Remembering God's Words

Remembrance and its opposite - Eleventh in a series

In the Bible we are told to REMEMBER God's words (Deut 6:8; Deut 11:18). Memorization or frequent reading are two ways to do that.

We are warned against adding to or subtracting from them (Deut 4:2; Deut 12:32; Rev 22:18, 19). Anyone who faithfully reads God's words and obeys them will have a good life no matter what his or her circumstances.

If someone is reading this post, murmuring, I have tried to read the Bible, but it makes no sense to me; I just can't understand it! —then get on your knees and cry out to God for help to read and to understand the Bible! You need the Bible to live; otherwise you will starve to death. (Mat 4:4)

Looking back, I have changed churches from time to time. If the church I was in did not lift up God's Word, after a time, I moved on. I recall a church where the preaching was inspired and I learned so much about the Bible. I felt amazed and encouraged after each sermon. But that pastor retired, others were hired, and over time, the Word was no longer the focus of the worship service. I could look around on Sundays and see that the sheep were hungry and tired. As we sat in the service, we felt cold and forlorn in our ruined pasture.

What is this power of God's Word to satisfy? How are we filled and made whole by it? Why is it described as "alive" by the author of Hebrews? (Heb 4:12) Or, do you not consider it to be upbuilding and dynamic? But if it is not, why do communist nations forbid its presence? Why are those who smuggle it in or share it in those nations killed or jailed? What sort of threat does it pose to those in control?

It is God's Word! It trumps every other power on earth or in the heavens. It gives truth, instruction, revival, reason, help, comfort, inspiration, guidance, courage and hope. It tells what has been and what will be; it is unbreakable, authoritative, strengthening, eternal, enlivening, and it has power to free us from enslaving habits, thoughts, emotions, moods and memories.

In my 20s I came across five reasons why we need the Bible (though I cannot tell you where I found this list):

Nature's revelation is not enough… A supernatural revelation is needed to show:

  1. The character of God.
    We can glean some insights about God's power and moral essence from his creation, but it takes the fulness of actual communication to reveal his holiness, justice, mercy and love.
  2. The origin of man.
    The confusion of ancient and modern theories proves the need for man to know his lofty origin.
  3. The origin of evil and death.
    Man needs to understand why he is sinful and why evil and death abound.
  4. Man's purpose.
    Man needs to understand why he was created and the provisions for his redemption.
  5. Man's destiny.
    Man needs to know what lies beyond death.

If we will not remember God's words, we should fear because neither good intentions nor claims of ignorance will excuse us. (Lev 5:15, 17) Likewise in society, have you run a stop sign? You did not see it, or perhaps were not aware it required you to stop? If apprehended, you will nevertheless be fined.

Have you trespassed God's word? You have been apprehended. Run to Christ for mercy.

Awe in Remembrance

Remembrance and its opposite - Tenth in a series

When God studies our hearts to find out if we appreciate his care and help, he will look first to see whether we love Jesus Christ.

Reflecting upon the providential works of the Lord, Psalm 22 comes to mind. Here, Israel's King David prophesies Christ's crucifixion, a thousand years before the event:

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. (Ps 22:15-18)

The vision is exact: specific details are foreseen, later to be corroborated in the Gospel accounts.

How does the Spirit impart the future to a human mind? Is time an illusion? How does it happen that evil men providentially crucified God's only begotten son to make him both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36)? Surely God is in control of all events and all people, a comforting thought, though jarring.

Which is the more jarring thought: That Christ chose to be cruelly crucified, sacrificing his life so that we might be reconciled to the Father; or that God the Father demanded capital punishment for the sin of man, designing that nothing but the death of his only son could render that justice; or that we, the sheep of his pasture, are provided not only salvation and eternal life, but also daily help for every need by our loving God and Creator?

Providential Grace

Remembrance and its opposite - Ninth in a series

We considered the concept of God's providence and his watch over our lives in the last post. The Lord gives us our daily bread, shelter, our friends, church, and so much else. He is with us. As we recall his loving care moment to moment and in our crises, we remember, too, our miserable behaviors. If we aren't careful we will end up crying over spilt milk rather than praising the Lord for his faithfulness to us.

Yet for those who have walked with God for a time, we will observe that God has established us in the Faith in spite of ourselves. How did this come about? This deserves a careful answer.

Wise men nearly four centuries ago met together, prayed and wrote a "confession" that many churches still look to as a statement of faith. As noted in the previous post, this is where we find the concept of God's works of providence as a way of explaining the Lord's control over all things.

The divines who wrote the Westminster Confession based their insights upon Scripture proofs, and looked to Christians of previous generations who had studied, discussed and continually read the Bible for enlightenment and help.

A succinct paragraph that sums up their understanding of how man is saved follows:

Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ's death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the Gospel. The entire process —election, redemption, regeneration— is the work of God and is by grace alone.

Therefore, the greatest work that we remember and thank God for is our salvation. We do not thank ourselves for that, but him. By grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any of us should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)

When we sing, “I have decided to follow Jesus,” we know our decision was divinely enabled and ordained; nevertheless actively deciding and making a firm commitment is required and must be carefully maintained over many trials and tests that are supplied to strengthen us.

It is the one who perseveres to the end who will be saved. If you persevere, then you are chosen.

We are to help each other to exercise our free will to serve Christ. The overcomer will live eternally (Rev 2:7, 11), receive rewards from Christ (Rev 2:17), reign with him (Rev 2:26); his name will be confessed to God by Christ (Rev 3:5), and much more (Rev 3:12, 21).

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

Should you sign your driver’s license to be an organ donor? Is cremation OK with God? Do these practices undermine the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection?

Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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