By: joe Stowell, Strength for the Journey
“Be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 6:12
We all have little slips in our memory once in a while, right? I love the story about the guy who decided to do something about his increasing forgetfulness. This poor chap decided to attend a seminar on how to increase his ability to remember things. And, to his great delight, the seminar worked! A few weeks later he sat in his living room, chatting with a friend about his newly improved recall ability.
“You won’t believe it,” he gushed, “This memory seminar really has helped me remember things better. I have a whole new lease on life!”
“That’s great,” his friend replied. “How does it work?”
“Well, you simply think of a common object that helps you build a link to whatever you need to remember. If you can remember the common object, then you’ll remember the other object.”
“Wow!” said his friend. “You know, to be honest, my memory’s slipping a little. What’s the name of the seminar? I think I might sign up for it.”
“Okay,” the guy replied. “Let’s see, think of a flower with red petals . . . long stem . . . thorns . . . rose.” Then he yelled to his wife in the next room, “Hey, Rose, what was the name of that seminar I went to?”
In Deuteronomy 6:12, Moses is talking to the Israelites about the danger of memory loss when it comes to forgetting God. God’s people were standing on the edge of the Promised Land, ready to enter a land with great cities they did not build, houses full of good things they did not fill, and vast and lush vineyards they didn’t plant. And, as good as the prospect of all this prosperity was, there was a danger lurking under the blessing. Moses knew that in good times it’s easy to forget God. The people were in danger of forgetting that it was God who had given them this land flowing with milk and honey; forgetting that it was God who went before them in each battle; forgetting, in fact, that it was only through God’s gracious choice of them as His people that they were enjoying the blessings of their new home and country. And, when we forget God, we become unthankful, proud, and self-sufficient—the kinds of things that are offensive to the Giver of every good and perfect gift.
So the solution for Israel—and for that matter, for us—is keeping God in mind! The book of Deuteronomy is actually a memory seminar about God’s goodness to His people. Moses reminds the Israelites of the law that was given on Mount Sinai. He tracks the Israelites back over the ways God miraculously provided for them—battles won, food given, shoes that didn’t wear out—the list of God’s providing work is long.
So, here’s the lesson. Beware! When God is abundantly good to us we are in great danger. We are in danger because in good times it’s easy to forget God. It’s easy to be so consumed with the gifts that we forget the Giver! And if we do that, we end up worshiping the blessings and not the One who in His amazing grace has blessed us.
The benefit of keeping God in mind is that it keeps our hearts grateful, appropriately humble, and delighted in our God for His goodness to us. Believe me, delighting in Him beats being consumed by the stuff that He has given us.
Memory lapses in our daily routines may be normal for us. But remembering God’s goodness in our lives is something we can’t afford to forget!
Don’t Forget to Remember!
By I Gordon ,jesusplusnothing.com
This study is pretty simple… It’s about the importance of remembering, or being reminded, of the truth. When I preached this message recently, I decided to start by giving a little quiz comprising of questions from what I had spoken about in the last two sermons. Without saying how they went (ok, they were abysmal!  ) let’s just say that the results of the quiz greatly enforced what I then went on to speak about – the importance of remembering, and being reminded of the truth. So let’s start with a few questions for you that have all been mentioned in the preceding studies of 2nd Peter…
- What year did Peter write ‘2nd Peter’?
- What year did Peter die?
- What was the key thought in the first study on 2nd Peter 1:1-4?
- What was the key thought in the second study on 2nd Peter 1:5-11? 
Easy questions I’m sure! Now the key word in the last study that we did was ‘diligence’. The key word in this study would be ‘remember’. So let’s have a look at the first verse.
Remember what you know!
2nd Peter 1:12 ‘Therefore I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.’ (NASB)
So Peter starts off in 1:12 with a ‘therefore’. Now the golden rule when you see a ‘therefore’, is to ask yourself what is it ‘there for’? In this case, Peter is saying that he will always be ready to remind them because of the eternal consequences of this truth. In the verse preceding this one, we see the importance of putting into practice the truth of God, and how it will lead to an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord. So Peter is willing to remind them, and remind them, and remind them once again.
Why is it, do you think, that we need this constant reinforcement and reminding of the truth? Simply put, we have leaks! While you may know the truth, you will still be bombarded with worldly philosophies everywhere you turn. As I said in a previous study, the Christian life is one of swimming against the tide. And so, being reminded of the truth is critical! 
Before moving on, there are two points that I want to make about this verse.
- They needed to be reminded even though they already knew the truth Peter was speaking about. Sometimes you can listen to a sermon, or read a Christian book and think ‘Come on, I know that! Get on with it.’… ‘I’ve heard that already!’… And switch off spiritually. Peter says that it is still important to be reminded of that which you already know.
