April 24, 2019
Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
April 24, 2019
2 Timothy 2:8
“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel”. When preaching from this passage last Sunday, I quoted one of the Puritans who said, “Faith has a good memory.” That means, Christians make good use of their mind and memory; God wants us to use our minds and memory. The word remember comes up again and again in Scripture. For example, it is mentioned in the context of the Lord’s Supper. Also, the fourth commandment, with reference to the Sabbath day. God may use the related phrase, do not forget, such as when He brought Israel out of Egypt. At least nine times God says, “Don’t forget what I did for you.”
Why do you think this word remember comes up so often in our Bibles? Is God concerned that we might forget Him? We can suffer from spiritual amnesia. So, what can we do to keep on remembering God? How can we protect ourselves from spiritual amnesia? I have six practices to help us remember God.
First, make good use of the Lord’s Day. The primary use of the Lord’s Day is to remember God. The reason why the Pharisees made the Sabbath such a wretched day – they forgot God. They were so fixated on rules and traditions they forgot God. We can be sure the Devil doesn’t want us to remember God, or the Lord’s Day. He would like us to do anything but go to church and hear the Gospel. Go shopping, play sports, anything to get your focus off God.
Second, make your own memorials. Several times in the book of Joshua they build memorials. For example, when the Israelites cross the Jordan river they take twelve stones and build a memorial. What about us? We don’t necessarily have literal rock memorials, but we certainly have dates or markers in our minds to remind us of God’s goodness and faithfulness, certain times in our lives that God shows His marvelous providence to us.
Third, keep a daily journal. Many Puritans wrote down specific answers to prayer, opportunities they had to witness, the thousand and one blessings from God each day. It is good to remind ourselves daily of God’s mercies.
Fourth, practice thanksgiving. Thanksgiving focuses on God. It helps us remember His goodness and faithfulness. I think this is why the apostle Paul encourages us by his own example. He even gives the exhortation, “In everything give thanks.” His letters are filled with thanksgiving because he didn’t forget God’s goodness and faithfulness.
Fifth, make good use of the public and private means of grace: personal prayer, Bible reading, meditation, the ordinances of God – baptism, the Lord’s Supper, putting ourselves under the preached Word. These will help us remember God.
Sixth, follow God’s example. Does God ever forget us? God is omniscient, of course. But the Bible speaks of a special knowledge. God remembered Noah (Genesis 8). God remembered Abraham (Genesis 19). God remembered Rachel (Genesis 30). In Exodus 2, we read that God heard the groaning of the slaves and He remembered His covenant. The word used connotates affection. God remembers His people in a way He does not remember anyone else. As we remember those dear to us, so He remembers us. God even remembers the little things we do, such as giving a cold glass of water in the name of Jesus.