3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.— Titus 3:3-5a NIV
We are often reminded of the things we did in the past. The thing that causes us to remember can be a single word, a song, a picture, a place, a taste, or a chance meeting with someone we used to know. Even though there is no situation that can ever be duplicated exactly as we remember it, the memories sometimes cause a great longing in us for “the good ole days”. But, as Christians, we need to be very selective in the memories we hold onto. Very few memories are neutral, they remind us of good times or bad times. They also remind us of the evil that was in us before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and hopefully, as our Lord. If we can use our memories and experiences to glorify God, that is a wonderful thing. But we should be careful that when rehearsing our memories that they don’t give more glory to a sinful way of life than they do to the one who gave His life that we might have a glorious future with Him.
38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.— Luke 8:38, 39 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
God knows that we have work to do and relationships to maintain, so how can we “always” be giving thanks? I think we have to put this verse with the verse in 1 Thess. 5:17 where Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing”. To give God thanks always and to pray without ceasing are not commands for us to go around orally praying and giving thanks at all times. Neither do our prayers and thanksgiving have to be with lots of fancy words. One of my favorite prayers in the Bible is Peter’s prayer when he takes his eyes off Jesus and starts to sink in the sea. “Lord, save me”. That prayer was very short and effective. Our lifestyle, which is determined by our thought patterns, should always be one that is ready to pray and give thanks. We should be as quick to say “Thank you, Lord” in the good times as we are to say “Save me, Lord” in the rough times.
1. I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.–Psalm 34:1 (ESV)
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,–Psalm 63:3-5 (ESV)
8 Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard–Psalm 66:8 (ESV)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Psalm 103: 1-5 (NLT)
1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s
In Isaiah 46, God reminds us to “Remember the former things of old, for I am God and there is none else…” . Sometimes we forget who it is that has created us, redeemed us, and kept us safe and secure. We get that big swell of pride that “we” have done all of this and God has to remind us that He is the Creator and He is still in charge. In Psalm 19:13, we are reminded that one of the most troublesome areas for Christians is the “presumptuous” sins. Presuming that we know God’s plan or that we have a better plan. But here in Psalm 103, we see the proper relationship that we should have with God. We should always be in a state of prayer and praise for all the good things that God has done for us. When we focus on these things, our lives are truly filled with good things and we feel as if we could fly on eagle’s wings. Praising God brings an overflowing joy to our Spirits and causes our bodies to be renewed. Rejoice for “this is the day that the Lord has made.”