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We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe

posted @ 6/09/2002 08:46:00 AM - 0 comments - share your thoughts

By: Rommel B. Escoto
(This was Rommel's 2nd Year Anniversary Message to Lingkod QC; taken from the Souvenir Program for "2Gether, We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe", E-Night, June 2002. Grateful acknowledgment is made by Rommel to the Devotional Experiencing God by H.T. Blackaby for the inspiration for this exhortation.)

We Remember

“Go and cry in the hearing of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your betrothal, when you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.’” – Jeremiah 2:2

Remembering is always a big part of any religious celebration. The Holy Mass is a remembrance of God’s work in saving us through His Son. In the olden times, the feast of the Passover is also a remembrance of how God delivered the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt. So many of our celebrations involve remembering of God’s saving deeds. I believe that one of the greatest disservices we can do to our God is to forget what He has done, and to forget who He is.

In Jeremiah, God shared himself with His people. He remembered how it was like when His people first realized His love for them, and they for Him. He remembered the kind of love they had for Him: like a new bride for her husband, looking forward to a life full of joy with him. He recalled the obedient love they had for Him, one that is willing to follow the Master wherever He led them. He wanted them to remember the fervor of their first love for Him, so that the fire of their devotion will once again be enkindled.

I believe the Lord wants us to remember the same thing. So let’s ask ourselves:

· Do I remember the joy that filled my soul when I first invited Him to be the Lord of my life (my experience in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit)?
· Do I recall my commitments to Him, promising to follow Him wherever He leads me to go?
· Do I remember the gladness I experience every time God shows more of His nature and character to me?

These are what we are going to do this month as we have our 2nd anniversary. We will recall two things: God’s saving deeds, and our love for Him. Let us always exert effort in remembering, for in recalling God’s goodness, we will see how blessed we are. By remembering, we will see God’s great love for each one of us and for the whole community, as we experienced them firsthand. And by remembering how it was like when we first began loving Him, we will rekindle our devotion and commitment to Him.

We Celebrate

“But now I come to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.” -- John 17:13

In celebration, there must be joy. If there is anything that ought to characterize the life of a Christian, it is joy! Jesus said that He came so that we may find joy and have it to the full. It is His will that we live a joy-filled life!

His disciples lived a joyful life as they took on their God-centered identity: children of God and co-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:16-17). They were once dead (in spirit) but now alive in Christ (Rom 6:4). Before, they were inevitable preys of death, but now, in Jesus, it could no longer harm them (1 Cor 15:55-58).

As one Christian writer said, “Don’t deny yourself that which is your birthright as a child of God. Don’t be satisfied with a joyless life. There ought to be in every Christian a deep, settled fullness of joy of Christ that no circumstance of life can dispel. This comes as you allow the Holy Spirit to express Himself in your life. One of the fruits of the Spirit is joy."

Jesus did not pray that you would merely be happy or even that you would escape grief. He prayed that you would have the same joy that the Father had given Him: a divine joy, a joy that comes from a deep and unwavering relationship with the Father. It is a joy that is grounded so firmly in a relationship with God that no change in circumstances could ever shake it.”

Brothers and sisters, when we celebrate this month, let’s celebrate not because of our accomplishments, not because of our good number, not because of our great gifts, nor because of our drop-dead good looks, but let’s celebrate because God has invited us in a relationship with Him, and consequently granted us His joy through his Holy Spirit.

We Believe

“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” -- Luke 1:45

In the kingdom of God, believing is a prerequisite to receiving. God told Mary about His plans, and provided everything she needed to carry this out. All she had to do was to have faith in Him. After she believed, she started receiving God’s unending blessings.

This has always been how God accomplishes His purpose.

When God tells us His plans, He already has set in motion all that is needed to bring it to pass. He never had to make provisions for unknown variables because He is the God of certainty. All we need to do is to put our complete trust in Him. Paul says that God is able to do immeasurably more than what we can ever ask or imagine, according to His power at work within us (Ephesians 3:20). We can never conceive in our minds what God has in store for those of us who believe and trust Him.

Our theme for the year is “Boldly we conquer as God’s Anointed”. In order for this to come true in our individual and corporal lives, we must first believe it. Believe we are His anointed. Believe that we can be bold for Him. Believe that we can conquer for Him.

In ending, I would like to say that I’m not telling you all these because I have already perfected the acts of remembering, celebrating, and believing. As your branch leader, I believe my job is first & foremost to listen to God’s bidding. As I prayed about the message I would give you, the Lord led me to these different bible passages concerning remembering, celebrating, and believing. He also led me to a devotional where most of my reflections came from. I believe this is His exhortation for us. My prayer is that in our own quiet times with the Lord, we may hear Him speak about how he wants us to remember, to celebrate, and to believe.

Happy 2nd anniversary, mga kapatid!!!