This is Leading the Way with Pastor and Author, Dr. Michael Youssef. If you examine the scripture closely, you will find that the word that is most recorded is the word remember. Remember, remember, remember.
As we conclude this series of messages to know Jesus is to love him, I want to talk to you about how to love Jesus with your memory and how vitally important that is. You've probably heard that phrase that hindsight is 20-20. What that means is that you have a clear understanding of a situation when you're looking back on it rather than in the beginning when you're looking forward to the unknown of the future.
Everything just seems to be in better perspective when it's hindsight. Well, today, a challenge to look back, to remember how God guided and protected you from life's challenges, protected you with his mercy, blessings, and amazing grace. I hope you're ready to join Dr. Michael Youssef in Psalm 42 for today's Leading the Way. This message is part of Michael's series called To Know Jesus is to Love Him. Please do remember that you can listen to Dr. Youssef's timely teaching on the radio or online, or you can subscribe to the podcast and through the Leading the Way app.
Listen with me as Dr. Michael Youssef begins. Our memories is one of the Lord's most awesome gifts to us. We have an astonishing capacity to store up millions of bits of information.
This information data is kept in perfect order. This information is stored and codified, ready for recall as needed. The latest research have shown that the brain can store enough data to fill several million books.
Mind-boggling. The brain's capacity would make modern computer to be literally insignificant in comparison. But also the human brain is very capable, whether deliberately or involuntarily of forgetting. We forget things. Did you know that modern technology is ruining our memory power?
I just learned this recently. A number of independent studies have shown that cameras and video cameras and the cell phones and all those modern technology, which we love, but they wreak havoc with our ability to store up memory. They tell us that when you trust remembrance of a certain event to a photo or to a video or chips and all those kinds of things, we become less inclined to remember or store things in our memory bank. The fact is that we all remember what's important to us.
It's a fact. We all remember what's important to us. And that is why people can forget prayer meeting, but they will never forget an important business meeting.
They're there ahead of time. See, we remember what's important to us. Now, that is why if you examine the scripture closely, you will find that the word that is most recorded, one single word that's most recorded is the word remember.
Remember, remember, remember. As we conclude the series of messages to know Jesus is to love him, I want to talk to you about how to love Jesus with your memory and how vitally important that is. Throughout the scripture, we see how the Lord is offended. He really is offended when his people forget him, when his people forget his past mercies, when his people forget his past favors, when his people forget his past graciousness, when his people forget his past deliverances, when his people forget his past supernatural intervention in their life. And I know while we remember what's important to us, God wants us to remember what's important to him. Amen?
What's important to him? In fact, numerous times, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, you see the heart of God, that depth of his disappointment when people forgot him and when people forgot all about his past mercies and blessings and grace. In Luke chapter 17, you read about how Jesus healed 10 lepers, 10. Nine of them were Jewish people who were in the covenant with God. One was not the Samaritan outside of the covenant. All 10 of them are healed. All 10 of them were cleansed. And yet, only one came back to say thank you.
Only one, the Samaritan who's considered to be outside of the covenant of God. He returned and said thank you. No wonder Jesus gave him an extra blessing, far greater than the healing of leprosy and that's he gave him eternal life. He gave him salvation. Look at the depth and the sense of disappointment in the words of Jesus in Luke 17, 17.
You cannot help but feel the depth of his disappointment. Were not all 10 healed? How come only this far and I give glory to God for his healing. In the Old Testament, God knew that they're going to forget all about him once they get into the promised land.
God knew. And so he warned them again and again and again and he told them that the greatest temptation they will be facing when they prosper in the promised land is they're going to forget who prospered them. That's exactly where we are in America today. We have forgotten who prospered us. It is God's hand that prospered America. And I'm talking about all kinds of prosperity. I'm not just talking about material things. His protective hands.
His guiding spirit. Time and time and time again. Prophet after prophet after prophet would warn them.
Why? Because right on schedule, as soon as they got into the promised land and they began to prosper, guess what? Exactly what the Lord told them will happen, happen. They forgot who God is and that he's the one who prospered them.
But they will tip their hat to him on Saturday for the rest of the week. They are with the pagans, the Baal worshipers. Remember, remember, remember.
No wonder in the end God let barbarians and terrorists held them captives. What does it say to us today? Please listen carefully. Don't let your prosperity make you forget who prospered you. Don't let your success make you forget who gave you success.
