Scripture Reference: (Jeremiah 2:2, KJV)
Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.
So, let’s get into today’s message, and see what we can learn from Oswald Chambers today.
Today’s Message: “Recall What God Remembers”
You know, it’s interesting to me that we are so good at remembering what God forgets, but not very good at remembering what God remembers. We think so much (and I’m included in the “we” here) about who we used to be and the things that we did before Jesus became our Savior, and eventually Lord of our lives. But we rarely think about what God remembers, and before you religious folk talk about how He remembers us before we came to Jesus…read your Bibles. The Word of God is clear that the moment our sin is covered with the Blood of Jesus they are remembered no more…and for the record I don’t believe your opinion I believe the Word of God.
You read that correctly. I think surrendering to the lordship of Jesus is part of that sanctification process. It takes a while to get used to surrendering the lordship of your life because I don’t know…maybe I’m the only one…but for the majority of my life…I was in the one in charge. Granted I didn’t do such a fantastic job, but the truth is if God isn’t in charge then someone is…and that someone is you and your flesh. You can either be ruled by your flesh or the spirit…it’s a choice…and that choice continues once you’re saved. At any moment I can choose to do things my way or God’s way. So, that’s where things like trusting the Lord with all our hearts, acknowledging Him in all our ways, and laying down our will for His guidance and direction so that HE will direct our paths, and all those scriptures come in to play.
Giving up lordship of our lives to Jesus…well…if no one else will be honest and say it…I will. Making Jesus Lord isn’t quite as easy as making Him our Savior, is it? That’s the easy part because no one really wants to spend eternity in hell. I have read that not all atheists believe in the devil because to believe in satan would imply that there’s a God. Yes, some choose to worship the devil defiantly, but for the most part atheists and agnostics are the same because they believe in nothing at all.
Anyways, no one really wants to go to hell…especially those of us who really believe there is one because we believe the Bible…and if the Word of God says there’s a place called hell, and people who don’t have Jesus as their Lord and Savior will be going there…I don’t know about anyone else…but I don’t want to be stuck in a place of sheer torment for all of eternity.
What if the only thing you see for all of eternity is the moment that you could’ve accepted Jesus, and not had to worry about going there? What if the only thing you see for all of eternity is what your life would’ve been like had you chosen Jesus? I don’t want to be or go anywhere that I’m separated from God’s Presence for ever and ever and ever…and ever.
One last thing before we move on and back to the message, but have you ever thought about eternity and how long that is? Even if the earth is “millions” of years old like the evolutionists say…that’s still mere seconds in the scope of eternity. Think about that. Most evolutionists believe the earth is hundreds of millions of years old, and in reality…in the scope of eternity….hundreds of millions of years is barely just the beginning. You can add hundreds of millions to hundreds of billions and trillions…and still not have enough to measure one second of eternity.
So, I choose to be a whosoever that’s called upon the name of the Lord to be saved partially because when I think about what I just wrote…I don’t know about anyone else…but eternity is an awful long time to live with the regret of not making one simple decision…to believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ came to earth, died and rose again so that you would be able to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
It goes without saying. I’d rather be wrong believing there’s a Heaven that I’m going to find out there’s nothing…then to believe there’s nothing that I’m going to and find out there really is a heaven and a hell.
Okay. Back to the real message now…
Am I as spontaneously kind to God as I used to be, or am I only expecting God to be kind to me?
I think for a moment I want to look at that word “expecting”, and use it in the context of a mother expecting a baby. However, before I do that I would just like to offer a word of caution…expecting something from God by faith is a lot different from expecting something from God because you think you deserve it.
Listen. None of us deserve anything but death from God. Seriously, friends. When I think of the crap I did before Jesus took over my life there’s no way I can look at that and expect God to do things for me because I deserve them. No…I deserve death, hell, and the grave…but Jesus defeated those things out of God’s grace and mercy so that I could have the things I don’t deserve instead of the things I do.
You know what, I’m going to stick with that point because I feel like there’s this whole segment of the Body of Christ that’s gotten prideful with what they’re expecting God to do for them not because they really believe by faith that He will, but because they believe in their pride that they are entitled to or deserve to have God do whatever it is they’re wanting from Him…like God is a genie in a bottle that will grant you all of your wishes…and that He won’t require anything of you in return. How prideful can you be with God? He’s not a genie…He is the GREAT I AM…and if you think for one moment that God is obligated to do anything for you…if you think you’re entitled because you’ve been in ministry for a decade…you had better check your Bibles and repent because God owes you NOTHING!!!
