Memorial Day

Hope Discovery of the Day:

We need to remember where we have come from to be able to have a redeeming plan for the future.

Scripture of the Day:

Isaiah 46:9

Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me.”

All across our country – churches, families, and businesses – all take a moment to respect those who laid down their lives for our nation on Memorial Day. It is such an honorable thing to remember our servicemen, our heroes. The value of a human life is not able to be defined and for one to choose to spend the most valuable thing they have – their lives and dreams – on others is the highest deed that can be done on this earth. Such sacrifice chooses to die to self, to the possibility of a future so others might have a future. So selfless, so like Christ. So why is it important for us to remember?

Memorials are not just the idea of man. They have been around a long time. God prescribed them for His people numerous times. He knew we were a forgetful people. He knew we needed to keep important lessons and reminders in our lives in order to be faithful, humble and grateful. But more than just honoring, there is a purpose that runs deeper. We need to remember. To forget means we can forget our purpose, take what we have for granted or perhaps repeat our failures. Forgetting the foundation of our country or of our faith renders us a people without a vision. We need to remember where we have come from to be able to have a redeeming plan for the future.

When God delivered His people from their slavery in Egypt through a mighty deliverance, He wanted His people to commemorate it.

Exodus 12:14

“‘Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations, you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.”

When Joshua led His people into the promised land, God wanted them and future generations to know of His great love and provision.

Joshua 4:1-7

1 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3 and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.” 4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

The examples of memorials go on and on in Scripture. Must be important for God to initiate the recalling of such times. When a Holy God interacts with our world, we must be careful to remember. When human events – tragic or sacrificial – occur, we should take note and recognize what God is doing in the midst.

Significant moments in our lives or our history have a way of changing us for better or worse. We can recognize our dependence on God to intervene and dare not forget His interaction with us. Or we can allow the painful events of lives to embitter us. Will we be careful to apply to our lives what we have learned from significant events? Or will we just continue to live our lives, hardened by life’s challenges?

The servicemen we honor today serve such a great role model to us all. They embody the love of God by laying down their lives. May we live in such a way, too, serving others first and dying to self, so that ultimately God may be glorified through us. May we remember in our daily lives Christ’s sacrifice for the freedom of our souls and the sacrifice of servicemen for the freedom in this life that we enjoy. May we never take for granted the amazing sacrifices of those who have served our country and may we not grow so comfortable with recalling God’s deeds on our behalf that these remembrances become rote or religious. May we passionately recall what God’s sacrifice – the death of His own Son on our behalf – has done for us eternally, and also those who have served our country have done for us while we are on this earth. God help us to nurture gratitude that wonders why such grace and sacrifice would be given rather than just accepting it.

What “God moments” have you had that were significant? What sacrifices have others done for you that have changed your life? Is there something you have done to commemorate these actions in your life? I would love to hear about it.

God, You have been so kind to speak to Your people and save our souls. Help us to live lives worthy of Your sacrifice and to honor those who have also sacrificed on our behalf here on this earth. 

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