Remember to Not Forget!

Do you suffer from forgetfulness?

I certainly do, I just walked into my daughter’s room to wake her up and forgetting what day it was I reminded her to wear her orange shirt for camp today. A few seconds later she said to me, “It’s not orange day.”

We all forget things from time to time. The consequences of forgetting can range from wearing an orange shirt to camp when everyone else is wearing blue, to something far greater.

From the very beginning when God first chose Abraham and called him out of his land to go to a new land He would provide for him and his family God has intended for His people to be set apart from all others. God intended for His people to know him, to love Him, and to never forget Him. God promised that by not forgetting Him, His people would experience freedom and blessings that would prove His supernatural power and love.

But the Israelites suffered from forgetfulness!

And though David wrote of the hope and life that comes from not forgetting God…

“So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.” Psalm 78:7

“I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.” Psalm 119:16

“I will never forget your commandments, for by them you give me life.” Psalm 119:93

David suffered from forgetfulness!

It’s easy to forget!

Mark, Kayla, and I went on “The Walk over the Hudson” this past Saturday, and afterwards visited the Vanderbilt Mansion that is nearby. I haven’t read too much of their history, but one sentence I heard about them really caught my attention and causes me to ponder. Though Cornelius Vanderbilt was the richest man in America, and his son went on to double his fortune, and then became the richest man in America, the family fortune was gone by the third generation. There were many factors that played into it, World War 1, and the Great Depression, but it seems as though the family suffered from forgetfulness.

Definition of forgetfulness – Marked by neglectful or heedless failure to remember

So, if forgetting is the result of not remembering…

to beat forgetting is to remember!

History is recorded so that we can learn from those who have gone before us. We can learn from their successes and from their failures. We will either choose to learn from their mistakes and change our actions or we will choose to continue in the ways they lived and encounter the same consequences they suffered. God reminds us of the importance of not forgetting what our ancestors have gone through.

“I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground.” 1 Corinthians 10:1

“But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” James 1:25

We can’t forget something we never learned.

We can’t remember something we never knew.

With so much information instantly available to us today it seems as though we should be able to learn valuable lessons, and we should know many things that will benefit us. But, instead it seems the ease of accessing information keeps us from really taking in information so that we never fully learn or know the things we need to.

Why study something when we can just look it up again tomorrow? 

To not forget requires intentional learning!

Remembering requires intentional knowing!

I have found that the more important something is the more I will do to make sure I don’t forget. I will put it on my calendar, write myself a note and leave it in a very visible place, send myself an email…

God knows we are prone to forget, so He tells us many times in the Bible to not forget, and He reminds us many times to always remember. So, if you find yourself forgetting God…

What is causing you to neglect God?

Why is it that you are failing to remember God?

How important is God to you?

It is in the forgetting that you experience bondage and suffering due to poor choices. 

It is in the remembering that you experience the freedom and blessings of God. 

While there is a great difference between the consequences of wearing the wrong color shirt, and losing the family fortune, the consequences of forgetting God are even greater.

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Matthew 16:26

May you make it your priority to never forget to remember God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom Comes With a Cost!

Today we celebrate the freedoms we have here in America. We remember our history and ponder all that has happened through the years since America was first discovered. We must never take for granted the hardships, the sacrifices, and the lives that were given so that we might live here in peace and freedom.

Freedom comes with a cost!

Years ago America was the answer to many people who wanted a new land where they could worship God the way they believed God intended them to. Many people were searching for a place to live where their rulers wouldn’t require them to worship God in the ways that weren’t according to the Bible.

America was the answer!

Here in America they found peace and freedom to worship God. It came with a cost, but by God’s power, love, and amazing grace, religious freedom still remains today.

The history of America’s freedom is somewhat similar to the history of our spiritual freedom.

Christopher Columbus left the comfort of his land in search of the treasures of India.

Jesus left the comfort of His throne in heaven to come in search of the treasures of men’s souls.

Christopher Columbus’ discovery became an answer to many who were bound by their ruler’s laws, and forced to worship in ways that went against the truths found in the Bible.

Jesus’ presence here on earth brought an answer to those who were in bondage to the religious leaders of the day, and to those who were held captive by the lies of Satan.

The peace and freedom of Christopher Columbus’ discovery came with a great cost; it required much suffering, blood shed, and sacrificial death.

The peace and freedom that Jesus brought also came with a great price, great suffering, blood shed, and sacrificial death on the cross.

Jesus is the answer!

But as seen in both situations the great price of peace and freedom can be forgotten. They can be taken for granted. And they can be taken away.

When we forget our history we loose our identity. 

When we loose our identity we forget our purpose.

When we loose our purpose we no longer consider the personal cost our peace and freedom requires.

As Americans and as Christians we must remember our history. We must know who we are, why we are here, and do what is required of us to live in the peace and freedom that has been made available to us.

Freedom comes with a cost!

When the Israelites were set free from their bondage in Egypt and entered the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey; a land intended for their peace and freedom, God gave them this warning…

“But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock! He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and test you for your own good. He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.” Deuteronomy 8:11-18

…and I believe it is a warning for us today.

The Israelites fought battles, with the supernatural power of God, to gain their freedom.

Our forefathers fought battles, with the supernatural power of God, to gain our freedom.

Jesus fought a battle, with the supernatural power of God, to gain the freedom of all who believe.

So we too have battles we must fight, with the supernatural power of God, to maintain the freedoms we have here in America and the freedom we have in Christ.

“I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:1-8

There is a day coming when the freedoms of America will fade and the perfect freedom of God’s Kingdom will reign forever. But until that day comes, God encourages us to make the most of our time here on earth. Whether we continue to enjoy freedoms here in America, or whether they are taken away, we have been made free in Christ, and that freedom can never be taken from us.

But in the meantime, there is a good fight we are to fight, there is a race we are to run.

The freedoms we have mustn’t be forgotten, taken for granted, or allowed to be taken from us. We must remember all Jesus did for us and choose to live in the freedom He provided. We must daily walk by faith in the freedom of God’s word. And we must fight against the lies of the enemy that try to deceive and take away the freedoms we have been given.

And when we live fully in the freedom of Christ we will joyfully and courageously tell others the good news of the freedom they have been given in Jesus!

So, on this day of remembrance, let us make the most of the freedoms we still have here in America to carry out the ministry opportunities God has given us.

Freedom comes with a cost!

What will it cost you?

Are you willing to pay the price?