Summary: In this message I use the story of Rahab to demonstrate to us how to apply the promises of God to our lives.
A Scarlet Thread Reminder
The title of my message this morning is “A Scarlet Thread Reminder.” My definition of a scarlet thread reminder is this: “A scarlet thread used to remind me of something I need to remember.” In this case, my personal scarlet thread is represented by the word of God which I use to remind me of God’s promises when I face certain situations in life.
I shared with you a few weeks ago that one of my “go-to” Scriptures whenever I feel stressed is John 14, especially verses one through four. This chapter in the Bible has been a stronghold promise for me for over forty years. There are other Scriptures that I quote also when I am stressed like Philippians 4:13, but for me it starts with John 14. Let me explain as this will be important later in the message. John 14:1-4 says, “Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” (John 14:1-4) When I feel stressed I think on these four verses where Jesus tells the disciples (and me) not to let my heart be troubled because as I believe in God I should also believe in Him. He tells me He is preparing a place for me also where He is which lets me know that He is looking out for me continuously. As these verses flow through my mind I go to Philippians 4:13 which say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) For Rodney, John 14:1-4 tell me what to do – don’t allow my heart to be troubled and Philippians 4:13 tells me why – because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This is how the Word of God works in me. These two Scriptures are like a scarlet thread that’s tied around my finger so I do not forget what God has said to me when my mind starts running wild with anxiety and worry. It reminds me not to forget my source.
All of us have symbolic scarlet threads that cause us to remember something. We might not physically tie a thread around our finger, but in certain situations we reach back into our memories banks for that stored piece of information that will enable us to address whatever situation we are facing in that moment. In other words, that stored memory acts like a thread tied around our fingers so that we wouldn’t forget how we were to respond to that situation. Forgetting is not fun and I know this because I have forgotten things in the past, present and I know I will forget something tomorrow. I have walked down stairs in my home to get something from my office only to get distracted before I got there and then forgot what I was going there to get. So I stand there looking lost trying to grasp that thing from the black hole in my memory banks. I mean, obviously it must have fallen into that black hole forever covered in darkness. Well, that is until I get back upstairs without it and then remember what I needed and start the process all over again. Some of you know exactly what I am talking about.
This often happens when we are trying to remember Scripture in a moment of need. We know we read something that would help us but we just cannot seem to put our finger on it because we did not fully commit it to memory. And what is so terrible about not remembering Scripture is that when we forget it, we forget that we forget – it is as if we never knew it in the first place. God understand how our mind works and how we can forget things. I want to read something to you from the book of Numbers chapter fifteen. In this chapter God was giving Moses explicit directions of things He wanted the Children of Israel to do. At the end of the chapter, God told Moses to have the Israelites do something so that they could remember the commandments that He was giving them. Let’s read verses thirty-eight through verse forty. It says, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them tassels in the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the tassel of the corners a thread of blue. And it shall be unto you a tassel, that you may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that you seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you use to follow harlotry; that you may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.” (Numbers 15:38-40) God told Moses to have the people sew tassels in the corners of their garments with a thread of blue. Those tassels of blue were to remind them of the commandments of God so that they would not forget them. God knew that they would need something to remind them of what they were supposed to do – who they were supposed to be – and it is the same with each of us.