Archive for the ‘What Our God Remembers’ Category

Do you get discouraged thinking that God has forgotten you or the hard work that you do for Him?

Every day, we work hard doing the ministry God has called us to do.  It is difficult as we face rejection by those we are trying to help.   We find that doing ministry can be complicated as we work alongside others with whom we don’t see eye to eye.  Or find that people just don’t want to be motivated to do what is needed.   Ministry in Jesus’ Name is tough and we don’t always understand the how and the why in what God calls us to do.  The result is that we  grow weary, discouraged, unfocused and wonder where the reward in all of this is.

Take heart; be encouraged because God never forgets our hard work.

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10

This passage reminds me of God’s justice and that He does not overlook the work we do for him.  He takes notice of the love that we pour out into our ministry to benefit his kingdom.  While others will forget to thank us for a job well done or refuse to acknowledge and recognize our work, God remembers it.

How can this encourage me to be faithful even when I do not understand all that God wants to accomplish through ministry?

Read Hebrews 6:12.  It says to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Abraham is known as the father of faith.  He followed God’s lead while living his life on earth.  God told Abraham to leave his homeland and move to another country, and he followed.  God promised him that he would have many descendants and although this seemed impossible to Abraham, he believed.  He may not have understood what God would ultimately accomplish through him, but he remained faithful.  And because of his faithfulness we are blessed.   Abraham is the father of a great nation and an ancestor of Jesus Christ.  Abraham followed God, received what was promised and will enjoy his reward for all eternity. (For further insight read Hebrews 6:11-15, 11:8-12).

What then shall I do? Remain faithful; remember that God does not forget the work that you do and that your reward is yet to come. Keep pressing forward.

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:14

Father, thank you for remembering our work that we do for the sake of your kingdom.  Just as you are faithful to us, give us strength to remain faithful to you so that we will continue to do your good work.   Although we may not understand the total impact that ministry has in your kingdom, help us to keep pressing toward the goal of receiving the reward the you have prepared for us through Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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Expectations!  We all have them!  Some expectations are realistic and others…not so much.

The boss has expectations on how I perform at work.  My spouse has expectations regarding dinner menu…no pasta ever, delicious yet low fat.  My children’s expectations fluctuate according to what their classmates tell them is currently “in”.  And friends have expectations about getting on my calendar on a regular basis to catch up on life.  Really it can be exhausting trying to meet everyone’s expectations, and we often fail miserably.

Have you ever felt like a failure when it comes to meeting God’s expectations?

Because we sin, and of course we all do, and because He is perfect, which is undeniably true, our relationship with Him can begin to feel doomed to failure.  We fail, and then think we will never succeed in pleasing Him.  This perception is actually a lie designed to cheat us out of realizing the full beauty found in relationship as a child of God.

Psalm 103:13, 14 says this,  “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”

God does not forget that we are imperfect humans.  He doesn’t expect us to have reached perfection.  He knows we aren’t God.  He remembers that we are dust, the frailty of our life, and He has compassion on us.  Can we meet His expectations?  If we have trusted in Jesus Christ for the payment of our sins, yes!  From that point on, He looks at us and sees righteousness through Jesus Christ’s shed blood on the cross.  Should we strive out of love for Him to be more like the Son, pure and holy?  Absolutely!  But through the struggle and strain of doing right and avoiding the wrong, we can take comfort in knowing that He remembers we are dust and He looks at us with the compassionate eyes of a loving father.

Finish this sentence with a phrase that means something to you personally:  Because He remembers I am dust, _______________.  (He forgives me or He rescues me, etc.)

