How to Remember

There are some things that God really wants us to remember. (See What to Remember for more on that.) God has also given us some examples of ways to remember what He wants us to remember. Let us look at some of these ways.

Visual cues

In Numbers 15:37-40, God told the Israelites to tie tassles onto their clothes to help them remember the commandments. Many “memory experts” today suggest the same type of memory device. You associate a commandment with each tassle and then when you look at the tassle, it reminds you of what you are supposed to do. Kind of like tying a string around your finger to remember an important appointment.

Unfortunately, Matthew 23:5 tells us that some of the Jews had turned the tassles into something just to show how religious they were. They perverted the purpose of the tassles and forgot what they were for. The technique only works when you use for the right reasons.

In Numbers 16:39-40 they made a covering for the altar made from censors offered by Korah and his people. That would serve as a very vivid reminder of what happens when you rebel against God. In Exodus 13:3 God set up the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Passover for the Israelites to remember going out of Egypt. In Deuteronomy 5:15 we see that one purpose of the Sabbath was for them to remember being slaves. Unfortunately in John 8:33 we find that they forgot why they did what they did. They perverted the purpose of the Sabbath and forgot the things God had designed it to remind them about.

We must make sure that we do not fall into the same trap. In Luke 22:19 Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper. We must make sure that we do not forget the reason for it.

Constant repetition

I lived with an old woman for a few months who had gone mostly blind. She told me that her biggest regret is not reading the Bible more while she still could because she was having trouble remember a lot that it said.

In 2 Peter 3:1-2, Peter reminds us about the words spoken by apostles and prophets. We also see in Romans 15:14-15, 1 Corinthians 4:17, and Titus 3:1-2 that we need to constantly be reminded of the things we have already learned or we will forget them. Sometimes, I get caught up in trying to teach something new and I forget that we all need reminders of what we have already learned. Also see 2 Peter 1:13-14 and Jude 1:5.

Living it

The quickest way to forget God is by not doing His commandments (Deuteronomy 8:11-14;17-18). Don’t think, “After I get some money, I will take the time to do what God wants me to do.” It doesn’t work like that — you do it or you forget.

It also works to remind others of what the Bible says when we live it. In Matthew 26:75, Peter remembered what the Lord prophesied after He did it. In the same way, when we do things or see things the Bible talks about, we help others remember them as well as reinforce the memory of those commands in our own minds.

In John 2:14-17,22; 16:1-4 we find the disciples remembering the prophecy of the resurrection when it was fulfilled. When we see the foolish fornicators dying, do we remember? (Proverbs 7:27 — prostitute’s way is death.) When we see the drunkards suffering, do we remember (Proverbs 23:31-32)? When we see the righteous suffering, do we remember what Christ said about it? When we see the righteous blessed, do we remember (Mark 10:29-30)?

God has given us things He wants us to remember, but He has also given us some ways to remember them. Let us use this God-given wisdom and remember what God has done for us and what He wants us to do. Let’s live it.