June 18, 2020
The Thief Nobody's Talking About
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"And so you are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God's people, members of God's holy family, and residents of His household." Ephesians 2:19 (VOICE)
"Remember," I prompted my young ones as I steered our minivan along the winding country road that led to my grandparent's house, "Grandpa Jim loves to see you, but he might not remember your name. So just keep reminding him who you are."
My kids nodded earnestly in the rearview mirror. They knew Grandpa Jim's memory had faded, but the sparkle in his eyes had not. They knew he might be slow to recall our names, but he would be quick to offer us a seat at his table.
They knew Grandpa Jim would ask the same questions over and over again, and most likely he'd tell the same story a few times. But they also knew he would listen to their chatter and revel in their company.
"It's OK, Mommy," my son, Joshua, said with 4-year-old knowing. "Grandpa Jim might not remember my name, but he never forgets to give me candy."
Though Grandpa Jim is now home in heaven, I still remember him sitting at that humble kitchen table with a candy dish in his hands and a chuckle on his lips. I still picture the way a gentle smile spread wide across his wrinkled face as he listened to a young one's tales.
Most of all, I still hear the way he'd pause a conversation with a slow drawl and a humble apology, "I know you've already told me. But remind me once more who you are."
Grandpa Jim's unpretentious admission reminds me forgetfulness doesn't just assail those who are long on years and short on memory. Forgetfulness assaults every child of God who tunes an ear to the taunts of the world instead of the Truth of the Word.
When we fail to remember the Truth of Scripture, we quickly fall prey to spiritual amnesia. Sadly, this kind of forgetfulness isn't just an attack on our memory; it's an assault on our identity.
Forgetfulness whispers that "we don't belong," even though the Word reminds us we are part of God's family. (Ephesians 1:5)
Forgetfulness jeers "we aren't enough," even though the Word assures us we are complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:10)
Forgetfulness declares, "you're guilty" - although the Word pronounces us free from condemnation. (Romans 8:1-2)
Forgetfulness insists that we are unloved, even though the Word avows: We can never be separated from the love of God. (Romans 8:35)
Forgetfulness deems us a mess, but though the Word declares us a masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10)
Forgetfulness doesn't just impact our conversations or muddle our mindfulness; it confiscates our confidence and plunders our purpose, hampers our hope and pillages our peace.
Perhaps that's why, in the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul urges us to remember who we are. And whose.
First, he reminds us of our proximity to Jesus: He draws us near.
"But now, because of Jesus the Anointed and His sacrifice, all of that has changed. God gathered you who were so far away and brought you near to Him by the royal blood of the Anointed, our Liberating King" (Ephesians 2:13, VOICE).
Then, he assures us of our position in Jesus: We are God's family.
"[We] are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God's people, members of God's holy family, and residents of His household" (Ephesians 2:19).
And, finally, he confirms our purpose in Jesus: We are to live in the light.
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8, NIV).
The Apostle Paul knew our best protection against the thief of forgetfulness is the Truth of Scripture.
So, let's open our Bibles today, dear friends, and read it as an act of remembering. Let's choose to believe we are who God says we are and endeavor to live mindful of our proximity, position and purpose in Christ.
And in those moments when we're feeling forgetful, let's turn the words of a beloved grandpa into our own earnest prayer ...
Dear Jesus, I know You already told me, but remind me once more who I am. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Romans 8:14, "If the Spirit of God is leading you, then take comfort in knowing you are His children." (VOICE)
2 Corinthians 10:5, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (NIV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
This week, read the book of Ephesians (or even just part of it, though it's only six chapters!). Then write down the verses that declare who God says you are. Use those truths to wage war on spiritual amnesia.
Out of the three Scriptures Paul used to remind us of our proximity, position and purpose in Christ, which one do you most need to take to heart today? Share with us in the comments!
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