“Take Care To Remember”
Message summary: Today, as we begin 2020, let us heed the warning of Moses and take the necessary measures to remind ourselves never to forget the Lord our God or fail to observe His commands. This is of foremost importance!
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“Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His rules and His statutes, which I command you today” (Deuteronomy 8:11). “Remember, then, what you received and heard” (Revelation 3:3).
Many of us deal with a little problem this time of year; the tendency to absent-mindedly write down the previous year on checks, letters, etc. Yesterday I was logging into a company and wrote 1/7/19 till I caught myself and corrected the year on the entry. I also tend to do it when I date these messages the first couple of weeks into a new year.
We once had a little cartoon book that described this phenomenon as “checkuary”. The term comes from writing a date on checks early in the year. After 12 months of habitually writing down 2019 it’s very easy to continue to do so in the new year of 2020 when we write out the date on a check or other forms as well. Have you done that this year yet?
This is only one of many areas in our lives in which we may find ourselves forgetful. In fact we find forgetfulness tends to increase with age! Many memory lapses, like “checkuary” are merely nuisances. I’m sure more than a few checks have the old date scratched out at this time of year and I even wonder if the bank would pay that much attention. Yet many other issues regarding our memory are very important. The one of foremost importance is expressed in our first daily text as though Moses was issuing a caution to the Israelites, “Take care lest you forget the Lord your God”.
Deuteronomy is a record of Moses’ final sermon before he died and the people of Israel went on into the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership. Moses stresses throughout the message the importance of remembering the Lord and warns of the dire consequences in failing to do so. This is a timeless message!
The words “remember” and “forget” are used 26 times in Deuteronomy. We may wonder how these people could ever forget after seeing the hand of the Lord revealed in such mighty ways under Moses’ leadership. Later they witnessed the mighty victories with Joshua.
But early in the book of Judges we read this stunning assessment, “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God” (3:7a).
Among our ministry venues is periodically leading a service in a nursing home on a Sunday afternoon. Most all of the people have failing memories especially a group that comes over from a special memory care unit. But we have noticed two elements that are often remembered as we share God’s truths with them:
1) Hymns they have sung all their lives. In a service I led the final Sunday of 2019 a resident loudly whistled the hymn tune as we sang! At first I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from but looked around and saw an older man in attendance (likely in his nineties) whistling along in perfect pitch (to the extent I understand what perfect pitch is!)
2) Scripture verses that they have often heard and committed to memory like John 3:16.
Forgetting is such a danger that Moses reinforced the importance of remembering the commandments of the Lord in a family household in Deuteronomy 6:6-9. Moses instructed parents to strongly impress the Lord’s commandments on their children by talking about them when sitting down and walking along the road (which would have been their way of getting around every day, rather than an occasional leisurely walk). They were to talk about them at bedtime and when they arose. They were to be visually reminded of these commandments by displaying them on their hands and their foreheads. They were to be written on the doorframes of their houses and their gates. This commitment to follow God is not for the faint of heart nor the casual observer.
Today, as we begin 2020, let us heed the warning of Moses and take the necessary measures to remind ourselves never to forget the Lord our God or fail to observe His commands. This is of foremost importance!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, the commandments that You give are to be impressed upon our hearts. When our acts of obedience come from a heart of love, we are anxious to heed Your Word and align our desires with Your own. As we love You with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength we will never forget our miraculous deliverance. For You delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of Your beloved Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. May we ever be mindful so that we never forget You, what You have done for us, and thereby walk humbly with You all our days. Amen.
Selected portions of verses implemented into our daily prayer:
Deuteronomy 6:6, Colossians 1:13,14