Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Remember...and Be Grateful

As we come to the close of the year of our Lord 2006, I would encourage you to take time to take two simple but very effective spiritual steps.

1. Remember

Moses told the Israelites, "And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not" (Deut 8:2). Your life this past year has not been an accident. It has been the outworking of the gentle sovereignty of God in your life, and you must not forget what he has done, whether in blessing or in chastisement, for in all he does he seeks to impart himself to us. Remembering, then, is an act of worship. It is acknowledging and submitting to God's good providence. As King David wrote in one of his inspired songs, "Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered.... Remember his covenant forever" (1 Chron 16:12, 15).
To help you get started, here are some things you and your family can remember. I'm sure you can add more to this list.
  • How did the Lord direct my life and provide physically in 2006? Where did I travel? How did the Lord keep me safe? What significant household projects did I complete this year? How did God provide financially for me? What did I do to improve my body for the Lord's service? Did God deliver me from sickness?
  • What significant family events happened this year? Did the Lord grant us a child? Did a loved one pass on to glory?
  • What important books did I read or sermons did I hear that helped me to think more biblically? What Scriptures did I memorize? How did my life change as a result?
  • What special friendships were made this year, and how did those friends make an impact for good in my life?
  • What were my greatest failures and sins in 2006? How did the Lord correct and teach me through these? Am I bringing any unresolved issues into the new year?
  • What were my most significant spiritual victories this year? How did God enable me to serve him? How has he enabled me to pursue and proclaim Christ?
  • What did God do in my church in 2006? How did God train and purify us as his children? In what ways did he enable us to carry out the Great Commission?

2. Be Grateful

In the song of David already mentioned, he began by saying, "Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him; sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually" (1 Chron 16:8-11)! As you worship God by remembering what he has done, let this flow naturally into praising him. Give your heart to adoration in light of how God has manifested his steadfast love and faithfulness in 2006.

What better way to end this year than to unite our hearts as a worshipping community before the throne of God! To him be the glory forever. Amen.

No comments: