A Memorial Perspective

Memorial Day means a lot to America. First day of the Summer season, Many place flags or flowers on the final resting place of loved ones, others are putting boats on the water or making plans to visit National Parks, making plans for family reunions. There are activities we do and places we go, people we see, activities we share because they hold or refresh memories for us. The need to do this is so strong in us that Memorial Day was made a National Holiday. Many if not most of our gatherings of this type involve food!

I guess God knew we would do things this way so He gave Israel 7 feast days in the year. It must be easier to remember things when there is food and drink to share. God created us to be social.

He did NOT, however, create us to be blind to the purpose for which we exist. He created us with a memory. We are to exercise that memory. We are to remember that 2+2 ALWAYS equals 4! We are to remember that we are endowed with certain INALIENABLE RIGHTS among which are LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PERSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

These words are to be remembered by Americans because they were written in recognition of how God described the purpose of Man as He created him, MALE and FEMALE He created THEM! Please, listen, I want to be VERY clear here. As long as we draw breath, REPENTANCE is available. That is proven by what Jesus said to the thief on the cross who recognized both his own sin and Christ’s innocence and then asked to be remembered when Christ came into His Kingdom. (Luke 23:42-43) He had no opportunity to do any ACT of penance, no shining example of love or works of proof he had changed!

Christ IS merciful but that does not mean that we should sin more that Grace may ABOUND! Paul said GOD FORBID to anyone who might think that! Remembering those who have gone before is a good thing as an example of nobility that we should emulate if necessary! But remember also those who serve as an example to shun, those like Ahab and Jezebel who exemplified the condition of the heart Jeremiah revealed. Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it.”

Nowhere among our inalienable rights is the right to be wicked! NOR TO ALLOW OTHERS TO EXERCISE WICKEDNESS IN OUR NAME without objection! When all we can do is speak up, then we must speak. Perhaps this is a good time to talk a bit about feelings. Do you ever feel hopeless about what is going on in our country today, or even about family issues? Hopelessness tells us we can do nothing so we don’t even try. Hopelessness is a lying feeling. We can still speak! Speak the Truth of God when the opportunity is presented. Are you perfect? NO! But He IS! Are you afraid that relationships will be broken if you speak God’s truth? I have that fear every time I stand up here.

But when I get up here, it is my responsibility to share God’s Truth. In point of fact it is the responsibility of every professing Christian to share God’s Truth WHENEVER and WHERE EVER opportunity presents! In today’s world now more than ever! You don’t feel called? How do you think Gideon felt as he was sifting grain on the threshing floor at night. Sneaking around trying to eke out enough to feed his family before the invaders took it from him? Do you think he felt called? Do you think he FELT like a MIGHTY MAN OF GOD? Feelings LIE! Read the story of Gideon in Judges chapter 6. Gideon was a mighty man of God because GOD said so NOT because he FELT like one!

A moment ago I said it is the responsibility of every professing Christian to share God’s Truth WHENEVER and WHERE EVER opportunity presents! Where is the first place that might be? In most cases it is within our own families. Here is where we get into the God-given inalienable rights and HOW WE SHOULD REMEMBER them. The stones that were piled up where Joshua crossed Jordan were there so that when children asked about them or even if they DIDN’T ask, the story could be told about the stones and how God led Israel out of Egypt and brought them into the Promised Land. There’s a lot to that story. You can find it in the Book of Joshua chapter 4. It begins with the story of these stones.

There is a lot to the story of our inalienable rights too. But its not a pile of river rocks! These stones are written down. But just as the pile of stones had its source elsewhere, so the source for the mention of our inalienable rights is elsewhere. ITS IN HERE! But we have left it to others with another agenda to explain their meaning and the SOURCE of it! They have sold us out! NO ONE who has gone to school for the last 50 years has been schooled in TRUTH. They have been schooled in conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom says man evolved from primordial slime; That the universe started with a big bang; That sex is not a biological fact but a gender choice we can make; and having sex has NO MORAL CONSEQEUNCES; That a fetus is not really life until it is born and so if it is inconvenient for WHATEVER reason it can be ABORTED! That there is no real foundation for ethics, and morality is what ever the majority or the law says it should be! As an example of how far down that slope we have come: In the Book of Leviticus, under GOD”S law, written 3500 years ago, causing harm to the UNBORN was a CRIME! God was kicked out of our schools in the mid 1960s and in 1973 Roe v Wade became the law of the land. How quickly when we turn our backs on God does the darkness descend! So much for the inalienable right to LIFE! We did NOT remember it ourselves nor memorialize it for our children!

