The Importance of Remembering

Psalms 105:1-8

 

Psalm 105:8 He remembers His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,

 

Introduction:

  1. Memorial Day
    1. Tomorrow is “Memorial Day” and we will remember and honor our veterans…
      1. It is more than just another holiday.
      2. It is more than just a day off from work.
      3. It is more than a day that we can have a barbeque.
      4. It is “Memorial Day.”
      5. It is a day set aside to remember those who have given their lives for the freedom that we as Americans all share.
    2. Freedom has never come cheaply.
      1. WWII Museum in New Orleans
      2. A Theme that runs through the Museum is based on Franklin Roosevelt’s speech on the Four Freedoms delivered to Congress on January 6, 1941.
        • Freedom of Speech
        • Freedom of Worship
        • Freedom from Want
        • Freedom from Fear
      3. 415,000 USA died in WWII
      4. 65,000,000 died in all the world during that war!
    3. Of those freedoms, one of the most important freedoms that we have is the freedom to worship – or not to worship as we please.
      1. But let me say it again – freedom has never been free.
      2. And so we gather this weekend to remember.
    4. The Bible says: “No one has greater love than this – that one would lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
      1. Our service men and women have been willing to do that very thing since the founding of our nation.

 

  1. But Why Do We Remember?
    1. Generally speaking, memory is a good thing.
      1. It’s bad to forget, even though there are some things we would like to forget!
    2. Quotations
      1. Herb Hodges – “My memory is what I forget with!”
      2. Beryl Pfizer – “I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on.”
      3. Our grandson, Web Baugh, when he can’t remember something – “I need more gigabytes!”
      4. My wife, Betty – “We don’t need more gigabytes, we just need to defragment!”
    3. I have searched the Bible and have found that the words “remember”, “remembered”, “remembrance”, and “memorial” are found there more than 230 times.
      1. These verses fall into one of three categories:
        • Remind us of what God did for us!
        • To keep us holy that we might not sin
        • Prayer asking God to remember us!
      2. This business of remembering is important to God!
        • God reminded his children in the Old Testament to remember that they were once salves in Egypt and established Passover.
        • He also commanded his people to observe certain days as days of “remembrance”.
        • In the New Testament Jesus said that every time we approach the His Table we are to do it in remembrance of Him.
      3. Why does God want us to remember?
        1. Oliver Sacks, a neuroscientist, quotes one of his patients as saying, “You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all … Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing.”
        2. Life without remembering is not life at all!
        3. But in Christ Jesus we have eternal life!
        4. Heaven will be a place of remembering all that God has done for us!
        5. Hell will be a place of remembering, too, but there lost souls will remember all the opportunities people had to come to salvation in Christ but refused!

 

  1. God Remembers
    1. God remembers His own (Genesis 8:1)
      1. When you’re going through a storm, it’s easy to feel forsaken.
        1. “I think the Lord has forgotten me,” said a lady when visited in the hospital.
        2. In her mind, she could recall Hebrews 13:5 and quote it (“I will never leave you or forsake you”); but in her heart, she felt lonely and abandoned.
        3. We have all been there – Where is God? When will the storm end?
        4. “Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?” asked the psalmist. “Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalms 10:1)
        5. Paul confessed that his troubles in Asia had been so severe that he almost gave up on life (2 Cor. 1:8);
        6. Jesus, who experienced all our human trials, cried from the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46)
        7. Feeling desolate is nothing new to the people of God
      2. The word “remember” in Genesis 8:1 doesn’t mean to call something to mind that may have been forgotten.
        1. God can’t forget anything because He knows the end from the beginning.
        2. Rather, it means “to pay attention to, to fulfill a promise and act on behalf of somebody.”
        3. God’s promise “and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17) means that God doesn’t hold our sins against us and treat us as sinners.
        4. If God remembers our sins no more, why do we remember our sins?
          • Hebrews 8:10 “For I will be merciful and gracious toward their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more.”
          • Hebrews 10:17 “He then goes on to say, And their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more.”
        5. When a sinner trusts Christ, his sins are all forgiven, the guilt is gone, and the matter is completely settled forever.
        6. Our sins are forgiven and God will never bring them up again!
      3. When God “remembers” He means that He is about to bless someone.
        1. God remembered Abraham and rescued Lot from destruction in Sodom (Genesis 19:29).
        2. The Lord remembered both Rachel and Hannah and enabled them to bear sons (30:22; 1 Sam. 1:11, 19).
        3. The Lord remembered His covenant and delivered the Jews from the bondage of Egypt (Exodus 2:24; 6:5).
      4. “To remember” refers to a previous commitment made by God and announces the fulfillment of that commitment.
      5. We can be sure that God never forgets or forsakes His people, not only because of His promises, but also because of His character.
        1. God is love, and where there’s love, there’s faithfulness – 1 Corinthians 13:8 “love never fails”!
        2. He can never deny Himself or His Word, for He’s the faithful God
        3. He can never change, because He’s immutable.
          • Because He’s perfect, God can’t change for the better
          • Because He’s holy, He can’t change for the worse.
        4. We can depend on Him no matter what our circumstances or no matter how we feel.

