I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. (Philippians 1:3)
It will be the tenth anniversary of my mother’s passing on the 21st of November 2019. I do thank my God in all my remembrance of her. She was a special lady who, in many ways, was the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31. Her impact on my life, my brother’s life, and my father’s life was profound. “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” (Proverbs 31:28) This verse is what I cited at her memorial service, and we did stand for her.
What remembrance have we, as individuals and as the Lord’s church in my city/in your city, left with others? In the church, what memory and impact have we left with those who visit us; with those who were members and moved on to a career opportunity; with those young people who left for college or trade school, the military or the work force; with those who got married and left home to start their own families?
An excerpt of Paul’s letter to the Philippians:
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel thus about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:3-11)
Can it be said, individually and in my church and in your church, that we began a “good work” and “will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ?” Will the “good work” dwell in the hearts of those who move to a new location that they, too, “will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ?”
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, 4 by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. 5 For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1: 3-8)
12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these things, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body,[d] to arouse you by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 And I will see to it that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. (2 Peter 1: 12-15)
We need reminders to keep us focused on our purpose of serving Christ and serving others through Him. Many aspects of our life today draw us away from remembrance of how we must live and work for the Lord. The television in our living room, the movie posters outside the theater, the purposeful placement of items for sale at stores, the magazines at the checkout aisle, the language we hear around us, the internet posts, and more all test our remembrance of how we should act, speak, think, and live.
Who will be the remembrance of Him? We must show Christ to the world, to our neighbors, to our families and friends, and to our brothers and sisters in Him through our lives. In us, He lives as we follow the Word and show that Word to those we encounter, that they will remember and follow through in their own lives, showing Christ to those they encounter.
Paul’s letter to the Philippians reminds us that we need to pray for each other. Peter’s letter reminds us that we must hold ourselves to “faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness.” The reminders of remembrance are crucial to helping us sustain our commitment to Christ.
My mother developed Alzheimer’s in the latter years of her life. During those twelve years, she had a progressive loss of memory to the point of not even recognizing herself in the mirror. One day, as she looked into the mirror, she offered a friendly, gracious invite to that person she saw in the reflection to come into the room, welcoming her with a smile, a gesture, and the greeting “You can come in.” The remembrance of the identity, personality, and essence of my mother was still present within and that came through outwardly in that moment and many others. She still touched lives around her at church, in the mobile park, in the nursing home—and yet today and still tomorrow.
I believe what we place securely in our hearts will not be lost. What we develop within ourselves will come through outwardly in our actions and words and how we live. If Christ is within us by our need and desire for Him to be there, He will not be moved, even by a memory disease like Alzheimer’s.
The remembrance will remain.
(Sharon G. Tate blog 11/17/19) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word