So what about LIBERTY? Do you think it is a good neighbor thing to do to put money in someone else’s parking meter so they won’t get a parking ticket? In many places it is illegal so putting a quarter in someone else’s meter is a CRIME! To me, that’s calling good evil and evil good! But because the city lost the potential revenue of a ticket, they created a CRIME out of being a good neighbor!

What about wearing seat belts or helmets? Should not using them be a CRIME? What about owning a gun? There are many who would eliminate our right to do so, of course the vast majority of them live in walled communities with armed security of their own. Shouldn’t our LIBERTY rest on the foundation of RESPONSIBILITY? If I own something or do something that causes no harm to others but may even be of benefit to others, for instance if I am armed and come upon someone being robbed or raped and use my weapon to stop it, should my right to carry it be taken away because someone else uses one of their own to commit a crime? John Adams said “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” He KNEW that any man who would not GOVERN HIMSELF within the boundaries of GOD’S provision absolutely WOULD NOT be governed by a document that protects HIS LIBERTY!

Again we have ceded the vast majority of teaching the MORALITY AND RELIGION that LIBERTY requires of us to those whose agenda is to remove every vestige of Godliness from our MINDS. Morality and religion have both been placed under the overarching idea that EVERYTHING is the product of evolutionary processes; that there IS no God and mortal man is perfectible, that Jeremiah 17:9 is just an old wives tale and religion IS the opiate of the masses, that Government NOT GOD is the source of ALL our rights and freedoms. Do you think we should take back what we have so capriciously given away? Our children are being taught this stuff every day in nearly every school in this nation! It is against the law for teachers to lead students in prayer while at the same time teachers are supposed to be the source of truth about not just their particular subject but life itself! If they are forbidden by law to mention the TRUTH of GOD, but MUST teach the lie of evolution, what sort of example are they setting even if they are in church every Sunday? Bear in mind that the VAST majority of students are in METRO NOT RURAL America. Socialist, Atheist dogma is being accepted by more young American students every day because in those schools GOD IS DEAD!

God isn’t dead but the LIBERTY the Founders wished to memorialize IS! We need to fix this if our nation is to survive as the Founders covenant with GOD INTENDED! Its time for Parents to memorialize the responsibility that liberty REQUIRES!!

In Isaiah Chapter 6, Isaiah relates a vision, he says,”Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” This vision goes on to reveal very dark days for Israel. Indeed it goes on to say that their eyes will not perceive nor their ears hear the TRUTH he brings and Israel will suffer terrible consequences. That DID NOT excuse Isaiah from telling them God’s Truth! Did it make him a perfect man? NO! It set him apart, Holy unto God! Neither does our relationship with Jesus Christ make US perfect or without sin or some super-Christian bible beater able to defeat Satan at a single bound! It sets us APART! Just as the Gospel began in Jerusalem and then to Judea, then Samaria, then to the uttermost parts of the world, our sharing of the truth AND OUR FAITH will begin within our own families, then extended families and through them to others. But it begins with US. We are people of unclean lips and just like Isaiah we must seek God’s mercy, His Grace, and even a coal from His Altar for our lips. I have a coffee cup that says ‘Lord keep Your arm around my shoulders and Your hand over my mouth!’ Nice sentiment but when we live silently we fail in our duty to Jesus and His Gospel. Another nice sentiment is “and a little child shall lead them”! It fails in relating the Truth that children must be taught right from wrong, good from evil, responsibility to God AND others, as well as reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic. A child’s faith KNOWS this: mom and dad always know what’s right . A child-LIKE faith KNOWS GOD IS RIGHT NO MATTER WHAT! We have trusted the untrustworthy to be surrogate parents and are suffering the consequences! One reason our families AND our nation are in the shape they’re in is because we did NOT MEMORIALIZE GOD’S PLAN FOR THE FUNCTION OF FAMILY!

Next is the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. The Bible says that gray hair is a crown and should be seen as the sign of wisdom accumulated over decades of trial and experience. It should exemplify one who’s advice is worth considering! We who have lived a long time and have this gray crown, have pursued many things we thought would bring happiness. I know I have! I have also been wrong much more often than right! Thus the trials and consequences! The only reason I draw breath today is because God’s Grace saw to it that none of my stupid years were fatal! But NOW I KNOW the pain of broken relationships. I also know the pain of speaking Biblical truth to those who will not hear. I have asked people to read their Bible because I want to share the wonder of my own eyes being opened to its truth. Do I still fear straining friendships and family relationships? Yes. But what should I fear more? Is God’s hand really active in His Creation?

