Summary: The importance of taking time to remember
“Learning From the Past”
Intro: How do you reflect on the past? Some of the best times you can have are found looking through old photo albums. Here’s a picture of Jacqueline as a baby. She loved to stand up in her crib. We called her “Baby Rhine.” Joy we called “Little Sib.”
Here’s some pictures of Union Chapel in the past. Does anyone here remember this old church, the one that stood out on the corner? How about this one, the first phase of this new building? Or how about this phase?
Most of us come up with good memories when we look through photo albums and scrapbooks. We remember the past. Memories are important to all of us.
In Deuteronomy, we find Moses, as the children of Israel are about to enter the promised land, pausing long enough to remember, to reminisce about how the Lord has led them as a people.
Read Deut. 6:1-12
In this passage, we see the people are commanded to be sure they do not forget the Lord their God.
Is it easy to forget the Lord? The better things are for us, the more forgetful we become.
Adam lived in a perfect society - yet he disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit
Cain knew what sacrifices to bring - yet he disobeyed and because he was not accepted, killed Abel
Noah - was spared in the flood with his family - yet gets off the ark and gets drunk
David - a man after God’s own heart -- sins with Bathsheba
and the list goes on and on and on.
How do we forget God in our lives today?
*we don’t pause to seek God’s will - Rom 12:2 - Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
*we don’t follow the spirit - Gal. 5:16 -live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
*we disobey deliberately - 1 Cor 10 - Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry."
Even the best of us will have times when we forget to obey the laws and commands of the Lord. What do we need to do at these times? REMEMBER!
I. How do we remember?
A. By devoting our whole selves in devotion to God - Deut. 6:5 - Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
*If you want to remember your God, you can’t do it with the soap opera on TV, sitting in a chair reading your National Inquirer, and arguing with your spouse. You need to focus your attention on your God. Many of us live such full lives that we fail to take “quiet time” witht the Lord. We can’t read the Bible because we never get still or quiet. Much less pray to God - we don’t have time to sit still.
We first of all remember God by devoting ourselves to focus our attention on him.
B. By using the everyday, teachable moments to reflect on obedience of God.
Deut. 6:6-7 - These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
You will not have godly children just by bringing them to church or sending them to Sunday School or Good News Club. We build character in our children by teaching them every day that what we say about God at church is true in the home and at school and at work. If you curse and swear and lose your temper and yell at home, it doesn’t do any good to say Praise the Lord at church. If you cheat on your taxes or cheat on your spouse, why bother trying to teach any type of morality to your children. We are to be the same person wherever we are.
When you go to the store, pray for a parking spot. When someone cuts you off, don’t cuss them out, give thanks to God that you weren’t hurt. Pray for them to be a better driver.
C. We remember by using memorials and markers. Deut. 6:8-9 - Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates.