How’s your memory? I have long joked, “I have a mind like a steel trap, once it goes in – it never comes out.” As the years go by I discover just how true this is. Names, which have never been my strongest suit, seem to take hours to recall. I am also reminded as I spend time with my brothers, and my aging mom, that some things from my past have been forgotten.
Scripture is full of reminders. It is the theme of the Old Testament, “remember who I am, and what I have done for you.” I am reminded of this again as I read about the giving of first fruits in Deuteronomy 26. As Moses describes the how and the why of first fruits giving we find these words;
4 The priest shall take the basket from your hands and set it down in front of the altar of the LORD your God. 5 Then you shall declare before the LORD your God: “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous. 6 But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, putting us to hard labor. 7 Then we cried out to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. 8 So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with miraculous signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; 10 and now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, O LORD, have given me.” Place the basket before the LORD your God and bow down before him.
Deuteronomy 26:4-10 (NIV)
Do you notice the words, I put them in bold if it helps, of memory that the Lord calls those giving the gifts to recall. As I read these words I began to ponder about my firstfruits giving. My wife and I have discovered the joy of firstfruits giving for years. However, I do wonder if I take the time to remember as I bring my gifts. In most worship settings today the offering is introduced with a few simple words, “now our worship continues as we gather our tithes and offerings.” Do we need to take more time to remember? Do we need to recall aloud the great rescue God has performed in our lives as we bring our gifts?
So next time you bring your gifts to the Lord, take a moment and remember your rescue story. Remind yourself that these gifts are just a shadow of the great gift we have received and live under each and every day. Paul says it well in Ephesians 2;
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)– 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Ephesians 2:11-22 (NIV)
LET THE CONVERSATION BEGIN: What has God done in your life worth remembering? Share it so we can encourage one another. CLICK HERE