by Mark Robinette
Rich people like us are so busy taking care of all our many blessings we forget the God who gave them to us. When we give to our brothers and sisters in need, we remember the giver of all things.
We have a catechism question here at Foundation Church that developed from one of my sermons years ago. I ask the church, “Why do we forget?” and they respond, “Because we don’t remember.”
Simple enough? We are a forgetful people and we need to be intentional about remembering or we will forget. From Joshua’s stones of remembrance on either side of the Jordan to sacrifices, feasts, Sabbaths, washings and even their every meal, God built a life of constant remembrance for His elect people, lest they forget.
God’s imperatives of Deuteronomy chapter 6 almost seem ridiculous as they hammer this point home.
It could have said, “teach your children my commands.”
But as we well know, God told them to do this as they sat in their houses, when they walked by the way, when they laid down to sleep and when they rose up in the morning. Then he told them to bind them for a sign upon their hands, make them as frontlets between their eyes and write them upon the posts of their houses, and on their gates.
The imagery here reminds me of the ever forgetful man who ties a green string around the pinky finger of his left hand, to remind him of the red one around the forefinger of his right hand, that reminds him of the blue one around his thumb telling him he’s supposed to remember something, but he can’t remember what it was.
That’s us. The more we have, it seems, the more forgetful we are. God told them and he is telling us to “beware lest we forget the Lord.”
Giving is a constant reminder God is the source of everything we have.
Jay Leno reminded people for Doritos to “eat all you want, we’ll make more” and I’d like to remind you and me to “Give all we want, God will make more.”
Every time we give away what God has given us it is an intentional way of remembering the one who gave the gift as well as faith that he’ll give us more tomorrow.
God taught this when he would not allow the Children of Israel to collect more manna than they needed for each day and later after they had come to the Promised Land not to harvest the corners of their fields but to leave them for the needy among them.
At our home, we know we are forgetful too. We have to work at remembering.
On our kitchen table we have a jar with a picture we made of our brothers and sisters in Myanmar. They are very poor. We put the jar on our table for several reasons. First to remember to pray, then to remember to put money in the jar for them and next to remember we have so very much at every meal. We also eat rice one meal each week to remember rice is sometimes all they have to eat. This has been good for me and my family.
God’s ways are so wise. Not only has it been good for us, it has been good for them. Yes they are blessed by the gift for it’s actual value in what they can buy, but they are blessed with several much needed reminders too. God answers prayer, they have brothers and sister in Christ who love them and pray for them and that all they have comes from God. This is truly a gift that keeps on giving.
It’s like the washer and dryer someone gave a young couple in our church. The rear entrance of their home goes through the laundry room and every time they walk by them they became much more than appliances. Not only do they wash and dry clothing, they hum a sweet tune. The words of this song testify of the truth God cares for them like he does for the lilies of the field and he does this through the church.
Have you remembered to give lately? Don’t be afraid you don’t have enough to give. When you don’t becaue of this you are saying God will not provide.
Trying to remember this years ago, my sweet wife spent many hours stitching these words into what is called a “sampler,” framing it, and hanging it on our wall. It says “The Lord Provides.”