Sunday, April 30, 2006

Remember To Remember

Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation with someone and right when you began to speak you forgot exactly what it was you were going to tell them? Or maybe you were going to use a word that is common among everyday words but for some reason it was stuck on the tip of your tongue? Memory is a funny thing. We know what we want to say, and we’ve been speaking since we were younger, but even fundamental things like words or phrases seem to escape us every once in a while. Sometimes the things we want to remember are forgotten and the things we want to forget stick in our minds. In fact, our memory is so funny that during times of trial we forget the many wonderful things God has done for us and the untrumpable power He possesses.

1 Chronicles 16:12 says, “Think of the wonderful works He has done, the miracles, and the judgments He handed down.” At first glance, David’s song of praise seems very simple and maybe even shallow compared to the many deep eye-openers provided by the Bible. After all, remembering what God has done for us in order to be reassured of His unfailing love seems like common sense. Nonetheless, many times we still forget that, no matter what happens, God is in control.

This verse, however, goes much deeper than remembering the many ways God has provided for those whom He loves. In the last part of the verse, David instructs us to remember “the judgments He handed down.” A great defense against the hardships of times of trials is remembering all that God is capable of, but any great defense must have an offense and remembering the standards that God calls us to meet and then following them is just that!

Do you take for granted the feelings of security produced by the thought of God’s amazing power by forgetting to follow His commands? While remembering all that God has done for us truly provides a sense of safety and a faith facelift, we mustn’t forget to follow the commands God has given us. For the love of the Lord remains forever with those who have respect for and are obedient in God’s standard (Psalm 103:17).

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Who Do You Say He Is?

Imagine you are a representative of a company whose President has given you the duty of attending an important meeting with several other companies. In this meeting, your job is to convince these companies that their future relies on their decision of whether or not to merge with the company you represent. If they decide to merge, their business is guaranteed 100% success; if they decide not to merge, their business is destined to be a failure. You willingly accept the job you've been given and you attend the meeting. Everything goes well in the meeting until you begin to openly distort the image of your company and its founder. You start cussing and lying, blaming and scamming, and, because of the way you are negatively representing your company, the other companies decide that, even though merging with your company would guarantee them success, they would much rather accept their fate as a company destined for failure.

As Christians, we have been given the duty of telling others about Jesus (Mark 1:17). Our job is to get other people to accept Christ and to “merge” with the Holy-Spirit so they may be guaranteed eternity with our loving Father instead of being destined for isolation away from Him in a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt 13:41-42). Our responsibility to represent Christ well is a very important one then, since the eternities of many people rely on whether or not they accept Him. However, many Christians don’t seem to carry out this responsibility, or at least consider it important, even though we are commanded to do so!

In Luke 9:20, after Jesus finished asking His disciples who others claimed He was, He asked them who they believed He was. In response Peter replied, “You are the Messiah sent from God!” Like Peter and the other disciples, many of us have no problem proclaiming that we believe Jesus is God’s Son who sacrificed Himself on the cross so that we may live with Him forever. However, many forget that as Christians our actions have just as much, or more, impact on the way people perceive Christ. We can proclaim Christ is Lord all we want, but if our actions do not represent Him correctly, those who need us the most--the souls of those who have not accepted Christ--could be forever turned away from Him because of the way He was perceived through us.

Are the things that you say, do, or participate in good representations of Christ? Are others able to tell right away that you have Christ in you? As Christians, we are called to be set apart from the ways of this world (Romans 12:1-2). If others see a distorted view of Christ through you because of the worldly things you do, your ability to carry out the duty of bringing others to Christ will suffer. For too long, the name “Christian” has been considered just a title for those who claim it; we must all make a conscious effort of representing Christ in a way that will attract others to Him.