The Lord Remembers

remember-bowThe Lord remembers things.  Gulp.

That’s a scary phrase, isn’t it?  It’s scary to think about the Lord remembering things.  We think about the mistakes we’ve made, all the stuff we’ve done wrong, all the times we failed. And He remembers?  Man oh man.  It’s a heavy thing to think about the Lord remembering.

But, remember what the Bible says. The Lord doesn’t remember our sins, it says in Psalm 103:12 – “as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.”  He doesn’t remember our sins, He forgives them, and then He forgets them.  He doesn’t hold on to or remember these things.

So then, what is it?  What is it that He remembers?  Listen to what it says in Psalm 105: 7-10:

7 He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
8 He is mindful of his covenant forever,
of the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
9 the covenant that he made with Abraham,
his sworn promise to Isaac,
10 which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant,

What does the Lord remember?  He remembers His promises.  He remembers what it is that He said that He will do.  He remembers His covenant with us.

He remembers His promises that He has made to us.  He will never leave or forsake us.  He will forgive us.  He will give us abundant life.  Nothing will be able to separate us from His love.  All things work for our good and His glory.

For those us that believe, we will know eternal life.

He loves us.

God doesn’t remember our sins.  But the Lord does remember.  He remembers His promises.  And He will never break His promises to us.

You can count on that.

He is faithful.  He is true. And He remembers.

And I, for one, am so thankful for that.  The Lord remembers His promises to us.  May we always be thankful for that Good News!

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Doubting and Remembering

Today’s reading is one that we have heard preached from many, many times.  It’s the Great Commission, Jesus’ command to the Disciples and to His church to go out and make disciples of all nations.

Today, listen to what He says to them, and see if some of the same things pop out to you today that popped out to me.  Listen to Matthew 28: 16-20:

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

_bibleYou know what one of the first things I saw was?  This – they worshiped Him, but some doubted.  Ok, let’s think about who these “some” where. They were the Disciples. The very ones that had walked with Him, that had seen so very much, and were looking at Him, the resurrected Christ, in their midst.

They were also the very ones that Jesus was going to deploy into mission. They were going to be big, huge, things for Him.

And with all that, some of them still doubted, at that moment.

Just because you have doubts, or struggles, it doesn’t mean that you haven’t seen God, that you don’t know God, or that God won’t use you.  Doubt is often a part of faith; we struggle, we believe, we grow.

You never grow if it’s always easy.  Sometimes you have to go through the tough times before you can really grow. They doubted.  Jesus was going to use them in a huge way in a matter or days.

Today, if you doubt, hold onto Jesus even more tightly. He won’t let go of you. He won’t.  Hold on.

And one last thing, Jesus said this, Remember,  I am with you, even to the end of the age.  He told them to remember He was with them. Because at times, they may forget.  Don’t. Don’t forget.  Hold on.  Hold on tight to Him.

And remember.  Remember He is with us, always.  Always.   Don’t forget that.  You’ll be tempted to forget.  Remember even more deeply.

He will never leave or forsake, even when we struggle.  Because He loves us.  Never forget.

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When We Can’t Feel His Presence

where-is-God-2-300x227One of the things that I believe that truly gives life, that truly changes us and gives us hope, is to be in the presence of God. To know that God is with us, to know that He is there, listening, loving, caring.

In our lives, we have all been there, at some point, knowing that God is with us, God is present, God cares.

Many of us can think of moments, right now, where we felt that way. I can; you can, we all can.

And in just the same way, we can think of moments where we couldn’t feel the presence of God. Where we didn’t know where He was. Where we didn’t think, He was there. Where we felt forsaken. We’ve all been there, too.

So, what do we do? What do we do when we don’t feel God’s presence? Today, in Psalm 105: 4-6 we are offered two suggestions. Listen to what it says.

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered, O offspring of Abraham, his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

First we are told this. Keep seeking. Keep seeking after God. Keep doing the things where you experience God.

Keep reading His word. Keep praying. Keep serving. Keep looking. Keep listening. Keep seeking. And you will find Him. You will. He is there.

And second, remember what He has done. Remember where He has been faithful. Remember where He has shown Himself. Remember how He has loved you, saved you, called you, been there for you. Remember. Remember.

Never forget. Never forget who He is. Never forget what He has done. Never forget how He loves. Never forget.

He hasn’t left. He hasn’t. Even if you can’t feel Him. He is there. Keep seeking Him. He is there. Keep remembering. He is there.

Even if you can’t feel it, don’t quit. Don’t forget. He is there. Hold tight to that.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

Why God is Patient

Ever wonder why God is so patient with us sometimes? I mean, God can be really patient. We can make the same mistakes over and over again.

We can go looking for trouble sometimes, or better said, lots of times.

We can fall, every day of our lives. We can be so frustrated and disgusted by our failings and yet each time, each time we go to God for forgiveness, each time, He forgives us.

Do you ever just wonder why? Why does He show us that compassion and that mercy? Why does He show us grace after grace after grace?

