Learning From the Mistakes of Others (Part 3): Memory and Service

(Judges 3:7 Pas. Baines, Jr. 5/2018)

Introduction: A possible benefit of knowing history is that we can learn from the mistakes of others. In our text, we should learn from the mistakes of those who forgot the Lord and served false gods. This discussion centers around how “We should remember and serve the Lord only."

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Key Points:

1. Some still behave as if they have forgotten the Lord’s goodness. Notice in Judges 3:7 that the Israelites forgot the Lord. As African Americans, we are tempted to protest and fight for justice as if no progress has been made over our history.

On one hand, we are not where we should be, and we must fight for what we want. But on the other hand, as bad as things are, the Lord has already been mighty good to us (e.g., Barak Obama, Oprah Wimpey, Tom Joyner, and many more).

Whenever we behave as if life has been all bad, we are behaving as if we have forgotten the Lord’s goodness. As a saved person, you are still standing (see II Cor. 4:7-12), still have a church going mind, still have your name in the Lamb’s book of life, and still have God working things out for your good (see Rom. 8:28).

Deuteronomy 8:18a reminds us that we have what we have because of God’s goodness, not just our own will. Let’s remember the Lord’s goodness.

2. Some still behave as if they have forgotten that the Lord punishes sin. Notice in Judges 3:7 that the people behaved as if God was not going to punish them. Too many church goers behave as if Hebrews 12:6 is not in the Bible.

I don’t know how a Christian can explain that they remember and believe that God punishes sin and then rob God of His tithes and offerings on a weekly basis. Remembering and believing the Lord punishes sin should move us to give extra effort to inviting and trying to bring people with us to worship and growth groups (see Acts 1:8).

It should move us to keep working our personal stewardship. Let’s live like we remember that God punishes sin.

3. We should behave as if we remember the Lord. Notice in Matthew 7: 20-23 that what we do is more important than what we say. As Christians who remember and believe God, we should be known for our spirit of gratitude and obedience to God’s word.

God is calling us to make sure that we are saved through Christ and focused on loving Him and others, as we love ourselves (see Jn. 3:16; Mk. 12:29-31). Let’s live like we remember the Lord.

4. Too many are still serving false gods. Notice in Judges 3:7 that the people worshipped false gods. We may not worship baal, but too many worship or give too much value to materialism.

On one hand, we should strive to be profitable for the Lord (see Lk. 19:16-19). But on the other hand, when we have no ethics and no balance, materialism is becoming too important in our lives.

Some treat their peers as little gods (see Jn. 12:42-43). Learn to stand for truth, no matter how many “friends” you may lose. And then some engage in self worship. They walk by what seems right to them more than faith in God’s word (e.g., tithing and enthusiastic worship). Proverbs 14:12 teaches the danger of living by what seems right to us. Let’s avoid worshipping false gods.

5. We should serve the Lord only. Notice passages like James 2:17 urges us to actually serve the Lord. Lip service is not enough. Serving the Lord includes obeying the parts of the Bible that teaches us about personal stewardship of our mindsets, health, wealth, relationships, and contributions.

Serving the Lord includes obeying the parts of the Bible that teaches us as a church family to focus on evangelism, edification, love, worship, community involvement, and excellence. Let’s work on serving the Lord, in every area of our lives. 

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