Sunday, August 24, 2014

August 24, 2014 … Our Altar of Remembrance

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 236

Devotional Song: Go to this link -  take the time to see a lyrical video of Phillips, Craig, and Dean singing the poignant song of remembrance … Great Great God, which helps us remember the Lord, and our Savior, who has save us from our selves.

Highlight Passage: Psalm 118: 1 and the last verse - 29 … [NKJV] …
1 and 29 … Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!

For His mercy endures forever. 
Highlight Context #1 - NKJV: Psalms 113-114 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK
Highlight Context #2 - NKJV: Psalms 115-118 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK ============

Reference Passage #1: Joshua 22: 28-29… [NKJV] …  GO TO THIS LINK… Over 350 times in the Old Testament, as in this passage in the book of Joshua, God’s people built altars to honor and remember what God had done for them …

Reference Passage #2: 1st Corinthians: 11: 17-33 … [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK … The Apostle Paul helping the Church establish The Lord’s Supper - The Eucharist - as the New Testament’s Church altar of Remembrance

Reference Passage #3: Romans 12: 1-2 … [NKJV] …
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Dennis Fisher, helped me remember what I try to remember EVERY DAY by coming to a quiet place and worshipping my Lord and Savior with a special “altar” of time which helps me start each day by some remembrance of what My Savior has done for me by pursuing me and saving me from my sinfulness and giving me the grace to handle every day. In my own selfishness, I’m afraid I’d have the tendency to forget what He has done to transform my life, especially if I didn’t have my own “altar of remembrance.” 

If you do a little study of the Old Testament, as I did this morning, you’ll find that God’s people, though they could be so forgetful and selfish at times, built altars to remember their God over 350 times … from Abraham and Moses and onward in the trek of the Israelites to the Promised Land. And really the whole establishment of the various feasts and even the ceremony of the weekly Shabbat (the Sabbath) are “altars of remembrance” so that God’s people will never forget what God has done for them.

Unfortunately, over time, many of God’s people, including those of us in the remnant of New Testament believers, have a tendency, in our human selfishness, to forget God’s faithfulness. And much of our world today even wants to eradicate any thoughtfulness of our Lord and Savior from our culture, trying to tear down any/all remembrances of GOD from our world.

The Apostle Paul in helping the Church in Corinth (and for all of the New Testament Church), specifically wrote (see 1st Cor. 11: 17-33 linked above) about how Christians should have a time of coming to “the table” which Jesus established in that Upper Room time with His disciples. And Jesus established what Christians now celebrate as the Eucharist or Communion celebration as a time when we should commemorate what He, our Lord, did on the Cross, giving His body and blood as the Lamb of God, for the remission of our sins.

The question becomes, “Do we have personal, even daily, altars of remembrance in our lives, where we can focus clearly and with purpose on becoming the “living sacrifice” which Paul also wrote about in Romans 12: 1-2. “ Because, and this is my strong belief, … if we don’t have such daily altars of remembrance, I’m afraid we, like God’s people in the Old Testament, will wander away from God’s purpose for our lives; and most certainly there is a lot of evidence of that wandering away from God in our world today.

Now, please don’t take what I’m about to write as a way of bragging as to my own discipline or devotion; but long ago I discovered that I, personally, needed my own way of having a personal “altar of remembrance” in my life. And a dear mentor in my life helped me establish a daily discipline of devotion, where I delved deeply into God’s word and used that time, in solitude and prayer with God, as a spring board to #1 remember what my Lord has done in transforming my life, and #2 to make daily commitments of purpose to be a “living sacrifice” as Rom. 12: 1-2 exhorts. And One can see from this very blog [see listings of past blogs in the column to the right] where this has led this one humble servant with my daily journaling of these “altars of remembrance” since 2008.

I do this study and journaling … EVERY DAY … because I don’t want to forget what my Lord has done for me with His transforming grace. I don’t want to let my own deceitful heart [see Jer. 17: 9] lead me astray into forgetfulness and sinfulness. And I don’t want to stray from the witness of faith which my Lord calls me toward (see Luke 9: 23 and Acts 1: 8 and Matthew 28: 19-20).

I don’t know where and how you have established and maintained an “altar of remembrance and purpose” for your life. But I do pray that you have some way of DAILY remembering what our Lord has done to save us from our selves and to give us a remembrance of His Spirit working in our lives - through His grace - to be able to walk with Him and serve Him.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, help any who read here, as well as this forgetful servant, to have some purposeful and personal altar of remembrance in our lives so that we’ll never forget what You have done for us, … saving us, and sanctifying us unto Your purposes for the way we live. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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