Five Things We Should Always Remember

Title: Five Things We Should Always Remember

Bible Book: 1 Peter

Author: Paul E. Brown

Subject: Homecoming; Memory; Remembering



Homecoming day in a church always brings back memories - and that fact led me to my subject for today: Five Things We Should Always Remember.

We do a lot of kidding - of ourselves and of others - about remembering. A lady said to her husband, "You don't remember things that are important to me. For instance, I'll bet you don't even remember my favorite flower." He said, "Why, I think I do - it's Pillsbury, isn't it?" I heard of a Texan whose memory was so bad that he even forgot the Alamo!

Well, we might get by with letting some things slide - but on the other hand, there are other things that we must not forget. As a matter of fact, the Bible makes it clear that God places a tremendously high priority on our remembering certain things. In 2 Peter 1 the apostle Peter reminds his fellow Christians of some wonderful ways in which God has blessed us. He also admonishes us as to our need to grow spiritually, and as to what can happen if we fail to grow. Then in verses 12-15 he says:

"Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me. Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance."

It's no big deal if we forget some things - but I want to name five things that we should always remember. Indeed, if we allow any one of these to become less than vivid in our memory, we'll fall miserably short of life's highest and best.

These things are referred to, directly or indirectly, in Peter's two epistles.


In 1 Peter 1:18-20 we read these words, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you."

The word "redeem" means "to set free by paying a price." In the first century, there were millions of slaves throughout the Roman Empire. If some kindly benefactor were willing and able, he could "redeem" a slave - that is, he could pay the price that the slave-owner demanded and set that slave free. Those of us who are Christians were, prior to our conversion, the slaves of sin. The Bible tells us that "all have sinned," and that "the wages of sin is death" - the emphasis being on spiritual death, which means separation from God. Sin had us in its grip. We were defeated in this life, and bound for eternal hell - but the Bible goes on to say, "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Jesus said, in John 8:36, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."

Jesus redeemed us from the servitude of sin. On the cross, in way that is beyond our comprehension, Jesus somehow took upon himself in one unfathomably tortuous bundle, all of the punishment that you and I deserve for all of our sins for time and eternity. Isaiah 53:5-6 says, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "For he hath him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

The physical suffering must have been horrendous, but the spiritual anguish must have been even worse. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Just think of it! He was the one perfect person who ever walked this earth. He never had one wrong thought, spoke one wrong word, and did one wrong thing. Yet, every filthy thought that you and I ever had, every sorry, sinful act we ever committed, every unholy, ungodly word we ever spoke, was all laid upon Jesus on that cross. We can't possibly understand it. Such a concept is totally outside our frame of reference, because we're sinners, but he was and is perfect. No wonder the poet said,

"For none of the ransomed ever knew how deep were the waters crossed, Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through 'ere he found the sheep that was lost."

When the renowned evangelist of another generation, Gypsy Smith, was an old man he was still fervent in serving the Lord. Someone asked him how it was that he was still so enthusiastic about Christian service after all those years. With a tear trickling down his face, Gypsy Smith said, "If there is anything of effectiveness in my life and ministry, it's because I've never lost the wonder of it all."

If you and I ever get to the point that we are casual about what happened on the cross, if we ever begin to take it for granted, we need to get on our knees and stay there until we recapture the wonder of it all. We should always remember the price that was paid for our salvation.


Look with me, please, at 1 Peter 5:12-13 (NIV), "With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. She who is in Babylon (apparently a reference to the church in Babylon, with Babylon being perhaps a symbolic reference to Rome - or it could refer to an actual city by that name), chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. Greet one another with a kiss of love."

Notice that as Peter writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he remembers to express appreciation for the help of Silas, and he also remembers to pass on greetings from the church at Babylon, and from Mark, with whom he had a close bond. Peter never forgot the people who were special to him. He always gave credit where credit was due.

In like manner, you and I should always remember the people whom God has used to bless our lives. We should always remember to give them the attention, consideration, and time that they deserve - and we should always remember to express appreciation to them and for them.

