Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Memory, Sometimes it is nice to Lose it!

Meditation for the week of November 18, 2012

Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. (Malachi 3:16)
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (Hebrews 10:17)

My mom is now 95 years old.  We visited her recently and I know she will not remember that we were there.  Her physical health is good.  She seems to enjoy having people come to see her, but she doesn’t seem to know who we are any more.  While we who were raised by her grieve her loss of memory, there are some things that she has forgotten that maybe are a good thing.  She likely no longer remembers the loss of a daughter that was scalded in an accident.  That accident brought her to saving faith in the Lord.  She likely  no longer remembers the loss of a daughter that died from whooping cough.  But while she may have forgotten a lot of things, the Lord has not forgotten her.

Paul reminds us in 2 Timothy 2:19 that the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, the Lord knows them that are his.  Many people will ask you today if you know the Lord.  That is a good question, and it is really good when we can honestly say, “yes.”  The old testament prophets tell us that God judged the nation of Israel so that they would “know that I am the Lord.”  So we do need to know Him.  But a better question is, “Does the Lord know you?”  If He does, that is a foundation that is unshakeable.  Even though my mom may forget how to quote John 3:16 and even though she may forget the circumstances associated with her coming to faith in the Lord, the Lord will never forget her because she did trust Him as a young married mom and proved it by her life when her mind was still active and sharp.  The one thing the Lord will forget is the sins that she committed in her lifetime.  When Christ died on the cross, He died so that all of our sins could be forgiven.  None of the sins of those living today had been committed yet when the Lord died.  They were all future.  Yet, the blood of Christ was shed in order that all of our sins could be forgiven.  For those who believe in Him and are confident that He did that for them, their sins are completely forgotten by God.  Sometimes we still remember them and get depressed because of them, but the Lord is able to righteously forget them.  Men may not forget them, the church family that we meet with may not forget them, our family and friends may not forget them and we ourselves may not forget them; but the Lord forgets them.  He does nothing to memorialize our sins in order to bring them to remembrance.

One then might ask, “Does that mean that there are no consequences associated with sins committed after we are saved?”  Of course there are.  Sin will rob us of health, of friends, of wealth and of fellowship with the Lord.  Our sins will never cost us our salvation, but they will cost us fellowship with the Lord.  No one wants to be around someone that they have offended, particularly if they do not want to make things right with that person.  So most of us who sin against God, tend to quit praying, we tend to quit reading His Word, we tend to quit associating with His people.  But even then, John reminds us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.  This reestablishes our fellowship with Him.  He also reminds us that the blood of Jesus Christ Gods Son cleanses us from all sin (See 1 John 1:7-9).  Once again, the Lord is not only able to wipe the slate clean with regard to the sin itself, but He is able to overcome the righteous consequences of those sins because of His love for us.

There are things that we should remember and there are things that we should forget.  Paul forgot the things that motivated him before he was saved (Philippians 3:13).  We should have a changed attitude toward what is important in life after we are saved.   Paul’s example makes it clear that earthly ambitions should be forgotten and that heavenly eternal matters should now be important.  We should “remember the Lord” by partaking of a loaf of bread and a cup of wine with others who love the Lord.  This memorializes Him and proclaims His death until He comes (See 1 Corinthians 11:17-34).  But we should not memorialize the sins that God has forgotten.  We should do everything we can to no longer bring them to remembrance even though Satan will do His best to make us remember them by casting his fiery darts at us (Ephesians 6:16).

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could remember what God remembers and forget what He forgets?  We tend to remember what we should forget and forget what we should remember.  But there is a day future when we who have trusted the Lord will get this right.

Bruce Collins

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