We often reminisce the good old days at school gatherings, recalling with fondness the memories of fun times shared, even laughing at how we used to look. Some of us really miss those youthful carefree days.
God remembers our “good old days” with Him too. In Jeremiah 2:2, God says, “I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown.” (New International Version)
What about us? Do we remember the days when we first came to know Christ and committed to give our best for Him? We lived out our faith with utter abandonment and devotion to Christ! We were so gung-ho in Christian service, embarking on faith exploits such as mission trips, sharing our faith fearlessly with friends, family and even strangers. In those days, many of us would read biographies of missionaries and be inspired by their faith ventures; we were so hungry for God!
There was an unadulterated passion for God and the things of His kingdom. Some of us might have encountered parental opposition to our faith but through these experiences, we matured and grew in our Christian convictions.
Like the nation of Israel in the days of Jeremiah 2, we were once fully committed to God. However, in our busyness, we got distracted and our faith became lukewarm. Over time, we exchanged God for worthless idols (verse 11). We inadvertently allowed the worries of life and the pursuit of success to displace God’s rightful place in our lives. Our personal glories seemingly outshine God and we relegate Him to the back of our minds, treating Him like an ATM, coming to Him only when we are in trouble (verse 27).
Israel did not reject God outrightly. They replaced their allegiance to God with the good life and security Egypt and Assyria offered (verses 25, 36). In so doing, they forgot their spiritual roots and God Himself. Perhaps, amidst the comforts and pleasures of life, we have forgotten how we were once like in our former days, how we were passionate for God.
The good old days need not be a distant memory or reserved for conversations at class gatherings. Recalling them ought to draw us back to God. We can certainly rekindle the zeal of youth in our current season of life. While we may not engage in similar high energy activities as we did in the past, we can purpose in our hearts to follow Him wholeheartedly, to lead holy lives and offer our first fruits to Him (verses 2-3).
As we begin the New Year, let us not simply live in the memories of the good old days, but return to God with renewed devotion. As God brings to mind, may we also take time to reach out to those around us whose love for Him has gone cold. Our best days are ahead; it is up to us.
Have a blessed 2019!
Lam Kok Hiang has over 30 years of experience in full-time Christian vocational ministry. He holds a MA (Biblical Studies) from Dallas Theological Seminary and has led Cru Singapore as National Team Leader since 2006. An avid runner, Kok Hiang shares a love for books with his wife, Sharon. Together, their desire is to see young leaders rise up in local churches and missions agencies across Asia.
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