Monday, September 17, 2007

Don't Forget the Memory Walk--Jude 17-18

But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers,following their own ungodly passions.’

Technology is not all good. What type of “technology” I am speaking of today is actually something that was invented in the mid 1400’s—the printing press. Now, by no means am I decrying the use of books or written words. Look in my library, I love books. In fact that which you are reading right now is written word. So, technology is good. But it also has a few negative consequences. The one of which I speak today is our neglect and loss of memorization. One commentator sites a statistic that says on a given Sunday the congregation will only remember 30 percent of what a pastor said only a few hours later. That retention dwindles to 5 percent by the end of next week.[1] We retain facts for immediate use and then discard them once they are no longer useful and we replace them with newer information.

Compare this lack of memorization to the Psalmist and to what Jude says to us this morning. David (more than likely) said in Psalm 119:11, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” The sword that David wielded against sin was the sword of God’s Word hidden in His heart. Jude exhorts his beloved friends to remember the teachings of the apostles to combat the heresy of the “scoffers”. They more than likely had no written word. They had no Bible they could turn to. They couldn’t go to Romans 8:1 to tell them they were no longer condemned. All they had was a memorization of the Old Testament scriptures and remember what the apostles and Jesus himself had taught.

So, what importance does this have for us today who have the blessing of the written word? I think we can find our answer to that question by probing our hearts with another question. If all of our Bibles were destroyed in America how much of God’s Word would you still have? What if the prophecy of Amos came true in our land, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord God, when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” (Amos 8:11). Now, granted Amos is talking about a famine of hearing God’s Word and we are speaking of not being able to read God’s Word, but the principle remains. If there were a famine in our land of the Word how much would you retain? If you could not find a Bible or a preacher would you remember more movie quotes or Bible verses? Brothers and sisters I will be the first to confess that my Bible memorization is weak and it is to my shame. What else do we have to do battle with the flesh and rulers of darkness than the mighty Word of God? How arrogant of us to think that we can win any battles when we are fighting the great adversary with a sword no bigger than a pencil!

Let us hear what Jude is saying and REMEMBER! Let the Word sink deep and be like David and hide the precious Word of God in our hearts. To exhort you in this we will have a bible verse to memorize every week on the sidebar of this website.

Also, you might be wondering about the strange title. As an aside I will explain but keep in mind that I mean no offense and some might think I am joking about something that is not funny. Every year our church holds a memory walk for those who have Alzheimers. It is a great thing and I think anything we can do to help this cause is wonderful and needed, Alzheimers is horrible. However, I also find humor in ways I maybe should not. Each week when it is announced when the memory walk will be I turn to my wife and say, "Don't let me forget that". And then when the event rolls around and I do not attend I tell my wife--"I can't believe I forgot about that". Not funny, I know...but that's where the weird title comes from.

[1] Hendriksen, William. Commentary on 1 & 2 Peter and Jude. Taken from
Hendriksen does not cite his source.

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