Dear Precious Friends,
On this very special day, we honor those who laid down their lives unselfishly with no thought of glory for themselves so we can live in freedom in the greatest country in the world.
In an often quoted Memorial Day speech given in 1884 by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., the speaker ended his address with these words, “Our dead brothers still live for us, and bid us think of life, not death -- of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and joy of the spring. As I listen, the great chorus of life and joy begins again, and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen powers and destinies of good and evil our trumpets sound once more a note of daring, hope, and will.”
The American soldier who gave his or her life for U.S. citizens to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness won’t be telling us how to observe the holiday. But I believe that Holmes’ proposition to “think of life, not death” would honor the fallen soldier. Their sacrifice follows the example of Jesus Christ laying down His life for our freedom. It's selfless love for others – not so others can mourn forever, but live!
"We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters." 1 John 3:16
Notice that in scripture and in military service, the willingness to give up one’s life is not dependent on the worthiness of the people who benefit from the honorable act. In a perfect world, all who receive freedom and grace would be worthy of such a sacrifice and full of gratitude. But that’s not the way it is anywhere on Earth or in Heaven.
"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:8
Psalms 105:4, 5 and 8
Seek the LORD, and His strength: seek His face evermore. Remember His marvelous works that He hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of His mouth . . . He hath remembered His covenant for ever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations.
MY WORD FOR THE YEAR IS REMEMBER!!!!
Memorial Day is set aside to REMEMBER those who have fallen in our nation’s wars. While many are gathering for picnics and parties, we must always REMEMBER what actually happened. We must be encouraged to see the dedication of those who fought and died. REMEMBERING stirs within us a sense of gratitude and appreciation, and it strengthens my resolve to do my part in serving God, country and others.
Throughout the Bible, God’s people are instructed to stop and recall what He did for them. Psalm 105 is a song of remembrance of God’s goodness to His beloved ones.
Psalm 105:1-5 shows the natural progression of what happens when I pause to REMEMBER—I give thanks to Him and continue calling on Him. I sing of Him, and talk with fellow believers of all He has done. Then I must go tell others of His greatness. When I stop to trace the work of God’s hand in my life and in the world around me, these things just come naturally.
But the key to being able to rejoice in the past is not found in counting the number of good things that have happened, but in remembering that God remembers! I can rejoice because He never forgets His plan and He never forsakes His promises. Even when life is tough and things don’t seem to make sense to me, I can rest assured that He is in control and He is working out His plan. He has my best interest at heart. Knowing this encourages and strengthens me, and pushes me to do my best to live for Him.
A song that was popular when I was younger went something like this:
“When I remember the cross that He bore,
When I remember the thorns that He wore,
My heart cries out, ‘Oh Christ divine, I’m thine forever!’
When I remember what He did for me.”
I encourage you, my friend, at this Memorial season, take time to remember.
Dear Father, help me daily to look back at Your faithfulness and praise You for being a God who remembers.
We are blessed to be living in a free society. May we honor our American soldiers for the liberty we have in this country. May we also give thanks to Almighty God for the freedom we have to spend eternity with Him because of His gift of forgiveness through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
NOW LETS GO OUT AND THANK ALL THOSE WHO ARE SERVING, HAVE SERVED, FAMILIES WHO LOST LOVED ONES AND TODAY AND EVERY REMEMBER THE GREAT COST FOR OUR FREEDOM AND LIVE IN GRATITUDE FOR THIS AMAZING GIFT AND MOSTLY THE GIFT OF JESUS ON THE CROSS AND THE FREEDOM, HEALING AND SALVATION WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN... THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL!!!