Tag Archive: memorial


All Saints Weekly Devotional

Volume 1 Number 30

August 30, 2012

Remembering God’s Blessings

From Pastor Bordwine

I shall remember the deeds of the LORD;

surely I will remember Your wonders of old.

(Psalm 77:11)

One of the most frequently given commands in Scripture is “remember.” Repeatedly the people of God are exhorted to remember His covenant and to remember His deliverance of them from captivity and danger. These episodes were important for several reasons. Such acts of God demonstrated His love for His people and His control of all circumstances. Moreover, the works of God became a means of instruction for coming generations.

Various ordinances and structures were ordered by God to commemorate significant acts that He accomplished for His people. Consider, for example, the Passover meal (Ex. 12:24-27) and the creation of a stone monument under the leadership of Joshua (Josh. 4:6-9). Whenever the Passover was observed, it would remind the present generation of that last night in Egypt when God struck down the firstborn of every dwelling except for those that been marked with the blood of a lamb.

And when future generations asked about the meaning of Joshua’s memorial, which stood in the middle of the Jordan River, they would hear the story of how God stopped the flow of the water so that the people could enter the Promised Land.

We may think that the benefits of commemorating God’s blessings are no longer ours to enjoy because we have no such dramatic expressions of His power in the recent history of God’s people. This conclusion would be mistaken. We receive the blessings of God frequently. To illustrate this truth, let me recall a few of the acts of God in my life.

In that little more than a month, October 15th to be specific, I will take time to remember that on this date in 1975 I was born again. This happened at a critical period in my life, a period during which I felt confused, frustrated, and hopeless. Thirty-seven years ago, God delivered me from my captivity in sin by awaking my heart to the truth of the gospel. The character and course of my life were forever changed and it is a privilege for me to offer special prayers of thanksgiving to God on this date each year. Remembering this event renews my humble appreciation for the kindness and amazing grace of God.

In 1980, the LORD gave me a wife who, next to my regeneration, has been the most significant and humbling blessing from God that I have experienced. Although I was totally undeserving, God provided a companion of extraordinary Christian character and unshakable dedication to the Savior’s glory. I can also point to the gifts of two sons, one in 1985 and the other in 1991. Beyond these most significant works of God in my life are the answers to prayer during troubled circumstances and the guidance God has provided at critical points in my journey.

I must conclude that I have many blessings of God to commemorate. I remember them and I tell other people about them, which is my obligation and privilege as one of God’s redeemed. I imagine that you also have events in your life that resulted from God’s loving intervention by some means. What comes to mind right at this moment? Perhaps you’re thinking of your own born-again experience or your marriage partner or your Christian upbringing or your employment or your recovery from sickness—this list could go on and on. My point is that we all have received blessings from God, some highly significant and others less so, but all are evidences of God’s lovingkindness and wisdom.

 

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Memorial for Joe Vacossin

Early on Friday morning, a dear friend and brother left this world to be with the Savior. Joe was the quintessential “idea man.” He always had at least two or three projects bouncing around in his head. One of the first conversations I had with Joe focused on his desire to find a way to spread the Word of God using his experience and skills. He came up with a concept that involved printing Bible verses on pens, cups, water bottles, etc., with a web site address for those who might read the verse and want to know more about the Bible and Christianity.

I thought this was a creative way to introduce people to Scripture. I was more impressed, however, with Joe’s zeal for finding a means of serving the Lord as a layman. For one not called into ministry as a vocation, he had an unusual drive to make a contribution to the work of the church.

Another quality I found personally humbling was Joe’s frequent questioning about how he might better order his life for God’s glory. He wanted to know how the teaching of Scripture should be applied to his marriage, his job, and his friendships. That was a sure sign that the seed of the gospel, which was planted in Joe’s heart by the Holy Spirit, was flourishing.

Beyond what I’ve described, Joe was my friend; and I will miss him. He was always kind to me and went out of his way to ask about my well-being when I was ill or when I was facing some disturbing development in my service as a pastor. Joe probably didn’t realize how encouraged I was by his concern.

Right down to the last days of his earthly life, Joe maintained a serious regard for his testimony to medical personnel, family, and friends. His courage and trust in the Lord will always be an inspiration for those of us who knew him. We all look forward to the day of reunion in the presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2–4)