Precious Memories, How They Linger
This morning I’d like us all to do some thinking. And what I’d like us to think about, is all of our precious memories from the past. Don’t think about bad the bad things that have happened, but think about all the good things. Our lives have all varied form one another, and so some of us will be thinking about certain things, and others will be thinking about other things. But think about your most precious memories if you would.
And I want to read a short article that a retired preacher named Charles Hicks wrote. He calls the little article, “A Time For Remembrance”. And it gets a bit sentimental, and it might even tend to bring a tear to your eye. But I think it’s a really good little article, and so I wanted to share it with you.
He begins with these words from Psalm 112, verse 6; “The righteous will be remembered forever.”
“Precious memories, How they linger, How they ever flood my soul; In the stillness of the midnight, Precious sacred scenes unfold.” It seems that with each passing day, I find myself remembering and thinking about earlier days of my life. Precious memories of my father and mother, my daughter, my wife and other family members, linger and ever flood my soul. I have to believe that maybe, just maybe, this is one of the blessings of growing old.
Today, as I walk down memory lane, my heart is flooded with precious memories of my father and mother who provided me a home filled with peace, security, warmth, love and happiness. A home in which loyalty, truthfulness, trust, honesty and respect was taught and practiced. Greatest of all, they taught me to love God, his word and his church. My parents did not leave me an inheritance of material things, but what they did leave me is priceless. I pray that one day my children will have these same kind of precious memories of me.
In some ways it seems as if it was only yesterday that I was a young man enjoying the love, care and security provided by that loving father and mother. It seems as if it was only yesterday that my precious daughter would walk through the door with a beaming smile that brightened the room and O, how deeply those precious memories are of my beautiful wife. Alas, yesterday is gone forever, tomorrow may never come, today is all any of us have. Rarely does a day pass in which at some point my heart is not touched with a tinge of emptiness and loneliness as I remember my loved ones, especially my beautiful wife. Blessed indeed are those of us who can close our eyes and in the stillness of the moment, have our souls flooded with those precious memories, that will lift us up, and strengthen us, with renewed courage as we continue our journey down the pathway of life.
I know these words are of a very personal nature, but I trust and pray that all who read them can find a way to apply them to their life. As someone once said, “You will never know the real value of a moment, until it is a memory.” Without these “precious memories”, how miserable this life would be! And now hear me as I say to you, that the day is coming in which WE will only be a memory, in the hearts of those who love us. May those memories we leave behind be most precious!”
Don’t you think that’s a wonderful little article? I do, and that’s why I wanted to share it with you. Now I know that not all of us can identify with everything mentioned there. For example, maybe not everyone had the blessing, of both, a loving mother, AND a loving father. I for instance, didn’t have a loving father, that I can have “precious memories” about. But I sure did have a loving mother! And I’ll never forget all the things that she did for both myself and my sister. But we don’t have to identify exactly with everything that article said, to still truly cherish, the “precious memories” that we have from our lifetime.
But something else that I want to share with you this morning, is some bible verses that talk about our memories, and how special they can be. There’s actually quite a few verse that talk about memories, and about remembering.
For example, listen to this passage from Luke 2. The occasion was when Jesus at the age of twelve, got left behind in Jerusalem, and He was found talking with the Jewish leaders, who were amazed at His understanding. And so the bible says in verses 48 thru 50; “When his parents saw Him, they were astonished. His mother said to Him; Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you. Why were you searching for me?” He asked. Didn’t you know, I had to be in my Father’s house? But they did not understand what He was saying to them. Then He went down to Nazareth with them, and was obedient to them. But his mother, treasured all these things in her heart.” And I would imagine that Mary treasured that precious memory all her life. And maybe she even thought of it as she witnessed Jesus hanging on the cross, as He fulfilled His Father’s will.
