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Memorial Day Weekend Sermon Empty Memorial Day Weekend Sermon

Post by Rohn on Fri May 24, 2013 9:56 am

A MEMORIAL UNTO YOU
Joshua 4:1-9, 19-24

(Joshua 4:6-7) That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever. (KJV)
(Joshua 4:21-22) And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. (KJV)
(Proverbs 22:28) Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. (KJV)

I would like to remind you this morning that we have a memorial that should remind us of what we have and how we got it. Too many people Memorial Day is just another holiday when they will not have to go to work and can enjoy the day fellow shipping with one another. It is good to have a day of picnics and fellowship, but Memorial Day is more than that.
Some elderly people were overheard talking about when they were in the 4th grade and their teacher taught them patriotic poems and songs and how on the day of school nearest Memorial Day the would go to the cemetery and recite the poems and sing the songs. It helped them appreciate their country and their heritage. One of the songs they sang was, “Hats Off The Flag Is Passing By.”

“What mean these stones?” These memorials of those who have gone on before and gave their lives. What mean they?
In our day there are so many that take so little thought of what our country was founded upon and what the heritage we have consists of. Men fought hard and gave their lives for what we enjoy today. But it was more than this. Along with this they had a real trust and leading of God. I believe that our country was God ordained. It was so because men trusted God and He in turn established them and gave them this land we have.
But, what mean these stones?

I. IT MEANS THAT GOD LIVES.
Many of the men had trust in God and they laid down their lives that they could protect that trust and establish it for their children and future generations. We can’t help but realize that God was with them and gave them victory many times over great odds. As we look at the markers today it means that God still lives and will give us victory and preserve what we have if we will but trust Him.
I hope that the respect we show and the stand we take isn’t just because of our parents and what some folks would think of us if we didn’t do this, but I trust that it is because o f a good conscience and trust of God In our heart. If this isn’t so then these memorials don’t mean to us what they should. God lives, and He lives to give us victory and make and keep us what we should be both as individuals and as a country. We will fall short of what we should be if we can’t have a deep trust and respect for God. This is what we built on and this is what we must stand on.
This is the starting place of faith. We must start with God. Because it is God…
He is the only true God. The God that created all things, The God who created man. The God who loves with a great everlasting love.
Bishop Beveridge gave a wonderful illustration of one of the names by which God has chosen to call Himself, “I AM”. “He does not say , I am their light, their guide, their strength, or tower, but only ‘I AM’. He sets, as it were, His hands to a blank, that His people may write under it what they are pleased that is good for them. As if He should say: Are they weak? I am strength. Are they poor? I am riches. Are they in trouble? I am comfort. Are they sick? I am health. Are they dying? I am life. Have they nothing? I am all things. I am wisdom and power. I am justice and mercy. I am grace and goodness. I am glory, beauty, holiness, eminency, super-eminency, perfection, all-sufficiency, eternity. Jehovah, I am. Whatever is amiable in itself, or desirable unto them, that I am. Whatsoever is pure and holy, whatsoever is great or pleasant, whatsoever is good or needful to make men happy, that I am.”

II. THESE STONES MEAN THAT GOD HAS A PEOPLE.
Who are God’s chosen people? Those who have answered His call and have had their sins washed away and their hearts made pure by the Blood of His Son. They are walking with him and living for Him every day.
(Joshua 3:10) And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, ... (KJV)
I believe that America has been called out among the nations to be God’s people. What other country was or is referred to as a Christian nation? I know there are departures from the faith and denials of God and a disregarding of God but not by all. God is among us. I appreciate that God condescends to be among us. I know that there are some in high places who would remove God from our schools and public places and outlaw even mention of Him in public assemblies, I know that He is still here. His presence is felt among us. My God still lives and makes Himself felt and is present. He is still among us! In our churches - In our homes - At our work - Amid our problems. God is there.

III. THESE STONES ALSO MEANT THAT GOD WILL LEAD HIS PEOPLE.
He led Israel. Israel’s trouble came when they refused to be led.
Memorial Day makes us think of war. I don’t believe God likes war any more than we do, but I do believe that there are times when God led us into war that we could stand and defend what is right.
God promised the Israelites that He would without fail drive out the Canaanites. They were Israel’s chief enemy. If we obey god and turn back to Him He will drive out our enemies. I know some say that we are beyond the point of return, but I still believe that God will lead us and preserve us if we will turn to Him and trust Him. Our heritage is a memorial of God’s leading. Sometimes it was a hard way, but it was a right way. We may not have seen the good at the time but where God leads is always right.
History tells us about our leaders praying. There were times when communities had days of prayer for our country. Would to God that we would get back to this and allow God to lead us. He will lead us if we will allow Him to. And we dare not say it is up to someone else. Someone in government or in high position. This leading starts with you and me. God will lead His people.
He will lead us into a better life. He will lead us to victory. (Joshua 3:10) “…He will without fail drive our the Canaanites…”
He will lead in pastures green and beside the still waters. He will lead us in the paths of righteousness. Even in the valley of the shadow of death we have no fear, because He is with us.

