“Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:” (Acts 26:1-2).
“And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.” (Deuteronomy 15:15).
“And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes.” (Deuteronomy 16:12).
“But thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.” (Deuteronomy 24:18,22).
These four different passages say about the same thing. “Remember” that you were in Egypt as slaves or as bondmen. Over and over again the Scripture says, “Remember”.
“Remember” all the journeys that God has led you through. “Remember” all the things that God has done for you. The Bible says, “Remember Lot’s wife”. It also says concerning the Lord’s Supper, “As oft as you do this do it in remembrance of me”.
Over and over again we are commanded to remember and we are also commanded about “what” to “remember”. I must confess that I do not have a great memory bank. I don’t have a bad memory I just choose what to remember and what not to remember.
God never commands us to do any thing that we cannot will to do. God says for us to rejoice. Thus, I can decide to be joyful because God love commands me to do so! God says to me to be content. Thus, I can decide to be content through my will.
God never commands us to do any thing that we cannot decide or will to do. So, when God tells us to remember and what to remember we then can decide to will to remember what we are supposed to remember. I choose to remember and what to remember.
Likewise God tell us some things to forget! Thus, if God tells me things that I can forget I can decide to will to forget them. How can this be done? God commanded me to forget them and He never asks me to do some thing that I cannot will to do.
There is a button on my computer that says, “delete.” There is also a button on my computer that says “save” what ever it is that you have put into your computer. You can save a lot of information in a computer and then call it up on the spur of the moment on your computer screen to see.
Your mind is better than a computer and you can program your mind to bring up on your mental screen what you want to see.
God said in essence that we can decide what is put in and we can decide what to pull up on the screen of our minds. You and I are supposed to remember some things and not remember other things.
Each of us has bad things that we could remember that would make us bitter. However, if you are bitter today it is because you have chosen to remember some things that God says NOT to remember. The result is bitterness. You pushed the button that brought to remembrance things that you knew would make you bitter.
Likewise if you have joy it is because you have chosen to bring to remembrance those things that bring joy and make you joyful.
Rejoice is a command of God! You can decide to rejoice! The way to rejoice is to call to remembrance things that make you rejoice. Down inside of your mind are things that would make you rejoice, bitter, happy, or sad.
Now God said, “I want you to remember certain things.” On the other hand you can punch a button and recall to remembrance things that will make you grateful to God.
Every one reading this article has ample quantity of things in your life to cause you to be bitter, if you so choose to remember those negative things. Every one reading this has ample quantity of reasons to be grateful if so choose to remember those positive things.
I guess it is really up to you which you would like to recall to memory. The truth is you have not had any more bad happen to you than any one else has had in life. We have all had our share of good and bad in life. You are not the only person who has heartache, a burden, or a problem. It all depends on what you choose to remember!
You can choose by your will to remember the bad things, be bitter, negative, unhappy, or sad. However, you could choose to remember things that can make you joyful, grateful, and make you shout.
When I’m preaching and some one all of a sudden jumps up and shouts “Amen” you think that they are just more emotional than you. Oh no! They push different mental buttons than you do!
“But preacher there is this nut that always sits next to me!” Yes, and he also is sitting next to a nut! He’s a loud nut and you are a quiet nut! He’s a shouting nut and you are a pouting nut! He’s a thinking nut and you are a non-thinking nut!
The difference between the happy people and the sad people is not found in their circumstances, but in the pushing of certain mental buttons. It’s which button they punch on the computer of their mind to recall what they will to recall to remembrance on the screen of their minds.
You can recall that your dad didn’t play ball with you when you were a boy or you can remember how he feed you, clothed you, and put a roof over your head! You can say that your dad never taught you character and you can become bitter or you can recall how many times he got up before day break to go to work for ten to twelve hours a day. You could choose to remember how he put foot on the table and clothes on your back.
The choice is yours and yours alone! What ever you choose to remember is what causes you to feel what you feel!
“I think myself happy” (Acts 26:2). You can choose to remember that your mother never taught you how to sew or cook, or you can choose to remember that your mother went to the jaws of death to give you life. You can choose to remember that your mother was never close to you. You can choose to remember that she never gave you counsel that you thought she should have done, or you can choose to remember that she nurtured you, cooked meals for you, washed your clothes, ironed your clothes, and kept your house clean.
I really don’t care how bad your mother was if she gave you birth and life. You ought to think about that and thank God for you mother!
It does bother a great deal when I hear of psychologists blaming moms and dads for their children’s lack of personal responsibility. The Scriptures say plainly that every man shall give account of himself to God (Romans 14:12). Its up to each of us as to what we decide via our will to call to remembrance. You can choose what to remember.
You can choose to remember that one time that a friend hurt you or you could choose to remember all the good times you experienced with that same friend.
There are many Christians who are bitter at someone because after twenty years of a good relationship they did one thing wrong to you and you chose to think about that one incident and not remember all the good times. No wonder you are bitter!