Summary: Memorial Day is about remembering people.
INTRO.- ILL.- A group of friends went deer hunting and paired off in twos for the day. That night one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under the load of an 8-point buck which he was carrying.
"Where’s Harry?" He was asked.
"Harry had a stroke of some kind. He’s a couple of miles back up the trail."
"You mean that you left Harry laying there, and carried the deer back?"
"Well," said the hunter, "I FIGURED NO ONE WAS GOING TO STEAL HARRY."
The moral of the story is: the deer was more important than the man. A DEAD ANIMAL WAS MORE IMPORTANT THAN A LIVING HUMAN BEING. Here’s another.
ILL.- Surprised to see an empty seat at the Super Bowl stadium, a diehard fan remarked about it to a woman sittingnearby. She said, "It was my husband’s seat, but he died."
"I’m very sorry," said the man. "But I’m surprised that another relative or friend didn’t jump at the chance to take the seat reserved for him."
"Beats me," she said, "THEY ALL INSISTED ON GOING TO THE FUNERAL."
That’s bad. The man’s wife thought the Super Bowl was more important than attending her own husband’s funeral. However, I do think there are probably some men who might attend the Super Bowl versus attending their own wife’s funeral.
The point I want you to get is this: PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THINGS! We tend to value things and use people. But it should be the other way around. WE SHOULD VALUE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS.
ILL.- One time popular actress Sophia Loren sobbed to Italian movie director Vittorio De Sica over the theft of her jewelry, 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!" Amen?!
In other words, people are more important than things! Why cry over material things that will some day cease to exist? People are eternal beings. We should value people more than material things!
The problem is: our values are all mixed up! Why? Perhaps we can think of it this way.
ILL.- I heard a story one time about a prankster who broke into a large expensive department store and switched all the price tags.
Cheap items were priced at thousands of dollars while expensive items were priced at only a $1 or $2.
This is exactly what the Devil has done to confuse people on planet earth and I might add, he has succeeded quite well! HE HAS SWITCHED THE PRICE TAGS ON US!
ILL.- One preacher suggested, "many people will spend thirty thousand dollars on a new car to help them get where they are going in style, but they won’t spend a $300 hundred dollars on a some Christian books to help them get to heaven! Or some might spend several thousand dollars to straighten out their child’s teeth but they won’t spend $100 dollars to send their child to Christian camp to help straigthen out their life. Or we may give our child $10 to go to the show and then we give them a $1 to go to Sunday School."
Brethren, the Devil has done a good job of fooling us into thinking that the things of this world are more important than our relationship to people and to God!
On this Memorial Day weekend I want to remind you that people are what really count in life! People are more important than material things. And they are more important than our own personal fun and pleasure.
In II Timothy 1:3-5 we see that Paul remembered his friend Timothy.
V. 3 - "I constantly remember you...in my prayers"
V. 4 - "Recalling your tears..."
V. 5- "I have been reminded of your sincere faith...."
Paul remembered Timothy in many ways: He remembered him enough to pray for him. He remembered Timothy’s pain in life. And he remembered that he was a man of faith in the Lord.
PROP.- Memorial Day weekend should be about remembering people.
1- Look back and remember
2- Look out and love
3- Look up and honor
I. LOOK BACK AND REMEMBER
This Memorial Day weekend we need to look back and remember the deceased, i.e. our deceased veterans and our deceased loved ones.
Originally, Memorial Day was instituted to remember the Civil War dead but over the years it has become a time toremember all our deceased veterans and all our deceased loved ones.
That’s one reason many people still call it, "Decoration Day," because they go out to the graves of their loved ones and decorate them as a sign they haven’t forgotten them. HOW COMMENDABLE THAT IS!
ILL.- I have read that on an average day 750 people will visit the USS Arizona in Hawaii and on Memorial Day weekend 4,645 people will visit that memorial. And on an average day 3,000 people will visit the Vietnam War Memorial and on Memorial Day weekend 7,600 people will visit it. God bless those who remember our deceased veterans!