Have You Forgotten?

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 23-26; Proverbs 8

(Second Milers also read – 2 Corinthians 9 – 13; memorize John 1:1)

“And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous: … Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them:” – (Deuteronomy 26:5, 13)

My thought this morning comes from Deuteronomy chapter 26. In this chapter God reminds the people of Israel that when they get into the land that He had promised them, and they begin to receive of the goodness of the land, they were not to forget to bring back to God the tithe of their increase. People do not like to hear much about tithing nowadays; but the real purpose of tithing is not for God (or the church) to get their money, but rather for people to express in a tangible way the fact that they remember that God has blessed them. The people of Israel were encouraged to bring their tithe basket to the priest, and then they were to publicly state their appreciation to the Lord by rehearsing the fact that God had brought them out of cruel bondage, and delivered them into a land of incredible bounty. The tithe was just a small expression of appreciation for what God had done for them.

Today, we are just as quick to forget about the goodness of God. We can see that fact demonstrated in the way people give today. Most Christians don’t tithe; and many don’t give anything at all. We sometimes try to justify this lack of faith by blaming it on rough economic circumstances, etc., which I am sure certainly plays a partial factor; but the real issue is a matter of the heart. When people do not give back to God, they are not remembering and appreciating what He has done for them. However, I don’t want the focus of this morning’s devotion to be on tithing principles. Our giving habits are but one indicator of our remembering. My challenge this morning is get you to think about the ways you express your appreciation to the Lord for what He has done in your life. Don’t forget to remember God. And don’t forget to remember the good things that  people have done for you either. We tend to forget very easily,especially when a difficult circumstance arises in our life. Because our focus is on the new problem, we forget about (and lose appreciation for) all of the previous solutions and blessings that have been given us. We are no different from the little child who screams for a new toy, forgetting about all of the other toys he already has.

Do you remember the goodness of God in your life? Do you express your appreciation in words, and in other more tangible ways? We must be careful not to forget God. If we do, then we will gradually slip further and further away from the center of His will for our lives, and eventually He will be forced to correct us, which is never pleasant.

By the way, the picture on the top is of the Twin Towers. We vowed on 9/11 that we would never forget what happened that day. We said that we would not forget what was done to us, nor would we forget those who died. Yet, it seems like our nation is quickly breaking that vow, just as she has forgotten Pearl Harbor. We need to be careful to remember, and reflect on all of these things. Let’s not get so busy in the present, or so worried about the future, that we forget the lessons and the blessings of the past.

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