Summary: The word of God calls us to remember certain things. This sermon reminds us of what those things are.
We are called by God to remember. In fact, there are over 100 passages in the Bible that deal with the act of remembering. Verses like –
‘Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen, or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them..’
In 2 PETER 1:13, we should keep our memories fresh as long as we live.
In PSALM 143:5 it talks about remembering the gratitude for God’s goodness.
We are called by God to remember. We have many things in our past, both personally and nationally, that we should remember. Can you think of some of the memories you have of your past?
I remember when I was a young boy growing up in southern Ohio. We would play many games, but the one I think I enjoyed the most was ‘War.’ My family didn’t have much money back then and I didn’t have a real toy rifle, but my dad cut down an old broom stick and that seemed to do just fine. I even took one of my sister’s belts and nailed it to the broom stick so I could have a strap to sling around my shoulders like real soldiers did. Of course, I lost my rifle privileges for a few days because of it, but when I got it back I saw where my dad had put a better strap on it for me.
Some of us would pretend to shoot our imaginary enemies, and some of us would pretend to be shot by them. Some would turn out to be the heroes of the day and some wouldn’t, but I remember how we always had fun being in the army. I also remember that just about the time when we were engaged in a really intense battle, our moms would call us in for dinner and we would have to call a cease fire for a while.
Those were the days, weren’t they? Sometimes, we wonder why they good old days were so much better than today, but in ECCLESIASTES 7:10, we are told it isn’t wise to ask questions like that. But as far as remembering them, I remember them well because they were so easy going and joyful.
Tomorrow is Memorial Day, and across this great nation, many will go to gravesites and honor those who have passed on before us. Some of those will have given their lives for the freedoms and liberties we enjoy today. Others will have given their lives while trying to be the best parents or children they could be. All of them gave their lives in the line of their duties, and all of them are heroes in one way or another. And we shall honor all of them for all they did.
We have many reasons to be thankful, don’t we? And we should remember many people for making our lives possible today. I would like to take just a few moments out and talk about some of them.
First, we must remember …
1. THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR ALL FOR US
We need to remember those patriots who founded this nation over two hundred years ago. Consider the men who signed the Declaration of Independence. Those men were not wild-eyed trouble makers. They were men of wealth, influence, and prestige of their day. They were lawyers and judges, plantation owners and educators. One of them was even a pastor.
They had the good life, but they valued liberty more. Everyone paid a price for our liberty. Some died while being tortured by the British while some died from wounds received while fighting. These men were wealthy for their day, but they ended up paupers or worse. These men gave all they had for our benefits. That is how our nation started and those were the men who started it.
We have much to remember and be thankful for.
Every generation of Americans has heroes who defended freedom and laid down their lives for their friends. My great-grandfather was in the Civil War, my grandfather was in WW1, my dad was in WW2, my brother was in Korea, I was in Vietnam, and my son was in Iraq. Each generation has been called upon to defend freedom and to protect our shores. Today, our young men and women have been called to fight the war on terror, and they are doing it in Iraq.
Unfortunately, war is a part of life on planet earth. And we could never worship the Lord unless we had the freedom to do so. And without fighting for that freedom yesterday, we would not have that freedom today.