And Moses said to the people: “Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out of this place.”
One of the advantages of keeping a diary is that it helps us remember significant events in the past. And keeping a spiritual journal does the same; it reminds us of crossroads, provisions, and answered prayers—demonstrations of God’s faithfulness in the past. It is not just moderns who struggle with memory. The challenge to remember was a central theme in Israel’s life as a nation.
Then, and now, the most important thing that Jews remember is the Exodus from Egypt. It was then that God rescued and redeemed His people from a life of bondage to a pagan nation. As the Israelites prepared to leave Egypt, Moses told them to remember “this day.” What were they to remember? The “strength of [the Lord’s] hand” that delivered them from slavery to safety. God is strong; God is mighty to save; God is a promise keeper—and more. It is the attributes of God, displayed in the past, that give us cause to trust Him and live for Him in the present.
Remembering and considering God’s attributes and faithfulness is a step toward personal revival today.
How worthy it is to remember former benefits when we come to beg for new.
Consider how I love Your precepts; revive me, O LORD, according to Your loving-kindness.
Huda Shaarawi was a remarkable woman who, as a child, was secluded in a Cairo harem but who ended up working for women’s rights in Egypt and becoming a national hero. In her memoirs, she told of an older woman, Madame Richard, who became a mentor and encourager to her. Shaarawi wrote, “We took special pleasure in the company of Mme Richard who often joined us while we read, played the piano, or embroidered. When we were blue, her blithe spirit and soothing words revived us as the morning dew revives wilting blossoms.”
Have you ever known anyone who could talk with you awhile and revive your spirits as the morning dew revives wilting blossoms? We all have such a friend. When we open God’s Word at any point throughout the day, He speaks to us with such strong and soothing words that our hearts are revived, our spirits are restored, and our souls are strengthened. As we study the Word, our understanding of God’s unchangeable, unconditional love is refreshed and renewed in our hearts.
Then we can be reviving to others.
We do not so much search the Word of God as the Word of God searches us. There is reviving power in the Word that we, as a church, need to harness.
Barry Black, Chaplain to the United States Senate
The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.
Some numbers and ideas are hard to fathom. Take the amount of water that spills over Niagara Falls every second of every day of every year. Approximately 85,000 cubic feet of water flows over the falls every second. Such a number is hard to grasp; see if this helps: Enough water flows over Niagara Falls in one second to fill 5.3 average-sized houses every second. Right now, count off five seconds—more than 25 houses could have been filled with water. And it never stops.
That’s a lot—and it’s an inadequate illustration of something else that never stops: the grace of God. There is more grace flowing from God—right this second—than water flowing over Niagara Falls. We know grace can’t be measured, but it’s a way of saying that God’s grace is always there. There is more than we know, more than we need, and more than we can imagine. God is, and God does, “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). And that includes His grace.
Never believe that you have sinned or strayed too far. God’s grace is greater than all our sin (Romans 5:20). God’s grace is abundant and ever-present for all who call on Him.
It is possible to fall in grace, but not to fall from grace.
Live – a – Life – Less – Ordinary
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
This verse is a reminder of the importance of forgiving others, but if we only focus on what God will withhold from us if we do not forgive, we neglect the role our spirit plays in forgiveness. Humility, compassion, and wisdom are necessary in the giving and receiving of forgiveness. The truth that each and every person has sinned and fallen short reminds us that everyone has a substantial debt they cannot pay.
When our spirit is consumed with grudge holding, toxic emotions cripple us. Indignant judgment, poisonous anger, frustration, and bitterness aim to take up permanent residence within. The crushing result is a diminished ability to receive forgiveness. We descend into a tailspin of negative thoughts and emotions. With all our energy focused on the perpetrator, we forget our own debts.
God’s generosity is an invitation to be forgiven and set free. When we forgive others, we experience that freedom once again. Instead of carrying the weight of unrelenting forgiveness, you can know the light, love, and freedom that comes from passing on the forgiveness you have obtained.
Nothing of spiritual significance comes without sacrifice. Your spirituality will always be measured by the size of your sacrifice.
The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”
How many times have you heard someone say (or perhaps said it yourself): “I love you if . . .”; “I love you because . . .”; “I love you when . . . ?” Compare those phrases with these: “I love you even though . . .”; “I love you in spite of . . .”; “I love you, period.” The truth is we don’t hear people say those words verbally as much as we see them act out the words non-verbally. The first set of words are examples of conditional love; the second set are examples of unconditional love. God loves the second way: “I love you, period.”
God has always loved that way. In fact, He told His Chosen People, Israel, that He did not choose them because they were a large and impressive people (Deuteronomy 7:7). In truth, He didn’t choose them at all. He chose Abraham, their forefather. And because of His love for Abraham, Israel enjoyed His love as well. Even when Israel was at her worst, God said through Jeremiah, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
Don’t ever mistake the world’s love (if, because, when) for God’s love (no conditions). God’s love for you never changes (2 Timothy 2:13).
God doesn’t owe us anything—yet in His grace, He still gives us good things.