Yesterday I had the privilege of attending my home church, the Thompson Station Baptist Church in Thompson Station, Tennessee and hearing my pastor, Dr. Tom McCoy, preach God's Word and lead the congregation in the partaking of the Lord's Supper. Last week, Bro. Tom was elected as first vice president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. He is a powerful and anointed preacher of the Gospel and when I am not preaching somewhere, I'm always look forward to hearing him preach.
Sunday the pastor referred to a few verses in Deuteronomy, chapter 8. Later in the day I read through the entire chapter and invite you to read it too. You can read it in the version of your choice by clicking here. These are thought-provoking verses especially at the season of the year when we celebrate Thanksgiving, thanking the Lord for all the ways He has blessed us. These verses spoke to my heart and challenged me anew to remember the Lord in the way He wishes to be remembered. Most of all, my prayer is that I will not forget Him, and all His provisions for me and my family through the years.
Whether we stand in the pulpit or sit in the pew, these are wise and compelling words from a loving heavenly Father. A favorite weapon of satan is to coax us to become puffed up and prideful. Yielding to the temptation of catering to selfish pride and indulgence has been and will continue to be our downfall if and when we begin to thank the person in the mirror for the blessings which come only from God. These blessings may be a prestigious position, material wealth, rare giftedness, brilliant intellect, good health, and/or merely the experiences of normal daily living. Trusting in our own self-imposed importance creates superficiality, erodes our love for Christ, and drives us down a road of worldly ambition. God loves us and blesses us all the more when we humble ourselves before Him, obey His commands, and treat others as Christ has treated us.
Do Not Forget the Lord
Deuteronomy 8:1-20 (NIV)
"Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers.
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.
Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and revering him.
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land--a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines, and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.
Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws, and his decrees that I am giving you this day.
Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterlesss land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.
He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you.
You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.'
But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.
Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God."
I pray for you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving. God must really love us to bless us so abundantly.