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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Do Not Forget

There's a thought that came to me yesterday that I want to share. It's a thought roughly connected to my last blog (and to several things that are observable in modern society right at this moment). I do hope you will consider reading and reflecting upon this post, Mainly because I want to see God glorified through my gifts of communication, encouragement and teaching which combine in these different posts.

The single thought that came to me is as follows: 'do not forget'. This thought may not make any sense whatsoever, so let me clarify. It is a particular type of remembering that this thought was about. It was a reminder to not forget what Christ has done for me, for you, for us! To not forget about who He is and the power of His resurrection in us. So many Christians want to live lives which are, sadly, apathetic to this very idea, but whatever gift you have, whatever position in life you have, I encourage you to use it in the memory of what He has done for you and continues to do!

Yesterday I watched Russell Brand's video here on the dangers of pornography, which is brilliant. I don't know a lot about him, but I am aware that despite not being a Christian he has a lot of very intelligent things to say about the social and political issues in the world which are so dangerous. In the video which I have linked, Brand points out that pornography is so dangerous because it distracts individuals from real meaning in the world. I would also further expound that anything which drives you into such a fantasy state is dangerous - it is dangerous to become addicted to anything because it encourages you to forget about truth. And we are living in a world of 'drugged up' people who want to forget about what is really important and what is valuable.

People have also come to look for meaning in anything and people are quicker than anything in how they leap to judge anyone. As seen in the recent case of Glenn McGrath, who is under extreme judgement for his shooting trip in 2008. I agree that it is ridiculous that McGrath can go from the face of preventing breast cancer in one instance, to be so whiplashed by the public. It's as if they forgot about all the good that his charity does around Australia or all the sporting and public actions during his cricketing career. I find it incredibly sad actually to see and read the comments directed at him, because it denotes the sheer lack of thinking and the hypocrisy of modern society. Why, I ask, are people so morally righteous when they themselves are no better or worse?

It's similar to the story of Justine Sacco who was fired for a stupidly inappropriate use of Twitter. Yet, what is far worse to me than the poor 'joke' she made, is the commentary of those who shamed her, attacked her and ridiculed her with spite and disdain across the internet. Because she made one comment and people instantly made the biggest attempt to destroy her character, without any cost to themselves. No wonder Jesus said in Matthew 7:12 "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."

There is a danger that is created when the world forgets God: when we say that God is dead. Jay pointed out to me just last night (odd considering I'm the history teacher) that Hitler and the Nazi party ran a secular ideology based on the concept of using science, abusing religion and pushing God out of the picture. We are incredibly seeing the same thing happen in today's society with God being removed from everything, and while we may not be seeing the same kinds of results we are seeing a society with no answers to a moral decline. You might not need God to be moral, but without Him society seems to fall into a pit of moral relativity.

When it comes to remembering what God has done for me however, some might say that I have a 'humble' testimony. My Dad saw a vision of Jesus and I personally know drug dealers and criminals who have been transformed by coming to know Jesus personally. I was never a drug dealer or a prostitute: in fact I was the perfect self-righteous boy who grew up on all the Bible stories, knew everything about God that a kid of between 8 or 9 could and basically was, in my own efforts, a great child. But one night I was struck with the knowledge that, no, I wasn't good enough - that there was some small seed of sin (that desire to remove the need of God from the picture) deep within who I am. That basically, despite growing up in a Christian family, with pastors for parents, I needed God because I was not good enough. And so I made that choice and my life has never been the same.

You see, I might not have been 'saved' from drugs, murderous ways, alcoholism or any other kind of crazy addictive lifestyle, but I was saved from myself. And that in itself is a powerful testimony because if we can (through self-righteousness, fantasy etc.) be convinced that we don't need God - like much of society has from my examples above, then we become the most lost people of all. I was saved from a life that did not bring glory to God at all and even now I might not be perfect but my faith is in the perfection of Jesus Christ who lived the life I should have and died the death I should have that I might be resurrected with Him. As Galatians 2:20 states "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

Yesterday I read through the famous verse about the plans God has for us and noticed something in there: Jeremiah 29:11-13

'11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'
 Many people, when they read the Bible like to stop at the parts that apply to them or comfort them. In this case, verse 11. However, I love that the next two verses are a reminder to call on God and seek Him with all that we are. We need God - we need Him more than we can ever know because our entire being was made to be with him, our very souls were breathed into existence by his own spirit. Yet it can be so easy to forget this and what God has done for us. We like to know about the great plans He has for us and forget about the prayer and the seeking Him with all that we are. We turn His plans into subordinates for our plans and trust that everything will be alright.

My challenge is that we remember our salvation - think and reflect upon what God has done for you or ask for a revelation of what that means. Do not just be sucked into the forgetfulness of the rest of the world. Too many people walk about aimlessly and forgetfully, ignorant of their own need for God. It can be easy to judge those with obvious addictions and problems (as in the articles that I posted before) but those who stand in judgement are just as oblivious of the planks in their own eyes and their own need for salvation from themselves. Be the light to others around you, be who they need you to be, but whatever you do: Do Not Forget. Do not forget the power of your testimony and who you are in Christ!