Our families are surely at the top of the list. I'm so thankful for Connie. She not only is the love of my life and my best friend, she is also my very best helper. She even helps me sometimes when I don't want to be helped! But I always need it. She is a wonderful wife - and, like a good wife should, she now and then slips me a little dose of humility. For example, we have a preacher friend who is in his mid or late 40's. He is a fine looking man. He wear a short, neatly trimmed beard that makes him look so distinguished. One day we were discussing him and I said, "Connie, how do you think I'd look with a beard?" She said, "Lonely."

I'm thankful for her - and I'm thankful for our children and grandchildren. A fellow said to his neighbor, "Have I told you about my grandchildren?" His neighbor said, "No, and I sure do appreciate it!" So, I won't talk a lot about my grandchildren today, even though I'm extremely proud of them, because many of you would demand equal time - and you would deserve it.

Connie and I are grateful for the many wonderful people whom God has used to bless our lives down through the years - and that most certainly includes you dear folks of First Baptist Church, Booneville. From our hearts we can say about you what the apostle Paul said of his friends in Philippians 1:3: "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you."

I'm thankful for all of our friends. I feel exactly as the poet expressed it:

My friends are little lamps to me, Their radiance warms and cheers my ways,

And all my pathways, smooth and rough, are illumined by the their rays.

I try to keep them bright by faith, and never them dim with doubt,

For every time I lose a friend, A little lamp goes out.

There's an extremely sad statement found in the book of Job. The beleaguered old patriarch, in excruciating pain and emotional distress, said in Job 19:14: "My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me." How inexcusable. At a time when he needed them most, his friends forgot him.

I have to ask myself how many people I've disappointed and marred my testimony with, not intentionally but because of forgetting - forgetting some promise made, or forgetting some special occasion in their lives, or forgetting to be attentive when they were hurting. Thomas Hood wrote, "But evil is wrought by want of thought, As well as want of heart."

We should always remember the people whom God has used to bless our lives - those who are no longer with us, and those whom we are blessed to have with us still.


We read in 2 Peter 1:4 says, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

Chuck Swindoll said, "Sometimes I feel like life is a violin solo, and I've got on boxing gloves. Or that life is the Indy 500, and I'm driving a broken-down jalopy." We all feel that way sometimes - but how great it is that we have the promises of God to lift us out of the valley of despair. I don't have time to elaborate, but let me at least name - and perhaps comment briefly - on just two or three of those wonderful, sustaining promises.

Lamentations 3:21-23: "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning...." Sometimes we feel that all the wind is gone out of our sails and that we just can't go on, but lo and behold! The next morning God is standing by with a fresh, new supply of spiritual strength that is ours for the asking!

Romans 8:28 reads, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." What a grand, sweeping promise! "All things." That includes those tragic things that result from our sins and blunders. That includes those terrible events whose mysterious cause we couldn't even begin to understand. If we know Christ as Lord and Savior, and if we - in love - yield the broken pieces to him, our God can somehow miraculously bring good even out of a sad, sorry, sick situation. We may not be able to see it at the time, but if we'll just hang in there and keep on trusting, one day - here or hereafter - we'll be able to look back and say with the poet: "God was better to me than all my hopes, better than all my fears; For he made a bridge of my broken sighs, and a rainbow out of my tears."

There are times when you need to hang on to Romans 8:28 in order to keep your sanity.

Note 2 Corinthians 12:9, " grace is sufficient for thee...." The hymn writer said, "Thro' many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come; 'Tis grace hath bro't me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home."

Satan tries to fog our minds and cause us to forget those great truths, but if we'll make it a point to read them, meditate on them, and even memorize them so that we can call them up at any moment, God will use those great truths to sustain us in our times of pain, disappointment, and heartbreak. That great old hymn says it so well:

"Standing on the promises that cannot fail, When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, By the living Word of God I shall prevail, Standing on the promises of God."


In 1 Peter 1:3-4 we read, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you."

Several decades ago, in England, there was a professor of literature named C. S. Lewis. He was an atheist. However, in his 30's he was gloriously converted and became an outstanding spokesman for the Christian faith. After studying the history of the Christian movement and the impact that various individuals had made, C. S. Lewis made this observation: "The Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have begun thinking less of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this."

The late C. S. Lewis was right on target. If we are to see the events of this life in proper perspective and deal with them effectively, we must be rightly related to the Lord and have a clear, Bible-based awareness of what awaits us in heaven.

