Sunday, May 9, 2010

remember your chains

Sunday on my way to church I started thinking about something.  I am sure I will not be able to fully capture my train of thought on paper because I was thinking so fast about so many different things.  They all revolved around remembering.  I started thinking about the Israelites grumbling in the desert.  Does anyone else get really annoyed with their whininess and how quickly they forgot what the Lord did for them?  I mean to tell you, talk about pig headed idiocy!  Seriously people?  A month ago you were slaves and now you are free men and yet think maybe it was better back there? I am constatly baffled by them and their attitude towards their freedom.

Yet too many Christian are in the same boat.  In our effort to not give Satan glory for the gory in our past lives, we sometimes forget to give Jesus glory for His hand of redemption in our lives. I also started thinking of an old Steven Curtis Chapman song called  Remember Your Chains.  The second part of the song says:

The wings of forgiveness can take us to heights never seen
But the wisest ones, they will never lose sight
Of where they were set free, love set them free

So remember your chains, remember the prison that once held you
before the love of God broke through
Remember the place, you were without grace
Remember your chains and remember your chains are gone

And in the light of all that we've been forgiven of
We find our hearts fuller and freer
To give and receive God's love

I thought of Jesus saying that the one who has been forgiven much, loves much.  I thought of how many times God instructed His people to stack stones and name the "alter" so that everytime they saw the stones they would remember the hand of the Lord in their lives.  How many times does the Bible say to meditate on the works of the Lord?  Let me give you just a very brief overview.......

Deut 5:15 "Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an out stretched arm."

1 Chron 16:12 " Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced."

Ps 77:11 "I will remember the deeds of the Lord, yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will meditate on ALL your works and consider ALL your mighty deeds."

Isaiah 46:8-10 "Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me."

And then the entire chapter of  Ps 111 is awesome!  Vs 2 "Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them."  Vs 4 "He has caused His wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate."  And vs 9 "He provided redemption for His people; He ordained His covenant forever- holy and awesome is His name."

My table leader at MOPS this year said that everytime she and her sister left the house her mama would tell them, "Remember who you are and where you came from."  What wisdom from that mama!  The long and short of it is this, God has redeemed each of us.  We each have a story.  My story isn't yours and yours isn't someone elses.  I remember who I am, I'm a daughter of the king.  I am in a season of remembering right now.  I am remembering where I came from.  I have such huge reasons to glorify God.  He has brought me out of the filth and mire and redeemed me.

I do remember my chains, I do remember the life I once lived before the love of God broke through, and I do remember that my chains are gone!  I AM FREE!  Gal 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery."  I think sometimes living in the freedom that Christ purchased for us with his very life means that you have to remember what being a slave was like.  Sometimes we have to remember how awful Egypt was to appreciate how awesome the promised land is.  Without that memory, what is to stop us from desiring, like the ungrateful Israelites, to return to the yoke of slavery?

Take a moment to remember your story.  Remember what God has carried you through.  Remember the hand of God, mighty to save, in your own life.  And then dwell in the freedom He has given you; it's a beautiful place to stay, in the hand of His mercy and grace where freedom and redemption are abundant.

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