Tuesday, April 6, 2010


The ability to remember can be a wonderful thing. My memories of my grandfather's love for me and my grandmother are golden. On the other hand, memories of the rest of my childhood bring great sadness, and for many years, anger. But time and the grace of God have done wonders to take away the negative. When I became a Christian nearly forty years ago, I was taught that I was to forgive, and the Lord used Christ's words on the cross to help me; "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." I realized that my parents did what they believed was best, just as I had with my children, and had any of us known the damage we were doing at the time, we certainly would have made different choices. I was able to forgive them, and I was able to forgive myself. Perhaps that is an indication that I have become a little more Christlike since God says He will forgive and remember no more (Isaiah 43:25). I am still working on the "remember no more" part.

God has given us the ability to remember so that when times are difficult, we are able to look back and remind ourselves that He has never failed us in the past, so we can trust Him to get us through our present problems. The Feasts of Israel were designed by God so that Israel would remember what they represented in their past. Hundreds of years later, Christians would come to understand that they were a picture of Christ's First and Second Comings. In Exodus 12:14-24 and 13:3-10, Moses was told that Israel was to remember what He had done for them. Again, Joshua was to have the leaders of the twelve tribes to each remove a stone from the dry Jordan River and place them together as a memorial of the day the Lord dried up the Jordan for them to cross (Joshua 4:1-7).

Christians celebrate the birth and the resurrection of Jesus out of love and gratitude, even though the Lord did not instruct us to do so. He did tell us to baptize and to partake of the Lord's Supper which help us remember His death until He returns (Romans 6:4 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). There is some irony in the fact that the two holidays we chose to celebrate have become something more about ourselves than about Him. On the other hand, Baptism and the Lord's Supper are very spiritual events.

A few years ago, I was the Principal of a Christian school, and as such, I was responsible for disciplining children for making wrong choices. I was also responsible for the hiring and firing of teachers. It almost felt like there were lawyers surrounding the school instead of demons. I never knew when I would get a letter informing me of some terrible decision I had made. I had to trust that the God Who had brought me to that place and had given me that ministry, would do as He always had in the past. I trusted Him to honor the promise Jesus made concerning wisdom on how to answer when accused (Luke 12:12). When my worst fear finally happened, I remembered His promise, and even though I praised Him for delivering me, I praised Him more for the peace I had while facing those determined to destroy my testimony. Memory is good!

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