Don't let your busy life be so filled with all sorts of activities that you crowd out the very one who blessed you. Remember, remember, remember. In fact, the reason God established all these festivals, festivities, and celebrations from Yom Kippur to Rosh Hashanah and all the festivals, all the feasts, the Passover, the Sukkoth, and all those feasts, God established all that so that they constantly, physically, with their own eyes remember God's gracious hand that delivered them out of the slavery of Egypt and brought them into the promised land. He established all these festivals so that they'll be a visible reminder for them.
But what happened? They turned these memorials into self-centered indulgences. And the New Testament, the reason our Lord established the Lord's Supper and baptism, those two ordinance that he himself established is for us to remember his indescribable love toward us. And sadly, many a church today, either they ignore them altogether or they turn these ordinance into hollow and shallow and empty rituals. Why does God constantly remind them and remind us all the time? Here's why.
Please listen carefully. Because every time you recall to memory God's past sacrifice, God's immense sacrifice, it gives us ultimate hope. Because every time you vividly remember the depth of God's love for you, he is inviting us to love him back more deeply and more fully.
Because every time you take time to remember his matchless love, it brings us healing and wholeness. I want to give you an example from the scripture. Turn to Psalm 42, and I'm only going to refer to three verses, four, five and six. I want to tell you that Psalm 42, particularly those three verses, is the best example of how forgetting God's past mercies, God's past generosity, his past blessings, his past graciousness, his past interventions, his past healings can lead you to discouragement and despondency and even depression. Psalm 42 is a great example of how loving the Lord with your memory can fill you with hope, how loving the Lord with your memory will pull you out of the pit of discouragement, how loving the Lord with your memory can propel you into more fervent faith. Let me tell you very quickly the historical background to this psalm. When David wrote this psalm, he was fleeing Jerusalem, and he went all the way north near Dan, and he sat there by the waterfalls and he wrote this psalm. His son Absalom, rebellious son, evil son, turned on his father, and he conducted a coup d'etat, pushed his father out of the kingdom. And if I can tell you that David was really down in the dumps, it would be the most gross understatement ever.
I don't think any of us can even comprehend what that means. And so he sits in this pit of discouragement, in this pit of despair, and he writes this psalm. Verse four, these things I remember. Please, if you have your Bible underline the word remember. These things I remember as I pour out my soul.
What does he remember? Still verse four gives us the answer. Rest of the verse.
How I used to go with the multitude leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throngs. Then he goes to verse five, and there he begins to talk to himself. Now, I don't want you to raise your hand, but let me tell you, whether you know it or not, you talk to yourself.
All right? We all talk to ourselves. It doesn't make you crazy. It's just we all talk. In fact, we self-talk in such a speed that it will surprise you. But we talk to ourselves all the time. Because you already self-talk, three things I want to tell you to help you in your self-talk.
OK? It is better that you talk to yourself than let your circumstances talk to you. It's better for your mind to speak to your emotions instead of the other way around. And the third thing I want to tell you is it's better for you to preach to yourself than let the evil one do it. Amen? Question.
What do you say to yourself when you speak to yourself? Here's the best example of this from David. He said, verse five, why are you downcast to my soul? I would say preach it, brother. Preach it.
Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God. That's not a bad sermon to preach yourself. For I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. Verse six, my soul is downcast within me. Therefore I'm going to do what? And therefore I will remember.
What is he saying? He's saying that only the memory of God's past faithfulness can lift me up in hope. That only memory of God's past interventions in your life will deepen your love for Him. That only your memory bank of the Lord's past blessings will renew and deepen your intimacy with Him. Well, with this introduction, let me get to the text. Actually, I don't have three points in a poem.
I just have two things to tell you. One, when you're down, it is because you have forgotten. When you're up, it is because you have remembered.
See how simple it is? When you're down and defeated and discouraged, it is because you have forgotten something very important. You've forgotten something vitally important. Now, I know that sometimes this forgetfulness can be deliberate or other times really involuntary.
It doesn't matter. Sometimes that forgetfulness is by design. Sometimes it's not. Sometimes that forgetfulness is intentional.
Other times they're not. Either way, it doesn't matter. I want to get to the solution here.
It doesn't matter. You must take these things out of your memory bank and bring them to the surface. You say, how, Michael, how? Very, very simply. It's in the Word of God. Retrace your steps.
That's what He's doing. Retrace your footsteps and find out where and when you have fallen. How you got to where you are down in the dumps. Retrace your steps. Find out how you got there. Go back in your memory bank and find out when you have fallen into that pit of despair, into that pit of discouragement.
Find out when that took place and what got you there. And when you do that, you're going to run smack into forgetting His past blessings. In the Book of Revelation Chapter 2, Jesus, the resurrected, the ascended, the glorified Jesus speaks to the seven churches in Asia Minor. Chapter 2, He speaks to the church in Ephesus.