Whoa! Can you get anymore prideful than to believe God owes you something? I can’t. I don’t believe for a moment that God owes me anything, but a trip straight to hell…but I am not going there because of what HE did for me. Listen, God already did something that we cannot ever repay, and for anyone to think that God owes them because of their years of service or belief…think again…God owes us NOTHING.
Listen. If you can’t enter a day thinking that you owe God the rest of your life because of what He did for you instead of God owing you something because of what you’re doing for Him…you have some messed up thinking and theology…and I frankly have serious doubt that you’re really a Christian or have read the Bible…because if you can read the Bible and walk away from it believing God owes you something…then you’re seriously delusional and should probably talk to someone about that…because as I’ve said several times and I’m going to say it again…God owes us NOTHING.
I am appalled that I actually had to take time to write about that because if I’m writing it that means the Holy Ghost has dealt unsuccessfully with people on this very thing. They’ve become so prideful because of their service that they believe God owes them some “kick backs”.
I would suggest you get your Bible out, and read about how things really work in God’s Kingdom. I’d also suggest that you get it in your head that everything is God’s Kingdom. None of this belongs to any of us…it all belongs to Him…and one day if you don’t change your tune…you’re not going to belong to Him…and you’re going to be one of the many who spend all of eternity regretting that you somehow came to the conclusion that God owes you some kick backs because He allowed you to open a church…that you don’t allow Him into anyways because of your swelled up head.
Okay, I’m going somewhere and I don’t know why…but the Holy Ghost has me here and for a moment longer I have to stay here. You got a few hundred people in your building, and you think all those people belong to you? Whoa, preacher.
One of the very first things God told me when He called me into the ministry was that the sheep (people) that He leads to my ministry aren’t my sheep…they are His. The sheep belong to Him. I am being entrusted by Him to feed and nurture and care for them…until He comes back to reclaim them.
Those people in that building of yours…they’re not yours…they’re His, and further more that ministry that you’re called to isn’t yours either. The ministry, the people, the talents, and the Holy Ghost filled Bible messages you used to preach…those aren’t yours either. You didn’t get them by your power and might, but God’s….And shame on you if you’re so prideful that you believe God owes you anything but eternity in hell. Shame on you for thinking that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection was just a stepping stone for you to get where you were trying to go.
All that you have and are is because of Jesus. All I have and am is because of Jesus. I deserve nothing of what I’ve received as a result of turning my will and my life over to Him. All that I am and have is only because of the grace, mercy, faithful workmanship, and love of God…and instead of believing He owes me anything. I have committed myself to doing the best I can for the rest of my life to do everything I can for His glory and not my own.
Okay, let’s get back to the message.
Does everything in my life fill His heart with gladness, or do I constantly complain because things don’t seem to be going my way? A person who has forgotten what God treasures will not be filled with joy. It is wonderful to remember that Jesus Christ has needs which we can meet—“Give Me a drink” (John 4:7). How much kindness have I shown Him in the past week? Has my life been a good reflection on His reputation?
Whoa! There’s a lot of good stuff right there, isn’t there? I think some times that we tend to forget that whenever we do anything to someone else…we do those things to Jesus also. I have to admit that I do, and I can also admit that I don’t always treat people the way I would treat Jesus. However, the Bible says that whatever we do to the least of people…we have also done unto Jesus. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel a little bit of conviction when I think about how I tend to treat people…forgetting that how I treat them is exactly how I’m treating Jesus. Anyone else need to say a quick prayer asking Jesus to forgive you for how you’re treating not only the people you’re mistreating…but for mistreating Jesus?
How much kindness have I shown Him? Has my life been a reflection on His reputation (not ours)? Does everything in my life fill HIS heart with gladness (not ours)? Do I constantly complain because things aren’t going my way?
A person who has forgotten what God treasures will not be filled with joy.
Have you forgotten what God treasures? If you don’t have any joy in your life…it’s a pretty good indication that you’re treasures have taken the place of His.
God is saying to His people, “You are not in love with Me now, but I remember a time when you were.” He says, “I remember . . . the love of your betrothal . . .” (Jeremiah 2:2). Am I as filled to overflowing with love for Jesus Christ as I was in the beginning, when I went out of my way to prove my devotion to Him? Does He ever find me pondering the time when I cared only for Him? Is that where I am now, or have I chosen man’s wisdom over true love for Him? Am I so in love with Him that I take no thought for where He might lead me? Or am I watching to see how much respect I get as I measure how much service I should give Him?
