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The words that describe the institution of the Lord's Supper (Lk. 22:14-23; etc) ought to be familiar, but they ought not to be merely commonplace. It's not likely that we will love the Lord as we ought to if we get to the point where the remembrance of His death has become monotonous. We need to work diligently at keeping that remembrance fresh.
God gave us the Lord's Supper to remind us of His Son's death for our sins. That memorial is to be observed every first day of the week (Ac. 20:7). And we are given instruction in the New Testament concerning the manner of its observance: "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself" (1 Cor. 11:27-29). The Lord's Supper will only benefit us as it should if we follow the Lord's instructions.
It is, therefore, a matter of spiritual life and death whether we "discern" the Lord's body when we partake of the Lord's Supper. To partake discerningly means to do so with conscious thoughtfulness of its meaning -- and to have the proper attitude toward its meaning. Doing this is relatively easy just after we have been baptized into Christ, but as the years go by, it takes conscious effort to keep this special event from becoming simply a habit.
Let's make this week a time to think of ways we can help ourselves remember the Lord's death as we should. Whether as families or as individuals, let's think of and discuss things we can do to concentrate our attention on our Lord's death. Let's see what we can do to more thoughtfully "proclaim the Lord's death until he comes" (1 Cor. 11:26).
The Lord's Supper is a gift given to us by our Heavenly Father. He knew we would need a regular means of remembering the sacrifice that made our forgiveness possible, and He has graciously provided this means in the bread and fruit of the vine that we partake of each Lord's Day. May we never forget what it is that we are to remember in this great act.
Monday: 1 Corinthians 11:23,24
Key Idea: The Lord's Supper is a commemoration.
Questions for Family Growth: What do we mean by the word "memorial"? Concerning the Lord's Supper, what did Jesus mean when He said, "Do this in remembrance of me?" Why is this remembrance so important to us as followers of Christ?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:12.
Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 10:16,17
Key Idea: The Lord's Supper is a communion.
Questions for Family Growth: In what sense do we "commune" with Christ in the Lord's Supper? Do we also "commune" with one another as fellow Christians? How should the Lord's Supper help us to be unified as a congregation?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:13.
Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 11:26
Key Idea: The Lord's Supper is a proclamation.
Questions for Family Growth: What is it that we "proclaim" when we partake of the Lord's Supper? How long did Paul say we are to continue doing this? If this is to be an effective proclamation, in what manner and with what attitude should we participate in it?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:14.
Thursday: 1 Corinthians 11:25
Key Idea: The Lord's Supper is a dedication.
Questions for Family Growth: Why did Jesus have to shed His blood to make "the new covenant" possible? Consider also Hb. 9:15-22. What should be our attitude toward this covenant as we partake of the Lord's Supper? What point is made in Hb. 10:28,29?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:15.
Friday: 2 Peter 3:10-13
Key Idea: The Lord's Supper is an anticipation.
Questions for Family Growth: What should be our attitude about the return of Christ? If we think this way about Christ's return, what kind of lives will we lead, according to v.11? In the Lord's Supper, what are we to continue doing "until he comes" (1 Cor. 11:26)?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 18:16.