Summary: When we intentionally set up a structure to help us remember God, we are more likely to obey Him and trust Him. When we forget God through neglect or unrealized good intentions, we are more likely to disobey Him and trust in our own ability.
Forgetting and Remembering God
1. When it comes to counting our blessings, we need to get them in perspective. We often do not appreciate them until they are taken away. Take this letter from a girl away at college who wrote to her mom:
2. "Dear Mom: Sorry I haven’t written sooner. My arm really has been broken. I broke it, and my left leg, when I jumped from he second floor of my dormitory...when we had the fire. We were lucky. A young service station attendant saw the blaze and called the Fire Department. They were there in minutes. I was in the hospital for a few days. Paul, the service station attendant, came to see me every day. And because it was taking so long to get our dormitory liveable again, I moved in with him. He has been so nice. I must admit that I am pregnant. Paul and I plan to get married just as soon as he can get a divorce. I hope things are fine at home. I’m doing fine, and will write more when I get the chance. Love,
Your daughter, Susie
P.S. None of the above is true. But I did get a "C" in Sociology and flunked Chemistry. I just wanted you to receive this news in its "Proper Perspective!"
[Steve Malone, Sermoncentral.com]
3. Many times we think we are somehow entitled to have everything to go right, and things going wrong are an infringement upon our rights. Instead, we need to recognize that we are not entitled for anything to go right, and that the things to do are evidences of God’s grace toward us.
4. Our lives are so much about us that we forget they are also about God. We know about Him, perhaps we have come to be right with Him through faith in Jesus, but we may neglect Him in our daily lives. This neglect of prioritizing Him is what the Bible calls “forgetting God.” We don’t lose the information, but we do lose the focus.
Main Idea: When we intentionally set up a structure to help us remember God, we are more likely to obey Him and trust Him. When we forget God through neglect or unrealized good intentions, we are more likely to disobey Him and trust in our own judgment and ability to achieve.
I. Going Through HARDSHIP Makes Us More Appreciative (1-10)
A. We learn to trust the LORD for our daily needs
1. Daily manna = daily bread in the Lord’s prayer
2. We exist by every Word of God (the Son maintains the universe)
B. We are more prone to obey God when we experience His DISCIPLINE
1. Parents who won’t spank their children think they are being kind, but there is a real security that comes from having enforced boundaries
2. Pleasing your kids — rather than considering their long-term best interest — nurtures an ungrateful entitlement attitude.
3. Kids need firm parents who are not afraid to exercise authority
4. Adults can get testy too, and God is able to discipline us
C. When times are better, we must still REMEMBER to bless the Lord (10)
The more ease we have, the less we tend to remember the Lord. Consider this:
(June 2, 2005) News-medical.net. "We have increased sedentary activities for children by 4.5 times since 1950. Children and adolescents now spend 45 hours each week watching television, working on the computer, playing video games or watching movies.”
That information was before smart phones. Now kids — and adults — are constantly occupied with texting their friends or social media. It takes thinking time in order to be thankful and contemplate God. We have eliminated it.
II. We Are Constantly in Danger of FORGETTING God (11-16)
A. This does not mean we forget ABOUT God, but not conscious of Him
B. The evidence of forgetting God is DISOBEDIENCE
C. We enjoy His blessings but forget the BLESSER
1. Again, we feel entitled. And then we complain when things don’t go our way. Complaining is the opposite of thanksgiving.
2. Dr. Dale Robbins writes, “I used to think people complained because they had a lot of problems. But I have come to realize that they have problems because they complain. Complaining doesn’t change anything or make situations better. It amplifies frustration, spreads discontent and discord, and can invoke an invitation for the devil to cause havoc with our lives.” [Steve Shepherd, Semoncentral.com]
D. God had created MEMORY POINTS for Israel
1. Brought out of Egypt
2. Led in the wilderness
3. Made water flow from a rock
4. Fed with manna in wilderness, shoes, etc.
E. God has created memory points and a SYSTEM for us
1. Remembering Jesus’ sacrifice in the Lord’s Supper
2. Not forsaking assembling of ourselves together to nurture (Hebrew 10:25)