If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing.

                                                                                    James 1

Jesus did a lot of repeating. He didn't say something to His disciples once and leave it at that. We hear Him saying things like,

"Watch for you know neither the day nor the hour", again and again.

"The last shall be first and the first last."

"Where is your faith?"


Over and over again He said these things!

Jesus knew how prone human nature is to forget the things of God. How easy it was for them to let the truth fly right out of their heads - and lose it! These men and women would never survive their journey through this world unless they learned constantly to remember what God had done for them - who they now were, what they were sent forth to do.

When it comes to the things of God our old nature has only one desire;

- to forget,

- to push them out of our minds.

O, it's easy enough to remember things that drag you toward the pit,

all your past glories,

all your wonderful achievements,

the wrongs others have done to you,

those corrupting pleasures that weren't one hundredth as beautiful as your fleshly memory now makes them seem.

But the holy, blessed, saving things God has done for you will soon be forgotten unless you will to remember them.

God can speak the most wonderful words that send a thrill through every nerve of our being. But those words won't stay there, not one lasting change will take place in our lives through those words unless we keep remembering them. God can heal us, answer our prayers, but don't ever get the idea that a miracle that happens to you today will still be the greatest thing in your life a year from now. It will mean no more to you than that fish you caught last summer - unless you keep remembering.

Some Sundays we see people walking out of our churches on Cloud 9.

"At last the thing has happened!"

"My life has been changed!"

"Jesus has come in and taken over!"

Praise God for that! But how many times, before a week goes by, the whole thing is erased. Was that person's experience false when they received Jesus? No, their memory was short, that's all. By the next day they were already beginning to forget.

In the morning when we wake up, what wakes up? Our flesh wakes up! It doesn't matter whether our flesh looks out the window and says, "0 no! Another day!", or whether it says, "Up and at 'em!" Things to be done! Either way, our flesh will go on utterly unconscious of God unless our spirit remembers and reminds us at the very beginning of the day that we are living now in a new order. Old things have passed away - behold all things have become new --- we are in Christ.

We have to begin with that every day.

We have to remember that every day.

When the day starts we have to bring the mind and heart, with an act of will, right back to the Cross - right back to Jesus. And during the day if our mind wanders away from the truth, and the Spirit of God gives us a nudge, we need to bring our thoughts and actions back on center immediately.        

Don't get the idea that some people are lucky, they just automatically have their hearts on God. Nobody just automatically has their heart on God.

We're all scatterbrains.

We all have to learn to remember.

We all have to discipline our hearts to abide in the truth.

"Be not deceived. God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life."

He's talking to believers - people who know the truth. You sow where your mind is.

If your mind is on the flesh - you're sowing to the flesh.

If your mind is on the Spirit - you are sowing to the Spirit.

And your mind is where your memory puts it. If you remember that you are a child of Adam and you dwell on all the things that belong to the Adamic nature, you will walk the way of death and reap the fruit of death. But if you remember that you a child of God – born of His Spirit, led by His Spirit, then you will dwell in the realm of God and you will walk the way of life and reap the fruit of life.

There are four things we need to remember if we are going to stay alive in God.

1. Remember Calvary - that glorious moment when you finally went down on your face before the Cross of the Son of God and received the forgiveness of your sins, was the doorway to a new life. You were drawn there - you would never have found your way to that Cross if God hadn't brought you there.

But don't expect the Cross of Jesus to hold you to itself automatically. Now it's up to you – all day long - when you're out there in the rat race;

to remember where the victory is – Calvary,

to remember where your sin and death and the fear of death; where Satan and his kingdom are conquered - Calvary.

If I forget you, 0 Calvary, let my right hand wither! Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you - if I do not set Calvary above my highest joy!

There are people who live in the power of the Cross. And the way they do it is by remembering the Cross all the time.         There's no other way.

2. Remember the words of the Lord which you have received and heard.

"If you abide in me and my words abide in you....."

How else can the words of Jesus abide in us than by retaining them in our memory fresh and alive?

