Times of Remembrance and Reflection
Our daily routines that are wrapped up in the cares of this world can often have a way of consuming not only our time, but our thoughts as well, and those prompt our actions. When our routines consume our time, we can find ourselves deprived of one of the most important provisions for peace and health that God has made available to us. That is, turning our minds from the cares of this world to consider Jesus.
“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. Hebrews 12:3
I like this translation best.
“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Hebrews 12:3
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah. 26:3
The good news is this. It’s totally up to us what we choose to think about. The business of life can drain us of peace and rob of us health. But, taking time to turn away from the cares of this world [Mark 4:18-19] and turn our thoughts to the consideration of Jesus, His Words, His calling on our lives, and His will for us, adds life to us and gives purpose and meaning to our days that no amount of worldly hand-wringing or fretting could ever begin to do. We can pursue noble or altruistic causes, but if those are robbing us of our time with the Lord then they need to be put into proper perspective, if we are going to carry them out without losing our peace and joy.
When we consider Jesus, it puts into perspective the relatively minor importance of the fleeting urgencies of government edicts and economic woes, and unrest in the social fabric of the nation. Ask yourself, what were three things that were so imminently urgent last week, last month, or last year that you can recall today? And if you can recall them, in what ways did they enrich or enhance your life? In what ways did they bring a sense of peace, hope and joy to your life? Did they motivate you to good works, or just leave you tense, frustrated or angry?
If the latter is the case, then why are so many people seemingly addicted to them or to being tense, frustrated, and angry? Because that is what we have come to expect to result from being addicted to media programing, whether as news or entertainment, so called, or both. The present political and social media programing is designed to keep us engage 24-7 so that the more we consume the more we want or feel we must have. Thus, little by little we surrender ourselves to the control of the ungodly rulers, principalities, and powers that the Scriptures warn us to avoid and resist.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
In another place it is written:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:7-8
As the children of God, we have been given such an array of resources to make our lives rich and fulfilling, just as God intended for them to be.
He promised it in Deuteronomy 28:1-14
“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God: “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. “The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. “The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you. And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. So, you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them. ” Deuteronomy 28:14
This is God’s covenant promise to Israel and through them to us through our faith in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.
But many Christians who claim a relationship with Christ tend to go out of their way to deny His blessings and promises, seeking rather to align themselves with the world’s ways, seeking wealth, riches and power by their schemes and human devices alone. They criticize and dismiss those who preach the whole Good News of God. They limit Him to the abilities of their hands and their reason alone, not being willing to humble themselves before Him and receive the truth of His Word by faith. The one who leads this deception and rebellion is the devil, the spirit of sin and death, who seeks to keep people in bondage to poverty, sickness, unrest, and death.
These principalities and powers are in the world, and for the present time they have control of the world’s systems, economically, politically, socially, and physically. They boast of their exalted, enlightened intellectual and academic positions of wisdom and understanding that in their warped depraved minds makes them think they are superior to everyone else. They sought first to rid the world of Jesus on the cross. Now they seek to rid themselves of His people by whatever means they deem necessary. But all their efforts will ultimately come to naught.
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” Romans 1:21-23
“However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:10
The devices of the devil, and of those who represent him, have been exposed, and now we see them for what they truly are. The evidence of them is all around, but they are beginning to unravel, and their mechanisms are beginning to lose their impact as more and more people have their eyes opened to the truth.
Take heart! God’s plans will not be thwarted or delayed, and His care and provision for us will not be diminished. Let us therefore keep our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith and keep running our race to win. The battle is the Lord’s, but the victory is ours.
Further Study: See: Psalm 11:10; Isaiah 11:1-4; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 2:2-8; Proverbs 3:7; Proverbs 9:10; 1 Peter 2:11; Romans 12:16; Acts 9:31