A Simple Reminder
“This is a day to remember forever—the day you left Egypt, the place of your slavery. Today the LORD has brought you out by the power of his mighty hand.” Exodus 13:3
Recently, my wife Delberta and I received back some boxes of memorabilia that we had stored in her parent’s farm house in western Kansas. Some of those boxes contained items from our college days, first few years of marriage and then some of those boxes contained items from her parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents. Delberta keeps reassuring me, there is history and treasurers to be found in those boxes! Those boxes have now found a new home and reside in our garage and are waiting for us to take the time to decipher, declutter, and dispose! While we are waiting for the infamous “D” Day (decipher, declutter, and dispose) we have taken the time to open up a few of the boxes and the memories flood our minds of days gone by. We have often found ourselves asking, “remember when…?”
- We had to take Christian Beliefs in college? We don’t really need those class notes, do we?
- When we took our first ski vacation to Colorado and I told you, “taking ski lessons wasn’t necessary?” We really don’t need to keep the receipt from the hospital visit, do we?
- Our first youth pastor ministry assignment and everyone liked us? We probably should keep all of those cards and notes from our first and last day of ministry.
Oh, the memories that are flooding our minds, as we work through those boxes of treasurers!
Scripture is full of reminders and the importance of reminders:
Deuteronomy 8:2: And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.
Psalm 77:11: I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
Psalm 103:2: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits
Psalm 105:5: Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered…
Lamentations 3:22-23: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
If you’re like me, in the noise and chaos of the world, I have to confess, it is easy for us to forget or not remember who has called us to this journey of faith. In recent days, I have found myself saying, “I just want to go back to the days before Facebook, Twitter, Parler, MeWe, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit, and the thousand other social media platforms that is clutter with voices and opinions telling me what I should believe and who I should believe!”
In a recent conversation with Pastor Ed Belzer, he and I were talking about ministry and people. Funny how those two go together. Ed was sharing some of the challenges of being a first time Senior Pastor and at one point in the conversation, he simply stated, “Jerry, I don’t care about all the noise I’m reading and hearing on Facebook or from the news. I just want people to know, love and follow Jesus.” Pretty simple, huh?
I recently received a blog from a Children’s Ministry (Woelk) and was reminded what the church and parents are called to do above all else as they raise children in a world that seems to have gone astray of its original design. It was a simple and timely reminder:
- We need to teach our children to know the importance of prayer! So, I’ve been making a concentrated effort to read or cite the Lord’s Prayer as part of my prayer time every day.
- We need to teach our children and to know the practice of confession. Remember, 1 John 1:9 says, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”
- We need to teach our children and to know what it means to be people of thanksgiving in our homes, workplaces, and in our world.
- "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." Psalm 100:4
- Psalm 113:3 reminds us, “From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.”
- “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34.
I realize these are simple or maybe even elementary truths (what else would you expect from the Christian Education Professor)? I’m convinced more than ever we sometimes make life harder than we have to, and we make living with one another more difficult than it needs to be. Keeping it simple sometimes just works.
So, as we continue to navigate 2021, let me remind you of two simple truth’s that have guided my thoughts over these last few months, first, J.I. Packer reminds us, “Christians are not to think of themselves as ever at home in this word but rather as sojourning aliens, travelers passing through a foreign land to the place where their treasures are stored awaiting their arrival” (66).
Second, when the world (politicians, social media, Republicans, Democrats, Denominations, Friends, Family, the left, and the right) try to tell me who and what I should believe, live, and know, I have to remind myself of the simple truth of the gospel message found in scripture:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)
or maybe this reminder brings a sense of hope to you today:
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
So, now it’s your turn, you knew there would be a test, right? As we close, I just want to make the statement, “It is good to be reminded that…” and I just want to take a few minutes and allow you to respond to this statement or fill in the blanks however you wish.
I’ve included some music clips from YouTube that I think will serve as reminders of what this journey of faith is about. It really doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult. For me, it’s enough for me to know I am loved and redeemed.
Packer, J. I. "How to Recognize Christian Citizens." Christianity Today, Sept. 20
20, pp. 65-69.
Woelk, Leann. "Leading Kids to the God of Grace." INCM Team, International
Network of Children's Ministry, 25 Sept. 2020, www.incm.org. Accessed 27
Big Daddy Weave
I Know Whom I Have Believed
This I Know
The Sweetest Song I Know
Armor Music Ministry
Dr. Jerry W. Storz
A Simple Reminder
Recorded: Wednesday, January 27th, 2021 (Morning Service)
Dr. Jerry Storz, Faculty and Director of Christian Education Ministries, and Leadership and Ethics.
Filed Under: Communicator Published: 02/02/2021