Monday, May 29, 2017

Freedom Isn't Free

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Quote: "Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities . . . because it is the quality which guarantees all others." --Winston Churchill

The observance of Memorial day originated in 1868 to honor both Confederate and Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. After World War I, it was expanded to remember those who have died in service to our country in all wars. This Memorial Day, It's important that we remember, and teach our children that the freedoms we enjoy come at a terrible price.
We tend to forget. This day is set aside because we tend to be forgetful. We too often take our freedoms for granted and forget those who serve, and have served, our country unto death defending our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. Would you pray these words with me? "Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen." We should also be especially thankful on Memorial Day for our freedom to worship and express our faith openly and without fear.
A Memorial to Our Lord. The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes" (I Corinthians 11:23b-25 NIV).
In Scripture, God often pleads for us to remember Him. He commanded that memorials, such as the stones from the Jordan riverbed, be set up as "a memorial to the people of Israel forever so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God" (Joshua 4:7,24). We should regularly remember with gratitude what Christ has done for us. Jesus knew of our tendency to forget, and he established the Lord's Supper (communion) as a regular memorial to Him and his sacrifice. He bore our sin in our place so that we could receive a right relationship with God through faith in Him. Jesus said, "do this in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19 NIV). "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteous of God" (I Corinthians 5:21 NIV).
The bread reminds us of Jesus' body given as a substitute for our own bodies on the cross. He bore our sin so that we could receive eternal salvation through faith in Him. ". . . . while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8 NIV).
The cup reminds us of His blood poured out to make forgiveness of our sins possible. "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. . .But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Hebrews 9:22, 27 NIV). "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath" (Romans 5:9 NIV).
Also, through faith in our crucified and risen Lord, we are free from the power, the penalty, and eventually, the presence of sin because of his sacrifice. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" (Galatians 5:1 NIV).
Memorial day should remind us of those men and women who have died in defense of our freedoms. But it should also remind us that our ultimate gratitude belongs to our Lord for laying down his life on the cross to give us freedom from sin and a reason to worship Him and serve him.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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