How Not To Forget

“Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; for the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over”

Joshua 4:21-23




Teaching in Joshua chapter 4 last night where Joshua led the children of Israel across the Jordan River into the Promised Land was marked by twelve men, one from each of the twelve tribes of Israel carrying a stone from the bottom of the river on their shoulder all the way to Gilgal some eight miles away as a memorial forever. The purpose behind the stones was simple, every time one of their children would ask about the twelve stones being all piled up together the older generation got to tell the story of the goodness of God in leading the entire nation over the Jordan river on dry ground with not as much as even mud on their sandals. Actually the question was an invitation to tell the whole story about God’s goodness beginning with Abraham and how God got them to where they are today. The story of Israel is such an amazing story it almost seems too good to be true.

I confess openly I forget stuff every day even when I try to remember. I can put notes in my phone and set dates and times on my calendar but almost daily something will require my attention that distracts me just long enough from at least one thing I was hoping to accomplish. That is unless I am remembering something for someone else. I am usually pretty good at remembering things for other people and maybe that is the solution to my problem. The more others focused we become, the more we remember and not forget.

Its like the story here in Joshua chapter 4. The older generation carried the stones of remembrance out of the Jordan River to Gilgal where they built the memorial not for themselves to remember but so that they could share the story of God’s goodness so that their kids would remember. It’s like memorizing the Gospel story. The primary reason we memorize God’s Word is so that we have an answer for the reason for the hope that is in us to all who ask us. God’s heart is that we always be ready to share His amazing story of redemption with them. It’s been well said we are always one generation away from the Gospel being extinct.

I want to encourage you today to do what I invited our church family to do last night. Make your own stone of remembrance. Think about 2020 and how the Lord was good to you personally. Try to find a single word that captures best how the Lord showed you His goodness. Maybe words like, “protection” or maybe “provision” or “revival” come to mind. A few rocks I saw Wednesday night had the word “faith” written on it and when I asked people to tell me their story it had to do with how God sustained or grew their faith this past year. Maybe you can think of a verse of Scripture the Lord used to help you hold on this past year. You could write that down too with the goal of telling the next generation.

The bottom line is this as we head into a New Year. We need to remember the goodness of God that has brought us this far and we not only need to thank the Lord personally today on this the last day of the year, but we need to share His goodness with others too. How will people hear about Jesus without someone to tell them? How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News! My word for 2020 is “Opportunity” as God gave me more opportunities this past year to share Jesus than ever before in my life in a single year. Our country is becoming more and more bible illiterate with each passing year. Thats all the more reason that those of us who know the Lord and His word must share the Gospel message every where we go and any chance we get.

Take a rock, right down your word and the verse that God helped you with and go share it with someone else, not for your sake but for theirs. Yes, it’s hard to remember when you are trying to remember for yourself but it”s much easier to remember something when you are seeking to remember for someone else. Remember, our faith isn’t a gift until we give it away.


“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
 

Matthew 28:18-20

I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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