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NEW YEAR MESSAGE
 


REMEMBERING TO REMEMBER!!!




Your Bob owes our Bob a Bob, if your Bob doesn’t return the Bob your Bob owes our Bob, our Bob will give your Bob a Bob in the eye...so goes an old tongue in cheek tongue-twister with the word Bob getting repeated not less than 10 times in the same. While Moses that peerless leader of OT times certainly did not want his swansong sermon (after delivering the same - he would disappear atop Mount Nebo- Deu 34:1-6) to be remembered as some kind of tongue-twister, a closer scrutiny of his monumental address (which is preserved in the Sacred Canon under the title Deuteronomy) would reveal that he was constantly using the word “Remember” again and again in it (16 times to be more precise) to press home a point. When we consider at what stage of wilderness journey the children of Israel were at that point of time (remember...oh remember again eh? ...sic...they were travelling from Egypt to Canaan under his leadership), the word remember becomes all the more relevant, so to speak. Oh yes, they were camped on the Eastern Bank of River Jordan with the “Promised Land” seemingly, just a stone’s throw away. With the mission ”Conquest of Canaan” looming large before them, they more than anything else needed to be reminded of the Lord’s power and faithfulness in shepherding a Nation through the Wilderness journey in the past 40 years so as to emotionally and spiritually strengthen them for the Mission. After all, for the previous generation who had seen with their own eyes (words own eyes used advisedly) all of his powerful miracles in Egypt and beyond, the same task of conquering Canaan courtesy their wavering faith had seemed “Mission impossible” leading to tragic “so near...yet so far” anticlimactic, tragic end (Numbers 13-14).

Much of the audience, Moses was addressing now would hear with their ears (words their ears used advisedly) about all of God’s power and faithfulness (unlike their fathers’ who had seen them) and effect of his message as evidenced by the subsequent events would have the desired positive, salutary effect (Joshua 11:23) upon them even as they took upon themselves the task of conquering Canaan earnestly influenced in a way by this singular address. Talk of faith being generated by hearing and not by seeing... (Romans 10:17)...

With we being poised to enter the New Year after being shepherded faithfully by our good Lord through the previous years, Yours Truly feels inspired to share this message on the Lord’s faithfulness drawing heavily from the Book of Deuteronomy (incidentally after Psalms and Isaiah, it is the most quoted Book in the NT Scriptures).

Remember...

A Biblical Scholar put a spiritual truth very creatively thus...”God gives and forgives whereas men get and forget”. How true!!! It is this forgetfulness that leads to “cooling down of the first love” (Rev 2:4-5). As much of love is dependent on gratitude (Luke 7:47), it would serve us well to regularly stoke the fires of gratitude by remembering again and again what all the good Lord has done for us faithfully over the years...not just in 2016. That’s what spiritual exercising is all about (1 Tim 4:8). Oh how often, when his spiritual temperatures have plummeted, Yours Truly would be led to seek solitude (Matt 6:6) to revive his spiritual health (unlike in the physical realm...in the spiritual one... good health of a soul and temperature are directly proportional!!!).

Our Heavenly Father who would not put off a smouldering wick is so faithful (like His love and power, His faithfulness is also indescribable- Matt 12:20) that He has time and again helped me in my weakness by using His Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26) to breathe fire to smouldering embers of my soul.

Unless one is healthy spiritually, where is the question of he/she standing up as a faithful witness for Him which ought to be primary goal of any Christian at all times.

Now coming back to Deuteronomy... the Israelites would soon be living off the fat of the Land flowing with milk and honey with the live danger of becoming “fat and bloated” in turn, concentrating more on the gifts, as it were rather than on the faithful Giver of those gifts. Therefore Moses besides making them “remember” about the Lord’s loyalty towards their welfare in his farewell message many a time, also teaches them a song ...a portion of it with overtones of gentle warning I am quoting verbatim hereunder. The portion is oh-so-explanatory that it ought to serve as a gentle warning to us of the current age too...

But Israel was soon overfed;
Yes, fat and bloated;
Then, in plenty, they forsook their God.
They shrugged away the Rock of their salvation... (Deu 32:15-TLB).


God forbid such a condition coming upon a Christian whose needs have been adequately taken care of at all times by Divine Providence...

Reflect...

While we are all having the universal call to be witnesses for the Lord, it would serve us well to reflect what being a faithful witness to the Lord entails. First and foremost, like a Jew would speak passionately (Deuteronomy 6:20-25) about Pre-Passover and Post-Passover history of his nation (Deuteronomy 26:1-11) just as Moses desired (we Indians would do the same vis-a-vis Pre and post 15th August 1947 experience), every Christian too worth his professing salt needs to have a “BC and an AD” experience. Before Jesus came into my life, I was a wayward sinner (a spiritually wandering Aramean – Deu 26:5) with no real goal in life and after Jesus came into my life I became a focussed God-pleaser (2 Cor 5:9, 2 Cor5:15-17) ought to be the recurring refrain in every Christian’s testimony.

Secondly, one needs to become more like Christ primarily in the matter of loving God. Jesus loved the Father the most and this truth was reflected not only in His words but also in His actions as well...never more was this truth in display than at the time when He submitted Himself to indescribable, excruciating agony in order the Heavenly Father’s Redemption plan for the World be completed (John 14:30-31/ 2 Cor 5:21).

While within mostly Incomprehensible, Indescribable Trinity the love for one another stems primarily from the “Goodness” of one another, in Christian-God’s relationship too, love ought to emanate primarily from understanding the Father’s “Goodness”. Hence more we remember the Lord’s amazing good virtue of faithfulness in our lives by recollecting His various favors’, more is our gratitude...more the gratitude, more the love. Oh boy...the role of “remembering” all of our Heavenly Father’s acts directed towards our overall welfare in revving up our spiritual lives can never, never be understated. A Christian deeply in love with the Saviour is the best advertisement for Christianity. Remarked St. Augustine the great Christian Theologian of the fifth Century...”God is most glorified in my life, when people observe that He is more precious to me than all that life can give or death can take away.” Remember (oh remember, yet again...sic... ) the width of a Christian’s Ministry for Christ is directly proportional to the depth of the relationship the former has with Christ!!! By width, I do not necessarily mean popularity in the Church circles but the number of people a Christian impacts for good whether it is “picked up or not by the Church’s or World’s radar”.

By the way, remembering Lord’s faithfulness of the past would help us tide over emotionally the problems of the present too (Psalms 42:4-5)... for if He has been faithful in bringing you out of the messy situations in the past, He is bound to deliver you out of your present troublesome circumstances’ also...

Resolve...

At this time of resolutions, what better time than now to resolve to remember the Lord’s faithfulness every single day of 2017 and beyond!!!

In my own 34 years of walking with the good Lord, I have found “Prayer time” to be more fruitful when it has morphed from merely being a time of supplication or intercession to a time of recollection of the Lord’s innumerable favours’ in my life.

So folks remember to remember what all the good Lord has done in your life...this would stoke the smouldering ember(s) of your soul better than any other spiritual exercise giving you thereby renewed spiritual vim, vigor and vitality to gracefully “walk” through 2017 and beyond in your (I repeat yours and not John Bunyan’s) “Pilgrim’s progress”.


Yours in His service,

Suresh Manoharan
An Unworthy Servant



Ps… All those whose heart the Lord is touching say this Prayer right where you are…”Father, I confess I am a Sinner. Cloth me with Your Priceless Robes of Righteousness which Your Son Jesus Christ has purchased for me in the Cross. Fill my heart with the joy of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.