 

  1. God Remembers His Promises
    1. Psalm 105:8 He remembers His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,
      1. If God says He will do something for you, He will do it!
      2. He always keeps his promises, but there are some things that you have to do in order to receive from Him.
    2. The best example of this is seen in the life of Abraham.
      1. When God promised Abraham that Sarah would give birth to a son, Abraham had to ignore his natural circumstances, have faith in God’s promise, and believe that God was powerful enough to do what He said he would do.
      2. Romans 4:19-21 reveals the steps that Abraham followed to receive the fulfillment of the promise God made to him.
        • Romans 4:19-21 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
      3. This passage of Scripture makes one thing clear: If we’re going to receive from God, we’re going to have to do the same things Abraham did – consider not, stagger not, give glory to God, and be fully persuaded.

 

  1. God’s Memorials – 1 Corinthians 10:11
    1. When you think of a memorial such as the Vietnam Memorial Wall, the Unknown Soldier, and other war memorials in Washington, D.C., or the Alamo in Texas, or the sunken Arizona in Pearl Harbor, we are reminded that a memorial is a place of remembering.
    2. Many of the outward symbols in the Bible are memorials – places of remembering.
      1. 1 Corinthians 10:11, “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition”.
    3. Biblical Memorials
      1. The Rainbow after the Flood
        • To remind future generations there would be no more world-wide judgment by water.
        • But it is also a reminder that the next judgment will be by fire!
      2. The Brazen Altar in the Tabernacle – was to remind Israel of blood redemption;
      3. The Stones that the Levites Took out of the Bottom of the River- and placed on the banks of the Jordan were to remind future generations God brought them into the land.
      4. Baptism is a Memorial
        • Again, you remember Christ
        • Colossians 2:11-12 11 In Him you were . . ., 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

 

  1. Commanded to Remember
    1. Lord’s Supper
      1. The Lord’s Supper is a Memorial
        1. Remember what the bread symbolizes:
          • Jesus said in Luke 22:19, “This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me”.
          • Did you see those words “in remembrance”?
        2. Remember what the cup pictures:
          • Luke 22:20 (NKJV)
            20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
        3. When we come to the Lord’s Table we should remember Jesus, the One who died for us.
      2. “Do this in remembrance of Me” is a command from the lips of our Lord Himself.
        1. Sharing in the Lord’s Supper is not an option for believers.
        2. Not to partake of the Lord’s Supper is disobedience and a sin.
        3. When we partake of the Lord’s Supper we do not offer a sacrifice again.
        4. We remember His once–for–all sacrifice for us and rededicate ourselves to His obedient service.
      3. 1 Corinthians 11:26 “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”
        1. As often as we are willing to remember and to proclaim the death of Christ, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
        2. No frequency is given, but it is a permanent feast until He comes again.
        3. It is more than a remembrance for our own sakes; it is also a proclamation for the world’s sake.
        4. It is a testimony to the world that we are not ashamed of our Lord or of His blood, that we belong to Him and are obedient to Him.
      4. The Lord’s Supper is also a reminder of the Lord’s coming again.
        1. By participating in the Lord’s Supper we proclaim His death until He comes.
        2. It helps keep us looking forward to the day when we will be with Him.
        3. It is a celebration of His present life and of His future return in glory.

 

  1. The Cross
    1. The Cross is a Memorial – a place for us to remember Jesus died for our sins.
      1. Galatians 6:14 “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
    2. Our generation lacks a sense of wonder and reverence toward God.
      1. We want to bring God down to our level, to the commonplace.
      2. He is God!
    3. Though we have direct access to Him as His children, we should never forget that this access was purchased with the precious blood of His only Son.
      1. No one who truly understands this ever enters God’s presence without a sense of holy awe.
      2. No one who comprehends the incredible price paid at Calvary ever takes his relationship with God for granted.
    4. We will never truly understand God and the way He relates to us unless we have a true sense of His holiness and His demand for holiness among His people.
      1. If we are in God’s presence, we are on holy ground!
      2. We must never act as if it were God’s purpose to make us successful.
      3. It would be preposterous for us to become impatient when God does not answer our prayers when and how we think He should!
      4. He is God, we are not!
    5. As you remember and meditate on the price Jesus paid to give you access to the Father, you will come to treasure your prayer times with Him.
      1. Worship will become a privilege you seize with gratitude.
      2. Scripture will be dear to you as you strive to be holy in all that you do (2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Peter 1:15).
    6. If you have lost your wonder at the incredible gift of salvation that has been given to you, you need to remember the cross and your Savior’s suffering for you.
      1. On this Memorial Day, remember the death of our servicemen and women, then be grateful and recommit yourself to America.
      2. On this Memorial Day, remember that God loves memorials and uses them in our lives to accomplish His will on earth.
      3. Remember what God has done in your life and for you, and worship Him!