Summary: The need for establishing memorial or testimonial stones in our lives.
JOSHUA 4:1-9, 19-24
Introduction: In April 1863, in Columbus, Mississippi after decorating graves of her two sons who served during the Civil War as Confederate soldiers, an elderly woman also decorated two mounds at the corner of the cemetery. An observer asked, "What are you doing? Those are the graves of two Union soldiers." The reply, "I know. I also know that somewhere in the North, a mother or a young wife mourns for them as we do for ours." That little band of ladies set in motion what became Memorial Day. Memorial Day is set aside each year to remember those who gave their lives in the armed forces. We remember those who died on far away battle fields to bring freedom and democracy to oppressed peoples. We commemorate their actions by honoring them in ceremonies across the land. We sometimes call it Decoration Day because we decorate the graves of fallen heroes with flags and flowers. When Israel crossed the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land for the first time, God commanded Joshua to pile up a mound of stones at the place. These stones were to become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever. They were memorial stones of God’s great grace.
I. The Need for Memorials
A. Deuteronomy 6:12-15 ?... beware, LEST YOU FORGET the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. (13) You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. (14) You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you (15) (for the LORD your God is a jealous God among you), lest the anger of the LORD your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the face of the earth?.
B. We have short memories.
C. I am getting to the point that I write down everything that I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend the time trying to remember where I put the paper I wrote it down on.
D. When the danger is past, we often forget the God who helped us.
E. In Christ, we can move out of our past into a meaningful present and a breathtaking future. But we should never forget what we were and where we were headed before Christ redeemed us
II. Use of Memorials
A. Teach our children of God’s power and mercy
1. Joshua 4:6-7 "That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?  Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever."
2. Joshua 4:21-23 "And he spoke unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?  Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:"
3. Memorial stones were to serve as a basis of sharing faith with their children.
4. Christianity is never more than one generation away from extinction.
5. Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
6. British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once had a discussion with a man who firmly believed that children should not be given formal religious instruction, but should be free to choose their own religious faith when they reached maturity. Coleridge did not disagree, but later invited the man into his somewhat neglected garden. "Do you call this a garden?" the visitor exclaimed. "There are nothing but weeds here!" "Well, you see," Coleridge replied, "I did not wish to infringe upon the liberty of the garden in any way. I was just giving the garden a chance to express itself." - (copied)
B. Reach others with our message
1. Joshua 4:24 "That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever."
2. Another purpose of the Memorial being placed here was that all the people of the earth would know that the Lord alone is God.