Forgetful Christians

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10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.    Deuteronomy 6:10-12 (NIV)

Israel was blessed according to God’s promise.  They were to become richly favored, and had to do nothing to earn it, not unlike many of us.  We have roads to drive on and cities that we live in which we did not build ourselves.  We live in houses not build by our own hands.  Even when the economy is poor, we are still some of the most blessed people on earth.  In many regards, we have it all!  Moses, says, when you have it all, it becomes easy to forget about God.  Repeatedly in scripture, people who have everything they need physically forget their spiritual neediness.  Often cultures of great affluence are rife with spiritual poverty, and not only spiritual poverty, but spiritual perversion.

In our own culture—so fast paced, technology driven, consumer centered, and celebrity obsessed—the remembrance of God seems like a faint and distant memory of times gone by.  People who have it all seemingly do not need God, but nothing could be further from the truth.  The Israelites were a people who God delivered from captivity and blessed with the promise of land.  The covenant God makes with us is freedom from the bondage of sin.  Often times our allegiance to an earthly kingdom—a corporation, a sports team, a dream to retire comfortably, or even a nation state—far outweighs our allegiance to the kingdom of God.  Affluence and privilege may make it difficult to relate to the heart of God, who cares for the poor, the afflicted, and the brokenhearted. There is nothing wrong with being blessed, or even living a comfortable lifestyle, but Moses’s words still ring true: “be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”  Remember today that God has delivered you from slavery to sin, and give thanks to the Lord for the comforts and blessings you enjoy in life.

Prayer:

Lord God,  I quiet my heart before you now.  Thank You for all the many ways you bless me.  Help me, in the midst of blessing, not to forget Your providence in my life. Thank you for the freedom from sin that comes in Christ Jesus.  Give me the strength to walk in Your freedom, the courage to stand for what’s right, and the humility to give You the glory that is already Yours.  Help my allegiance to Your kingdom grow, and to my kingdoms fade.  Amen.

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The devotional this week is provided by Rev. Jonathan Davis, pastor of Urbanna Baptist Church in Urbanna, Virginia.  Jonathan is married to Audrey Davis (HPU class of ’05) and has two sons, Eli, and Andrew.  He is the founder of www.studentministryideas.com, where he blogs regularly, providing free resources and ideas for youth ministers everywhere.  Jonathan is an HPU graduate (class of ’04), holds an M.Div. from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, and is currently doing doctoral studies at Logsdon Seminary.