Remember Not to Forget | Deuteronomy 8:1-20

Remember Not to Forget the Lord

Do you know the name of the flowers in the picture above?

Yep, Forget-Me-Nots.

I found some interesting German lore stories on farmersalmanc.com. These stories about knights, maidens, and forget-me-nots are both sweet and bitter.

Farmersalmanc.com also stated that these flowers are prolific bloomers between May and October in my region. Traditionally, these flowers symbolize true love, respect, fidelity, and faithfulness based on those German lore stories mentioned above.

But forget-me-not flower lore and symbolism aside, today we will consider the value of remembering not to forget the LORD as we study Deuteronomy 8:1-20.

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Are You an Early Riser?

Some of us rise early, even if it does not come naturally to us.

But for others, rising early is something they cherish. Why?

I can think of many reasons someone might cherish the wee hours of the day.

  1. It affords a quiet time of meditation before the demands of the day begin.
  2. An opportunity to enjoy the sunrise or other aspects of nature.
  3. A preferred time to exercise one’s body.
  4. Time to work on a personal hobby or even a second job.
  5. I’m sure there are other reasons too.

But none of these reasons explain why some rose early to go visit a tomb as shared in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

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From Peter’s Confession to Palm Branches

Last week, a group I regularly meet with discussed Peter’s confession of Christ in Matthew 16:13-23.

In this passage, Jesus is alone with His disciples in a location most Jews of their day would never visit since it was a city full of pagan worship. (Matthew 16:13)

While there, Jesus asks his disciples these two questions:

  1. “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13)
  2. “But what about you…who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15)

The disciple’s response to the first question was, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (Matthew 16:14)

Peter responded to the second question: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)

After affirming Peter’s statement, Jesus warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ. (Matthew 16:20)

Why did Jesus issue this warning?

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Finding Our Identity Through a Jealous God

What do you see when you look into a mirror or other reflective surface?

Often, images like the one above of the kitten seeing a reflection of a lion are used to encourage self-esteem or bravado in our own identity.

But what if, instead of looking to boost our self-esteem or bravado, we sought our identity through the reflection of the LORD?

Further, what if we considered finding our identity through the reflection of the LORD’s self-revealed identity as a jealous God?

What does the LORD even mean by describing Himself with the name Jealous?

How would that help us in our daily lives?

Join me in exploring Exodus 33:10-17 and other verses for answers to these questions.

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Responding to Who God Says He Is

Moses’ life was not ordinary.

First, against the Egyptian Pharoah’s edict, his mother hid Moses for three months after his birth. (Exodus 1:22-2:2)

Then Pharoah’s daughter ends up adopting Moses and raising him with the help of Moses’ mother. (Exodus 2:3-10)

After Moses becomes an adult, he murders an Egyptian for beating an Israelite and attempts to hide his actions. (Exodus 2:11-12)

Yet the Lord called Moses to be His spokesperson to reveal Himself to the Israelites and all the other nations around the world. (Exodus 3:1-22)

After much back and forth in this private encounter with the Lord, Moses asks the Lord to send someone else. (Exodus 4:13)

But over time, Moses’ response to God changed.

The question is, why did Moses’ response change?

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Does God Meet with You?

I think we are tempted to think more about our responsibility in meeting with God rather than God wanting to meet with us.

Why?

We gravitate to things we can touch or see more often than spiritual realities.

Plus, making it about our actions means we can check off that box on our to-do list and feel we’ve accomplished something tangible.

I also think we often miss when God is present with us.

Why?

We don’t have the obvious sign of a pillar of cloud showing God’s presence like the Israelites did back in Exodus.

But God wants to meet with us.

How can Exodus 33:7-11 and supporting verses help us grasp this today?

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How Teachable Are You?

Merriam-Webster.com defines teachable as apt and willing to learn.

If you were to make a list of everything you enjoyed learning from childhood to the present day, what would you include?

What would you list as things you didn’t enjoy learning?

Which list is longer for you?

Did you include things outside of formal school subjects?

In Matthew 11:25 and Luke 10:21, Jesus thanks the Lord of heaven and earth for hiding things from the wise and understanding while revealing them to little children.

What does this have to do with being teachable?

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God’s Response to Idolatry

In Exodus 32

Over the last several weeks, we have explored the passages leading up to Exodus 32 to understand why the Israelites disobeyed the LORD and turned to idolatry.

Ultimately, their decision was not just one of impatience, but in the words of Paul many years later,

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever![1]

Keeping in mind that scripture says we were created in the LORD’s image (Genesis 1:26), have you ever considered how humanity’s tendency to worship things or people other than Him affects the LORD?

Also, why would the LORD create us to have this tendency?

What purpose does this serve?

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Why Did They Turn to Idolatry? | Part Three

Again, thank you for all the prayers while I recovered from my exceptionally long work week and head cold.

Although I am still feeling some physical tiredness along with some lingering symptoms from the head cold, I am much stronger today than I was a week ago.

It is fascinating how the fact that I had to pause between each part of this “Why Did They Turn to Idolatry” series aligns with the series.

One reason I feel this way is that it has reinforced the concept of patience we first looked at in part one.

Another reason I feel this way is that it allowed me to share how the LORD encouraged me during an exhausting week through both His Word and songs written by fellow believers about Him.

Each of these examples was exceptionally timely for my need, just as the LORD provided for the Israelites exactly what they needed in part two of this series.

But now we need to answer the question, “Why did they turn to idolatry?”

Continue reading “Why Did They Turn to Idolatry? | Part Three”

Needing A Recovery Weekend

As many of you know, last week was unusually full for me at work.

We hosted our denominational national gathering which required several back-to-back fourteen to fifteen-hour days.

The week went remarkably well considering hosting an event of this magnitude is not what we regularly do.

Thank you for your prayers as I participated in all of this.

In addition to the busy week, I have developed a head cold that is draining me even more.

Thus, the next installment of Why Did They Turn to Idolatry? | Part Three will wait another week.

In the meantime, I want to share how the Lord encouraged me throughout this past week.

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