Isn’t it sweet to be remembered? Being forgotten can certainly lead to sadness.
Do you remember Lot’s wife? Jesus told us to (Luke 17:32). In Jesus’ opinion, if you forget Lot’s wife then you place yourself at great risk.
Remembering and forgetting are huge topics in the Bible. If you do a word search on “forget” and “remember,” you will find those two words in some form appear over 1,300 times in the English Bible. It is safe to assume that our affections, appreciation, and loyalties are all in danger of drifting if we don’t remember not to forget. The act of remembering God was built into the everyday routine of his people who were called out of Egypt (Deut. 6:12, 8:18). Forgetting some things is actually sinful.
Forgetfulness is such a problem that in 1868, General John Logan officially proclaimed a day to honor and remember those Union and Confederate soldiers who had died and were buried at Arlington National Cemetery. I have an uncle who is buried there. Congress officially made the last Monday in May a holiday (and a 3-day weekend) in 1971. Observances of Memorial Day have diminished over the years in our country so much so that in 2000, President Bill Clinton issued an order for a National Moment of Remembrance that asked all Americans to pause at 3:00 pm local time to remember, reflect, and honor those who have given their lives in service to our country. Americans need reminding to remember and reflect on important things.
Remembering and reflecting on those who have died in service to our country is a good idea for many reasons. Simply elevating the discussion about our collective forgetfulness is of great value as well. Over this coming weekend as you turn your attention toward those from your family, friends, work, church, neighborhood, or acquaintances that have given their all in service to our country, allow time for reflection on the larger issues of remembering and forgetting.
While you are remembering, be humbled and driven to prayerful action by the reality that nations that forget God face God’s fearful judgment (Psalm 9:15-20).
While you are remembering, don’t forget all the benefits and blessings lavishly given to you by God. There is a partial listing of them in Psalm 103.
While you are remembering, be sure to somehow engage yourself with the poor (Gal. 2:10), the prisoners (Heb. 13:3), and your church leaders (Heb. 13:7). There are people we tend to forget about and ignore who God wants remembered for the sake of the gospel. Think about those who are sometimes easily forgotten and extend grace to them in the name of Christ.
While you are remembering, be sure to forget both what you have achieved in the past and your past failures as a Christian in order to keep your gaze firmly fixed on the finish line which is Christ who has apprehended you for himself (Phil. 3:13). Like a runner, don’t look over your shoulder and possibly become satisfied or relax your effort because of how far you have run or whom you have seemed to pass. Remember to press on for the prize of the call of God on your life in Christ Jesus.
While you are remembering, don’t forget to pray for and pursue some who may not have heard about Lot’s wife. Can you imagine greater joy and satisfaction than someone hearing and heeding your gospel warnings and being saved? I am looking forward to remembering better with you. Perhaps we could begin by memorizing (remembering for a period of time) Luke 17:32 together. If I can do that, I’m sure you can too!