I don’t ever want God to say to me that I’m not in love with Him, and I don’t ever want to get to a place where I forget what He has done in me, with me, and through me. I certainly don’t know that I’ve learned to love to overflowing until my daughter was born. I have since learned that I had a limit to my love, and that means I even limited my love for God…because of the fact that the way I love people reflects upon the way I love God.
The questions here are fantastic for taking a self inventory. I’m going to have to re-read this message and maybe use these questions to take an inventory of where I’m at. It’s possible that we might see these questions again at the end of this message.
As I recall what God remembers about me, I may also begin to realize that He is not what He used to be to me. When this happens, I should allow the shame and humiliation it creates in my life, because it will bring godly sorrow, and “godly sorrow produces repentance . . .” (2 Corinthians 7:10).
I don’t ever want to reach a place where God isn’t what He used to be to me. I love my time with Him, and I wouldn’t trade encountering Him for anything. That being said, if I’m being honest I can admit that my love for God at times can some times cool to lukewarm. I do have to say that God will warn me when I’m reaching the lukewarm stage, and I’m glad He does because I surely don’t want to be the kind of Christian that Jesus would vomit from.
Like Mr. Chambers wrote, however, when I’m faced with God’s warning that my love for Him has grown colder…I know that when I am willing to be honest and confess that to Him that He is faithful and just to forgive me just like He said He would through John.
I’ve grown to like closing these messages by giving Mr. Chambers the last words, and I told you that you might see these again. I heard the Holy Ghost clearly when He said close this message with these…and that’s exactly what I am going to do.
Am I as filled to overflowing with love for Jesus Christ as I was in the beginning, when I went out of my way to prove my devotion to Him? Does He ever find me pondering the time when I cared only for Him? Is that where I am now, or have I chosen man’s wisdom over true love for Him? Am I so in love with Him that I take no thought for where He might lead me? Or am I watching to see how much respect I get as I measure how much service I should give Him?
Lord, how I long for You to bring me face to face with Yourself! My soul thirsts for You, for the touch of Your grace, the breathing of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name. Amen & Amen.
The closing prayer reminds me of one of my favorite songs from Misty Edwards. The words “My Soul Longs For You” echo throughout the song, and while it’s really a powerful song full of the anointing of the Holy Ghost…it’s a reminder of the Psalmist writing that as the deer pants for the water so my soul longs after You.
That’s what we’re talking about. I want my love for God to always be burning full of passion because His love for me is always burning with passion. I want to love Jesus the way He loves me. I want to think of Jesus the way He thought of me when He was on His way to Calvary. I never want to be in a complacent place with God, and allow my love and passion for Him to grow cold.
As I’ve said before serving God is fun, but it’s no substitute for sitting at the Master’s feet and being in His Presence. I hope that by the end of this series being at His feet and in His Presence will be more of the normal instead of the exception.
Oh, and that expecting thing. When a soon to be mother is carrying her child…she’s expecting a baby to be born at the end of her pregnancy. That is how we need to be with God. When He plants something in our hearts be it a vision, a call to serve, or simply someone to pray for…we need to respond to Him with the same expectancy as that expecting mother.
Expecting what? For God to move and do something awesome. I didn’t know what God was going to do in and through my life because of this ministry, but I knew that if God was calling me to it…that He would turn it into something beyond what I could imagine…and He has.
I’ve said in many a message when I began I thought I’d reach my family, a few high school friends, and that would be about it. My level of expectation was too low, and God made sure that I knew it was. In two years, God’s taken my ministry from barely having anyone read my messages to having them read literally around the world…and being used in nations to teach their native people.
I don’t know who this last line is for, but I believe the Lord is saying to many of you through this message. You’ve been impregnated with a dream, goal, or call from God…and you need to expect that what God gave you He is going to do things in, with, and through your life that are beyond your imagination.
Just embrace what He’s calling you to do. Trusting God with the results, and obeying what He’s asking you to do…it really is the only way…and if you’ll do that…what happens will blow you away and bless your socks off.
God bless you and thank you for being a part of the Christlike Ministries NWA family. I truly love and am thankful for all of you.
Bryan J. Kizer
Pastor/Founder Christlike Ministries NWA