- It wasn’t a new truth that Peter was bringing to them. He knew, even if some of us don’t, that there is nothing wrong with the gospel. We just need to let it take a grip on our hearts. 
Do you need a stir up?
2nd Peter 1:13 ‘I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder.’
Peter says in this verse that a person may have heard the truth, been established in the truth, but not be stirred by the truth. And that, my friend, is a scary place to be in because it leads to spiritual apathy! We need to remember the importance of what we believe. We need to be stirred up, and gripped by the reality of it. It may be that you need to go back to the Lord again and ask Him to speak and open your eyes to the truth of His word. Especially the things that Peter has been talking about in 2nd Peter 1:1-11. You see, the Christian church is very little different from the nation of Israel. And when you look at the history of Israel, you see a constant repetition… a constant cycle… of forgetting to remember the ways of the Lord. Let’s just look at one example, from Deuteronomy chapter 8.
Remember, my people!
Deut 8:1-3 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today , so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers. Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands . He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD .
Deuteronomy chapter 8 is a very important chapter and I would encourage you go away and read it. Go on, go do it now… It’s better than this study! It is very important because it was written at a critical point in Israel’s history. The 40 years of wandering in the wilderness was behind them… the land of promise stands before them. And I would suggest to you, that Moses’ words in this chapter would prove to be prophetic of not only Israel’s future history, but of Christian history as well.
So what does Moses say first? Easy… ‘ Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today’. So what is the first command? Still easy… ‘ Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way’. At this important point in their history, Moses is saying ‘Israel, you have got to remember. Don’t forget how God has led you… there have been many difficulties, many trials, many humbling times…God was testing you and teaching you His way. Don’t forget this!’ This is important for us. You may be feeling tried and stretched right now. You must remember! Don’t forget that the path of God does involve testings and trials. And also never forget verse 16 of this chapter. Any testing, and humbling, any trial from God, is ‘to do good for you in the end’.
And if you’ve got it easy…
So maybe what I have described above isn’t you at the moment. Maybe everything is going very nice and easy thank you very much! Maybe you’re having a nice little time of ease and prosperity. If that it you, then here is my verse for you from Deut 8 –
Deut 8:10-18 ‘When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God , who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth , and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
And that prophetic portion of scripture my friend, has been proven to be sadly accurate in the lives of many in Israel and the Church. How many have ‘slipped away’ as prosperity increases? Remember the Lord your God! Do not let the ‘deceitfulness of wealth’ choke your life so as to forget the Lord (see Matt 13:22.) Do not forget  to remember!  Deuteronomy chapter 8 is placed in the Bible to remind you of Israel’s history, the reasons why they fell, and to serve as a warning for your own Christian life.
And Finally… Back to Peter
2 Pet 1:13-15 ‘ I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.’
There are a couple of things that made Peter very focused…. The first is mentioned above and it is that He knew that his time on this earth was nearly up. The second is found in verse 16 (not shown above) and that will be the focus of the next study. So Peter knew that his time was short… Tell me, what would you be doing different in your life if you knew that the time of your departure from this life was at hand? Probably make you pretty focused on the things that really matter now wouldn’t it? The problem that we have is that we think we’ve got all the time in the world… and so we become hazy and unfocused on the things of eternity.
Well let’s gain some clarity from a man who was focused. What was Peter focused on? He was focused on using his time to remind Christians of the truth of God’s word… and specifically the key truths that he writes about in this little book of 2nd Peter. May we too be reminded, and remind others, of these things.
DON’T FORGET WHAT GOD HAS DONE IN YOU
PSALM 103:2-5 –
Daily Devotional Bible Verses
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:2-5 ESV)
The other day, my son went to the junior high with me to pick up my daughter. He is a sophomore, and watching all the junior high kids come out of school, he says to me, “Mom, they all look so young!” I tell him he looked just like them. “No way!” he replies. So, we get home, and he looks at his old year book and exclaims, “Mom! I looked so young!” Yep. You sure did son.
Like my son, I think we forget what we used to look like in junior high. We sometimes forget the great work God has done in us. Where He brought us, and what He delivered us from. King David often reflected on what God had done in His life personally and in the lives of the children of Israel.
Now, I’m not telling you to dwell on your past or your past mistakes and sins, but I am telling you that it is beneficial to remember the good works that God has done in your life. It is beneficial to encourage yourself in the Lord. You can get so caught up in not being where you want to be, that you forget how far He has brought you. Remember how He had blessed you. Remember where He found you. Remember how He adopted you, and plucked you out of the muck. Washed you whiter than snow. Set you upon a Rock. Lifted you up in the presence of your enemies.