Remember Who You Are

It is remarkable how many times the exhortation to remember things is found in the Bible. 

God had to remind the Israelites to remember when he brought them out of their bondage in Egypt.  Remember when they were slaves in Egypt.  Remember that God delivered them to freedom (Deuteronomy 5:15).  Remember what God did to Pharaoh and to Egypt (Deuteronomy 7:18).  Remember how God led them through the wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:2).  He admonished them to… “Be very careful never to forget what you have seen the Lord do for you.  Do not let these things escape from your mind as long as you live (Deuteronomy 4:9 NLT)!”

Jesus was continually telling the disciples to remember what he told them and what he had done.  Remember that I can supply all your needs; after all, I did feed the 5000 (Matthew 16:9).  Remember to reconcile with your brothers and sisters (Matthew 5:22-23).  Remember that a servant isn’t greater than his master (John 15:20).  Remember there will come a time people will put you out of the church or kill you thinking they do God a service (John 16:1-4). 

After Christ was crucified the disciples remembered what Christ had said and done, and encouraged his followers to do the same.  Remember that Christ said it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).  Remember how Jesus Christ was raised from the dead (2 Timothy 2:8). Remember what the apostles of Lord foretold (Jude 1:17).

Humans have a memory problem so we have to be prompted to remember things.   

Sometimes the right kind of ritual can help us remember things.  At the Last Supper Jesus and the disciples took what we call Communion.  They ate the bread representing the body of Christ broken on the cross for us and drank the wine representing his blood, shed on our behalf.  Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me (Luke 22:14-20).”  This ritual continued all through New Testament times and still exists today (1 Corinthians 11:24 – 26).   

The point of doing something in remembrance of Christ is not to let it become so routine or ordinary that it has no meaning to us.  We need to think about it every time it’s done.  Taking Communion should feed our relationship with Christ.  Not only does it help us remember who Christ is but it also helps us remember who we are in Christ. 

Other Christian habits or spiritual disciplines such as going to church, studying the Bible, meditating on God’s words, or praying reinforce this as well.  C.S. Lewis puts it this way in his book Vice and Virtue, A Dictionary of the Good Life:  “…once you have accepted Christianity, then some of its main doctrines shall be deliberately held before your mind for some time every day.  That is why daily prayers and religious reading and churchgoing are necessary parts of the Christian life.  We have to be continually reminded of what we believe.  Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind.  It must be fed.” 

Most people don’t leave a church or the Christian life because they are reasoned out of it.  They just sort of drift away.  They get out of the habit of remembering who they are.  Perhaps this is one reason the command to remember is mentioned so many times in the Bible.

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