Saturday, March 06, 2010

2010 – Mar. 6 – Tassels of Remembrance

Study from God’s Word Lev 22: 31-33; Deut 12: 32; Deut 15: 37-41; Deut 22: 12; Deut 31: 9-13; Lev 26: 3: 1-46; … Passage for Reflection: Deuteronomy 15: 37 – 41 … NIV 37 “The LORD said to Moses, 38 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. 39 You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. 40 Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. 41 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God.' "

My Journal for Today: Is forgetfulness a challenge in your life? Do you – as I do – have to use “to do” lists to get things accomplished? Do you put important dates, like your spouse’s birthday, on a calendar; or maybe important appointments so that you don’t forget to remember these important events? Do you take notes when you go to seminar, especially one with an important teacher, like yours truly, {yeah, right! ;>)} says something that you don’t want to forget?

Yes, many of us do some, or all, of these things because forgetfulness is part of the human condition. God certainly knew that in the days He gave Moses the Law. So God wrote those big ten laws down on tablets; and Moses placed them in the Arc of the Covenant. And then Moses had all these laws, which I’ve been studying and reviewing these past few days from the Pentateuch, written down; because God, through Moses, recognized that mankind had short memories with regard to obedience to the God who had given them life and had delivered them from Egypt.

And in today’s passage we even see that Moses (from God’s instruction) had the men wear blue tassels on their outer garments as remembrance of God and His Law; so that, by wearing these tassels, the men might remember and be obedient to their very personal God. And if you read through Leviticus 26 – linked here for your study - any Jew in those days might have been really motivated to wear those tassels and to be obedient to God’s provision and practices because the provisions for disobedience was certainly horrible.

Bad things were to be wrought by God if the Israelites disobeyed His Law. And F. LaGard Smith, my devotional shepherd in his devotional entry for today, points out that we may not, as Christians, wear tassels of remembrance on our garments these days; but there are ways we can remind ourselves that we need to be obedient as our Lord has instructed us to be (see John 14: 21). We can have our “tassels of remembrance” whenever we take in God’s word through Scripture memory. Smith points out that teaching God’s word, through verse-by-verse memorization, explaining to our kids the meaning of God’s truth, is one of the best ways to help establish and maintain a relationship with God for our children.

And when we, personally and consciously, decide to take in God’s word into our hearts, truly contextualizing its meaning and understanding its application, we will be doing what God charged Joshua (see Josh. 1: 8) to do so that Joshua (or we) could realize spiritual success. Every verse we memorize, and can use for our lives, becomes our remembrance and use of God’s prescription to avoid sin (seePsalm 119: 9-11). Every verse we memorize, and discipline ourselves to use to deal with life’s challenges, is the way we sharpen and practice with our Spirit-swords for battle (see Eph. 6:17). Jesus certainly used this technique when He was tempted by His arch rival (and ours), Satan. When challenged by Satan, Jesus remembered and invoked the word of God [see Matt. 4 or Luke 4] to demonstrate His “tassels of remembrance.”

And this is a technique of spiritual battle my mentor taught me years ago; and I now teach it to any Christian who’ll listen to me. We are weaklings when it comes to remembering God’s truth and applying it to our lives. We need the kind of help which God imparted to His people by having them wear those blue tassels on their garments. What “tassels of remembrance” do you have in your life, … “tassels” which help you to continue to go deep – on a daily basis – in your relationship with God? Is your daily priority time with God one of those tassels? How many tassels of scripture memory do you wear in your heart, … tassels which bubble forth in your consciousness when you’re confronted by some spiritual enemy which is trying to get you to live in accord with Satan or self, rather than to remember and live for our Savior?

I leave it to you to see if you’re wearing any “tassels of remembrance” where others can see that your life is a living display of your relationship with and obedience to Christ.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I’m so grateful that Your word has become my garment with tassels to help me remember You each day; and to display Your glory for the world to see – YOU – and Your Robes of Righteousness, covering my rags of sin. Amen

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