Therefore Remember

“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”  – Winston Churchill

Some trust in chariots,

And some in horses;

But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

Psalm 20:7

 

Therefore remember…remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near, by the blood of Christ.

For He himself is our peace.

(selection from Ephesians 2: 11-22)

Therefore, remember…remember.

Ephesians pic 1This call to remember challenges my soul.  It echoes in my mind like a prophet’s cry. Throughout Scripture, the Lord has given us many warnings to remember.  Moses exhorted Israel to remember what the Lord had done, but then he goes further by cautioning them to additionally  remember the Lord Himself.  Samuel set up a stone of remembrance and named it Ebenezer so that the Lord’s help would specifically be remembered.  Altars and memorials were built as memory aids.  The songs of Psalms were written to constantly tune our hearts to sing His praise in remembrance.  Exploits were recorded.  Annual celebrations of remembering were instituted. And Christ Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”  Therefore, remember.

When was the last time you stopped to remember the great transformation accomplished?  I do not mean thinking about what was accomplished in general …but pondering the memory of what Christ Jesus has done in your life.  Does this call to remember challenge you?

Paul reminds us that we look backward and remember our condition without Christ so that today we will recognize and treasure the blessings we have IN Christ. Then we will have hope and eagerly look forward in anticipation to the fulfillment of all promised blessings.

The blessing of Christ as our peace.

In Ephesians, Paul declares that Christ brought peace to two groups, Jews and Gentiles, that were separated by a barrier.  Peace was brought by destroying a barrier and bringing both groups to Himself through the cross.  If salvation is IN Christ Jesus, it didn’t matter that one group was closer than the other.  Being outside of Christ by a foot, or being outside of Christ by a mile, is still being outside of Christ. Two became one in redemption, because both groups were in need of salvation. There are still many barriers that divide people groups, and many attempts to bring peace.  But peace does not come as the result of winning a war, or writing a treaty, or constructing a compromise.  Peace is not a product. It is a person.  Christ IS our peace.

The blessing of being a citizen of Christ’s kingdom.

Because we have the peace of Christ, we have access to the Father. Paul enumerates that another result of that union is that we are no longer foreigners and strangers, but we are citizens of a heavenly kingdom.  If your earthly citizenship was handed to you easily by birth, you may take it for granted.  But for the immigrants, the foreigners,  and the strangers, a lengthy naturalization process must be successfully completed.  The benefits of citizenship come at an expense of difficulty, time, and money so they are benefits that are treasured.  Do you treasure the specific benefits we have as citizens of Christ’s kingdom?  To not treasure is to not acknowledge the great expense Christ paid for us.

The blessing of being a member of  Christ’s household.

Access to the Father by the blood of Christ makes us “blood relatives” of the Lord!  Paul reminds us that God is saying “I want you in my family”.  How precious this truth is to my heart.  We are surrounded by broken families, children in need of adoption, homeless feeling unwanted, young people who feel unwanted, and adults who do have a difficult time parenting because they were never parented.  You may be one of these. My heart breaks whenever I hear a child referred to as “an accident”.  There may be accidental parents, but there are no accidental children, each is loved by the Lord. God is saying to each of us that being in His family is no accident. There is a plan.  There is His plan of love.

The blessing of being  Christ’s holy temple.

Access to the Father by one Spirit unites us.  It joins us together with the Chief Cornerstone as a dwelling place of the Lord.  We are part of a building development, a progressive work that the Lord is doing.  As living stones we are fitted, hammered and chiseled into a shape that The Architect will use for His very own permanent dwelling. His…very…own…dwelling!!  He isn’t visiting our lives.  He isn’t vacationing in our church.  We lives in what He is making of us…a holy temple.

Therefore remember.  Remember your blessings.  Remember and be blessed.