And here's what He said in verse 4 of Chapter 2 in the Book of Revelation. He said, I hold this against you. What was it? You have forgotten.
You have what? You have forgotten your first love and dreaded forgetfulness again. And so in verse 5 of Revelation 2, He gives them the prescription. Remember the height from which you have fallen. What is Jesus saying? He is saying, let your memory do the walking. He is saying, retrace your steps. Go back to the point where your trouble began. Don't gloss over or ignore the original cause. Examine your memory bank. It is important. It is that important because you cannot make progress.
You cannot go forward without going back and finding out how you got there. Beloved, you must understand when the Bible said that sin is very deceitful, you must let alarm bells ring all over you when you read that. Why? Because if you think, and I've done it, that you are above sin's deception, that's the beginning of trouble. I got deceived by sin, I don't know how many times. And I continue praying to the Lord, I need to get over this. Just remember the deceitfulness of sin. Because the moment I think I'm above the deception of sin, the beginning of my trouble, why am I saying this? Why am I telling you this? Listen carefully, please.
Because by nature, we're all reluctant to fess up to the reality of our forgetfulness. But here's the good news. I never leave you without good news.
Here's the good news. You see, the Bible never, never, never, never points out to a sin that does not give you the way of forgiveness for that sin. The Bible never points to a problem without pointing, offering the solution to that problem.
See, the Bible never convicts us about something without showing us the way of expressing that conviction. Why? Because our past memory is linked to our future hope.
Did you get that? Our past memories are linked to our future hope. Our past memories are linked to our future anticipation. Our past memories are linked to our future vision, and our vision of the future. And that is why so many people are held back from coming into intimacy and growth and walk with Jesus because they're held back by those chains from the past.
You've got to cut them off. That is why loving Jesus with your memory is of vital importance. And that is why when you're able to remember what Jesus did for you, you can experience renewal of love for Him as we've been seeing in this whole series of messages. And that's why I did not begin the series about knowing Jesus who loved Him with your memory. I began with the mind because that's the decision-making process.
It has to begin with the decision. Then we went into the imagination of loving Him with your soul and then loving Him with all your heart. That is the totality of your being.
And now I can come to loving Him with your memory. And that is why the psalmist said, my soul, why are you discouraged? Remember what God did in the past. And when you love Him with your memories, you will become filled with hope for the future regardless of the present. There may be someone here today who feels discouraged, despondent, disappointed. Some here might be fearful, anxious. What does the future hold?
Go back to your memory bank, get a withdrawal slip, and get a bunch of it out. Go through past blessings, go through past mercies, go through past interventions, go through past healings, go through past strengthening, go through God's past faithfulness to you, and start loving Him with your memory. Thank you for joining Dr. Michael Youssef as he concludes his series to know Jesus is to love him.
This is Leading the Way. We live in a time when so many a church are departing from the truth of the Word of God. We live in a time when practically not a single week that passes by without us see some pastors, some song leaders going through what they call deconstruction, turning their back on the faith that once delivered to the saints. And so I wrote this book called Never Give Up. This is the message from 2 Timothy.
This is not my legacy. It's the apostle Paul's legacy, the last words he wrote before he died. And he talks to Timothy at his time, but he's also talking about what will happen in the last days and how many people would depart from the faith, compromise the faith, deny the authenticity and the infallibility of the Word of God. It's all there prophesied by the apostle Paul. Now, I want you to join with me for a special prayer for this book that many a young pastor, Sunday school teachers, people who are serving, that they read this book and that they'll be encouraged. And those who will be tempted to begin to compromise the gospel of Jesus Christ, water it down that this book would challenge them to repent and turn to the Lord and begin to preach in the power of the Holy Spirit. Father God, in the name of Jesus, I pray that these words that the apostle Paul wrote in that dungeon in Rome before he was beheaded to his son in the faith, Timothy, and he even talks about the last days which we are in right now, I pray that we'll ignite a spirit of revival, spirit of awakening in the hearts of people in the pews and people in the pulpits. Lord, we know that unless your spirit does his work, all of our work is in vain.
And I thank you for hearing and answering because we pray in Jesus' name. Speak with a ministry representative to get ordering information for Never Give Up when you call us, 866-626-4356. That's 866-626-4356. You can also order securely online, ltw.org. That's ltw.org. And write to us at Leading the Way, Post Office Box 201100, Atlanta, Georgia, 30325. That's Post Office Box 201100, Atlanta, Georgia, 30325. This program is furnished by Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Juszczyk, passionately proclaiming uncompromising truth.
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