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Be careful not to forget the LORD, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 6:12

Remember the story of the Lion and the mouse? The little mouse was hopelessly trapped in the paws of the mighty lion. He begged for his release and promised to help him someday. The lion laughed so hard he dropped the mouse, allowing it to escape. Later, the lion was hopelessly trapped. The mouse heard the lion’s roar, raced to his rescue, gnawed the trap apart and released the lion. The lion remembered the mouse’s kind deed and the two became unlikely friends.

While the story could have multiple meanings for life, the most important may be to always remember the kind deeds others have done for you. The more pronounced the kindness extended to us, the more important it is for us to remember.

God’s people had spent nearly 600 years under the rule of the Egyptian government. They had no military strength. They had no qualities that would endear them to anyone. They were a bunch of slaves with no hope for anything better.

Then God showed up in the form of Moses and everything changed. They were miraculously delivered from bondage. They were given a chance to make something of themselves. They were given hope. Eventually they would become a mighty nation.

In the same way, each of us was spiritually enslaved. We had no hope. We had no endearing qualities. There was nothing that made us attractive to anyone. Then God showed up in the form of Jesus and everything has changed.

The words of Moses still ring true to us. What the God of the universe has done for each of us should always be at the forefront of our minds. The problem is, it’s far too easy to forget what God has done for us. Just as the Israelites struggled in the wilderness, we struggle as well in our daily pilgrimage. But the struggles we endure today are well worth what we will see in the promised land of eternity. So what is it that keeps us from remembering? What are the main enemies of our ingratitude (intentional or not)?

One is that we often forget how ugly sin looks to God. Shortly after the Israelites were delivered they longed to return to slavery! They forgot the bad and focused only on the good. We were as good as dead before Jesus died for us. There is nothing pretty or useful with ‘dead’.

A second reason we forget is that we grow content with what we have. When things are good we forget about the fact that every good gift comes as a result of his hand. When things go bad we spend our times blaming ourselves, God or others. God’s love and compassion are present regardless of our circumstances.

Thirdly, we can often forget about what God has done for us because our focus turns to what we have done for him or others instead. We begin to feel entitled to God’s blessings because we are so godly (compared to others); We try too hard to do the ‘right thing’ and become frustrated in our weakness; We move from seeing ourselves as being rescued to living as ‘the victim’ (poor little old me).

Take time to follow Moses’ advice. Be careful not to forget what God has done for you. Never forget that you were once nothing but a dead, worthless slave. Then, Jesus came to make you new. Now you are a child of God and destined for eternity in heaven. Never forget.

PRAYER: Father God, never let me forget where I have come from and where I am now because of your grace. Empower me to live a life of gratitude that spills over to those around me. Amen.

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