Brooke Davis // Sophomore // UGA
This Easter I came to understand the brutal death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus in a new and fresh way. This happens for a lot of people during this season but this year seemed to be different, mainly because I was reminded of how much I have so easily forgotten. You see, I remember the cross every Easter - yet I don’t think about it walking to class. On those powerful Sunday mornings I realize my command to share the gospel - yet I don’t think about it as I sit, studying on campus. I don’t think about eternity as a test grade is posted or a frustrating text is received. I don’t think about the unending love of God as my brain stresses, worries, and strives in areas that should not be my ultimate. I don’t meditate on the fact that Jesus defeated death and there is an empty tomb that posses all the hope, power, and peace I could ever need. I forget, far too quickly and far too consistently. As I am so profoundly overwhelmed by what God has done for me, I have realized how these very things that give us life, should not be what is so readily forgotten.
School has seemed a little bit harder this semester. The mile-long list of end of semester due dates seems suffocating. Some new failures coming into view gives me a new and overwhelming understanding of my weakness. My longing to please everyone around me has become the driving force of my thoughts and actions, so much so that sometimes I wake up, spend time with Jesus, and by the time I have gotten in my car, I have forgotten the peace that flooded my heart ten minutes before. I often go hours without having one thought towards Christ or speaking one word to the God who is filling my lungs with air. I forget, over and over and over again.
Daily, the enemy tries everything he can to make a believer’s mind think of anything but Christ. The world is throwing things left and right to steal our affections from the one who loves us most. If we aren’t remembering, then we are ineffective, insecure, and in over our heads. When we forget the one who holds us together, we fall apart. The need to remember is obvious, but how do we do it? God has shown me that it takes discipline and grace.
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man“ ~Proverbs 3:1-4
We as college students can really struggle in the department of discipline. We like to over- commit and fill our plates with as much as possible to look and feel good. But in reality, our worn out hearts and scattered obligations lead to our failure to serve God in a way that truly glorifies Him. God is more than aware of how weak and forgetful we are, which is why scripture uses the word “remember” somewhere around 166 times. You see, God designed His commands to be good for us. He designed them to help us to remember. The disciplines of reading and meditating on scripture, memorizing his words, fellowshipping in the body, communion, worship, prayer and many more, are all designed by an infinite God to allow his finite creation to remember Him.
“Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth,” ~1 Chronicles 16:12
If Jesus has clearly laid out in His Word the means in which we will know Him, the ways in which we will learn to love him, and the avenues for which we will remember Him, wouldn’t we be crazy to not let these be the things we discipline ourselves in more than anything?
“These are the means God has given for drinking at the fountain of life. They do not earn the enjoyment, They receive it. They are not payments for pleasure; they are pipelines” -John Piper
“But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, To those who keep His covenant And remember His precepts to do them” ~Psalm 103: 17-18
We know where grace is found. We know from whom godliness is obtained. We know from where peace flows. We know how our identity is anchored., Let’s be a people that positions ourselves moment after moment under the pipelines of grace by disciplining our lives in all that the Word of God calls us to.
Let’s be college students that open our Bibles before our textbooks. Let’s be college students that gives up social media to spend time alone with talking with our Creator. Let’s be college students that seeks fellowship that might not be popular, but gives life to our souls. Let’s be college students that commit to the body of Christ above all else because God. Let’s be college students that learn when it’s appropriate to say no, choosing to rest and remember… we’re not God after all. Let’s be college students that have the Word of God resounding in our thoughts, instead of perverse song lyrics and mindlessness. Let’s be college students that fear God over man. Let’s bind the Word of God around our necks and write the truth of God on our hearts. Let’s be disciplined, not to earn the favor of God, but to enjoy the favor of God and all his affections for us.
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” - John 14:26
Discipline is required to remember God, but even more necessary is the requirement of grace. The reminder of how often we forget our Savior might be as convicting for you as it has been for me. My forgetfulness tempts to overwhelm me until I grasp the truth above in John 14:16. The power to remember does not lie in us. We will never have perfection in our disciplines. We will always remain weak, and we will find ourselves forgetting again and again. That is where the grace of God comes in. We were first given salvation through grace, we now we have the privilege to “work out our salvation” by grace, and one day we will never need another discipline because we will see the face of grace for all of time.
“He remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever.” ~Psalms 136:23
Disciplines are imperative. Grace is necessary. As both of these things increase in our lives, we will remember Jesus more than we thought possible. Not simply for what he has done, but for the fact that He first remembered us. In our lowly estate, in our rebellion, in our sin, He remembered. In our rising, in our sitting, in our going out, and in our coming in, He remembers. In our darkest nights and at our brightest dawn, He remembers. His thoughts outnumber the sand. His mindfulness portrays his endless love. Before we existed and for all of eternity, he remembers us.
May we know no longer be titled as faithful forgetters. May we learn to seek Christ for the purpose of enjoying his affections, not earning them. May we never let lesser things occupy our thoughts and hearts from the One who satisfies both. Christ has given us everything we could ever need to remember Him. Let’s walk in obedience and spend all our days resting in remembrance of the One who first remembered us.