May 2009

The purpose of the Monthly View is to remind you how the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sees things, because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Long ago, the prophet Micah cried: “Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity…because You delight in mercy…You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”1

Dealing with Memories

On a recent doctor’s appointment, the physician said, “Can I ask you a personal question?” I agreed, so he asked: “How do you deal with memories?” I let him know of my faith in the blood and righteousness of Christ. I explained to him how I take authority over thoughts, reminding myself that I am a new man because of Christ and that old things are passed away,2 now an entirely new identity from God’s word rules my mind.

As the analogy goes, “Birds may fly over your head, but you don’t have to let them build a nest in your hair.” It is the same with thoughts. They will come up, but you don’t have to let them rule your mind, emotions, and actions. “Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts…and let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise.”3

The secret is simply to cast down foolish thoughts and to replace them with God’s word. The Apostle Paul explained how a war is going on for our mind, saying: “We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods. We use God’s mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil’s strongholds. With these weapons we break down every proud argument [imagination] that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons, we conquer their rebellious ideas [even memories], and we teach them to obey Christ.”4

Be Covenant Minded

Dealing with memories is not easy, unless you receive a new heart and mind from God. The prophet Jeremiah spoke of a new covenant, saying: “I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people…for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD, For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”5

As I reflect upon my life, there are many more good memories than there are bad ones. Besides, if God does not remember my sins, why should I. It is understandable to remember your sins if you have not received pardon and forgiveness from God, but “…if you confess your sins to God, He is faithful and just to forgive you and to cleanse you from every wrong.”6

After you receive Christ, it is your responsibility to renew your mind from bad memories with God’s covenant. I pray that you may “…be filled with joy, always thanking the Father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance that belongs to God’s holy people, who live in the light. For God has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and He has brought us into the Kingdom of His dear Son. God has purchased our freedom with His blood and has forgiven all our sins.”7

In Remembrance

Many of you took communion last month at the Easter service. You may recall the words of Jesus, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Let me refresh your memory: “And Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it and gave it to them saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ Likewise, He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.’”8

It is very important to take communion in remembrance of Jesus, not in remembrance of your sin. The Apostle Paul teaches: “For if you eat and drink the cup unworthily [not understanding the Lord’s body], you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. That is why many of you are weak and sick and some even died. But if we examine ourselves [in Christ], we will not be examined by God and judged in this way.”9

Next time you take communion, do not examine your sin, but remember your righteousness, because of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”10 The Apostle Paul says, “Examine yourself to see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is in you, it means you have failed the test. I hope you recognize that we have passed the test and are approved by God.”11

Receive A Pure Heart

As you see, memories can be thoughts of past sins. We overcome them by remembering our identity with Christ’s righteousness, because of our new covenant with God through the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Similarly, the law of God brings a sin consciousness to mind, whereas the Holy Spirit brings a righteous consciousness. Jesus taught, “…when the Holy Spirit comes, He will convince the world of sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.”12

The Psalmist David is an example of one who cried out to God in his sin, saying: “For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me…Purify me from my sins, and I will be clear, wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh give me back my joy again, you have broken me—now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.”13

The Lord desires to give all of us a pure heart, clean of guilt, shame and past memories of sin. David was “Under the old system [law and ordinances], the blood of goats and bulls…could cleanse people’s bodies from ritual defilement. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our hearts from deeds that lead to death [sin consciousness] so that we can worship the living God. For by the eternal Spirit, Christ offered Himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.”14

A Prayer For You ...

Father, Your Son, Jesus told us that if two of us agree down here on earth concerning anything we ask, that You would do it for us. I agree with Charles that Christ’s body and blood cleansed my heart from past memories of sin. I take authority over these memories in Christ and declare that I am right with God because of the blood of Christ. I commit to remembering moment by moment that the body and blood of Jesus Christ provided my healing and forgiveness of sin. I thank you Father for my freedom from sin’s penalty. I rejoice in my salvation. Thank you Jesus and Holy Spirit for living in and through me! Amen!

Scripture References:

1 Micah 7:18, 19
2 2 Cor. 5:17
3 Col. 3:15, 16
4 2 Cor. 10:3-5
5 Jere. 31:33, 34
6 1 John 1:9
7 Col. 1:11-14
8 Luke 22:19, 20
9 1 Cor. 11:29-31
10 2 Cor. 5:21
11 2 Cor. 13:5, 6
12 John 16:8
13 Psa. 51:5-10
14 Heb. 9:13, 14

Acknowledgement: A special thanks to Sherry for transcribing this months view!