Summary: Memorial day message as we remember those who have gone ahead of us.
Stones of remembrance
Joshua 4:1-5, 10-24
This sermon prepared from my previous sermons and gleamed from fellow ministers on SermonCentral.
This morning we are celebrating Memorial Day.
We honor all the men and women who have served and died for our freedom in this country.
We have honored the lives of two people that are a part of our church family. Joseph Devaney and Marcus Thompson.
Each one of these things has a common denominator- A time of remembrance. A time to stop the busy activity of life and acknowledge and take a look at life itself.
A guy praying… “Dear Lord, so far today, I’ve done right. I haven’t lost my temper, haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or over-indulgent. I’m really glad about that, but in a few minutes, I’m going to get out of bed and then I’m probably going to need a lot more help.”
When was the last time you just stopped, really stopped and took time to remember what God has done for you? Remember and act like God is in control?
Picnics and family gatherings are great and we can do that this weekend, but if we do not stop and remember and reflect, we have just made this another day off.
Stones recorded in the Bible have always been referred to as a marker of what God is doing.
Jesus rolling the stone away so that the people could see that He had been resurrected.
Jesus, telling us that if we don’t praise the Lord that even the rocks would cry out.
Samuel used stones as a memorial for God’s goodness.
Our text this morning, Joshua used stones from the Jordan River to build a memorial and as a public testimony acknowledging what God had done and is doing for Israel and us today.
Joshua 4:1-5, 10-24 Read from Bible
You see, you have to take this text in the right context. Israel wandered in the wilderness 40 years when they did things in their own way and without God. Joshua was anointed by God to lead God’s people to a better and more fulfilled life.
Joshua chapter 3 Joshua told the people
“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
“Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God.”
There comes a time to listen and there comes a time to move. God was telling his people to do both and not let time pass in between so that He can accomplish all that He wants to happen.
Then be thankful, then reflect and remember what he has done.
Do you notice something that is very important here. Joshua was asked to get 12 men, one from each of the tribes of Israel. It meant that all were to be involved in the move of God. Not one leader from any tribe would be excluded or would get a free pass from being a part of the move.
All 12 tribes had been in the wilderness together and God wanted all 12 tribes together to come to Canaan at the same time.
There were two sets of stone memorials. That was not by accident and this was to be a remembrance at both levels.
One was set up in the middle of the Jordan River where the priest stood with the Ark of the Covenant.
The other one was set up at Gilgal- showing where they had been and where they are now.
A memorial made so that they would remember that God had been with them and brought them through the impossible times. The banks of the river were at flood stage, but when they crossed the Lord had allowed them to cross safely and on dry land.
It was to be an encouragement to them and a marker to remember.
There are a lot of things that would be considered a memorial by today’s standard. Not all would have spiritual value but they are memorials.
Some even tattoo
So how do we do that this morning?
How do we make a memorial meaningful and beneficial in our lives?
How do you make sure that your memorial does not exalt you?
Very quickly, 4 ways;
By not forgetting
By being intentional
By making a difference
By sharing the experience
I. By not forgetting
Deuteronomy 6…”Beware, lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bandage.”
All the things that God did for Israel, you would think that they would not forget. They did, in fact, soon after God did something for them they forgot about God and reverted back to their old way of thinking and way of life.
We need memorials. Because we have short memories. ON CERTAIN THINGS!