Remembering

 

I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. Psalm 77:11

 

As Memorial Day came and went for another year, my Facebook feed had a ton of reminders to remember those who have fallen in battle for our freedom. It’s good to look back, remembering those who gave everything for our nation. It is also good to remember God’s sovereignty and His role in growing and strengthening this nation, and His Church.

God’s Word uses the word “remember” 161 times (ESV) and “remind” another 9 times. He tells us to remember His faithfulness to us in the past so we will have hope for the future (Psalm 105:5).  We’re to remember how He treated His people when He led them out of Egypt (Psalm 105), and rescued them from slavery, so we can see that same work in Christ for us. He has said we are to remember to keep His commands (Psalm 103:18) and to remember His deeds and wonders from of old (Psalm 77:11).

All of these things He tells us to remember for our good.

The study of God’s Word is not to be an academic pursuit. It should change our lives. Paul says in Ephesians 2:12,  “Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” When we remember the time when we were without God and without hope, it strengthens us for the everyday battle we fight for our work in God’s Kingdom.  Remembering where we were gives us hope because of how far God has brought us.

In Matthew 16:9, Jesus asks the disciples if they remember how many full baskets were gathered after the feeding of the five thousand. He reminded them of His provision for them. In Luke we’re reminded to remember Lot’s wife and so the consequences of looking back from following the Lord (Luke 17:32). Luke also reminds the disciples to remember what Jesus had told them about His resurrection (Luke 24:6).

These instructions to remember remind us of how trustworthy and faithful Christ is.

In Acts, and often in Paul’s letters, we’re again given instructions that will lead us to a more godly, holy life. Acts 20:35 reminds us to remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive. In 2 Timothy 2:8 we’re reminded to remember Christ Himself and His resurrection. This is to offer us hope for our own resurrection. Eleven times we’re told to “love our neighbors” (that is a lot of reminders!). Paul and Peter both want us to remember the predictions of the prophets and apostles of our Lord, and of Jesus who have offered us hope for our future and promises for protection and provision for today – regardless of what the circumstances look like.

It is good to remember those who have gone before us in the history of our nation. It is more important to remember what God has given us in the history of our faith.

 

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