Summary: This is an attempt at a Memorial day message from Psalms
This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day is a day set aside for us as a nation to remember those who gave their lives for our country. I know that some of you in attendance today have loved ones that gave the greatest sacrifice available for us to enjoy the freedoms that we have... John 15:13 says, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
This morning, I wanted to share from Psalms 33:12 - Psalms 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.” In this passage, David of course is speaking of the nation of Israel. God had chosen them as his own and they were to show the world God’s greatness and majesty. While other nations had many Gods, Israel only had one - the Lord. God had also promised them that they would be a mighty nation...
There are many who would say similar things about America. I believe that as a nation we definitely have been blessed. many of you would say that one of the reasons that America has been so blessed is because we are a “Christian nation.” Our country was founded on Judaeo-Christian principles - and I believe that it definitely has helped us to define who we are - but at the same time - there are many who have noticed a slide in our values as a nation. Without being too political, its not hard to see that our nation as a whole does not agree in the same values and beliefs... So what do we do? Well, I think we pray... 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” I think we can pray that our nation as a whole turn to God as their Lord.
I started thinking about that this week... What would we as a nation (or really even as individuals) need to do to return to a nation whose God is the Lord.
First, I think we need to obey. In John 14:15, Jesus says, “If you love me, obey my commandments.” It’s one thing for us to say that we love God or that we have made him the Lord of our lives, and its another thing to really obey Him. Imagine if we were loving, and kind to one another. Imagine if we were giving and forgiving. Imagine if we shared and sacrificed and submitted...
Lately, I’ve been praying and thinking a lot about obedience - What does obedience look like? It looks like Jesus. If you want to know how obedient you are - compare yourself to Jesus. The mirror of your own righteousness isn’t a very good indicator “...well, I’m better than I was yesterday” The real test of obedience is Jesus.
Second, I think if we as a nation want God’s blessing we have to stay humble. Throughout scripture humility is a big deal! Listen to these two verses... James 4:6, “...God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” and in Micah 6:8, “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God..”
Would you say as a nation we are humble or proud? What about you as a person - are you humble or proud?
I think all of us have some repenting to do in this arena... Amen?
There are two more concepts that I think belong in this conversation - and they both stem from one passage of scripture. In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus is asked this question and he replies, ““Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
The final two concepts that I wanted to mention today are Worship and Service and I believe they are actually related.
We think of worship as singing songs or coming to church - but worship really is ascribing to God the Glory that he deserves. In worship we say to God - you are the most important thing in my life - nothing else compares... Jesus says the greatest command is to love God with everything. Make him the most important thing in your life, put him above all else. Give him your everything