Remembering

All Memories Are not the Same.
Some memories take up permanent residence in the heart and there is nothing, it seems, we can do to evict them. Others, perhaps memories with greater significance, seem determined to escape the confines the mind. We must regularly review and rehearse them to keep them on file.

It would be unbearable to remember everything—it would just be too much. Somewhere, lodged between all the other events, people, and words we have encountered thus far and those memories lodged too deep to expel, other memories reside so near the surface that they seem to evaporate like so much mist. Most of them do not become memories and that is a blessing.

Memories Affect the Present.
It would serve no purpose here to evaluate all the different kinds of memories each of us holds. It is broad enough to say that we remember

  • things that have happened to us,
  • things that have been said to us, and
  • things we ourselves have said or not said,
  • things we did or failed to do.

Some memories are comforting, running like pleasant movies in our head whenever we need an emotional lift. Others are so painful we must turn away from the screen in our mind, turn off the projector, or switch to some other, more pleasant narrative.

If we do not tend the pains of the past, they will visit us in the night, strange tales with characters and settings all confused and making use of bizarre symbolism to try and make us remember the causes of our pain and perhaps to do something about it.

Remembering is a function of prayer.

  • In the presence of the Lord, with His Word open before us, we deliberate re-read passages we have read for years and we remember. Along with the memory of what we heard God say long ago, we also hear new things to remember from now on.
  • When we consult the list of those who are depending on our intercession, we remember faces and voices that are dear to us and these memories add power to our prayers for them.
  • When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we recall “our sins” and “those have who have sinned against us.” It is time to search our memories for sins we have yet to repent of and to see that faces of those we are in the process of forgiving.
  • When we celebrate the Lord’s Table, we do so in remembrance of the sacrifices Jesus made for us somehow we are strengthen by His sustaining grace. In a holy reverse of memory we also anticipate the soon return of Jesus.

Remembering the Promises
Facing the challenges of everyday life, we must remember the promises of God, for sometimes events seem to be random and people are hostile. We must remember that God is faithful—He keeps His covenant!

Thanksgiving is the act of Remembering.
Thanksgiving and praise are essential parts of worship and they are the essence of remembering. Hearing ourselves rehearse the record of God’s faithfulness and calling to mind the excellence of our King and His Kingdom strengthens us for whatever might be ahead.

Remembering is a process of taking control of the mind, of selecting our thoughts, and of facing the dangers of the day ahead armed with Truth.

Scriptures:
Deuteronomy 8:11 NIV
Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.
Psalm 77:1-6 NKJV
I cried out to God with my voice — To God with my voice; And He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah You hold my eyelids open;I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, The years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, And my spirit makes diligent search.

Prayers:
Lord Jesus, today I choose to remember. I remember the prophesies so ancient in origin and current in application: You came, born of a virgin, living a sinless life, showing us the Father, taking on our sins, dying on the cross, rising from the dead, ascending to heaven’s throne, sending Your Spirit to abide in us. I remember Your presence so warm in my heart as a child, so faithful in my life as a young man, so tested and true to me with my family, so near to me in this moment. I remember Your call on my life, the exciting doors You have opened, the painful ones You have closed. I remember Your name, Your cause, Your reward. Holy Spirit do not let me forget. Amen.

Song:
Standing on the Promises
Words and Music: R. Kelso Carter

1. Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring;
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.

Refrain:
Standing, standing, Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing, I’m Standing on the promises of God.

2. Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the Living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Refrain:

3. Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to eternally by love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
Standing on the promises of God.

Refrain

4. Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
List’ning every moment to the Spirit’s call,
Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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