Echoes Of Encouragement From Ephesians (8)

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About ccragamuffin

Christina C. is a woman energized by encouraging others. She never wants to forget that she is a ragamuffin...a broken earthen vessel, heavy laden, bedraggled, and weary until grace changed her life. She now holds a treasure in a cracked earthen vessel. Anything bright or beautiful is the treasure shining through the cracks.
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7 Responses to Therefore Remember

  1. Pingback: Always On My Mind | Resting in His Grace

  2. Pingback: We Are Winners Not Losers, For We Have Access Into The Very Heart Of God! | GodLovesBummyla

  3. RJ Dawson says:

    Thanks for your warm and illustrative reply. I think I may be a little sensitive to what the Lord said in the OT about building an altar with undressed stones. He said if we dress the stones by cutting them etc. we profane them. Of course, if God wants to fit stones through whatever means, He can certainly do that, since whatever He does profanes nothing. But religious man will certainly do a lot of hammering and chiseling upon humans, thus profaning, to create religious conformity and faux unity.

    The Ephesian 4:16 passage contains an illustration of the body as temple and also uses the word sumbiba / sumbibazo, which has the following Strong’s definition:

    1) to cause to coalesce, to join together, put together 1a) to unite or knit together: in affection 2) to put together in one’s mind 2a) to compare 2b) to gather, conclude, consider 3) to cause a person to unite with one in a conclusion or come to the same opinion, to prove, demonstrate 3a) to teach, instruct, one

    The only possible way He can build His community/body is by each member first surrendering to Him completely and loving Him, and then loving one another throughout the process.

    I remember a brother many years ago teaching on living stones being fit together by going to the back wall and posing somewhat like an Egyptian hieroglyph, while being fit into a place among others. It made the point. Pliability is called for. Love is a must. Thanks for being so gracious.

    • ccragamuffin says:

      Many thanks for this word! Indeed, I would not want anyone to have a picture of stones fitting other stones, or stones casting stones!! I will be careful to clarify that in the final work. Thank you.

      I love the visual of posing like an Egyptian (Did he play “Walk Like an Egyptian”?).

  4. Pingback: REMINDER: I am always here, always with you.. Even if you do not feel me there | This is Me.. For All Its Worth.. Journal Blog

  5. RJ Dawson says:

    Thanks for the reminder to remember. Good article. One body. One community. One dwelling place of the Lord. Messiah in you, the hope of glory. One point: Fitted yes. Hammered and chiseled not so much. But it does feel like it sometimes. Like getting pruned. Hey! Fruit! Cool! Let me prune you a tad. Where’s my pruning shears? Ow. More fruit! Less like dressing stones and more like working with wet clay. Like a baby growing in the womb. Spiritually organic. Loving. Living. Living stones. Alive. A tender “heart of flesh.” Circumcised. We grow closer to becoming the fullness of what He is creating every day.

    I’ve really enjoyed your articles. Be blessed and Happy New Year.

    • ccragamuffin says:

      “One body. One community. One dwelling place of the Lord. Messiah in you, the hope of glory.” Those are powerful words! Thank you so much for adding them in the comment.

      Do you think that “fitted” does not include hammering and chiseling? I expressed a word picture without all of my reasoning for the sake of brevity. I am still learning to balance clarity and brevity as a edit for a blog!

      Maybe this will help to clarify my train of thought. Both times the word sunarmologeó is used, it is in Ephesians, and both times it is in reference to God building a temple. The idea of fitted, as in a stone chiseled from a quarry, is from how the word is used in 2:20-21. Paul pictures Christ as the Chief Cornerstone and we are living stones in Him. 1 Peter 2:5. In Him, we are joined together to be a building. The word fitted, here and elsewhere, is in the passive voice, reminding me that it is something done to the stones. Someone is doing the shaping. This joining together, the shaping to fit, has caused “ouch” moments in my life. But wouldn’t that be because, as you so beautifully wrote, we are spiritually organic? So I think that whether it is with the pruning shears that Jesus uses as an illustration elsewhere…or the chisel on living stones…there are moments that make the old man go “ouch” as something is put off, as we are formed, as we are sanctified, and grown. We are “being”…present tense…an ongoing process!

      Does that clarify…or muddy up…my original offering? These Echoes of Encouragement From Ephesians are the bare bones of a workbook, so your thoughts, your correction, your clarifications are gifts that are gratefully received. Happy New Year to you also. May this New Year in your life be a tremendous adventure in grace upon grace!

      ~cc

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