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3 Things God Remembers and 1 He Forgets

22 May

In her clever book, author Karen O’Connor lists 365 Senior Moments You’d Rather Forget. Some of my favorites:

  • Rolling on Biofreeze pain medication instead of deodorant.GladGodDoesntHaveAnySeniorMoments_LOLwithGod
  • Spritzing your plants with hairspray.
  • Forgetting, while in the middle of a staircase, whether you’re going up or down.
  • Dropping the mail you just got from your post office box into the mail slot, and taking home the ones you took to mail.
  • Planting sunflower seeds–and when they sprout, pulling them, because you think they’re weeds.
  • Offering to teach a class on memory enhancement, and then forgetting to show up for the first session.

LOL!

I’ve had my own senior moments, and two of them involved the automatic door lock button on my car’s keyring.

Once I pointed and clicked at my post office box–waiting for it to open magically. Another time, I aimed at my mailbox at home by the street. I was so glad none of my neighbors saw that!

I may be getting forgetful, but I’m glad God doesn’t have any senior moments. He is faithful to remember.

Three things God says He Remembers

1. He remembers His covenants.

God is faithful to keep what He has promised. We see this throughout scripture (Genesis 9:14-16; Exodus 2:23-25; Psalm 105:8; 111:5, etc.).

2. He remembers His own.

We are precious to our Father. In Isaiah 49:15-16, God says of Israel, “Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. ‘Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands ….”

We see this remembering in Jesus on the cross in an interchange with a dying thief who asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom (Luke 23:39-43). Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus will remember us too. He’s preparing a home for His  spotless Bride (John 14:1-3) and He will come for her.

3. He remembers His mercy.

Luke 1:54-55 describes God’s remembered mercy to Israel–to all the Patriarchs in the Old Testament. And Christians can approach God’s throne with confidence because of that same mercy (Hebrews 4:16).

We receive mercy when we don’t suffer God’s wrath, even though we deserve it. Believers receive this mercy at Jesus’ expense (John 3:16-17; Titus 3:4-5). Because of God’s mercy, we are “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus” (1 Peter 1:3-4).

And what does God choose to forget?

He “forgets” the sins of His confessing children.

How is “forgetting” possible? How can an omniscient God–the Creator who forgets nothing–forget our sins?

Because God remembers mercy, He can choose to forgive our sins in Christ.

That is clear in these verses:

I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25). For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12).

Ever had someone beg for mercy? You had a choice. You could hold it against that person or say, “Awww, forget it. It’s all good.” You purposed to forgive and put the person’s offense behind your back.

It’s the same with God, only on a much grander scale. It’s not that He can’t recall the offenses we’ve committed against Him. Rather, God chooses to put our sins behind His back.

The Bible explains God removes our sins “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). We are completely forgiven because of Jesus’ one-time sacrifice and declared righteous before God. There is no more condemnation (Romans 8:1).

It’s “all good.”

The incredible exchange wrought in Jesus’ sacrifice (2 Corinthians 5:21) made it possible for God to make this choice. It’s the same process that continues for us on a daily basis. If we agree with Him about our sins, He is “faithful to forgive” and cleanse us (1 John 1:9).

How are we to respond to God’s remembering and forgetting?

Because God remembers His promises, remembers us and remembers mercy, we can stand secure in the Lord. And because He “forgets” our sins, we are free in Christ. We can move forward in becoming more like Him (Philippians 3:13-14; Ephesians 4:22-24). We can gratefully spread the “fragrance” of our merciful God everywhere; and become “imitators of God, as beloved children” (2 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 5:1-2).

Christian, take a moment to thank God for all the ways He remembers you . . . and that He chooses to “forget” your sin!

– Dawn

Graphic: Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A Christmas ‘Stamp’

21 Dec

Matilda went to her local Post Office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards. “I need 100 stamps,” she said.

“What denomination,” the postal clerk asked.

“Oh good heavens,” the old lady said. “Have we come to this?” She thought for a few seconds while the clerk patiently waited, then Matilda said, “OK. Give me 50 Baptists and 50 Methodists.”

LOL!

There’s been lots of controversy lately about holiday stamps. A flyer advertised Kwanzaa and Hanukkah stamps and a gingerbread house ChristmasMadonnaStamp2013stamp … but no “Christian” stamp.

