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Lord, Remember Me
April 7, 2004
Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
My mother died recently. She was 93 ½. Weíve been going through dresser drawers, closets, even the kitchen cupboards, finding pictures, old news articles, and all kinds of mementos. As we uncovered boxes of family history, my daughter Joanna had questions. I had stories, and I also had some questions. I couldnít say what, when, where, or who. Some stories hadnít been toldÖto me, anyway. Yet there were many moments of "remember this?" and zing. There it was as if it were yesterday.
God has a few things He wants us to remember, too. We are to remember the Lord our God, remember Lotís wife, remember the poor. God remembers, too. God remembers His covenant and His holy promise. God remembers His steadfast love and His mercy. We like this, and so the criminal being crucified alongside Jesus cried out to Him saying, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." What did he want? What does it mean to remember, and forget, in the Bible?
Well, it wasnít limited to having something or someone skip out of mind or no longer having any consciousness of a thing. To the Hebrew mind, to forget someone meant to annihilate that person, obliterate and destroy him. And remembering wasnít merely about recall and sharing little stories. It meant bringing a past event up into the present so that it would continue to be an operative reality now. Live the same reality. Re-enter, if you please, the event so that what has happened in the past continues to be a present and living reality now.
At Passover, then, each family and each generation are urged to remember and thus live the reality of a great deliverance from the Almighty. Experience it. Touch it. Tap into a similar gratitude. Walk out the same obedience. Leave the place of slavery.
When God says He remembers, He is saying that He will not annihilate us, obliterate us. He will not break His covenant or His covenant promises. They remain a living reality, something forever operative. God remembers His steadfast love and mercy. Yet He blots out our transgressions for His sake. He does not remember our sins. He "forgets" them, i.e., obliterates them deliberately. Itís not that God is absent-minded. Rather He says that the sin is no longer going to be a living reality in determining oneís standing before Him or affecting relationship with Him. In this His kindness leads to repentance, and in His grace, He grants repentance unto life such that repentant people find their sins are "remembered no more."
Did the criminal dying next to Jesus show any repentance? I think he did. He rebuked the other criminal who mocked Jesus. He demonstrated that he feared God and knew he deserved to die while Jesus didnít. And when he cries out to Jesus, "Lord, remember meÖ" he is making a plea for the mercy of God. He is saying, "Donít let me be obliterated, but blot out my transgressions." In effect, this criminal was acknowledging his sin, his spiritual disorder, in order to have his sins obliterated and himself saved. There was a remembering (of sin) followed by a plea for mercy (remember me) with the hope that God would remember His steadfast love and forget (obliterate) his sins. (Luke 23.39-42)
Hate evil. Cling to what is good. God remembers His steadfast love and mercy, His covenant and holy promises. We are likewise to remember the Lord our God even as we remember our sins and iniquities that we might seek for the mercy that obliterates them.
Jesus Christ made the ultimate sacrifice, the costliest sacrifice, the offering up of Himself, for the sake of justice and peace. By the sacrifice of the cross, Jesus secured our justification before God and our salvation. We are to "show forth the Lordís death until He comes." We are to remember, to make sure that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is not blotted out, annihilated, rendered of no account. We are to make that sacrifice a living, operative reality and a determining truth in our lives now.
As I spent hours pouring over family history stuff, I asked God to help me remember and forget as both pleasant and painful experiences re-entered the present. I asked God for the grace to forgive and obliterate the sins and iniquities of the family and for the grace to remember the heart of God in His steadfast love and mercy. I prayed, "Lord, remember. And please, forgive. Help me also to remember and forgive, and forget." I found the poison of the pain being drawn out as sins were blotted out of the history. And what was left was good.
Pastor Jim and I thank you for your faithfulness, your commitment to Jesus, and your gifts to Mary Craig Ministries. Your gifts of love enable us to continue ministering to those coming to Craighouse and to expand the Barnabas Project and our home visitation ministry.
