Don't Forget the Lord
Who here has a busy life?
I sure can identify with you all.
· Right now has been one of the busiest times of my life
· I am now a full time college student
· If I do all of the homework, I at times have 6-10 hours of homework per week
· I am still working up to 20-24 hours per week.
· I am a husband and need to meet the needs of my wife
· I am preaching and teaching many Bible studies
· And to top it all off, we have been blessed by God with a house that we have been spending a lot of time fixing up.
I am sure you all have your own lists that are busying your own lives:
· other hobbies and activities
We all have busy lives, but I would like to tonight to leave you with one important thought that I have been reminded of recently and a thought that God through Moses tells His people before their entrance into the promised land at least 6 times in Deuteronomy:
Be careful not to forget the Lord your God!
The children of Israel were being blessed with the Lord with the ability to enter the Promised Land. They would be blessed with many earthly blessings that they didn't have before. But with blessing comes danger. You fall into the danger of thinking you are self-sufficient. You can think in your pride that the blessings you have you got for yourself. You can forget the one who really gave you those blessings!
This is the danger that the Israelites were in, and they ended up not listening to the warnings from the Lord. They did forget the Lord. They would give credit to themselves and their idols for what the Lord gave them. They would live lives showing that they did not know the Lord. And the Lord would fulfill His promises to them by sending them into captivity.
My brothers in sisters, we are in that same danger as the Israelites! We are in danger of forgetting the Lord our God!
A FEW WAYS WE CAN FORGET THE LORD:
1. WE CAN FORGET THE LORD BY THINKING THAT EVERYTHING WE GOT WE GOT OURSELVES.
We can be just like the Israelites. It is easy for us to condemn them for what they did. God was so clearly working among them. He took them out of Egypt, cared for them through the wilderness, brought them into the Promised Land, defeating their enemies before them. We see how the Lord tells them that He is the One doing these things for them in the scriptures. Then they forgot about the Lord and gave themselves the credit for the wealth and possessions that they had. It is easy to condemn them, but we at times are not too much different from them.
The Lord is active in our lives sustaining us, blessing us, giving us and allowing us to have everything that we have! He is the One who gives life, breath, and ALL things (as Paul states in ). But we forget about the Lord. We think that we got things for ourselves. We feel like we worked so hard, we put in so much time to get what we have; our houses, our clothing, our cars, our jobs, all of our cool technology that we have, etc. We may have put in a lot of work and effort to get these things, but that does not mean that the Lord was not working and giving us the ability to get them! The Israelites put in a lot of effort to get the Promised Land, but the Lord was working the whole time. He is the One that was and still is blessing His people.
“Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.' 18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”
It amazes me at how easy it can be for me to focus more on my blessings than on the One that gives them!
2. A SECOND WAY WE CAN FORGET THE LORD OUR GOD IS BY THINKING THAT WE CAN SAVE OURSELVES.
This may not be an issue for you as the prior 2, but I have been amazed at how many brethren have believed this. They may not have said “I can save myself, but other things they say show it sometimes.” We may say things like, “I hope I am doing good enough, or obeying the Lord good enough to be saved and to go to heaven.” This kind of comment says that you are focusing more on your works than you should. Guess what: you are not being good enough. You are not obeying the Lord good enough to be saved and to get to heaven. Our hope does not lie in whether or not we are living up to the standard of perfection. We never will! Our hope lies fully on the grace and mercy of God who promises to be merciful to us and to forgive us. The definition of grace is that we are given a gift that we do not deserve. We are not good enough, but the Lord is. He is going to fulfill His promises if we will have faith and trust in Him as one who is able to keep His promises.
We also say, “The New Testament is the new law, and it must be obeyed to get to heaven.” I do agree that we are no longer under the old law, and that we are now under the new covenant, but we need to be careful in how we portray the New Covenant. A statement like this about the New Testament portrays the idea that it is just another set of rules that one must obey perfectly to get to heaven. You do need to obey the commands in the New Testament, but we need to be careful not to put too much of the focus on what we are doing instead of the work that the Lord is doing in us to save us! We forget so often about the grace of God and our need for it when we focus so much on whether we are obeying the “New Law” good enough to be saved. The words “New Law” are not even in the New Testament! We are robbing the gospel of it’s power if we just look at the New Testament as a rulebook that we must follow to be saved. We just need to be careful not to focus on ourselves and our actions more than trusting in the power of God to save!
3. BY BUSYING OUR LIVES TOO MUCH
We are all busy as I stated when we first started. We live in such a fast paced society. We can do so much throughout the day in comparison to people in the time of Christ. But with making our schedules so jammed pack with activities, work, school, etc…, we fall into the danger of forgetting about the Lord. We claim that He is the most important part of our lives and that our lives revolve around Him, but our actions show the opposite; that we are the most important part of our lives and he is just on the outskirts of our lives, and we give Him time whenever we can get a chance to fit Him in. We put Him on the back burner.
We busy ourselves so much to the point of being that thorny soil in the parable of the soils, the soil that is choked by thorns. We get so focused on the cares of this life that we choke the word out of our lives and bear no fruit for the Lord.
4. WE CAN FORGET THE LORD BY OUR SIN
This is the one that we probably thought of first. When we make the choice that we are going to do things our own way instead of the Lord’s and reject His will, we are forgetting about the Lord! This point obviously encompasses all of the other points that I have made. Everything that we do to forget about the Lord is either sin or leads to sin. Forgetting the one that gives us life, breath, and all things to focus on our blessings that we think we got for ourselves is sin. Believing we can save ourselves when the scriptures clearly say the opposite is sin. Busying our lives so that we are unfruitful to the Lord is sin.
These things are all included in this final point, but we need to understand that every time that we make the choice to purposely forget about what the Lord says about something so we can do what we want, we are forgetting the Lord and turning our backs on Him.
So have you had times that you have forgotten the Lord? Have you allowed your love for this life and the things in it to lead you to forget the Lord? We need to be aware of this danger.
(Applied to us today)
"Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping the commandments that He gives us in His word; otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the condemnation that sin causes, out of the house of slavery.”He has led you through the great and terrible wilderness of this life and has taken care of your every need. "He feeds you the Bread of Life, and wants to do good for you in the end. Do not say in your hearts "My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.' "But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, and to give you all of the spiritual blessings that you have in Christ, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 "It shall come about if you ever forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, such as your wealth, your possessions, or even yourself (anything you put before the Lord), I testify against you today that you will surely perish. 20 "Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, even as the Lord’s people of old who have forgotten the Lord, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the LORD your God.