Remember your first love, pastor urges
Campbell's Castle, Manchester:
The Bible says that God loves His people with an everlasting love, and nothing can come between that love: not even the defiance of His children. But it is God's ideal to have us live the way we ought to, and He has given us a manual with the details.
According to Pastor Dr Aston Barnes, those things that are extremely good for us God always declares it with the word 'remember'. And he shared seven of those instances with Family & Religion recently.
"The first one I want you to look at is Exodus 20:8-1: 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shall thou labour and do all thy work but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shall not do any work, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy strangers with thy gates ..."
He said that the fourth commandment contains the seal of the living God, bearing the autonomy to make these declarations and have them obeyed.
"Every leader in this world has a seal and this seal contains three important elements: the name, the title and the province. The Lord thy God - that is the name; title - Creator; province - Heavens and the Earth ..."
He said that the second reminder is especially designed for the young people and should be given keen attention.
"Ecclesiastes 12:1-5 says, 'Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth while the evil days come not when though shall say I have no pleasure in them'. You will find that in Proverbs 5:22, the wise man said that whenever you are young and you practise sin, the day will come when you want to break away from those sins and you cannot do it. The Bible said that you will need help by the cords of your sin."
All Power comes from God
He followed on with third reminder: that all power comes from God and one should never forget that.
"Deuteronomy 8:18 says, 'Remember God because it is He who has given you power to get anything that you have'. I want you to know that God doesn't really need your money, because He owns everything. But the greatest sin in the universe is the sin of covetousness: it is the mother of all sin, and so God designed the stewardship programme to kill covetousness. Not one covetous person shall cross the pearly gates and enter into Heaven."
He continued: "When you earn, one tenth is holy. Leviticus 27:30 says that you must return that one tenth to God, and He says 'if you are faithful in returning that one tenth to me', He will give you more than what you can use."
Barnes was quick to point out the crucial reminder of not placing trust in earthly possessions because they can do nothing for us.
"Genesis 19:25-26: Remember Lot's wife. Lot was living in Sodom and Gomoro: he had everything there and God told him to leave Sodom with his wife and children because the place will be destroyed. God had to send His angel to help out Lot and his family and He told him 'don't look back'. Lot's wife looked back - and some believe she even went back to secure some of the goods they had when she was turned into a pillar of salt. Don't put your trust in the things of this world because everything will soon disappear."
He further mentioned Numbers 15:40: 'Remember to keep all the commandments of God as if you offend in one, you are guilty of all.
The final two, he ended, bears the importance of having a relationship with God, as our time here on Earth is but a short one.
"Psalms 89:47: Remember how short your life is. People used to live 900 years, but in our time, God tells us that our time here is 70 years and by reason of strength you reach 80 years, and if you find your eyes still opening at 90 years, you must know that you are on borrowed time. We must make the decision to be faithful to God.
"Revelation 2:1-5: Remember your first love. It is the tendency of us all, after being in the church for a long time, that zeal disappears from us. Yes, God is saying you still come to church; you return the tithe and offering; you fellowship. But I want you to remember your first love. If you don't remember your first love, you are going to get cold, lukewarm. He will spew you from His mouth and you will be lost right in Church," he ended.