Monday, January 22, 2024

            We have an assortment of ways and tricks to improve our memory.  One common way to aid memory is making notes—especially Post-It-Notes.  Another way is putting something important on the refrigerator door.  There are even over-the-counter supplements that claim to boost memory power.  Maybe you have tried one of these ways or something specific that seemingly works for you.  In his own words, Peter assured his first century readers (and us) about some important truths and lessons worth holding on to and remembering.  In his own words, he wrote, “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things” (2 Peter 1:12-15).
            The obvious question we are inclined to ask is “what would Peter like for us to remember?”  Personally, I think he is writing to remind us of the gospel—Christ born of a virgin, the sinless Son of God, crucified, risen and coming again.  We are to hold on to this “truth” that has been “established” in us.  The disciple says we are to remember these gospel truths “always.”  They are foundational to what it means to be a Christian and to be in a relationship with the Lord God.  These truths are often challenged, twisted, dismissed and even denied by some.  But Peter calls us back to the simple gospel message where God loved us enough to send forth His Son to be our Savior so that no one who believes will perish.
            Peter had the advantage of a front row seat to see, experience and learn the gospel message.  He was called by Jesus from a life of fishing to a life of following; from fishing for fish to fishing for men and women who would respond to the preached gospel message.  He practically told us what he wants us to remember in verses 16-18 when he wrote, “For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain” (1 Peter 1:16-18).  We are warned not to be tricked or deceived by “cleverly devised stories.”  We are captured by the gospel and we want to remain captured by the gospel.  No other message offers us the promise of forgiveness and the gift of everlasting life with the Lord.
            One way that we remember and hold on to the gospel is by reading the Bible.  Make it a daily practice where you are spending some portion of your time in God’s Word.  Make it a part of your day as much as breakfast, lunch, your phone or your favorite ways to pass time.  We will never arrive at a point where we can say that we have read all there is to read in God’s Word and can no longer grow from or benefit from further reading.  God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light for our paths (Psalm 119:105).  Another way to remember the gospel is to worship with other believers and in settings where the gospel is remembered and proclaimed every time.  We can never hear the gospel too many times.  It is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe (Romans 1:16).  As Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16).  There can be no shame because this gospel is what brings us to God.
            We can easily recognize false teachings and doctrines by exposing ourselves to what is right.  Remembering and recalling the gospel will keep us from being deceived or being led astray into something that is simply wrong.  When we remember that Christ died for our sins, we are motivated and empowered to turn from sin and to live in ways that are righteous and good.  We never want to take up the same old sins for which Christ gave His life.  We want to flee from them and leave them punished and paid for at the cross where Christ died. 
            A third way to remember the gospel is to write down verses that you want to remember.  Underline passages in your Bible.  One benefit to reading the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation is you are exposed to the full counsel of God and you will know where to turn when you need direction, instruction and encouragement.  There could be some golden inspiration and encouragement that you discover in some unlikely and maybe even previously unread places in your Bible.  It is never too late to make God’s Word part of your life.  And you are not too old to do it.  When you mark your Bible and make notes, you are engaging God’s Word and not just passively reading it.  You are drawing it into your life in an important way.  Suppose you had no access to a written Bible and all you had was the Scripture that you could remember and recite?  Memory is a gift and filling our memory bank with God’s Word is a dividend-producing time and investment.  It will last for eternity.  Have a great Monday!  

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