Throughout the Bible, there are a number of instructions from the Lord concerning matters that He wants people to remember. Of course, anytime there is a directive from God that applies to us, we need to take it to heart. The word “remember,” though, should cause us to elevate our awareness and attention. Let us consider a few biblical matters in which God has given the charge to remember something or someone.
Remember your Creator – “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).
Remember the Lord’s redemption – As Moses told Israel about how to deal with a Hebrew servant, the exhortation was, “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you . . .” (Deuteronomy 15:15). Christians, too, were slaves in the past. We were the slaves of sin, but now seek to be the slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:16-22). Let us never forget that we were cleansed from our sins (2 Peter 1:9), and let us be grateful for our free redemption.
Remember God’s commands – In a context in which God through Moses instructed the Israelites to put tassels on their garments as a reminder, here was the whole point of emphasis: “and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God” (Numbers 15:40). What a marvelous message for God’s people of every era: remember what God says, do what He says, and be holy.
“Remember Lot’s wife” – That is exactly what Jesus said as He spoke about the Son of man’s revelation/coming (Luke 17:32). As we read these words of the Master, our thoughts immediately go to the tragic mistake that Lot’s wife made. After escaping the city of Sodom just before it was wiped out, in an act that was in total defiance of what God commanded, she turned around to look back at the degenerate city and turned into a pillar of salt. It seems that disregarding what God says is not a small matter after all!
Remember that a servant is not above his master – To help prepare His apostles for the persecution which they would face if they remained loyal to Him, Jesus told them, “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20).
Remember what Jesus said about giving and receiving – “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak.
And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). In principle, we always ought to strive to “remember the words of the Lord Jesus.” In particular, we should learn to develop a spirit of generosity and desire to be a blessing to others.
Remember Jesus (and what He has done for us) – As Paul wrote to the disciples in Corinth about the instructions which he previously delivered to them concerning the Lord’s Supper, he reminded them of this: “and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat, this is My body which is broken for you, do this in remembrance of Me . . . He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me’” (1 Corinthians 11:24,25). There is no mistaking the Christ-given purpose of the communion: we take it in order to remember our Lord’s death and sacrifice for us.
Remember the poor – Actually, this was an idea that John, James, and Cephas expressed to Barnabas and Paul. Here is what Paul wrote about it: “They desired only that we should remember the poor; the very thing which I also was eager to do” (Galatians 2:10). When we “remember” the poor, we do more than recall that there are such people, and we do more than recognize that they have needs. The call to “remember” them is a call to “do them good,” as Jesus said (Mark 14:7).
Remember the resurrection of Jesus – “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel” (2 Timothy 2:8). His resurrection showed Him to be the Son of God with power (Romans 1:4), and it is via his resurrection that God causes us to have a living hope (1 Peter 1:3).
Remember prisoners and mistreated people – The instruction for first-century Christians was to continue in brotherly love and to entertain strangers (Hebrews 13:1,2). The very next sentence was, “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them – those who are mistreated – since you yourselves are in the body also” (Hebrews 13:3). We must not forget the children of God who suffer innocently, even to the point of going to prison for His sake. Let us remember them in prayer and give them moral support, just as we would appreciate them doing such for us.
When God designed the human brain, He made it with a great capacity to recall things. When the Lord calls on us to “remember” something or someone, let us give heed to His admonition.
— Roger D. Campbell