First Kings 22 has the account of the death of Ahab and the prophecies surrounding it. No, the circumstances of Jesus’ birth, life, and death were NOT the only things foretold in scripture! God called men to be the Prophets and Apostles, they didn’t first call Him!

As I have said before, Feelings Lie! First John 4 has some advise! He says “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.” I hear you now arguing that he’s talking about spirits not feelings! Okay. What is a spirit of rebellion? Isn’t that the feeling that every teenager has when they want to say to their parents,”I don’t have to listen to you! I KNOW what’s best for ME!” And what is the spirit of unbelief? Isn’t that the feeling every person on the planet has had when they just cannot bring themselves to believe a PAINFUL TRUTH. Like the truth they must face when they finally must admit that mom and dad really DID know what they were talking about? Or in the case of Israel when they refused to humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways and the Romans leveled the Temple and scattered them to the ends of the known world taking their homeland completely away from them even renaming it?

We have been the most affluent nation in history. We have raised the standard of living of nearly the entire world and that just since World War 2! While at the same time we have turned away from God. We have looked at our riches and innovation and said LOOK WHAT WE HAVE DONE! As if God’s blessing had nothing to do with it! Nebuchadnezzar found out differently. His son Belshazzar had seen what happened to his father because of pride and still did the same! That is when Daniel was called to read the writing on the wall. He told Belshazzar God had numbered his kingdom and finished it. He had been weighed in the balances and found wanting. His kingdom had been divided between the Medes and the Persians. THAT VERY NIGHT BELSHAZZAR WAS SLAIN!

So are we to pursue happiness in any way the mood strikes or however we might FEEL we want to go? With no concern for GOD’S TRUTH? NO! We have fallen into the very same trap as all the rest! We are AMERICANS. We are a mighty nation! We can do this! We can do that! GOD BLESSES AMERICA so We can pursue happiness in any way WE choose! God said no to Nebuchadnezzar, He said no to Belshazzar, He said no to Israel, Egypt, the Medes, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans and who knows how many others. If an empire cannot arise without His aid IT IS NOT possible it can survive apart from His blessing? We are Americans but we need to accept a very hard fact. The world did NOT begin with us and if history is any indication we will fall long before the world does! And great will be our fall! I do not want to sound pessimistic! Empires are NOT people! If we know Jesus, we ARE saints — even when we do NOT act very saintly!

There is a theory called 6 degrees of separation. Six degrees of separation is the idea that all people on earth on average are six, or fewer, social connections away from each other. As a result, a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. That means that if you tell all your friends the Gospel Truth and each of them tell all their friends that same Gospel Truth and so on just 6 TIMES, EVERY PERSON ON EARTH WILL HAVE HEARD The Gospel truth. The Gospel in today’s world could be shared to virtually every person on earth in less than an hour. We are not responsible for what someone else does with the Gospel message. We ARE responsible for how WE handle it. Jesus was our example that it is NEVER wrong to do or say what is RIGHT! When I stand before God giving account of my life and He asks what I did about the injustices perpetrated in MY name what will I say? Oh, I’m just one person, I could do nothing? Most people DO believe a poor excuse is better than NONE; but ours is a government OF the people BY the people and FOR the people! You and I are some of those people. We are accountable for what our government does IN OUR NAME! Remember Gideon? He was afraid but he was obedient. We can read the story but it doesn’t really reveal a truth we need to grab onto and hold as if our very lives depend on it! What is that truth? In the Book of Matthew Jesus told us there is a PRIORITY in handling FEAR. He says, “Now I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed someone, has the power to throw that person into [b]hell; yes, I tell you, fear [c]Him!” As I said before, I have fear. But what should my priority be?

You may have gathered I am an admirer of the Founders of this country. On this Memorial Day as we honor veterans and family members who are gone, it would be good to seek the Truth, and remember what the Founders hoped to accomplish and even more importantly WHY they thought it was A NECESSARY and GODLY pursuit, for the happiness of those generations yet to come! Just as Israel was a covenant nation of God, so was America. We have the assurance of God that ‘If my people who are called by my name  humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’ We have our faces rubbed in the wages of sin every day! We must return to a GODLY understanding of happiness, and teach all who will listen about treasure laid up in Heaven by those who pursue THAT happiness. The telling is our job, the RESULTS are in GOD’S hands. No Pressure! Pursuing GODLY happiness is the memorial stone the Founders passed to us. Let US pass its to the Next Generation even if we are starting late. A good neighbor warns his neighbor of danger ahead. Our obligation as Christians is to DO justly, LOVE mercy, and walk HUMBLY with our God, sharing HIS good news.

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