What a great place, indeed, heaven must be. We will be reunited with Christian loved ones and friends who have gone on before. We will enjoy spectacular beauty there. We will experience perfect health, and we will be free from all our sins.

But then there will be the supreme blessing of heaven. The song writer put it like this. "It will be worth it all, When we see Jesus; Life's trials will seem so small, When we see Christ; One glimpse of his dear face, All sorrow will erase; So bravely run the race, 'Til we see Christ."

There are wonderful blessings and joys that come to the believer in this life. But we are not exempted from life's trials and tribulations - and when we are going through the valley of suffering or heartache, we need to remember that we are strangers and pilgrims here, and that heaven is our ultimate home. In Romans 8:18 Paul wrote: "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

James Whitcomb Riley wrote a poem entitled, "A Life Lesson," and here's the last stanza: "There! Little girl, don't cry! They have broken your heart, I know; And the rainbow gleams of your youthful dreams, Are things of the long ago; But heaven holds all for which you sigh, - -There! little girl; don't cry!"


Note 1 Peter 2:15, "For so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men." 1 Peter 2:21: "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps."

Also, we read in 1 Corinthians 4:2, "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." It isn't required that we be multi-talented, or exceptionally brilliant, or outstandingly personable. You may very well be all of those, but the one requirement God makes of believers is that we be faithful - in every department of life.

Some folks want to be "cafeteria Christians." That is, they want to pick and choose the areas in which they'll be faithful - and they somehow rationalize and convince themselves that their negligence in other areas of responsibility is excusable. But 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." We're to be faithful in all things.

That includes faithfulness in attending church. Some folks say, "Oh, I love the Lord, but I don't go to church." That's somewhat like saying, "I love to swim, but I don't like water." Hebrews 10:25 says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is...." Unless providentially hindered, you and I need to be there when the church doors open - for our own good, and for the sake of our influence.

We're to be faithful in bringing God's tithes and offerings. One lady said, "There are a lot of reasons to tithe, but one reason is that I'm afraid to keep that which doesn't belong to me." She was absolutely right. Leviticus 27:30 says, "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord." We're also to bring offerings, as God directs us.

The faithfulness that God requires includes our helping to carry the load. Hebrews 9:14 says, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" No Christian is to be simply a spectator. There is a place for everyone to serve. Paul Powell said, "We were not saved to sit and soak and sour until the second coming." I believe it was also Powell who said that some Christians have been sitting so long that they have ingrown shirt-tails!

We're to be faithful in our moral conduct. 1 Peter 1:15 says, "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation." Someone has said, "You are writing a gospel, a page each day, by the things you do and the words you say. Men are reading that gospel, whether faultless or true. Say, what is the gospel according to you?"

Further, we're to be faithful in witnessing to those around us. We are, of course, to witness by manner of life. Jesus said, in Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." But we are also to verbalize our faith. Jesus said, in Acts 1:8, "ye shall be witnesses unto me...." - and whatever else a witness may be, it is someone who tells what he knows first-hand to be true. The author of Psalm 107:2 declared, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so....!"

The song writer expressed what should be the heart-felt conviction of every last one of us,

When I survey the wondrous cross,

On which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss,

And pour contempt on all my pride.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were a present far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Jesus paid an enormous price in order that you and I might be saved. But in order to receive that great gift, we have to reach out for it in repentance and faith. If you've never done so, I challenge you to surrender your life to Jesus Christ this very morning. It will be the wisest decision you'll ever make. Then take your public stand for him as we sing the hymn of invitation.

If you're already a Christian, I challenge you to face up to whatever sins have crept into your life, and to resolve right now to make whatever new beginnings are needful in your life. Let your prayer be:

Lord of the years that are left to me, I give them to thy hand;

Take me, break me, and mold me, To the pattern thou hast planned.


So, those are five things that we dare not forget if we're going to be what we ought, if we're going to mean to others what we should, and if we're going to honor God. We must always remember the price that was paid for our salvation - the people whom God has used to bless us - the promises that God has given to sustain us - the provision he has made for us at the end of the way, and - of profound importance - we must always remember the performance he expects of us as believers in the meantime.

Rudyard Kipling wrote, "Lord God hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget - lest we forget!"


Posted in


Scroll to Top