IV. THE MAN THAT IS LED BY GOD CAN DEPEND ON GOD.
God told Joshua, “As I was with Moses so will I be with you.” And so He will be with us.
There are a lot of things you can’t depend on but you can depend on God. He is no respecter of persons.
As long as we do our part and trust in Him He will lead us. It is up to Christians people and the church to take a strong stand and I believe as they are led by God they can sustain the freedom we have and preserve it for our children.
Along with this every person should be loyal t their country and ready to defend it. God leads and helps us as we help ourselves and are willing to be led.
We can be sure that God will not leave us for He has promised: (Hebrews 13:5) Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (KJV)
Bulstrode Whitlock, Cromwell's envoy to Sweden, was one night so disturbed in his mind over the state of his nation, that he could not sleep. His servant, observing it said, "Pray Sir, will you allow me to ask a question?" "Certainly," replied Whitlock. "Do you think that God governed the world very well before you came into it?" he suggested. "Undoubtedly"--"And do you not think that He will govern the world quite as well when you are gone from it?"--"Certainly"--"Then, I ask you, do you not think that you may trust Him to govern it as long as you are living?"
Many times as believers, we too wrestle with the problems we face, not realizing that God has been with us all the time. For this to be our hope, we must realize God is in control (Heb. 13:5).

V. THESE STONES MEAN THAT GOD WILL GO BEFORE HIS PEOPLE IN EVERY TRIAL.
(Joshua 3:11) Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan. (KJV)
Sometimes He leads in difficult places.
(Deuteronomy 8:2) And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. (KJV)
These stones mean victory. They mean trial and hardship and sacrifice and the giving of life for the freedom and preservation of the nation. But amid all this they mean victory. There are times when death doesn’t mean defeat but victory. There was a cost which we recognize in these stones but there was victory. There will be a cost but if we stand for right God will go before us.
Think of the cost of freedom. Jesus said that no men starts to build the house without first setting down and counting the cost. The reference is to the spiritual, salvation, but it also applies to our freedom. These stones are symbols of the cost in the past but we too must count the cost. It isn’t for us to take it all for granted but as we are led by God we have to be willing to keep our freedom. This is true both with the spiritual and with our country.

VI. THESE STONES MEAN THAT GOD WILL TEST THE FAITH AND LOYALTY OF HIS PEOPLE.
He will allow our faith and loyalty to be tested.
Severe trials, wars, conflicts, hardships, but with all these He is still the God of the people who keep their trust in Him.
We are reminded as we look back that the children of Israel didn’t know what to do or how to avoid war or conflict with the enemy but as long as Israel trusted in God and kept loyal, God preserved them. Israel’s defeat came when she became a divided nation. There were outward forces that overcame her but in reality she defeated herself by her own division and departure from God.
(Joshua 3:15-16) And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. (KJV)
A grocer was down in the cellar of his shop when he noticed his small son standing at the edge of the open trap door. He called up, “Here I am, Sonny, jump down.” But the boy hesitated. “I can’t, daddy; I can’t see you.” Up came the answer, “No, but I can see you.”; trust me and jump, and I will catch you.” At this point, the boy jumped because he trusted his father.

It takes courage:
To refrain from gossip when others about you delight in it.
To stand up for the absent person who is being abused.
To live honestly within your means and not dishonestly on the means of others.
To be a real man, a true woman, by holding fast to your ideals when it causes you to be looked upon as strange and peculiar.
To be talked about and remain silent when a word would justify you in the eyes of others, but which you cannot speak without injury to another.
To refuse to do the thing which is wrong, though others do it.
To live according to your own convictions.
To dress according to your income and to deny yourself what you cannot afford to buy. – The Fountain

Have you ever seen a blacksmith work a piece of iron? He holds it in the fire to soften it and make it pliable. That is exactly why God permits the testing of your faith by temptations and trials. He wants you to acquire patience, to acquire pliability. I you and I are constantly out of the fire of affliction, we become stiff and useless. God wants to reshape us according to His image, for in the fall of Adam we lost our divine shape, or divine image.

VII. THESE STONES MEAN THAT WE HAVE GONE THROUGH SOME TRYING TIMES BUT GOD HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE.
He is there to bring deliverance to His people. The Word tells us that He heard Israel by reason of their crying and calling upon Him when they wee oppressed by their taskmasters in Egypt. You can go through Israel’s history and find that when they turned to God and called upon Him that He brought deliverance. In Judges 5:20 we read where the stars fought against the enemy. God was and is there to bring deliverance if we trust Him and call on Him and depend on Him.

VIII. THESE STONES ARE TO BE AN ETERNAL TESTIMONY.
There are to be more victories. We are to establish a trust in God and our freedoms for our children.
“When your children shall ask, Ye shall let your children know, saying...”
What do you say to them - “What’s the parade for? Why do they shoot the guns? Why the prayers for our country especially on Memorial Day?
We need to establish faith and loyalty in our children. These things are in honor of those who have gone on before us and have given their lives so that we could enjoy the freedom we have today.
Freedom to assemble ourselves as we are today. Freedom to express ourselves.
These stones mean that men in the past have fought and preserved these freedoms. Now it is up to us to continue to preserve them. God left these past victories to establish a faith for our children. We need to tell them and help them establish faith.

IX. THESE STONES MEAN THAT GOD WANTS A UNIVERSAL TESTIMONY.
He told Israel, “That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty.
“That ye might fear the Lord your God forever.”
I believe that God wants us to be a nation that other nations will recognize the hand of God in our midst. His help, His leadership, a real faith in God.
There are more churches in America today than any other country. What would happen if they would all seek His face and really trust Him and depend on Him.

X. THESE STONES MEAN WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY.
Not just to enjoy what has been purchased for us with the blood of those before us but of preserving what they gave us.
Rohn
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Post by PATRICE IN IL on Fri May 24, 2013 10:45 am

Very good sermon Rohn, thank you for the reminder of the true meaning of the Memorial Day holiday.
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Post by 12acrehome on Fri May 24, 2013 1:04 pm

yes yes very good sermon, thank you for posting it

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