Sunday, September 11, 2016

I gotta remember this stuff!

Remember the words that you heard from me. Retain them as the model for healthy and sound teaching in the faith and love that are available in Jesus the Anointed. As for the precious thing entrusted to you, protect it with the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. (2 Tim. 1:13-14 VOICE)

The power to remember is one of our greatest gifts. As my mother approaches her 98th year on this earth, I see how much of her ability to remember even simple things impacts her daily life. She will call me at work, or I will call her, and somewhere in the expanse of a couple of minutes, she will have forgotten something "important" she needed to tell me. We all have things we desperately want to remember to tell someone, often stopped from sharing it right at that exact moment it comes to mind simply because the timing isn't right or the person isn't immediately available. We commit the thing to memory the best we can and hope we remember everything we needed to share once the timing or availability is remedied. For a parent, some of the things they want remembered are the words they have shared with their children as they have been growing up. Those were the words we hoped would convey some purpose, a lesson of sorts, that would help that child in their life's journey. God is much the same way with us - giving us words to live by. The problem is - we sometimes don't commit them to memory!

When God speaks to us through his words contained in the Bible, these aren't empty or hollow thoughts.  They are words committed to paper because they (in their totality) teach us great lessons by which we are to make life decisions.  The principles captured within the pages of this Bible of ours are the expressions of a parent's heart!  When retained, they become a model by which we pattern our actions.  Whenever we commit to take these words in, we are in essence committing to learn at the feet of our heavenly Father. We are gaining wisdom, but we are also building relationship. The exchange of words is not a thing to be taken lightly - for they can build us up, tear us down, create a sense of urgency within us, or give us moments to just enjoy.  As kids, we don't always appreciate the words of a parent - because we want to make a way for ourselves and we sometimes think our parent's wisdom is a bit outdated or just not what we need for the moment.  We can miss some of the greatest opportunities to actually learn from their mistakes when we quickly jump to the conclusion we don't need to listen to them, though!


Retain God's word - this is probably one of the most significant things we can do to bring balance into our lives. We retain a whole lot of other knowledge without much effort, so why is it so doggone hard to retain God's word? I think retaining all the steps it takes to make our favorite meal, change the oil in our cars, or even complete the laundry without forgetting fabric softener is a challenge sometimes. Yet, these prove to be easier than getting God's word into our minds, allowing it to affect our hearts, and then having it there in reserve to help us live healthy spiritually fit lives later on!  I have learned we commit to the things we think are important - they find "space" in our minds and hearts because we think they serve a purpose of some sort.  I like to wear clean clothing, so I have learned to do the laundry - all the steps from gathering the soiled clothes, sorting them, onto the finished product of folded and pressed garments. If I want to learn to live a healthy spiritual life, I had better learn to embrace the things God asks me to commit to memory from his teachings!  Just sayin!