The end of another year gives us pause to remember the way the Lord has led, and to equip. In 2017 we celebrated the events of the Reformation 500 years ago, and reflected on the timeless significance of the 5 solas. Church history is important. Since 1830, Toberkeigh has known unusual privilege, from where at least 10 members became PCI Ministers, and 2 Moderators of GA. Remembering past blessing urges fresh thanksgiving, and renewed commitment. Unusual privilege carries unusual responsibility.
On the threshold of crossing Jordan and entering Canaan, Israel were called to remember the way the Lord their God had led them (Deuteronomy 8:2). They were to recall his redemptive works: God’s sovereign free choice of them (7:6-8), his judgment on Pharaoh and their deliverance from slavery (7:18), and his past sustaining and guiding (8:2). The doctrines of God’s election, redemption, and providence were to equip them with the right mindset for the challenges ahead. They were to remember they were holy and loved by – in covenant with – Jehovah. There were to look back, and then move forward.
The desired result was that they live dependent on the Lord (8:3), not on their own resourcefulness. That they fear their covenant Lord as their God, not fear their enemy (8:6). That they rejoice in his goodness to them (8:10), not their own creations. That they obey his Word (8:11) not human tradition. That they walk humbly before him, recognising his hand in their prosperity (8:18). That they be careful with him, not casual (8:19). This is what God’s choosing, redeeming and sustaining work for them was to effect.
Don’t we all need reminding of God’s mighty works? We each have a tendency to forget, and then wonder why there is an absence of godly piety about us. Jesus knows we need to hear over and over, ‘Remember me.’
Before we forget, let us look back over the year that has just past. Were there times of utter dependence, of particular repentance, times when you were so conscious of the the power of God’s Word and the influx of the Spirit’s grace so real? Any joy of new understanding, of rising love for God, of meditation on his perfections, his faithfulness, goodness, mercy, transcendence, incarnation? Any heart-burn from real fellowship? Any zeal, enthusiasm, overflowing, engaging exchange of Christian conversation? Find someone to reminisce with this January, and make the month a grateful one to drive hope and promise for the path ahead.
May our new resolutions for 2018 begin with first remembering what God has done for us collectively and individually, and so, by his Holy Spirit, assure us of eternal life, and make us sincerely willing and ready to live unto him. Remember the way the Lord your God has led you.