Have you ever contemplated the importance of being able to remember? The word remember appears at least 147 times in the King James Version of the Bible. And the words remembered, rememberest, remembereth, remembering and remembrance appear another 119 times. One of these forms appears in 51 of the 66 books of the Bible.
“Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy,” was one of the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:8). In fact, the Lord spake unto Moses and told him to tell the nation of Israel, “Remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them” (Num. 15:39). They were reminded often to “remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 5:15; 15:15; 16:12; 24:18, 22). They were to “Remember his marvelous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth” (I Chron. 16:12). And in his search for the meaning of life, Solomon urged the young to “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth” (Ecc. 12:1).
Remembering and remembrance also play a major role in the New Testament as well. We are told to “Remember them that are in bonds” (Heb. 13:3); “remember them which have the rule over you” (Heb. 13:7); and we are to observe the Lord’s Supper “in remembrance of me (Christ)” (I Cor. 11:24-25). Those at Ephesus who had lost their first love were told to “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and do the first works” (Rev. 2:5).
Helping the apostles remember would be a vital part of the work of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised would be sent by the Father to them when he returned to heaven. He told them, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). Paul utilized this when he told the elders from Ephesus to “remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Paul told the young preacher Timothy, “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained” (I Tim. 4:6). And as stated by Peter, his reason for writing his epistles was, “I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth” (II Pet. 1:12). In fact, he expressed his desire that “ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance” (II Pet. 1:15).
Thank God for memory! Memory enables us to remember. Most everyone enjoys reminiscing about the past, growing up, school days, old acquaintances and friends. Remembering also helps us to understand the blessings we now enjoy. Paul told the Gentile Christians to “Remember that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in this world.” Remembering these things would enable them to appreciate even more the fact that “Now in Christ Jesus ye are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:12-13).
Let each of us use our God-given memory and remember often the blessings we have, realizing that “God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shown toward his name” (Heb. 6:10). Let each of us therefore, “Remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them” (Num. 15:39).
Paul M. Wilmoth