Summary: A message for Memorial Day on the value of remembering what we need to do to leave a lasting legacy
The Art of Remembrance
May 29, 2005
Memorial Day Message
Tomorrow we will be celebrating Memorial Day and many of have made plans for the day. Maybe a picnic or going to a parade. Maybe a big party or just a quiet afternoon with family. Maybe you’re just going to enjoy that extra day off of work.
Why do we celebrate Memorial Day in the first place?
Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was established as a day to decorate the graves of the fallen soldiers from the Civil War. The purpose was to never forget the sacrifices made by those courageous men who gave their all and their everything in the service of their nation. Today, we still celebrate Memorial Day to remember those who have given their lives in the service of our nation and we also remember our friends and loved ones who have passed away.
The key to Memorial Day is remembering and I am sure that all of us have specific individuals we will remember. The fact is that we remember the impact people have made upon our lives.
What kind of impact are you making on the world around you? How will you be remembered when you leave this earth?
As Christians we want to leave a lasting legacy behind when we leave this earth because the difference we have made will be of eternal value. This morning I want to look at a passage that encourages us to continue to make a difference in the world around us and to leave a lasting legacy behind. Open your Bibles to Hebrews 12:1-4.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
What do you need to Remember, if you want to gain a lasting legacy?
I. Remember to Move Forward (1)
The reason to move forward
The author of Hebrews calls us to remember the fact that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. The write opens this passage with the word therefore and intentionally means to refer back to the previous statements on the heroes of the faith in chapter 11. Think about it like this we are meant to remember those who would inspire us to live more fully for Christ.
Examples from Chapter 11
• Abel - The one who brought the appropriate sacrifice to God
• Enoch - The man who walked so close to God that he just went to heaven without dying
• Noah - The builder of the ark and the survivor of the flood
• Abraham - The one who was known for following God by faith
• Jacob - God changed his name to Israel and become the source of the 12 tribes
• Moses - The one who led God’s people out of Egyptian captivity
• David - The killer of Goliath and the greatest king of all Israel’s history
We so often forget the fact that God does His best work in the lives of ordinary people. God makes it a habit of doing the impossible through people who are not that much different from you and I. The only difference is that those heroes of the faith opened their lives up to allow God to do His work.
The secret to having a life that leaves a legacy is understanding that it is not what you do for yourself but rather it is what you allow God to do for others through you. This is how we make a difference in this world and this is how we make a lasting impact.
The right to move forward
We are all human and we are none perfect but the reality is that most of the sinful choices that we make are exactly that, a choice. The writer of Hebrews understood that fact and makes it clear that if we are ever going to move forward in our walk with God it is through the daily choices that we make. Discipleship is not a one day matter but rather a daily matter.
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11