Monday, April 23, 2012

Never Forget

The sermon yesterday was incredibly challenging
and incredibly AWESOME!!

I really couldn't stop talking about it yesterday 
with my's so good I just HAVE 
to share it with anyone who will 
take the time to read & listen (a link to the sermon) we go!

My pastor, Sam Storms, provides very detailed 
sermon notes
I apologize in advance...
you'll be seeing more from him than me...
he just does an incredible job of saying it
and I am HORRIBLE at 
summarizing me!
I'll put my little interjections in here 
and there...what I felt God was 
impressing on my heart at
the moment.

The passage is Joshua 4:1-24
Sam's summary of the previous chapters:
"Joshua sent spies into Jericho so 
survey the land and gain info regarding
size and strength of the enemy
Once spies returned, Joshua commanded the people 
to keep their eyes fixed on the ark of the covenant,
the place of God's presence & power 
As priests stepped into the flood waters of the Jordan, 
it parted, like the Red Sea did 40 years earlier,
allowing the people of Israel to enter the promised
land on dry ground
before they made their way across the Jordan, God told
Joshua to instruct 12 men, one from each of the 12 tribes, 
to pry loose from the river bed a large stone, to hoist upon 
their shoulder, and to carry it to Gilgal on the east border of Jericho"
So, Joshua & the 12 men from the 12 tribes set up a memorial,
if you will, to be a constant reminder of what God had done.
Sam related this to the importance of passing on a godly 
heritage to your children & grandchildren that will
one day pass it on to their children & grandchildren.
Some challenge questions found in the notes but not in the sermon.
What will your children remember most about you?
What will they remember mattered most to you?
What are you doing to preserve and sustain in the hearts of
your children the knowledge of God?
What are you doing to keep them mindful of His faithfulness?
What are you teaching them that will build into their 
value system a reverence for God & confidence in His word?

He went onto talk about how Christ at the last supper 
took the bread & wine and commanded us to 
"Do this in remembrance of me"

I like how Sam explained this... "This command reveals the 
weakness of the flesh even in those who have been born again,
for it is remarkable that we who have been redeemed by Christ should
need to be urged to remember Him."

We are SUCH forgetful creatures.  It's so easy to get caught
up in what we don't have & our busy-ness of life that 
we FORGET what we DO have...LIFE in Christ!
How can we forget such an amazing gift?!?
How can we forget all the wonderful things God has done?!?
How can we forget the time He did (fill in the blank here with 
really cool God story)?!?!

This is where Sam encouraged us to really 
commemorate and tell friends & family the 
life-changing events when God made His grace
known to us; our conversion, a healing that occurred,
God's provision or guidance, etc.

One of my favorite points is next...
"Why is this stress on remembering in the Bible (as seen in 1 Chronicles 16:12 & Psalm 105:5)?
The simple answer is because one of faith's most devastating enemies is 
forgetfulness and one of faith's most powerful allies is memory!"

Sam offered a couple of illustrations

"First we are commanded to remember God's ways and acts
and deeds in order to overcome despondency and hopelessness
and doubt (Psalm 77)

Asaph is confused, struggling with doubts & wondering if God really loves him...
you can see his brush with despair in verses 4-9

How does Asaph emerge from this pit of depression & disillusionment?!?
He remembers...he calls to mind who God is
and what God has done! (Verses 11-15)

Second we are commanded to remember to fuel our worship & 
love for God & gratitude for all He's done (Psalm 103)"

Third we are commanded to remember so that we might pas along to the coming generations
the truth of God and His Word and the glorious ways in which he delivers His people
Psalm 78:1-8; 145:4

Every generation of Christian men & women has a biblical responsibility
to pass along to the next generation the mighty
and merciful acts of God"

This next part really got a punch in the gut!
In Judges 2:6-15 we're warned of what can happen
when we don't remember and when we don't share 
with those around us of God's goodness, His faithfulness, His Truth!

" When Joshua dismissed the people, the people of Israel went each to his inheritance to take possession of the land.   And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work that the Lord had done for Israel.  And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110 years.  And they buried him within the boundaries of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash. And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.
And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the Lord to anger. They abandoned the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth.  So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them. And he sold them into the hand of their surrounding enemies, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies.  Whenever they marched out, the hand of the Lord was against them for harm, as the Lord had warned, and as the Lord had sworn to them. And they were in terrible distress."

"Although the first few generations who entered the land remained faithful, as time 
passed they failed to pass along to the next generation the remembrance of what God had done. Soon, their memories began to fade.  It cam upon them gradually, but evidently the command to remember was ignored and the memory of what God had done for Israel disappeared from their collective consciousness.  How did this happen?  The explanation is simple but devastating: parents failed to recall to mind what God had done; in turn they failed to tell their children, who in turn had nothing to say to their children about the mighty exploits of God & his goodness and faithfulness.  Simply put: 
Spiritual amnesia led to apathy that eventually led to apostasy"

For those, like myself, that don't know what apostasy is (I find I need a dictionary a LOT when my pastor speaks...LOL) I found a definition

A willful falling away from, or rebellion against, Christian truth. Apostasy is the rejection of Christ by one who has been a Christian (Wikipedia)

Oh Father...may I NEVER Forget!!!
I don't have children yet but I pray I pass
down the amazing God stories in my life...there are MANY.
Until then...I'll proclaim it to all who'll listen!

I hope you're still here...because I have a question for you...

How to you remember or commemorate the things
God has done in your life?  Please share...Give Him the glory
so we'll never forget!!!


1 comment:

Shellee831 said...

Alecia, I rarely read blogs. But I am glad and blessed to have read yours. I moved to OKC a little over two months ago. I haven't been to a worship service since I moved here. They "busy-ness" of getting settled has been my excuse, when really there is no excuse. For, I have 2 children and I don't want them to forget the goodness and faithfulness of God. Thank you for the reminder of "Rememberance". God Bless. Marshelle