October 16 – Forewarned To Be Prepared

“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” – John 15:20-21 (ESV)

Yesterday, we read how Peter urged faith believers to anticipate suffering. It wasn’t for acting wrongly with justice being a rightful consequence. No, it was suffering that would come simply because of their commitment to Jesus Christ.. In our passage today Jesus explains why His followers should expect the same kind of treatment from the world that the world gives to Him. The fact that Jesus was persecuted to the point of death for rightly claiming to be one with God is the reason we should not be alarmed when the world attacks our proclamation that Jesus is the Son of God. Many, in what we still identify as “evangelical” institutions and denominations have in their leadership those that deny the deity of Jesus Christ as well as his virgin birth and resurrection. Now those who continue to believe in the Christ are finding opposition to their faith. Jesus said it would happen; it’s coming from those that “know not who sent Jesus.” We should expect to be treated like He was treated because those who deny who His is don’t know God; conversely those who listen with faith to Him, hear Him and know He is God.

198

October 9 – Promise to all Overcomers

“Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” – Luke 23:42-43 (NASB)

Today, our verse contains a Promise Jesus made to one of the two criminals being crucified at His side. One criminal on one side hurled abuse at Jesus the other asked to be remembered when Jesus came into His kingdom. Jesus promised; “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with me in” – what? – “paradise.” Some mistakenly say, paradise is a sense of limbo between life and resurrection. No. Consider how Jesus promised, “you’re going to be with me there today.” Wherever it is, if it has a physical location in our universe, it’s where Jesus is. Most everyone on earth longs to find “paradise”—a place of natural perfection, endless provision, no pain, no tears, no illnesses. In the beginning Adam and Eve lived in Paradise. At the end of history, there will be another paradise, the New Jerusalem. In Revelation 2:7 the Apostle John is told “To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.” The criminal on the cross next to Jesus who believed went to heaven immediately upon death. So it will be for every faith believer.

196

May 29 –Reminder to Remember

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,” Psalm 105:4-5 (NIV)

Memorial Day is a special day for remembering. We know that this day has been observed in the United States of America for more than one hundred years. It began after the Civil War and was at first called Decoration Day. But the idea of a special day for remembering is much older than that. We know that God prescribed memorials at several times in Bible days because He did not want His people to forget what He had done for them. Our verse today is one such reminder to remember. So today when we remember other important things like those who have given their lives while serving our country in wars, let’s be sure to remember also our God and the wonders He has done for us. What He has done is recorded in the Bible and is for all people. Let’s think too of how He has helped us in the past. All this will help us look to the Lord as we are reminded in our verse. Remember today and every day that God is with us helping us with every step we take.

Notes on Memorial Day in USA

187

February 22 – Forgive, Forget or Both?

“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.” – Isaiah 43:25 (NASB)

“I can forgive but I’ll never forget.” Have we ever heard someone say this? Maybe, we say it as well thinking that it is close to impossible to truly forget. It’s possible but we have to want to. Forgiveness, we can do, but if we can’t forget, the offense remains a thing and threatens to negates our forgiveness. Our Lord God declares in our verse today that He wipes out our sins and purposely removes them from His memory.  This verse is probably the high point of grace in the Old Testament. In spite of our utter unworthiness, the Lord in His grace has created a way that He can forgive our sins and grant righteousness without compromising His holiness. When as a sinner we recognize we can’t achieve our own righteousness by works, and in repentance call on the mercy of God, the Lord covers us with His own divine righteousness by grace. Through the faith he gifts to us, we stand forgiven. It is that righteousness that God sees when He looks upon us. We can forgive and by the same grace we can choose to forget by refusing to dwell on the memories.

196

September 4 – Remember, Remember, Remember,


“Remember the word to Your servant, In which You have made me hope. – Psalm 119:49 (NASB)
I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O LORD, And comfort myself. – Psalm 119:52 (NASB)
O LORD, I remember Your name in the night, And keep Your law. – Psalm 119:55 (NASB)

Can you consider for a moment what life would be like if you were unable to remember? Memory is critical part of our lives and when we know someone in their later life whose memory is failing them, we understand the critical factor of danger. Perhaps they no longer remember what might hurt them such as a hot pot on the stove. Perhaps they no longer remember their way home. Perhaps even they no longer remember their family or even their own selves. It is tragic. The Psalmist affirms three remembrances in his life and we’ve selected the verses that declare what he remembers. He remembers the word God has given him and from that He has acquired hope. He remembers the ordinances he learned in the past and he is comforted by them. And, perhaps most important and valuable, he remembers God’s name in the night which helps him keep God’s law. Those afflicted with the diseases that rob them of their memory often struggle most at the end of the day as the sun sets. Let us rejoice for it is a blessing when we can remember God’s Word all through each day.

195

March 20 – Only One, He Promises


““Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,” – Isaiah 46:8-9 (ESV)


For those who through Jesus Christ are living with the promise that our new life will last for eternity, it is still good to remember from where we have come. Not remember how or what but where we were once before God pulled us out of the miry muck of sin and death and set our feet on solid ground. Remembering God and thinking about what He has done and who He is. His attributes and His characteristics, help us remember to keep our focus on Him in spite of the chaos of our world that invades our peace, disrupts and stirs up our temper, or attacks our disposition. Remembering and standing firm on what we know about God helps us not to let our temper loose on anyone else. Remember, He has promised this: He is God, our God, and the only true and living God. There is none like Him, none that can compare. It is God who promises us in today’s passage “There is none like Me.” Many times we are challenged to think the gods of other’s religion are real but they don’t exist as anything other than entities opposed to our LORD God the Almighty.

200

February 20 – Forgotten by God for Good


“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Put me in remembrance; let us argue together; set forth your case, that you may be proved right.” Isaiah 43:25-26 (ESV)

The Children of Israel and all whom God the Father has chosen for His own seemed to ever fail Him. Often they acted as if there was no hope for them. and it looks like there is no hope for us either as we hope to live according to how God has called us to live. In the next verse (27), Isaiah states our problem. God said, “Your first father sinned, and your mediators transgressed against me.” Over and over the pattern is for God to rescue us, His people, from our failed efforts to please Him. He does it for His own sake because He first loved us, then He chose us before he created the world (Ephesians 1:3-5), then He provided the only way for us to be saved by grace through a faith, which He gave us (Ephesians 2:8). Our verse today promises that He is the One who blots out our transgressions, and removes them from His memory. If that is difficult to believe He challenges any honest seeker to set forth any argument that they think proves otherwise. It cannot be done honestly if one is truly seeking God’s absolute truth.

196