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Jesus-Centered Life youth devotion no.11

Remembering to Remember

If remembering Jesus is central to our spiritual growth and our impact in the world, then forgetting is our greatest enemy. And that’s a problem, because most of us are way, way too comfortable and satisfied in our knowledge and understanding and experience of Jesus. That’s why discomfort is such a great way to leverage our remembering. Pain has the power to expose our determination to live our lives independent from Jesus. As long as we have everything under control ourselves, we’re not that interested in depending on our Good Shepherd. The more on top of things the sheep think they are, the more exposed they are to danger, because they’ll be less interested in listening to and obeying their Shepherd and more committed to fighting their own (impossible-to-win) battles.

The Apostle Paul, in his old age and with the end of his life on the horizon, gave his protégé Timothy this bit of parting advice: “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal” (2 Timothy 2:8-9, emphasis added). Paul was imprisoned because of his aggressive pursuit of Jesus, and Timothy had lived through beatings and shipwrecks and imprisonments with him—all for the glory and honor of Jesus. Why would Paul have to remind Timothy about Jesus? Because he was humble enough to admit the truth: Everyone, including Paul, Timothy, John the Baptist, Peter, and the disciples…and now you and me…are notorious forgetters. Never assume the Jesus you think you know is the Jesus of reality. When you “eat or drink” him, you’ll quickly blast away your false assumptions.

Living It Out

Humans are great at forgetting (unless your parents owe you money, then you never forget). Jesus knew this, which is why He had a massive banquet with His followers, just before He left them, where they ate bread and drank wine together to remember what Jesus’ mission on earth was all about. The church you attend probably participates in a simple, but important, version of this event, which today is usually called communion or The Lord’s Supper. The simple act of taking communion is meant to be a powerful reminder of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. We are sheep. We are good at forgetting. Some people tie a string on their finger as a reminder of something important.

What’s something you can wear, or pin to your backpack, or write on your hand, that will help you remember how badly you need the Good Shepherd--today and every day?