A Shepherd's Heart
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A Shepherd's Heart
Does your memory mirror God’s? It should.
by GBC Ministry
In a sermon entitled "The Pilgrim's Grateful Recollections," Charles Haddon Spurgeon said
We trace our joys in the sand, but we write our afflictions on marble. We forget the streams of mercy, never ceasing, which flow so continually parallel with our pathway. If we thus ungratefully forget, it should cause us serious reflections, when we see that God does not forget.
Moses reminded the generation that was to go into the promised land of the mercies God had provided to them to provoke them to obey His commands for His honor and their blessing, declaring
[He] fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. (Deuteronomy 8:3b-6)
Unfortunately, his exhortation went unheeded. Though they fed from the bounty of the infinite blessings of God’s table, they ultimately became unthankful, unmindful of His grace and mercy. Their love for the temporal blessings slew their love for the Great Giver of “every good gift and every perfect gift” (James 1:17). The “good” became the enemy of the “best,” and God let “everyone” know in no uncertain terms that such unthankfulness did not please Him.
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
Believers, let us not be as Israel was. Rather, let us be thankful for the many and wonderful mercies with which our life is blessed, always remembering that it is not our skills, our efforts that enrich our life. Rather, it is our Lord and Savior
… who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
And should His supply ever not satisfy our carnal, short-sighted standard, may we be humbled by His unfailing love and wisdom which is reflected in both David’s inspired recollection and the Lord’s comforting assurance to His disciples.
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. (Psalms 37:25)
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7)
So, like God, let us remember all the mercies He bestows on us today and every day. Let us sincerely praise Him for such wondrous grace, for
It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
But did you know that there is something that Omniscience chooses to NOT remember?
he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. (Isaiah 43:25)
My spirit is blessed as I think on this, and I find myself humbly reflecting with the apostle John
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: (1 John 3:1a)
What incomprehensible grace. What infinite love. What matchless assurance.
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. (Psalms 32:1-2)
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth,
great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west,
far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:10-12)
Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18-19)
So, here is something we should NOT remember, should not dwell on: our forgiven sins. Satan would bombard our minds with their memory in his attempt to steal our peace and joy. And, in my case, he has much ammunition, for they are certainly many and onerous. But, like the apostle Paul,
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. (1 Timothy 1:12-16)
Praise the Lord. Though I was once a chief sinner, I am now a son of God! And if you know the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior, so are you. As God’s sons, we have an equal heirship with Jesus Christ of the glory of heaven and eternity, an heirship He purchased for us with His own precious blood. With such an exalted position, it would be an affront to God, and a diminution of the cross work of Christ, to look back rather than forward, to allow the shame of our past failings to diminish in any way the glory of His saving grace. So, like the apostle of grace, let us resolve to “soldier on” with all holy confidence,
forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, [pressing] toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13b-14)
In every thing [giving] thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Grace Bible Church :-: (217) 200-2232 :-: 3900 N Willow Rd Urbana, P.O. Box 303, IL 61803 :-: pastor (at) gbcurbana.com