We have a mission team going to Peru this month, the first mission trip by "lay people." I will be taking a mission team to Africa in August and need your help! We need your prayers. We need funds. We need clothing for 100 children ages 5-20 who are ministered to by the Ebenezer Orphanage in Livingstone, Zambia. Some of these children, 48 of them, are living in the streets because there isnít enough space at the orphanage. We will be taking "stuff" with us when we go there to minister. Will you help? Even gift cards from places like Wal-Mart or Target help us to buy things for the children.
The anointing has never been stronger, and many coming are being born again and healed by the Lord. More are ministering, able to use their gifts and anointing to benefit each other in our meetings and worship times. We are growing, as more and more people are bringing people to the help and hope that are in Jesus, to the refuge that is Craighouse.
As a ministry, MCM supports six other ministries financially as part of our tithe and financial outreach. We support ministries dealing with the homeless, unwed mothers, orphans, care of animals, the operation of Bible clubs in public schools, and the church in persecution. One of the ministries we support, Advocates International, wrote recently about "miracles in slow motion." This is so true. I see people expecting a miracle from God, something instantaneous, something requiring little more than a handshake. And sometimes it happens! But mostly, itís "miracles in slow motion." Itís God moving purposefully and persistently to perform miracles of grace in peopleís lives. It is this atmosphere of grace that draws people to Craighouse and Mary Craig Ministries.
In addition to marycraig.org, you can now reach us on the web via craighouse.us. Our site has over 250 pages of free material from which you may glean much insight into God and His Word. People email us from all over the world and many come for ministry because of the web site. Thereís always an events calendar kept current and a map telling you how to find Craighouse. You can read "war stories" and recollect past mission trips to more than 50 nations and all seven continents.
By His grace,
P.S. Craighouse is located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Check out the Craighouse Calendar for a map to Craighouse, the Teaching Catalog section, and more on remembrance. Read what God has done in Madagascar and pray for what He will do in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Please, will you remember the children in Zambia this month?
But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry,
By how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant,
Which was established upon better promisesÖ
And I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a peopleÖ
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,
and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. (Hebrews 8.6, 10b, 12)
Things to Remember
Remember this day, in which you came out from Egypt.(Exodus 13.3)
Remember the Sabbath day.(Exodus 20.8)
Remember all the commandments of the LORD.(Numbers 15.39)
Remember that you were a bondman.(Deut. 5.15)
Remember all the way which the LORD your God led you.(Deut. 8.2)
Remember the days of old.(Deut. 32.7)
Remember Godís marvelous works.(1 Chron. 16.12)
Remember that my life is wind.(Job 7.7)
Remember the name of the LORD.(Psalm 20.7)
Remember the LORD upon your bed.(Psalm 63.6)
Remember Godís name in the night.(Psalm 119.55)
Remember Zion and weep.(Psalm 137.1)
Remember now your Creator.(Eccles. 12.1)
Remember love.(Song of Songs 1.4)
Remember the word of Jesus.(Matt. 26.75)
Remember Lotís wife.(Luke 17.32)
Remember the word Jesus says to you.(John 15.20; Acts 11.16; 20.35)
Remember the poor.(Galatians 2.10)
Remember Paulís bonds.(Colossians 4.18)
Remember without ceasing works of faith.(1 Thess. 1.3)
Remember those that are in bonds.(Hebrews 13.3)
Remembers those who have the rule over you.(Hebrews 13.7)
Remember from whence you art fallen.(Revelation 2.5)
Remember how you have received and heard and hold
Fast and repent.(Revelation 3.3)
God remembers His covenant forever.(Psalm 105.8)
God remembers us in our low estate.(Psalm 136.23)
In wrath, God remembers mercy.(Hab. 3.2)
God remembers. He does not forget the cry of the humble.(Psalm 9.12)
God remembers the covenant, and the land.(Leviticus 26.42)
Your sins and your iniquities, God will remember no more.(Hebrews 8.12)
(as you repent, and place your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior)
Copyright © 2004 Mary Craig Ministries, Inc.
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