1 In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, 2 “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.”

4 Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the


“How many loaves do you have?”

And they said, “Seven.”

6 So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. 7 They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them. 8 So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. 9 Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away, 10 immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. 12 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”

13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side. 14 Now the disciples[a] had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”

16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.”

17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still[b] hardened? 18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?”

They said to Him, “Twelve.”

20 “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?”

And they said, “Seven.”

21 So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”

The word “Remember” appears 230 times in the bible. It has different meanings in different context. For example, great men of God in the Old Testament set up stones as a memorial, to remember what God has done for them at that location. God uses the word “remember” when affirming the covenant. The word “remember” can be a call of action; used when man asks God to think of him during times of affliction. The rainbow is a sign to man and God that He will remember His covenant not to destroy the earth.

Does God really need to remember? Does He really need some outward sign to remember His covenant or His people? For the human race remembering is an interesting thing. It can be both beneficial and destructive, depending on how it is used.

It's awesome how memory works. It can be triggered by a smell, sound, or taste. How many times has a smell triggered a childhood memory for you? It's interesting that God created us so that we can remember things; to have memories. As we age we accumulate years of memories, both good ones and bad ones. God knows that remembering certain things in our life, especially if it was a past that we want to forget; can hurt us presently or affect our forward progress.

In the scripture above Jesus performed the miracle of feeding four thousand people. He was moved with compassion and took care of their physical needs. Shortly afterward Jesus and his disciples got in a boat to cross the river where they were met by religious leaders who debated with Him. They wanted a sign that He was from God. Jesus got back into the boat and warned the disciples of the hypocrisy and doctrines of the religious leaders; also called the “leaven of the Pharisees.” The disciples assumed they were being rebuked from not having brought enough bread on their journey. To which, Jesus replied, “Do you not remember…?”

What was Jesus asking them to remember and why? As human beings our thoughts can sometimes be short on memory or fickle. The disciples had just witnessed the compassion of God to take care of the physical needs of 4,000 people. Within hours they assumed that God wouldn't take care of the twelve of them despite not bringing enough food.

I once heard someone say that to remember the good things that someone does for you requires constant affirmation, but the moment they do something bad to you, it is remembered for a lifetime without effort.

It is strange how quickly mankind forgets the good things God does for them, especially the moment they experience a rough patch in their life. God knows that humans operate like this, that's why throughout the bible He tells men to remember all the good things that God has done. That's why He tells mankind to remember the covenants that He established with our forefathers. A covenant is a binding and lasting memorial of how God intents to bless mankind. As part of your bible study, take some time to go through the bible and find out what God says about covenants.

Recently, I went home during the holidays and spent time with family. The interesting thing about my visit back home is that we remembered all the good times. We sat down and watched home movies and remembered the days either before we got married or were newlyweds. In remembering those good times it evoked good feelings. My wife watched my wedding proposal and said she fell in love all over again. We sat at the kitchen table recalling stories but this time our children sat around to hear them and participate in our memories. In the Old Testament God tells the Israelites to come together at Passover to remember how He delivered them from Egypt and to pass the story on for generations.

Just like our family visit, remembering put us in a relaxed and joyous state of mind. I'm grateful to my sister and her husband Glenn for giving us the opportunity to relax and remember the good times.

Before times get rough be sure to remember all the good things God has done for you. Tell your family about what God has done in your past so that when the rough times show up you are already practised at getting through them on the goodness of God and the memories you share of Him.

God made you with memories so that you have something good to share. Be conscious of how the enemy uses your memories of times you don't want to remember. Now that your old wounds are exposed, no thanks to the enemy, it makes you conscious of the pain but now you can now freely allow God to heal it. It's almost as if the devil is being used to expose your weakness just so that you can surrender it to God for healing. Turn those old outdated bad memories into something that God can use.

Remember what God has done for you. Recall what He has done for all His children in the past. Decree that your past will no longer hinder your present or your future. Jesus has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4). Jesus said He has was sent to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives (Luke 4:18).

God knows that some of the things we remember are not good for our future. He says “do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past” (Isaiah 43:18). Even the apostles wrestled with the past; “I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” (Philippians 3:13)

Count all of your blessings, your encounters with God, or even miracles that you had or have seen, and recall all of your fondest memories. Remember all that Christ has accomplished for you through his death and resurrection, it will help you heal broken memories of your past. Most importantly, it will remind you of the victory he has accomplished on your behalf.

Check out Joshua Ray’s book "Your Church Won't Teach You This: Get the Inside Scoop on Interpreting the Bible" on amazon.com.

Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Faith News Niagara and Joshua Ray are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.

Images courtesy of naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Featured Scripture:

Mark 8:1-21, NKJV

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Remember what God has done for you. Recall what He has done in the past. Decree that your past will not hinder your present or future.


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February 2015