Did you know that the word remember is in the Bible over 200 times? I know you probably looked it up just the other day, but I just figured it out today. Remembering is something we hear a lot about this time of year with September 11th, especially in our military world. We remember what happened, and in doing so we gain a new resolve to accomplish a mission and honor those we have lost. Remembering is important. We do it on Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Fourth of July. Remember. We must do so to maintain our history, honor those before us, and keep us going in the right direction.
But I wondered as Christians, are we supposed to remember too? I say yes…for the same reasons (plus one more).
We too must maintain our history. God told the Israelites to do this. Through much of the book of Deuteronomy, God calls the Israelites to remember, mostly regarding God’s deliverance from Egypt. He wanted them to remember what HE had done, to tell it to their children, to share it with each other. He wants us to do the same. Remembering what God has done, sharing it with our children, writing it down for us to keep, we have to remember what God has done. Not only does it remind us of His faithfulness, but it also displays the power of God to others.
Honoring those before us is important as well. Hebrews Chapter 11 tells the story of many faithful followers. We honor their memory and their commitment to following Him. In doing so, we honor the God who protected, provided, rescued, and blessed them. Their memory helps us to look at our circumstances much differently, realizing we are not alone in our trials, and remembering God’s ultimate salvation when we meet Him face-to-face. Those who have gone before us inspire us and challenge us to continue on our walk in pursuit of a Savior.
Remembering also helps us go the right direction. As we replay what God has already done both in our own lives and in the lives of others, we begin to know Him more. We start to see His track record of love and hope. When we are confused or discouraged, we can remember who He is and what He has done. This memory gives helps us determine where to go from here because we have seen what He has done to this point. We have hope because we know that He has done so much already and He is the same God today.
The plus one? This is the most important of all. We remember what God has done so that we can praise and honor Him. Our sole purpose on this planet is just that – to bring honor and praise to our God. When we remember, we praise Him for who He is and encourage and challenge others to do the same.
So, for today, we need to sit and remember. He is faithful. Will our road be easy? Not so much. We will walk through challenges, dealing with life in a fallen world, but we have hope, peace, and joy in the midst. Take time today to sit and remember. Remembering the history of our country and the price that has been paid to bring us to this day, but even more so we must remember the amazing works of our God both in our time and in times past. Pass on the memories to our children and friends, and take time to honor the God who loves you.
I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. (Psalm 77:3-6)
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. (Psalm 77:10-14)