Father in Heaven, You are wonderful!  The picture You draw for us of a loving and compassionate father with his child is so touching.  That is what our hearts long for, and that is what You give to us.  Help us to better comprehend the great love You have for us, the compassion that inspires You to choose to remember that we are dust.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Have you ever promised something to someone and then forgotten all about it?  Perhaps it was a promise to pray for a friend’s need, but as soon as she was out of sight the request left your mind completely. Or maybe you have felt that terrible sinking feeling of having set up a coffee date, but when the time came you didn’t remember?  And honestly, have you ever purposefully forgotten a promise because something “better” came up and there wasn’t time to do both so choosing to forget was the convenient solution?  Forgotten promises always bring damage and negative dynamics into relationships.  It can start a domino effect, as we respond in kind;  retaliating, suddenly “forgetting” our own promises towards the offender, giving them a taste of their own medicine.

Broken promises also negatively impact the spiritual relationship we enjoy with God our Father.  When we forget our promises to the Lord, it damages our relationship.  How does God respond?

This is what the Sovereign Lord says:  I will deal with you as you deserve because you have despised my oath by breaking the covenant.  Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. Ezekiel 16:59, 60

The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving towards all He has made. Psalm 145:13

We mess up, we accidentally forget, we even choose to forget.  Yet God chooses to faithfully remember His promises to us.  What an amazing God He is; regardless of how deeply we step away from our own promises to Him, He remains true to His own perfect character and remembers His promises.

What promises has God made to you?  Name some of the ways you have seen the Lord keep His promises?  Look for special ways to express your thankful heart of praise to the Lord because He chooses to remember His promises.

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“He has remembered His love and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” Psalm 98:3

“For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 101:1

Throughout Scripture God often links His attribute of love with other character traits, such as His compassion, or His mercy, or as in the above verses, His faithfulness.  When I see God’s love specifically partnered with His compassion, I sense the warmth He desires in our relationship.  When love is linked with His mercy, my heart leans towards feelings of gratitude.  And when His love is partnered with His faithfulness, as in these verses today, I feel a strong sense of security.

Does the fact that God chooses to remember His love for you inspire you to love Him more?

Meditate on the truth that God loves you and He is faithful?

On my wall facing me I have a framed rendering of Psalm 100:5.  It is beautifully stitched and framed, but the real value in the artwork is the daily reminder of a timeless truth–God loves me and He is faithful.  Consider choosing one of the above verses or another verse from Scripture highlighting God’s love for you.  Copy it and hang it on your refrigerator door, bathroom mirror, or anywhere it will be viewed on a regular basis.  Bask in the truth that God loves you dearly!

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God is perfect and so He has the ability to remember all things.  But does the Bible mention specific things the Lord remembers?  This week we are looking at what the Lord tells us in His Word He chooses to remember…and today is all about His great mercy.  When we fail, and we all do, we can be encouraged that He is faithful to His character of mercy.

Psalms 25:6 and 7 says this, “Remember O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.  Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord.”

Later in this Psalm, King David shows how God’s mercy encompasses His desire to forgive us when we repent of our sins (vs 11)  and shows us His willingness to teach us His ways (vs 12).

There is not one of us who can say they have lived their lives in complete purity, without sin.  And even with our imperfect human memories, we look behind us and can see a past littered with weak moments of failure.  We can remember in stunning detail where we have messed up, both big and small.  So if we can remember these things, we can be sure that God certainly can, which makes having a relationship with Him, the Perfect One, feel perhaps a little uncomfortable.  It is like being friends with Bill Gates  and being computer illiterate.  Or being Rachel Ray’s sister, and serving her burnt toast for breakfast.  Uncomfortable!

And that is why it is so important for our relationship with God that He tells us He chooses to remember His great mercy instead of the negative things He could focus on from our past. God makes it very easy for us to be in relationship with Him because He chooses to remember His great mercy, and that is an incredible gift!

How does this truth encourage your heart today?

Does this knowledge of God’s merciful memory motivate you in any way?

Father, we are in awe of You.  Your character is so complex, so beautiful!  You are perfect and you are perfectly merciful.  We are thankful for Your Word that draws us closer to You in relationship.  Help us to see Your mercy for what it is, and cause us to be inspired to repent from our sins and follow Your example of mercy in our own lives.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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