again from the dead! How can we sleep after hearing THAT?” Sadly, in our culture, I am afraid that some us fall asleep while hearing it.

For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

II Corinthians 3:9

The Old Covenant Law was a ministry of condemnation and (in a sense) death.

For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

II Corinthians 3:10-11

The Old Covenant was glorious, but it was a fading glory. When we speak of forgetfulness, we say that the memory is starting to “fade.” But the New Covenant is so much more glorious – it will never fade away – and it must never fade from our memory. We have little trouble remembering the birthdays of so-called “great” men who contributed to our culture, country, or history. We have little trouble remembering the people in our life who have sacrificed for us or done us some great kindness in the past. How much more has Christ done for us!

To be continued…

Where Are They Now?

March 3, 2010 at 10:21 am | Posted in Biblical Remembering, Zechariah | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The name Zechariah meant “the Lord remembers.” This is not just referring to the omniscience of God. It also refers to His faithfulness. He never forgets His promises or His people in their times of trouble. Zechariah was a prophet and a priest. Other notable Bible heroes who held both offices include Ezekiel, John the Baptist, and Habakkuk. Zechariah’s prophecies are alluded to at least 41 times in the New Testament. His Book emphasizes the need for repentance in drawing near to God – so that God will draw near to us.

Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.

Zechariah 1:3

This idea of drawing near to God, and Him drawing near to us in return is found several times in the Bible.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

James 4:8, emphasis added

For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Hebrews 7:19, emphasis added

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:22, emphasis added

Our drawing near to God must contain the element of repentance. Zechariah asks the people two very pointed questions:

Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?

Zechariah 1:5

The answer to the first question – “Where are your fathers?” – was that their fathers were dead or in exile as a result of chastening for their disobedience. The answer to the second question – “What about the prophets?” – was that they had slain the prophets. The words of the prophets were the Words of God. His prophets can be slain, but His Word cannot be slain.

But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.

Zechariah 1:6, emphasis added

“Take hold of” in this Verse means to overtake after a chase.God’s Word (especially the Old Covenant commandments) was accepted by the people because they wanted God’s blessings. However, they also agreed to be bound by God’s curses if they disobeyed.

Lord, help us to turn away from our idols, and to turn toward You. Help us to turn our face and our feet and our minds, and most of all our hearts, to You. Lord, turn Your face toward us. Draw near to us, Lord. We dare to make such a request only because of the precious blood of Jesus, for Your presence will destroy the unholy and the vain – the empty – the foolish things which stand in places where only Your glory should stand. Lord, You are holy, so we ask You to draw near to us with great trust in Your mercy.

In the precious Name of Christ the Lord we pray.

Amen.

Oh, Do Remember Me…

January 7, 2010 at 11:03 am | Posted in Biblical Remembering, Luke | 11 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

As human beings get older, one of the inevitabilities of life is that the memory starts to fade. However, the Lord God, although He is ageless, infinite, and eternal, without beginning or end, has no trouble remembering.

We would do well to keep this in mind when we pray. There are two people in Scripture who had very little in common aside from the fact that they both called upon the Lord to remember them in their time of trouble. These are: (1) Hannah, the eventual mother of the prophet Samuel; and (2) one of the thieves who was crucified next to Christ Jesus.

This was Hannah’s prayer:

And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

I Samuel 1:11 (emphasis added)

This was the dying thief’s prayer:

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

Luke 23:42 (emphasis added)

Both of these prayers acknowledged the power of God to deliver. They both acknowledged the supplicant’s submission, and God’s deity, calling Him Lord. They both were made in desperate circumstances. Both called upon the Lord to remember. And both prayers were answered.

It is easier for some to remember the Lord in times of great distress, for then they are forced to see Him as their only hope. It is easier for others to remember the Lord when things are going well, and to rely on their own faculties when things turn dire. The former situation is a problem of ingratitude, and the latter is a problem of faithlessness. Thankfully, His remembrance of His children is not as variable as our remembrance of Him. Perhaps the solution is to resolve to emulate Hannah, and repay the Lord’s remembrance of us by dedicating to His service the gifts He gives us, and to imitate the thief on the cross by setting our sights on God’s kingdom, and not our own.


Entries and comments feeds.