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Does ‘Redefining’ Change Anything?

21 Oct

As I looked at my reflection in the mirror in the bright morning light, sans make-up, I breathed a heavy sigh.

“That’s it,” I said. “I’m officially calling my age spots ‘freckles.'”

I’d already redefined the wrinkles around my eyes as “smile lines.” And the silver (Ok, gray) around my hairline as “highlights.”

My mom calls her double chin a “wattle,” but I’m still searching for a happier way to define the fleshy flap of skin under my jawline. Rooster wattles are meant to gain hens’ attention. Frankly, I don’t want ANY attention going to my double chin.

No matter how I redefine my bodily changes, it doesn’t really change anything.

I’m getting older. It’s programmed into my DNA. No matter how I try to eat healthier and move my body, my bones will likely grow more brittle with age; my hormones and fat storage will likely change; and my voice, eyesight and hearing will likely weaken.

Solomon talked about this in Ecclesiastes 12:3-13.  In old age, our muscles slacken, our grip weakens, our joints stiffen, and the shades slowly pull down on our world.

The promises of scripture for the aging are God’s continuing presence and opportunities to bear fruit for His Kingdom (Psalm 71:18; 90:10, 12; 92:14, 16; 71:9).

But this redefining thing bothers me.

Redefining reality doesn’t change it.

Redefining only makes us feel better, perhaps, about our challenges.

Or it allows us to go our own way rather than seeking God and His will for our lives.

We live in a culture that tries to redefine so many things.

  • Redefining gender.
  • Redefining femininity and masculinity.
  • Redefining roles.
  • Redefining marriage.
  • Redefining parenting.
  • Redefining love.
  • Redefining tolerance.
  • Redefining salvation.

I’m not going to go into all those re-definitions; but only want to note: We’re ending up with a culture lived in shades of gray. We’re doing what seems right in our own eyes (Proverbs 21:2).

We need to be careful not to redefine what God, in His infinite wisdom, already defined in bold, living color in scripture.

Either He is our Lord and final authority, or He is not. And He already made clear what the consequences are for not recognizing His lordship over every area of life (Matthew 7:21-23).

The One who redeems us also lays claim to our lives, and He has the right to define how we live.

Redefining what the Lord declares doesn’t change anything!

Redefining age spots as freckles is laughable; redefining “thus says the Lord” is not.

What are you trying to “redefine” in your life? Is it flying in the face of the Word of God? 

 – Dawn

 

 

 

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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

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