We sure do forget easily. As an attempt at anti-forgetfulness, I will pray Psalm 143:8:
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life (NIV).”
We need to be reminded every single morning of God’s love. We too easily lose track of this one central reality that orients all our other life circumstances.
Peter Taught Me This Shepherd’s Role
In 2 Peter 1:12-15 Peter states three times that he will constantly remind the sheep he cares for of central truths:
“12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things (NIV).”
Refreshing the memory of believers of Gospel truths was a central feature of Peter’s ministry. It helped orient their perspective in complex, fluid times. We need that orientation too.
A New Testament Theme
A quick survey of the New Testament reveals that many of the writers took this reminding role seriously.
Paul wrote the book of Romans to remind the believers there of core tenets of their faith (15:15).
Paul sent Timothy to Corinth to remind them of his ways in Christ (1 Corinthians 4:17).
In 1 Corinthians 15:1 Paul writes, “I remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you… (ESV).”
To his young proteges Timothy (2 Timothy 1:6, 2:14) and Titus (Titus 3:1) Paul wrote to remind them of their calling and that in their role as leaders they were to remind the churches they cared for of how to conduct themselves.
Fiery Jude wrote to remind his readers of the prophecies of Jesus concerning the last times (1:17).
The church in Sardis is reminded through John of what they have received from Jesus in Revelations 3:3.
In Hebrews 10:32 the readers are reminded of earlier days in their faith journey when they endured hardships to encourage them as they face a new round of trials.
Hebrews 13:3 reminds us to not forget those imprisoned for the name of Jesus.
Hebrews 13:7 tells us to remember the modeling of faith we have received from our spiritual leaders – Jesus being supreme in that category.
Shepherd’s are Refreshers of Minds
This quick, incomplete survey, shows that shepherds keep reminding others of central spiritual truths. We are easily distracted so we need others to point us back to our essential focus.
Sadly, we will get bored communicating the same truths over and over again long before others have adequalty appropriated them. We are too often on the lookout for new and dazzling messages. But we all need to keep hearing the gospel – what God has done and is doing and will do on our behalf and his new-every-moment invitation to receive him.
Keep reminding yourself and others every where you go of the Father’s love which he has clearly displayed in his Son (Romans 5:8) and constantly spreads abroad within us by the Spirit (Romans 5:5). In so doing, like Peter did, you will help to firmly establish others in the truth.
How has God been reminding you of his love of of late? Who has he used to refresh your mind of his love?