Sunday 7 September 2014
I feel the Lord saying “call my people to remembrance”. It is more usual for us to want to call God to remembrance. But God’s word today is that we call ourselves to remembrance.
Remember means to recall, to call back to the mind by an act or effort of memory; to think of again; to retain in the memory; to remain aware of; to bear or keep in mind; to consider, to memorise or commit to memory.
The opposite is to forget or disregard. There are things we should forget, but today we want to talk about some things to remember.
Why do we need to call ourselves to remembrance? It is because we have a tendency to forget. So what does the Lord want you to call to remembrance today?
Remember the Lord your God
“10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 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. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.”
Lord means master, owner, source.
Remember your master. Remember your owner. Remember your source.
He gives you power/ ability to make wealth. How can you forget your source?
-We must acknowledge God with our resources. This is our reasonable sacrifice.
-We need to spend time with God to know his mind through his word and to know his agenda. Then you can wisely invest the wealth he gives you into his agenda. Seek his will, know his will and do it.
By experience the Psalmist wrote: I have set the Lord always before me, because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
“23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said,“This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
Jesus said ‘do this in remembrance of me’. As we take the sacrament today, Remember Jesus.
Do you think of Jesus? Whenever you think of Jesus, what do you remember about Jesus?
Who is Jesus to you? Lord, Saviour, Teacher, Passover Lamb, Advocate, Intercessor, Friend, Messiah, Helper etc, etc.
We can remember his life, his word and teachings, his examples for us to follow, his death and resurrection, his victory on our behalves, his kingdom that has been established in our lives. Remember his promises, his abiding presence with us, his advocacy on your behalf; his power at work in us etc.
Remember your creator in the time of your youth. Ecclesiastes 12:1.
Do not forget Jesus and all he has done for you.
Remember God’s Past Dealings with You
The book of Deuteronomy is full of the words ‘remember’ and ‘do not forget’. Moses was retelling the past – the story of the journey of God’s people because he wanted to emphasise important things they should not forget.
Paul could trace his own journey and God’s dealings along the way. He remembered how he was a zealous Pharisee until he met with Jesus. Paul could clearly tell when his transformation took place. His calling and mandate was still sharp to him years after the encounter on the way to Damascus. This is because he remembered God’s dealings with him in the past. Many of us have had encounters with God and then we forget what they were all about. We must remember our encounters with God because there is a purpose behind them.
Think for a second: Where did Jesus meet you? What were you before you met Jesus? What did Jesus save you from? We must remember where he met us and the transforming work of grace in our lives. Remember his corrections and convictions along the way. Remember the things he helped you to overcome so that you do not return to your former ways.
We must remember God’s kindness, his mercies, his care, his faithfulness and deliverances in times past.
Remember the ‘Egypt’ times of your own life, remember all the ‘Red Seas’ he has crossed you through. Remember the wilderness experiences (times of lack, insufficiency, extremes of ‘cold’ and ‘heat’ that brought discomfort to you, remember the ‘scorpions’ and ‘snakes’, all the things that frightened you) and yet he brought you through; you are still standing! So when the next challenge comes up, remember that he who helped you in the past is faithful to do it again. Amen!
Remember that God Loves You
Sometimes, we go through very challenging times. Times we would rather not go through. Many times, we use those times to measure or question God’s love for us when actually God is working out his good purposes in us. We want to ‘feel’ and ‘see’ God’s love to believe it.
He says you are to remember that he has loved you with an everlasting love and that he will never change his mind about his love for you.
His love is unchanging, unconditional, sacrificial and so undeserved. His love is deep and you can’t know the fullness of its depths. It is unsearchable and past finding out.
Sometimes, you feel that you have come out of his love; he could not love you anymore after all that you have done. But remember that we could never earn or buy his love. There is nothing you can do to make him love you more or less.
How do I know? Romans 5:6-8 confirms it;
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV)
I know because when we were still sinners, God loved you and sent his son to die for you; how much more now that you are his child. Romans 8:38-39 states that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Nothing!
Remember that God still loves you even when you do not feel adequate or lovely or loveable.
Remember Whose You Are
You belong to somebody. Sometimes, you may be tempted to think that you are an abandoned project/ property. You may think that nobody cares for you and you may be tempted to live anyhow. But you have an owner. Your owner is the masterpiece writer that puts the pieces of your life together, the perfect planner who knows the end from the beginning; the omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful) and omnipresent (present everywhere) God. He still rules in the affairs of men; especially in yours!
Remember Who You Are in Christ
-Let us remember that there are things others can do but they are not expedient for you. 1 Corinthians 10:23. Expedient means fit for purpose, proper, suitable or beneficial. So let us constantly remember we are accountable to our owner and that we need to represent him well.
-Let us remember those around us and be deliberate in our discipleship. You may be the only Bible they are reading. How are you living your life? Are you a worthy ambassador? Who do you resemble? Do people look at you and ‘see’ who your owner is?
Please remember that you belong to a good owner and he will only do you good as you walk with him. He cares for his treasured possessions and always comes through for his own. Look to Sarah and Abraham from whence you were hewn (Isaiah 51:1-3). He called them as one but he did not leave them the way he met them- He greatly multiplied them.
Remember to Rest
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
The Sabbath principle is meant for us. God showed us an example to follow: he worked for 6 days and then he rested.
Jesus called his disciples aside to rest after a hectic time (Mark 6:31-32)
Stepping away from the daily routine and the crowding influences of daily living gives us times to reflect and to refresh. Remember to spend some time alone with God. Spend time with friends and family outside your usual routine. Learn to pause, take a break and rest. The human machine must have periods of rest to function long and efficiently.
Remember to Give
The corn, oil, wine, silver and gold belong to God. We are only stewards that have been put in charge of resources for our owner.
Every good and perfect gift comes from above (James 1:17).
Look around you. May the Lord open our eyes to see needs all around us. Let us give from our time, our resources, our prayers, our homes, our person etc.
Hebrews 13:16– do good and share with others because God is pleased with such sacrifices. Don’t be an ‘aradite hand’ but be a pipeline for God’s goodness to flow through you.
Remember to Forgive
There is a common saying that forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. Choose to forgive
God forgives us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Matthew 6:12–15.
How often should I forgive? Seventy times seven times – as often as it takes, we must forgive.
It may be difficult for you but you can learn to forgive. When you take the first step, it becomes easier with the next step. Forgiveness is not optional.
Remember to be Thankful
Psalm 100:4; 107:22; 118:1,29; Ephesians.5:20
In all things, remember to give thanks. Be thankful for life, good health, peace, joy, God’s love and provisions, healings, deliverances, God’s compassion and care, renewal of your strength, answered prayers and all the things he is working out for your good.
Let’s be thankful that we can gather like this without fear, many Christians in parts of the world including Nigeria are no longer able to do the same.
Be thankful for sleep, for food, for contentment, for the hope we have. And for many other things. Remember to be thankful!