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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Who Am I?"

January 30, 2007

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I will delight myself in thy statutes; I will not forget thy word. Psalm 119:16

Joe Bieger made it into the national news last week. Do your remember Joe’s name? If you do, you’re a step ahead of Joe, a resident of Dallas, Texas. Last October, Mr. Bieger went out to walk his dogs and promptly forgot who he was.

Mr. Bieger was a victim of psychogenic fugue, an extremely rare form of amnesia, which left him unable to remember his name, his family, or recollect what he did for a living. Mr. Bieger simply couldn’t recall where he lived. It was this last part, being unable to find his residence, which caused him the greatest difficulty.

Although hundreds searched for him, Joe Bieger seemed to have disappeared. It took three-and-a-half weeks before someone, a contractor, recognized Mr. Bieger. By the time he was discovered, a scruffy Mr. Bieger had wandered 20 miles from home and managed to lose 25 pounds. Today, in order to make sure that Mr. Bieger never disappears again, his cell phone is equipped with a global positioning system that can help locate him.

As I said earlier, the doctors say Mr. Bieger’s condition is a rare one, but I wonder.

Over the years, I have seen many people who seem to have selective amnesia. No, they have no physical malady; theirs is a spiritual sickness. Look around and you will see a world that has forgotten God’s grace and the love of the Lord who sent His Son to seek and save us from our sins. When Jesus says, “I am the Way”, the world forgets His sacrifice and replies, “There are many ways, easy ways, broad ways, smooth ways, and paved ways, but the world does not need or want Your way, Jesus!”

When Jesus says, “I am the Truth”, the world forgets God’s faithfulness, joining ranks with Jesus’ judge, Pontius Pilate, and scornfully shooting back, “What is truth?” Sophisticated scholars say, “There is no such thing as truth.” Students are told today’s truth is tomorrow’s falsehood, and the common man is becoming convinced every person must find his very own ever changing version of the truth. Satan has confused and convinced people into believing boundaries, especially Biblical boundaries, can be broken. Cheat on your taxes, but don’t get caught. Cheat on your spouse, but don’t get AIDS. When Jesus says, “I am the Life”, the world forgets and scoffs at the Savior Who sacrificed Himself for their salvation.

In contrast to the world’s amnesia, Christians say with the Psalmist, “I will delight myself in thy statutes; I will not forget thy word.” Because we have knelt before the Bethlehem manger, stood before the Savior’s cross and looked into His empty tomb, how can we ever forget? By the Spirit’s power, we must always remember we were once lost, condemned people purchased with the Savior’s innocent suffering and death. We must remember this if we never remember anything else.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I pray for a world infected by a spiritual sickness, an amnesia of the soul. Send Your Holy Spirit so they might remember what You have done to save them. Keep all believers healthy as they recall Your manifold and ongoing graces. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Today's Bible Readings: Genesis 31-32    Matthew 20:1-16

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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