God at Work (5)
He has made His wonderful works to be remembered;
The LORD is gracious and full of compassion.
He has given food to those who fear Him;
He will ever be mindful of His covenant.
He has declared to His people the power of His works,
In giving them the heritage of the nations. Psalm 111.4-6
God has made His wonderful work to be remembered. The sense of that word is more than merely to recall some mental notion of God as Creator, Sovereign, and Redeemer. The Hebrew word remember is more active and attentive, more personally engaged, as in Exodus 2.24: “So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” God’s covenant with Israel had not slipped His mind during those 430 years of captivity in Egypt. He was caring for them, watching over them, and attending to their daily needs – remembering His covenant, just as He wants us to remember His works.
We remember the works of God as we go out into the field of the world with Him, joining Him in His work in all the work we’ve been given to do. We do not allow the many works of our under-the-sun generation to obscure the larger, more splendid, majestic, and faithful works of God. Instead, meditating on those works daily, delighting in and studying them, we respond to the work of God according to our own place and calling in His field. Thus we remember His works and show ourselves to be, like Him, “ever mindful of His covenant.”
But how should we who are daily sent into the field of the world respond to the splendid, majestic, and faithful works of the Lord?
Remember creation and providence
When one becomes a believer in Jesus Christ, whole new vistas of understanding open up, as the Spirit of God begins to teach us to see and live according to God’s Word, and to respond, as our text indicates, appropriately to all the works of God.
They who have entered into God’s work of redemption are called to remember the works of the Lord – all His works, not just that which Jesus has accomplished for our salvation. Those who have come to know Jesus Christ, and who are beginning to realize the vast scope of the works of God, will want to become more mindful of the creation, in all its variegated splendor and majesty. They will want to study and ponder the faithful works of God in providence as, by His steadfast love, He continues to uphold the cosmos and everything in it by His Word of power.
The redeemed must not be like the lost, who fail to observe God’s providence, or to give thanks for and redeem His creation. Rather, we must become more mindful of all His works, and teach the generations to come to remember the works of the Lord as well (Ps. 78.1-8). Our first responsibility in remembering the works of the Lord is to begin to become better acquainted with them.
Today, most children of believers receive all their instruction about the world – geography, science, meteorology, physics, civics, and the like – at the hands of instructors who do not see these sciences as means of exploring the works of God. In the schools of our secular age, the creation is merely “nature” and the providence of God reduces to “laws” of physics. Civics reduces to “politics” and has nothing to do with God’s Law. As the schools instruct our children in the ways of the world, God has no part in the creation.
Is it any wonder, therefore, that so many children of the Church give up their faith when they head off to college? Having spent twelve years in classrooms where the relevance of God is ignored or, worse, denied, they are only following the logical implications of the education we have allowed them to receive.
In the Church we must find ways of redressing this gross injustice, and of helping our children remember all the works of the Lord in creation and providence.
Thanksgiving and mission
Further, we respond to God’s works with thanksgiving – throughout the day, at all times, for everything He provides, and not just the food we eat (Phil. 4.6, 7; 1 Thess. 5.18). The works of God in creation, providence, and redemption offer abundant cues and summons to lift our hearts to Him with thanks and praise. We should express our gratitude in prayer, of course, but we should also talk about our gratitude to God with the people around us, making mention of His many works by expressing our thanks for them all.
Finally, the grace, power, and truth of God observable in all His works must impel the people of God to mission (Ps. 105.1-5). God has prepared a heritage and harvest among the peoples in the field of the world, and in the Personal Mission Field of each of us. We must lift up our eyes to see this great harvest, and go forth with Him daily to sow the good seed of the Kingdom.
All creation and culture are meant to serve God (Ps. 119.89-91). They are at the disposal of God’s covenant people so that we, reconciling all things to God, might engage God’s works in sowing the world for Jesus Christ. We remember and give thanks for the works of God in creation, providence, and redemption, as we acquaint ourselves with them, give more consistent thanks, and engage His work to make disciples of all nations.
1. Why do you suppose Christians do so little to counteract the secular teaching their children receive in the schools of the land?
2. Which aspects of creation and culture has God entrusted to you? What does it mean for you to remember and redeem these?
3. Do you believe God is preparing a harvest for Himself in your Personal Mission Field? Explain.
Next steps – Preparation: Become acquaintedwith God’s works. Respond often with thanksgiving. Let God’s work impel you to mission. What is your plan, following these headings, for responding to the works of God? Share it with some Christian friends.
T. M. Moore
For a more developed view of the Kingdom, and of the Gospel of the Kingdom, order a copy of our book The Kingdom Turn (click here) or The Gospel of the Kingdom (click here).
We look to the Lord to provide for our needs, and He does so through those who are served by this ministry. Please prayerfully consider becoming a supporter of The Fellowship of Ailbe with your financial gifts. You can send your tax-free contribution to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452, or use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.