The USPS responded to angry posts on Twitter, explaining that they do sell a Christmas stamp (Madonna and Child) as well as a Poinsettia stamp – but they weren’t on the flyer because they weren’t the newest stamps available.

You know, I’m a lot more concerned about another kind of stamp this Christmas.

It’s not a stamp you put on an envelope.

It’s not a stamp you use in baking, to press an image into cookies.

No, this stamp is found in a song:

“O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

It’s a stamp that is possible only because Jesus humbled himself to become baby, live a life of obedience to the Father, and die as our Savior (Philippians 2:5-8).

Have you ever asked these questions?

  • How much of God’s image is stamped on my life? Do I resemble Jesus?
  • Do I wear his likeness so naturally that people sense His presence?
  • If people can’t “see Jesus” in me, why not?

This is one of God’s goals for my life – for every Christian: “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…” (Romans 8:29a, ESV). The Father wants us to look like His Son … in holiness, in love, in kindness, in power … in so many ways.

Being “conformed” to His image is first a point in time … and then a process … and it’s an ultimate reality in heaven.

He made us a new creation when we first trusted Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we are being changed and renewed (Colossians 3:10) every day. We are God’s workmanship, His creative expression. And we are designed “for good works” (Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 13:21).

God says He will complete this work in us (Philippians 1:6). It’s His work, but we have the blessing and joy to cooperate with Him in our faith, surrender and obedience. And someday, when we stand in God’s presence, the Father will declare the transformation complete (I John 3:2). We will bear the image of His Son forever.

What does the world see as it watches your life. Does it see the stamp of Jesus’ image? If not, what “image” does it see?

— Dawn

In the Eye of the Beholder

26 Jun

Irving was just coming out of anesthesia after a series of tests in the hospital, and his wife, Sarah was sitting at his bedside.

His eyes fluttered open and he murmured, “You’re beautiful!”

Flattered, Sarah continued her vigil while Irving drifted back to sleep. Later, he woke up and said, “You’re cute.”

“What happened to ‘beautiful’?” Sarah asked.

“I guess the drugs must be wearing off, ” he replied. * LOL!

“Beauty,” it’s said, “is in the eye of the beholder.”

Sometimes we don’t recognize true beauty, especially our own. Our vision of ourselves is subjective and limited. We measure ourselves against model-like standards of “perfection.” We define beauty in such narrow terms. Who is to say a rose is more beautiful than a daisy? How can we compare a perfect day at the beach with a perfect day in the mountains? God’s creations are varied and unique, and to appreciate each one is to appreciate the Creator Himself.

One of the most beautiful women I ever met was partially blind and “ordinary-looking,” yet she glowed with an inner strength I desired as a young girl. I couldn’t get enough of sitting by her side, capturing her winsomeness and joy and learning from her vast store of wisdom.

The older I get, the more I understand that, though we are all “wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:12-14), no human is completely  beautiful this side of heaven. We all sin, and we are in varying stages of decay (slowly falling apart) until the day we die. In other words, we are all marred images until God transforms us (2 Corinthians 3:18). I think we’ll be surprised, maybe even shocked, by our beauty in Christ in heaven.

All true, lasting beauty comes from God. “Beauty is fleeting,” the scriptures say, “but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).  Beauty includes character, gifts, purpose, faith and so much more than mere appearance.

The Christian knows there is more. When the Father sees the believer, He sees His Son (Colossians 3:3-4; Romans 8:1; 1 Peter 1:3; Ephesians 2:13) –  and Jesus is beautiful. In Christ, Father God declares us chosen and special (1 Peter 2:9), loved (1 John 3:1), blessed (Ephesians 1:3), free (John 8:36) and more!

The Christian’s desire is to reflect Christ both now and in eternity, and this desire will be answered “in the eye of the beholder.”

We will behold Christ and we will be changed!

The Word of God says, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). In that day, we we will be perfect and beautiful – just as the Creator intended.

Do you know your beauty in Christ? (If not, here is a perfect “mirror” for you to behold yourself.)

* From Cyberslalt.org, “Surgical Beauty.”

– Dawn

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