And then Mary’s son was taken away from her. But I’m sure that she took the memories of Him with her, to her until her dying day. And that’s the way it is with us sometimes. Some of you have lost children, but you never lose the memories. It’s something that you treasure. Isn’t your memory, one of the greatest blessings that God has given you? We might not always think about that, but maybe we should think about it more often. And maybe we should include that as one of the things we thank God for in our prayers every day. Thank you Lord, for all the memories.. Memories of my childhood, and of my friends, and of my children, and of my parents, of my brothers and sisters. And thank you for the memories of church members who have gone. So many things to remember, to be thankful for.
Here’s something to think about. Psalm 111, verse 1 & 2; “Praise the LORD; I will extol the Lord with all my heart, in the council of the upright, and in the assembly. Great are the works of the LORD; They are pondered, by all who delight in them.” We always want to treasure that thought don’t we? How great are the works of our God!
And how about this passage that speaks of “remembrance”. 1 Corinthians 11, verses 23, thru 26; The apostle Paul speaking; “For I received from the Lord, that which I also passed on to you..” (I would imagine that as Paul wrote these words, he was remembering vividly, the day that the Lord told him these things) “How that the Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said; This is my body, which is for you; Do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying; This cup is the new covenant in My blood; Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”
1 Corinthians chapter 10, and verse 16 says; “Is not the cup of blessing that we bless a participation in the blood of Christ? (some versions say “a sharing”. then KJ says “a communion”) And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?”
Do we understand the greatness, of the blessing of being able to share, in the body and blood of Christ? If you “share”, and “participate” in the BLOOD of Christ, then you’re sharing in the blessings that come from that blood. And if you share, in the body of Christ, you are a sharer, in the kingdom of Christ. We need to remember that. What if God suddenly took all those blessing away from us? It wouldn’t take us very long to say.. Hey! Where’d all those blessings go? Let’s just make sure that we’re just as eager, to be remembering the Lord, every first day of the week, as we are to get all those blessings, that come with the body and blood of Christ.
Now here’s something to remember; When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he told them in Ephesians 2: 12 & 13; “Remember, that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope, and without God in the world. But now, in Christ Jesus, you who once were far away, have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” One of the great blessings that are our to share, from the blood of Christ.
The Psalmist said in Psalm 77, verses 11 thru 14; “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; Yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works, and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? YOU are the God who performs miracles; YOU display your power among the peoples.”
Here’s something we should learn from the apostle Paul. Paul wrote in Philippians 1: 3 thru 6; “I thank God for you, whenever I think of you. (in other words, every time I remember you) I always have joy as I pray for every one of you. And it is because you have told others the Good News, from the first day you heard, it until now. I am sure that God Who began the good work in you, will keep on working in you, until the day Jesus Christ comes again.”
Do we sometimes forget, to tell others about the good news? If we do, then we need to start remembering to do it. Do you remember who first told you the good news? Do you remember who prayed for you always, as you were learning about God? Do you remember the work, that God has begun in you? God has begun a work in you, through the words of His Holy Spirit.
Remember, as you obey the words of God, it’s GOD, that’s working in YOU. That is HOW God works in us. That’s how the Holy Spirit works in us. He works in us through His word. As we obey the words of the Holy Spirit, that’s how the Holy Spirit dwells in us, and that’s how God works in us. Ephesians 5:18 says; “Be FILLED with the Spirit.” And Colossians 3:16 says; “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..” And the way that that is done, is by obeying the WORDS of the Holy Spirit; The words of the bible. And as we “remain faithful unto death” as the scripture says, that’s how God KEEPS working in us, and that’s how He completes, the work that He has begun in us. I hope that you’ll always remember these things.
And now as we close, let’s listen to the words of Peter, from 2 Peter 1, verses 10 thru 15; “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent, to make certain about His calling and choosing you; (So once again, finish the work that God has started in you, by remaining faithful unto death, and thus completing the work that God has begun, and thus making certain, His calling and His choosing you) For as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; For in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.”
The invitation is yours, to believe God’s word, every time you hear it, and every time you’re reminded of it. And to always be ready to confess your faith, and to always be ready to repent of any sin you might be guilty of. And if you’ve never been baptized for the forgiveness of your sins, I would urge you to do that right now. We have the time, and we have the water, and I’m sure that God would love to begin a work in you, right now.