The Many Faces of Remembering

Remembrance and its opposite - Twelfth and final in a series

A single verse found twice in Scripture summarizes what we should recall about the Lord: Remember his marvelous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth. (1 Ch 16:12; Ps 105:5)

As we do, when our spirits are low we will rise up with wings as eagles (Is 40:31) and keep the faith, sustained by our memories of God's mighty acts and wonderful words.

Much more could be stated and explicated about what Christians should remember about the Lord, but perhaps we are at a stopping point; we can rest here knowing he has promised never to leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5), and he has engraved us on the palms of his hands so how could he forget us? (Is 49:16) He who cannot lie promised us eternal life even before the world began (Tit 1:2), and in Christ all of God's promises are yea and amen. (2 Cor 1:20)

If you are presently suffering in a lengthy trial, remember this: God does not always plow to sow; a joyous time of reaping a harvest is coming for the faithful doer. (Is 28:24)

For those in Christ, there is no opposite to being remembered. You will be fully disciplined, tested, taught, guided, helped, strengthened and perfected.

For the rebellious, there is no opposite to being remembered, but remembrance is severe judgment. God keeps records. (Mal 3:16-18; Rev 20:11-13)

For man, the opposite of remembering God's ways and wonders is anxiety, sorrow, darkness and confusion, but remembrance brings peace, gladness, hope and praise.

I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. (Psa 77:11)

Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. (Is 26:8)

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. (Ps 143:5)

Providential Grace

Remembrance and its opposite - Ninth in a series

We considered the concept of God's providence and his watch over our lives in the last post. The Lord gives us our daily bread, shelter, our friends, church, and so much else. He is with us. As we recall his loving care moment to moment and in our crises, we remember, too, our miserable behaviors. If we aren't careful we will end up crying over spilt milk rather than praising the Lord for his faithfulness to us.

Yet for those who have walked with God for a time, we will observe that God has established us in the Faith in spite of ourselves. How did this come about? This deserves a careful answer.

Wise men nearly four centuries ago met together, prayed and wrote a "confession" that many churches still look to as a statement of faith. As noted in the previous post, this is where we find the concept of God's works of providence as a way of explaining the Lord's control over all things.

The divines who wrote the Westminster Confession based their insights upon Scripture proofs, and looked to Christians of previous generations who had studied, discussed and continually read the Bible for enlightenment and help.

A succinct paragraph that sums up their understanding of how man is saved follows:

Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ's death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the Gospel. The entire process —election, redemption, regeneration— is the work of God and is by grace alone.

Therefore, the greatest work that we remember and thank God for is our salvation. We do not thank ourselves for that, but him. By grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any of us should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)

When we sing, “I have decided to follow Jesus,” we know our decision was divinely enabled and ordained; nevertheless actively deciding and making a firm commitment is required and must be carefully maintained over many trials and tests that are supplied to strengthen us.

It is the one who perseveres to the end who will be saved. If you persevere, then you are chosen.

We are to help each other to exercise our free will to serve Christ. The overcomer will live eternally (Rev 2:7, 11), receive rewards from Christ (Rev 2:17), reign with him (Rev 2:26); his name will be confessed to God by Christ (Rev 3:5), and much more (Rev 3:12, 21).

Forget not all his benefits

Remembrance and its opposite - Sixth in a series

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (Ps 103:1-2) The Psalmist is reflecting upon the many reasons to thank the Lord: For forgiving sins, for healing our diseases, for redeeming us from destruction, for so many loving and merciful deeds to us, for nourishment, for executing righteous judgment for those in need, for his piteous care.

Yet the history of Israel, God's own people, is a litany of forgetting. Despite the miracles establishing her as a nation and the multitude of deliverances over the centuries, she was wayward and idolatrous in times of peace and prosperity.

As promised— or threatened as it were, when God's people forgot Him, he heaped mischiefs upon them and spent his arrow on them; he enforced hunger and burning heat on their frames; wild beasts and serpents attacked them. "The sword without, and terror within" destroyed young and old alike. (Deut 32:23-25)

Both the Old and New Testaments remind and warn us to be diligent to remember the Lord in all our ways. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" (Mat 6:33); Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. (Rev 3:3); Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day. (Deut 8:11)

The punishment for forgetting is: even more forgetfulness. A frightening prospect! The careless turn from remembering the Lord devolves to an erosion of memory, a mark of temporal judgment that may foreshadow eternal damnation.

Isaiah describes this process.

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. (Is 6:8-12)

The sorrowful judgment was also described by Christ:

And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. (Mat 13:16)

It was both Isaiah's and the Lord’s ministry to prophesy, knowing their words would fall on deaf ears. Thus, the warnings of God, ignored, would result in very severe desolations. Yet, a small number in the land would hear and respect God's Words.

Likewise, for us today, the forgetful do not appreciate that we have God's Word for help in every need, and as they ignore and discount it, at first rebelliously and then by his divine enforcement, tragedies and miseries are in view. Perhaps some would criticize: Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?" (Rom 9:19)

Will enlightenment be given to the defiant?

Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Ps 60:4

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

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Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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