"The words that I have spoken to you", says the Lord, "they are Spirit and they are life",

and they're not complicated. They're simple and they're few - any child can retain them in its heart.

Our very life as believers hinges on remembering His words. It's not a matter of quoting chapter and verse - it's a matter of coming back again and again to the words of Jesus.

Let Him tell you again.

Let Him burn those words into your mind anew as He speaks to you not only in the gospels, but in Psalms and Genesis and Revelation. You're not going to make it out there, if the words of the Lord aren't echoing in back of your mind all the time.

3. Remember the vision God gave you when you were first reborn.

But God who is rich in mercy out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.... and raised us up to sit with Him in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

He put you in heaven right away.

He showed you that you are already seated with Him in heavenly places.

Then God sent you down into the valley of trial where He began to mold your actual earthly life into the likeness of the heavenly vision, All through the pain of being hammered and molded and shaped, you have to keep remembering the vision. If you lose the vision, your trials will become unbearable.

And we all with unveiled face, reflecting as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another, by the Spirit of the Lord.

To reflect that glory you have to keep looking at it - remembering it.

4. Remember your first love. The love God put in our hearts the day we met His son was never meant to cool – it was meant to burn on and on forever. If your love of God and your neighbor has cooled, if it has turned sour, if it's not what it once was, it's because you have allowed yourself to forget.

- If it has turned sour,

- if it's not what it once was,

it's because you have allowed yourself to forget.

"I have this against you'', said the Lord to the angel of the Church at Ephesus, "that you have abandoned your first love. Remember then from what you have fallen."

You didn't put that love there - God did. And God will keep it there if you will remember it and live in it.

The love between a man and his wife was never meant to wane as their bodies age. It was meant to be deeper fifty years later than it could possibly be in the days of their youth.

So our love for Jesus goes from strength to strength. We see saints of God in their 80's praising God, side by side with kids who haven't hit 20 yet, and the fire is getting hotter every day.

But how to remember! Some of us just can't seem to get our memories together. Our intentions are good but our thoughts keep flaking off in a thousand different directions. Before the day is half over it seems we've forgotten everything. Calvary and all the promises of the Lord seem unreal and far away. The years wear on and our vision gets faint - and our first love grows cold.

When we get spiritual amnesia and forget who we are and who we belong to it's always because we have failed to listen carefully to the instruction God has given us and is now giving us about remembering.

Listen: whenever God calls you to remember something He always calls you to do something.

- Not just think something.

- Not just intend something,

do something - and in the doing, the memory comes to life.

You want to remember Calvary? Come to his table - take the bread and wine into your body and the words of Jesus into your heart.

"Take eat. This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me" -you're doing something!

And as you do it, you remember. Calvary comes alive!

"All of you, drink from it. This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it in remembrance of me."

You want to remember the words Jesus has spoken to you? Very simple: D0 THEM.

"Being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the word."

You'll never keep remembering Jesus' command to forgive until you start forgiving.

You will never keep remembering Jesus' mercy until you start showing mercy.

You'll not keep remembering to confess Jesus before men until you start doing it.

You want to remember that glorious vision God once gave you? Obey that vision.

"I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision", says Paul. He did what the vision showed him to do.

God gave you a vision of son-ship – are you acting like a daughter, a son, or like a slave? How can you reflect as in a mirror the glory of the Lord except by doing deeds that show forth His glory?

You want to remember your first love?

"Repent and do the works you did at first", says Jesus.

"if not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place unless you repent."

The message of the Spirit to each of us is contained in a single word:


"There are things that you have forgotten, and if these things remain forgotten you will gradually cease to exist as a man or woman of God.

I will show you what they are.

I will point them out to you", says the Lord.

"But if you want to keep them and live, there are deeds that you will have to do, things that you will have to get right, changes you will have to make, disciplines you'll have to begin.

But first, come to My table and I will help you to remember Calvary. And once you remember Calvary it won't be so hard to remember the rest."