Today is Memorial Day, a time to remember all those who paid the ultimate price in defending our great nation. Sadly, for far too many Americans, it is a day that merely marks the beginning of summer and the first three-day weekend since the first of the year.
What does Memorial Day represent for you?
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. (1 John 3:16)
To be sure, there is no greater demonstration of love than to lay your life down for another. The freedom we enjoy in this country is not free! It came at great cost to a great many. All those who served–and their families–paid some and some paid all so that you and I might live in the greatest country on earth. Our military men and women from all branches of our armed forces paid a great price so that every U.S. citizen can enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How thankful are you for that freedom today?
In 1884 the noted jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said this during a Memorial Day speech: “Our dead brothers still live for us, and bid us think of life, not death—of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and joy of the spring. As I listen, the great chorus of life and joy begins again, and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen powers and destinies of good and evil, our trumpets sound once more a note of daring, hope, and will.”
Holmes was telling us that our brave military men and women who paid the ulti
mate price would want us to focus on the results of their sacrifice: life and living life to the fullest. This, Holmes believed, is the best way to honor their sacrifice.
The very same thing is true for those who profess Jesus as Lord and Savior. We remember and proclaim His death when we partake of the Lord’s Supper, but Jesus has called us to live a life of abundance for the glory of the Almighty.
I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10(
Are you currently living an abundant life for the glory of God? God never called you to muddle around on the mudflats of life. God has called each believer to soar on wings like eagles and pour ourselves out for something bigger than a life marked by self-survival, self-centeredness, and self-fulfillment. And we have been given this great privilege because Jesus was willing to lay His life down for us.
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
It is right today to give thanks for every person who has ever served this great nation. If you have the opportunity of thanking one of these men or women in person, do it. And we particularly want to give thought to — and thank God for — all those brave American soldiers, sailors, and airmen who laid down their lives for our freedom.
Yet behind this tremendous temporal blessing is an even greater eternal blessing, a blessing we receive because of the ultimate price Jesus paid on our behalf on a cross raised on the hill known as The Skull. He laid His life down for us to set us free for all eternity.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!