Listen to what it says today in Psalm 103: 10-14

He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.

God shows us such mercy because He remembers. He remembers who He is. And He remembers who we are.

He remembers that He is loving Father. He remembers that He loves us. That we are His. That He is God, not a man. That He is a God, who has promised compassion to those that fear and love Him.

He remembers not that He loves us but that He IS love. He remembers not that He shows us mercy, but He IS mercy. He remembers who He is.

The word 'DUST' written on car rear windscreen following Saharan sand deposited in England by strong south easterly windsAnd He remembers who we are. I love that last verse. He remembers our frame. He remembers that we are dust. We are made of dust, and we shall return to dust. He knows that we are weak. We are frail. We are fallen. We are human.

He remembers who we are. We will make mistakes. We aren’t perfect. We will blow it. He remembers our frame. He remembers that we are dust.

He remembers that He made us. And He remembers that He loves us.

Why is God patient? He remembers.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

What Do You Remember?

rememberI remember little things.  I can remember mistakes. I can remember words. I can remember pains.

I remember wounds, I remember slights.  I can really can hold onto things, and really lock in.  Particularly mistakes. I can remember the things that others have done wrong, the ways others have hurt me, or hurt those that I love. I can remember, remember those things.

But you know what else I can remember?  Not just your mistakes, but I can remember my mistakes. The ways I’ve blown it. The ways I’ve failed. The things that I’ve done wrong.  I can really hold onto my mistakes and not let go of them.

I can remember the mistakes of others. I can remember my own mistakes. And I bet that I’m not the only one. I bet we each are that way.

Listen today to what it says in Psalm 25: 6-7:

Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!

I love the prayer of this Psalm.  It’s a call to God to remember.  Remember your mercy God.  Remember your grace, remember your kindness.  Remember oh God, your love.

And remember not, O Lord, the sins of our youth. Remember not our mistakes. Remember not the ways that we have fallen. Remember not the mistakes that we have made.  Don’t remember those things.

And God doesn’t.  He does remember His mercy. And He does not remember our sins.

What about you and me today?  What do you remember?  What do you remember not?  Do you remember the mistakes of others?  Do you remember your own mistakes?

Or do you remember them not?

Do you remember the lover and mercy of God today?  Or do you forget that?

Today, may we remember mercy, God’s to us, and our mercy to others. And may we remember not our mistakes. And may we remember not the mistakes of others.

Because that’s what God does. And that’s what He wants us to do.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

Not Forgotten

This morning, we’ll do a shorter reflection, and return to our full SOAP method throughout the rest of the week. Today, we are going to reflect upon Isaiah 41: 8-10.  Listen to what the Word tells us this morning in this text:

But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners,saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Ii-have-not-forgottenn this passage we see that God tells the people that He has chosen them.  He chose their ancestors Jacob and Abraham.  He even tells them that He called Abraham a friend, a pretty high compliment from God, to be called a friend.  That shows just how deep the relationship was between God and their ancestors.

Why is God telling them this?  They are going through a real time of trial. They are under attack. Jerusalem is being destroyed, the people are being hauled away in exile.  The people feel as through that God has forgotten them. They are forsaken. God has abandoned them. They are all alone, in this time of destruction.

And to that, God says this – no.  I choose your ancestors.  I choose the ones that have gone before you.  I have made promises to them.  And I will keep my word, for I am God.   And I will not leave you.  You are are mine.  No matter what happens, no matter how hard the road it, no matter what is going on, God has promised. 

He will not leave us.  He will not forsake us.  He will not forget us.

We are  not forgotten.  Remember that.  Hold onto that.  Cling to that.  No matter how rough the path may be, God is with you.

Remember.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Remember

image-911crossToday is September 11, 2013.  Twelve years ago I was sitting in the break room at Memphis Theological Seminary watching what was happening on a old television.  This break room could maybe hold 50 people and we must have had over a 100 crammed in there.

Watching.

Praying.

Weeping.

We were stunned. Stunned at what we were seeing.  We couldn’t understand it.  And with MTS being such a diverse seminary, we had a couple of folks that had family in New York.  One of my classmates, their spouse was in the Pentagon that day.

We were all like the walking dead after that day, just stunned at what had happened.

But, that was 12 years ago. And what happens?  We forget.

We get busy.  Life returns to normal.  Those of us that remain, we eventually return to the normalcy of life.  We forget.

Today, though, stop.  Remember.

One of the things that we do as humans is build monuments. In scripture we build altars. As governments and people, we build monuments and memorials. Why? Because it’s human nature to forget.

We just do. We forget.

Today, go back in your mind to 12 years ago. Remember where you were. Remember what you felt. Remember. And then, go and thank a first responder. Or someone in the military. Any of these persons that would run into the fire while we ran the other way.

Remember. And then let that memory prompt action.

May we never forget where we where 12 years ago today. May we remember. And may we be faithful today.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.