HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN SOMETHING?

 

We have a tendency forgot a lot of things. Some things are more important than others. For example forgetting to put the flag up on your mailbox is not as bad a forgetting to pick your kid up from school. While we all have our moments when it comes to forgetting things, one thing we should not forget about as Christians is the source of all our blessings.

 

1 Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

 

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

 

In this lesson we are going to look as some things and beings that people have forgotten according to the Scriptures, things which we should never try to forget.

 

Some have forgotten their God and Savior. Isaiah paints an ugly picture of the condition of his people in:

 

Isaiah 1:3 The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master's crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider."4 Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward.

 

Judges 8:34 Thus the children of Israel did not remember the LORD their God, who had delivered them from the hands of all their enemies on every side;35 nor did they show kindness to the house of Jerubbaal (Gideon) in accordance with the good he had done for Israel.

 

Psalm 78:41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel.42 They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy,43 When He worked His signs in Egypt, And His wonders in the field of Zoan;

 

Psalm 106:7 Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; They did not remember the multitude of Your mercies, But rebelled by the sea -- the Red Sea.8 Nevertheless He saved them for His name's sake, That He might make His mighty power known.

 

One of the main problems with the Children of Israel is that they had forgotten who their God was and what He had done. Since they had failed to recognize Him for who He is and what He can do they suffered many times when they did not have to. It is sad when people forget their Creator and what He has done. This was not just a problem with the Jews in the O.T., it has problem with mankind throughout time including today. Notice what Paul says in:

 

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man -- and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

 

God will never force to remember Him and His many ways that He has blessed us, but He will allow us to choice our path just as Paul has shown us. If you want to forget about God and His ways you can, but you will face the consequences of actions.

 

Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God.

 

Verses like these should certainly motivate us to not forget our God and the wonderful things He has done for us and promised to us in His Word. The last place that any of us should want to be is separated from God.

 

Another thing people tend to forget is the Word of God.

 

When we do not refresh ourselves with the things we learn, they slowly but surely drift away. I am sure most of have probably seen a movie many years ago. Though we remembered that we liked it, we forget a lot about it. It never ceases to amaze me how much I forgot about a movie when I watch again years later. If I made it habit to watch that movie over and over again, there would be little I would forget about it. In fact, I could probably say their lines right along with them.

 

The same thing happens with the Word of God. I could read Matthew and probably remember fairly well for about a week or so. The more time that goes on the less I will remember. If had been years since I read it, and then went back to it, I would be amazed at how much I forgot. However, if I read it frequently, there will be little that I will forget. In fact, I can get to the point to where I can know the words about read before I read them. James teaches us a great lesson on this truth and what we can do that will help us to not forget the Word of God:

 

James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.22  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

 

Here is the point. It easy for people to just casually read Godís Word and never let sink in because they never put to practice. You always remember better when you actually carry out what you are learning. For example, I could read and study how to replace a fan motor on air conditioner, but until I actual do with my hands I will have a very difficult time remembering how to do it.

 

You can read about how to be farmer, how to operate a tractor, how to use a computer and so on, but until you put into practice what you have learned you will not be able to fully understand what it means to do those various things. Once you do them, then you will be able know and be able to remember how to do them much better.

 

As Christians, we can set ourselves up to forget Godís Word if we simply read it and study it without putting it into practice, which is why James says we must be doers of Godís Word and not just hearers.

 

Think about this. We are not going to be judged by how much we know, but by what we have done. There any many verses that show this simply truth. For example, notice what Jesus says about the Scribes and Pharisees in:

 

Matthew 23:2Ö "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.3 "Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.4 "For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

 

The scribes and Pharisees knew the law of Moses. God did not rebuke them for their knowledge, but instead for their actions because they did not keep the law of Moses. Jesus tells us:

 

John 12:48 "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him -- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

 

Matthew 7:21 " Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

 

Paul also makes this thought clear in:

 

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

 

In the O.T. Ezra understood the importance of Godís Word and that all of it should be taught to the people so they could remember it and understand it.

