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Summary: Memorial Day Sermon, Scripture and quotes to encourage those listening to remember those that have given themselves for our freedom, especially spiritual freedom.

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Remember People; Joshua 4:1-7 Pastor Curtis Emerson

Joshua 4

1Now when all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying,

2"Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe,

3and command them, saying, 'Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests' feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.'"

4So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Israel, one man from each tribe;

5and Joshua said to them, "Cross again to the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel.

6"Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, 'What do these stones mean to you?'

7then you shall say to them, 'Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off ' So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever." (NASB)

Ron was a fifteen-year-old teenager, a tenth-grade student at Granger High School. It was game day, and he was the only sophomore suiting up with the varsity team. Excitedly, he invited his mother to attend. It was her very first football game, and she promised to be there with several of her friends.

The game finally ended, and she was waiting outside the locker room to drive Ron home.

"What did you think of the game, Mom? Did you see the three touchdown passes our team made and our tough defense, and the fumble on the kickoff return that we recovered?" he asked.

His mother replied, "Ron, you were magnificent. You have such presence, and I was proud of the pride you took in the way you looked. You pulled up your knee socks eleven times during the game, and I could tell you were perspiring in all those bulky pads because you got eight drinks and splashed water on your face twice.

“I really like how you went out of you way to pat number nineteen, number five and number ninety on the back every time they came off the field."

"Mom, how do you know all that? And how can you say I was magnificent? I didn’t even play in the game."

His mother smiled and hugged him. "Ron, I don’t know anything about football. I didn’t come here to watch the game. I came here to watch you!"

The moral of that story is: PEOPLE COUNT MOST OF ALL!

Here’s another way to look at it:

One time the popular actress Sophia Loren sobbed to her Italian movie director, Vittorio De Sica, over the theft of some of her jewelry. And he said to her, “Listen to me, Sophia. I am much older than you and, if there is one great truth I have learned about life, it is this: NEVER CRY OVER ANYTHING THAT CAN’T CRY OVER YOU!”

Have you learned that lesson in life - People are more important than things!

People are more important than anything else!

Cars, computers, houses, furniture, all material things!

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, a time for remembering people who were important in our lives. The purpose is to honor the nation’s military personnel killed in wartime.

The holiday was also called Decoration Day. A lot of meaning is attached to decorating graves.

I remember after I got married, the small rural community my wife was from always has a big event on Memorial Day, they set up an outside service to remember the war dead and they read a list of names from their community that had passed who had fought in the wars. It was also a time to place flowers on the graves of all loved ones and remember them.

Throughout the Scripture, God has had His people remember certain events and people by placing monuments to be left for the future generations, we see that God wants us to remember.

Monuments erected to commemorate events:

• By Jacob, his vision of angels, Gen. 28:18, with Gen. 31:13; 35:14;

• by Moses, the covenant between Jehovah and Israel, Ex. 24:4;

• by Joshua, the passing over Jordan, Josh. 4:1–9, with Deut. 27:2–6; Josh. 8:30;

• at Shechem, Josh. 24:25–27, with Judg. 9:6;

• by Samuel, the defeat of the Philistines, 1 Sam. 7:12;

It’s important for us to remember!

Woodrow Wilson issued a prophetic and ominous warning in a speech made in 1911; "a nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. And we are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about."

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