The other night, Rev and I celebrated the 50th anniversary of our first date.
And we spent the evening like we’ve spent so many other evenings…
We talked about that first date and the early days of getting to know each other and falling in love. We remembered our early years of marriage. We described apartments, homes, and the love of amazing friends. We looked back at the adventure of raising a family.
And the common thread through every relived decade was God’s amazing grace.
Life is full of highs and
And God lovingly made His presence known through it all.
The following morning, all I could think about was the way God had allowed us to build an altar of remembrance. No, not a physical altar … but an altar none-the-less.
Why You Need to Celebrate and Remember God is Good
In the Old Testament, God commanded two kinds of altars.
1. Altar of Sacrifice – Where God’s people brought an offering as a sacrifice to receive God’s forgiveness and peace.
“Come to the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering to purify yourself and the people. Then present the offerings of the people to purify them, making them right with the Lord, just as he has commanded.”Leviticus 9:7
2. Altar of Remembrance – Where God’s people offered worship and praise for God’s deliverance, protection, provision, and guidance.
Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future, your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord, your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and He kept it dry until you were all across, just as He did at the Red Sea when He dried it up until we had all crossed over. 2He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”Joshua 4:21–24
In the New Testament, because Jesus the Lamb of God, the perfect Sacrifice, was offered for our sins, you and I can be forgiven and have peace with God without bringing an animal sacrifice to church.
Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world.John 1:29
But the New Testament also has something to say about the sacrifice God does want from us…
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered HEphesians 5:2
imselfas a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
Let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to His name.Hebrews 13:15
I’ve realized there are two offerings God wants you and me to lay at the altar of remembrance…
1. An Offering of Praise
2. An Offering of Surrender
I want to make my life an offering of praise and thanksgiving. I want to stop and celebrate the specifics of God’s amazing grace in my life.
And I want to rejoice over every undeserved happiness and praise Him for providing all we need through every pain and heartache.
Yesterday morning I read…
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,Psalm 40:1–3
and He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
I have known the pit of despair … God heard my cry and lifted me up and gave me a new song to sing.
A song of remembrance! A song of praise!
And by His grace, an offering of surrender!
It’s kind of funny … I spent much of my life holding a little of myself back from God because I was afraid.
Afraid there were things that could happen that would destroy me … things I would just not be able to endure.
Yeah, it was plain and simple lack of faith.
Although God patiently gave me countless opportunities to surrender myself completely … I couldn’t get past all the “what ifs” that flooded my mind.
Which is why an important part of remembering for me … is knowing God allowed my pit of despair to show me His love and faithfulness. And to give me a new song to sing or in my case, a post to write.
I love this verse and the way it so clearly reminds me of the offering of surrender God wants…
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for HRomans 12:1 (MSG)
I’m so thankful Paul wrote, “God helping you,” because I know there is no way I can surrender every part of my life without His help.
But with His help … I can take every moment – sleeping, eating, working, walking around; yes, everything and I can entrust it to God.
An altar of remembrance to celebrate His faithfulness. And an altar of surrender to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and love others as I love myself. (Luke 10:27)
With His help, I can be thankful for the past and hopeful for the future!
You and I talk a lot about being thankful in November and December but now it’s January and we’ve started our diets, picked up our fitness routines, and gone back to work.
Remembering to be thankful gets lost in the mundane dailiness of things we don’t really want to do.
So, I’d like to invite you to do two simple things to help you…
- Set aside a basket or jar with a notepad nearby (a notebook will work too) and have your family write down daily blessings.
- Keep a list of anniversaries and use those days to remember God’s goodness!
Some of the anniversaries we keep are…
- The day we met.
- Our first date.
- The day we got engaged.
- Our wedding day.
- Our children’s birthdays.
- Baptism birthdays
- The day we moved into our home.
- Birthdays of family members or friends.
- The day God spared Rev’s life.
You could also remember…
- Gotcha Days
- Special Awards
- And anything else that helps you remember God’s grace.
I’ll be honest, I get lost in the dailiness of life, too. But when I stop and remember the countless ways God has shown me His goodness and grace—I can’t help but
Thank you so much for joining me today.
It would bless me so much if you’d take a moment to subscribe to Counting My Blessings so you never miss an update!
Subscribe to Blog via Email
And always remember – I LOVE hearing from you! So, please take a minute to say ‘hi’ by leaving a comment.
You can also…
Leave your prayer requests…
and stop to pray one or two of the requests listed.
If this article blessed or helped you today — would you share it with someone?
Send it to a friend, family member, coworker, or share it through the links below…
I’m asking God to bless you today!