 

Nehemiah 8:4 So Ezra the scribe stood on a platform of wood which they had made for the purposeÖ 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up.6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. Then all the people answered, "Amen, Amen!" while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law; and the people stood in their place.8 So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.9  And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn nor weep." For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law.10 Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our LORD. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."11 So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, "Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved."12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them.

 

We need to keep in mind that these Jews had been in captivity and there were some there that probably never heard the law read in their lives until that day. When they heard it read it moved them to weep. Godís law not only gave them hope, but it let them know the many things that had been neglecting to do. These men helping Ezra helped the people understand the law more deeply.

 

I am sure that might be some here today that can relate to these Jews. No, you were not in captivity, nor did you have limited access to Godís Word, but some of you may have allowed yourself to become captives of the devil by leaving the Lord for a time to live like the world. You basically allowed yourself to forget about God and His ways, but at some point in your life, you realized that it was time you start remembering God and His precious Word.

 

Once you pulled your Bible out and began to read about His love for you and how ugly the sin is that you were involved in, it can you move you to weep and be sad about the time you wasted living for the temporary, which only ends in hell. However, while the things you read can make you weep, they can also make you rejoice when you have renewed remembrance of what God will do for you as you turn back to Him and remember His commandments and do them.

 

Friends, Satan wants us to think that we do not have enough time. He wants to get so entangled with what the world has to offer that we neglect reading Godís Word and doing it. We can make ourselves as busy as we want to. Parents will sometime overwhelm themselves with keeping their children involved in every program and activity under the sun and forget about God and His Word. If we want to be the mom and dad of the year and make our kids be the most successful they can be, it begins with the foundation that God is number one in our lives and that we are to live by His Word. Everything else will fall into place when we have the priorities straight.

 

As Jesus said:

 

Matthew 16:26 "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?27 "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

 

So, let us never forget about God, His precious Word or how we are to live by it.

 

Our third point is closely related to our second point. Sometimes people forget to get Godís approval for what they are doing.

 

Even though Joshua is great example of how we should live our lives, there was this one time that he messed up and did seek Godsí approval first.

 

Joshua 9:3 But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai,4 they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended,5 old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy.6 And they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, "We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us."7 Then the men of Israel said to the Hivites, "Perhaps you dwell among us; so how can we make a covenant with you?"8 But they said to Joshua, "We are your servants." And Joshua said to them, "Who are you, and where do you come from?"9 So they said to him: "From a very far country your servants have come, because of the name of the LORD your God; for we have heard of His fame, and all that He did in Egypt,10 "and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan -- to Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth.11 "Therefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, 'Take provisions with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say to them, "We are your servants; now therefore, make a covenant with us." '12 "This bread of ours we took hot for our provision from our houses on the day we departed to come to you. But now look, it is dry and moldy.13 "And these wineskins which we filled were new, and see, they are torn; and these our garments and our sandals have become old because of the very long journey."

 

Now notice the next two verses:

 

Joshua 9:14 Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the LORD.15 So Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live; and the rulers of the congregation swore to them.

 

These Gibeonites would not have been able to full Joshua and his men if they had asked the Lord about it. Since they accepted their lies as truth without going to God, they entered into a contract with people they were to destroy.

 

We do this as Christians sometimes. Instead, of going to Godís Word to see if something we start to do is right or wrong, we simply do it without thought because someone asked us to or perhaps someone tricked us into doing it. We could save ourselves from sinning many times if we would remember the phrase, ďwhat does the Lord say?Ē Anytime we begin to do something new, we should consider it closely and determine if it something we should do as a Christian.

 

As Paul said:

 

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.22 Abstain from every form of evil.

 

So, let never forget to test what are about to do against the Word of God. If there is any doubt that it something a Christian should do then donít do it because it better to be safe than sorry.

 

There are many more areas I could take this lesson, but we are out of time. My hope is that you will never forget your God and what He has done for you, that you will not forget His Word by reading it, studying and it doing it. Finally, I hope you never forget to test all things with Godís Word.