Posted on Monday, May 23, 2022 by Air1 Pastors
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13 (NLT)
Waterloo, New York, is widely recognized as the birthplace of Memorial Day as a state and federal holiday. The purpose was to honor the sacrifices made to preserve the freedom, peace, and future of this nation. The tradition keeps the memory of thousands more that have made the ultimate sacrifice.
There are thousands of heroic stories that can be shared on this day. These are stories of lives cut short and families losing spouses, siblings, children, and parents. The losses have been enormous, and the freedom that has been preserved is priceless.
One must wonder how we can best remember those who have given their lives for our continued freedom. Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). How can we honor the sacrifices that continue to be made?
Our freedom has come at so high a price we dare not squander it by seeking only to serve our own interests. We are free to live at liberty and pursue the happiness found in seeking to do the will of Almighty God. We can use our freedom as an opportunity to bless and serve others rather than using it to gratify our own desires.
The freedom we enjoy was not purchased with gold or silver but with the blood, sweat, and tears of the ones that we honor today. They died so that we might live!
There was one who came down from Heaven. The God, who put on human flesh, became one of us and gave His life for all of us. While we were dead in our sins and trespasses, He gave His life for us. He was without sin, and He took the judgment of God on our behalf. Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. We are no longer enslaved to sin, but we are servants of God who have been set free to live lives that honor Him and bring peace with God to the world. It was the shedding of the blood of Jesus that won our salvation and His resurrection that sealed our pardon from sin, giving us hope for the life to come!
Indeed, there is no greater love than sacrificial love. Therefore, it is suitable to honor our loved ones and their sacrifice. So may we use the freedom that they bought to proclaim the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus!
As you remember the lives of those, who sacrificed for your freedom, ask God how you can be an instrument of His love.
The Bible says in James 1:5, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” God wants to give us guidance in our life. So, let’s humbly ask for his direction and commit to following Him in the power of the Holy Spirit. He will provide us with the instructions we need, one step at a time.
Like all Americans, I have significantly benefited from the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform. My family has been blessed by the life of two Marines in particular. Trip was a caring officer that watched over his troops and shared Jesus with them. One young soldier admired Trip as an older brother, but he wasn’t interested in Trip’s religion. When Trip paid the ultimate price, it led to the salvation of this young soldier as he remembered the Gospel that his commanding officer had shared with him so frequently. That same young man married my daughter, and they continue to follow Jesus together. On this day, we have the opportunity to celebrate our religious and political freedom by remembering the sacrifices of others on our behalf.
thank you for making way for us to have victory over sin. You’ve shown us your greater love, evidenced in the ultimate sacrifice you made at the cross! You laid your life down and called us your friends. Help us remember these fallen soldiers, our family, and friends who also demonstrated this greater love by paying the ultimate sacrifice.
as we remember those who have given their lives to fight for our freedom, we are at a loss. We ask you to mediate between nations and settle international disputes. We pray they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks so countries will no longer fight nor train for war anymore.
you are our only source of deep, absolute comfort for this pain we feel at the loss of our beloved soldiers. We rely on you in this grief and struggle as we feel crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure. Shower us with your powerful comfort so that we will be able to comfort others!
as we remember the fallen ones, we also recognize the risen one! You are our only hope that one day death itself and the grave will be thrown entirely away (Revelation 20:14) and swallowed up in complete defeat! You have sacrificially taken in your body the sting of death in our place!
My Great Shepherd,
I run to you today, clinging to you through this dark valley. I don’t know what it looks like ahead, but I know you do. You have been there; you have walked through this before. You are faithful to stay close beside me, as your very presence is comforting.
we pray for those who have lost a spouse or parent in the line of duty. You are a Father to the fatherless and a defender of widows. You set the lonely in a family and will surely bring justice to the widow who cries out to you day and night.
even though it doesn’t seem right that lives had to be lost, I think about these fallen soldiers who were brave as they fought for our freedom. Please help me to never take their sacrifice for granted. Please teach me how to do my part to bring the Good News to my world so they can find life in you.
today we think about the tragedies of war, remembering those we’ve lost and all it has cost. We look forward to the age to come when the nations will be completely healed (Revelation 22:2), and you will wipe every tear from our eyes. We set our hope on that day when death, sorrow, crying, and pain will be gone forever!
Freedom comes at a high price. We enjoy political freedom today thanks to the sacrifices made by those that we honor on Memorial Day. It can also be a reminder to us of the freedom from sin that came at a precious price.
As you ponder Memorial Day, here are 6 ways to maximize the significance of Memorial Day by making it a major M.E.M.O.R.Y.
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