Tuesday, March 15, 2011

God Shapes Our Memories: Physical Reminders (Part 2)

God commanded Joshua to tell the officers of each tribe, 12 of them to take one stone each from the bedrock of Jordan to take with them. In verse 5-7  it says: 

“Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites,  to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’  tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

The stones are for them to NOT forget God’s faithfulness. More than that, it is also for the UNBORN generations to also KNOW of such faithfulness.

Stones. Memorials. People build mausoleums. Just look at the Taj Majal…one of the greatest wonders of this world. A memorial of love.

We keep memorials, medals, ribbons I for one, kept the newspaper page on which a special friend’s name was published. I keep journals that bear the inscription of God’s faithfulness in my life. Today, I spent time with my Aunt and she showed me a page from her journal that she wrote when she first met her husband. They will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary by the end of the month. My father has been keeping our hospital bracelet when we were born. Memorials tell stories.

God was telling the Israelites to make physical reminders.

In acts2: 42 , the first Christians also took hold of a memorial, the reminder that Jesus had left for us: the breaking of the bread. 

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

That is why we approach the table with reverence because it is a MEMORIAL of Jesus’ work on the cross.

Reading this verse affirmed to me the importance of going to church. Of course, I can worship God wherever I am. But here, the early believers had to come together to ‘remind’ themselves of Jesus. They chose to ‘break bread’ together in fellowship because that breaking of bread reminds them of Jesus and what He did on the cross. That was the worship service they had back then.

So today, let us not neglect coming to church. No, not just on Lord’s Supper Sunday. Coming together as a body of Christ  is an act that serves as memorial stone, the reminder that Jesus left us, to remind us that HE DIED FOR OUR SINS.

Jesus wanted us to keep physical reminders.

Paul wrote in Acts 17:24 
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.  From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.  God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’

God chose our color, our race, our sexuality, where were going to live, which family to be born in that He is so imbedded in our DNA. The inscription of God is carved in our DNA.

Books are now written on the intricate and complex study of this DNA that is in each of us. Maggie Scarf, a psychologist who wrote a book called Lies, Secrets and Betrayals, explores the idea that our body has a unique memory storage system than stores up memories of may it be joy, fear or secrets.

Ravi thinks its makes sense because how then do you explain that when you're afraid (take for example..of a dog) one side of your brain reacts and the emotions are too strong and then the other side of the brain looses its blood that you cannot have speech.. how then does that single emotional incident get imbedded in you that the next time you see a dog, you react the same way? It is stored in your DNA.

It also makes sense to me now, when, you have certain preferences, they will say: "Oh, you're really like your mom". And even children who are separated from parents since birth find out after finding each other that there are so many similarities in their preferences. Memories and preferences are are imbedded in the DNA.

If this DNA is what is passed on by parents to children…does it make sense then why the BIBLE calls us sinners though sin only started with one man?

The structure of our DNA itself calls for a need to be BORN AGAIN.

God, in his infinite wisdom has imbedded in us a physical reminder of who He is, what He has done for us and what we need to do with it.

Here are some of the few things that remind me of God's faithfulness in my life:

My youngest sister painted this when she was 9. This is supposed to be a portrait of us.

This was my school ID when was in 5th grade. 

My sister, Jem, made this card for me when she was 10, i guess.


  1. When I read that scripture about "memorial stones," I got EXCITED in my spirit because I remember the feeling I got from listening to a sermon about this.

    Memorials help us to remember the most important moments of our lives, and I'm so glad Jesus left us with one.

    Beautiful post.

  2. i made a pact with God late last year that i was going to make ambitious plans for this year and trust Him to take me to there and beyond. Promised that the same time this year I would erect a giant memorial stone in memory. I intend to keep this vow He is amazing me! I think i will begin even now. I should keep a diary too. There is just so much going on...Thank you for this post.You have no idea....

  3. Love this post! I definitely have my memorials, a lot of them are dates and months though :)
    Love ur blog JABEZ,
    thnx for stopping by on mine