Let Us Remember, Relish, and Return on This Memorial Day 5/28/00

Proverbs 14:34

Jesus Christ repetitiously called upon people to “remember.” Knowing the truths spoken and seeing the forgetfulness of the people, He appealed for them to remember statements and standards that would guide them.

Biblically memorials were often established to keep alive the action taken or truths learned. These memorials varied.

DAYS were often set aside as memorials. To keep alive the memory of God delivering His people from slavery in Egypt the Lord established the Passover and said of it: “This day shall be to you a memorial …” (Exodus 12:14).

BOOKS often record memorial deeds and events. Joshua won a remarkable victory over Amalek and the Lord commissioned the people to “Write this for a memorial in a book..” (Exodus 17:14).

PLACES are also set aside as memorials. The Lord declared the Tabernacle should be “A memorial unto the children of Israel” (Exodus 30: 16).

EVENTS are commemorated as memorials. When Joshua led the children of Israel out of the wilderness into the promised land a memorial was established. A stone memorial was established on the banks of the Jordan. It was done so those who came after them and seeing the stones might ask, “What do these stones mean?” This allowed the story to be retold and the memory kept alive (Joshua 4:5 – 7).

Our Lord established the Lord’s Supper and charged us to engage in it “In remembrance …” of Him.

Our predecessors knew of the expediency of our nation remembering, relishing, and returning to virtues and values and long since established a Memorial Day. It was intended to be a day on which the nation would pause and honor those fallen in battle and the precious principles for which they died. Most have forgotten the reason for the holiday and simply enjoy a day off from work. Let us —-

Rudyard Kipling said, “Lord of host, be with us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget.” It is fitting that our nation should pause to remember the countless sons and daughters who at great sacrifice and many at the greatest sacrifices won and preserved our freedoms.

CIVIL WAR 498,332
WORLD WAR I 116,710
WORLD WAR II 407,316

As we remember and memorialize those who paid the ultimate price let’s not fail to honor those who also served and sacrificed. In remembering the fallen let us —

We honor those who have gone before by striving to preserve and perpetuate the values and virtues for which they gave of themselves while resisting the vices that erode them. Dare this generation spare itself by not paying the price to champion the good for which others died?

To have a freedom and not exercise it is little better than not having that freedom. For example, much is said about not having the former freedom of prayer in schools once enjoyed. We have the freedom of prayer in our homes. Are we using it? Is there no more prayer in your home than in our schools? What value is a freedom if not exercised?

Let us show our appreciation for our freedoms by using them to the fullest glory of our Lord.

The appeal made to ancient Israel is applicable today:
“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest; when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the
land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; …then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth … “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth… “Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.” (Deuteronomy 8:11-19).

Let us relish the freedom and —-

Judge Robert Bork describes America as “Slouching Toward Gomorrah.”

By no means were all of our Founding Fathers Christians nor did they all always live according to the teaching of the Bible. They did however believe the Bible and establish our nation on Scriptural principles.

Thomas Jefferson noted: “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis — the conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?”

Our predecessors have marked out path with memorials.

E. Stanley Jones observed, “If we lose our sense of being led, we become victims of circumstances.”

Eighty one year old Benjamin Franklin left us this verbal memorial:
“In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine Protection. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor…. Have we forgotten the powerful friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?

“I have lived, sir, a long time and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: God governs in the affairs of men….”

Thomas Jefferson left us this verbal memorial: “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis — the conviction in the minds of people that these liberties are the gift of God.”

The framers of our Declaration of Independence left us the legacy of these lines: “With firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

For a memorial look at our currency. There you will see the words “In God We Trust.” On the right side of a dollar bill is the great seal of the United States. There is a great pyramid and above a giant eye symbolizing the eye of God. Above the pyramid in Latin are the words “He smiles on our beginnings.” Beneath it in Latin these words: “A new order of the ages.”

Our predecessors labored under the conviction that God was overseeing their efforts in establishing a new order of freedom.

In 1831 the French government sent Alexis de Tocqueville to examine our prisons and penitentiaries. He became so intrigued by our system of government and its institutions that he spent considerable time analyzing life in America. On his return to France he wrote his classic, “Democracy in America.” Many scholars feel it is the greatest of all works on any national policy and culture. In it he wrote: “I sought for the greatness and genius in America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there…I sought for the greatness and genius in America in her democratic congress and her matchless constitution and it was not there…

“Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand here genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Tocqueville like Solomon was right: “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is the reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

Arnold Toynbee, the distinguished historian, numbers nineteen great civilizations that have existed since governments were formed. Ours is one. Toynbee observed spiritual currents running through history. He concluded no major nation has ever been murdered. They have committed suicide. They forgot the true purpose of their being, and rotted on the inside. Let’s learn!

Now let us —-


Jesus’ Touch

A part of the miracle of your creation is your epidermis. Scientists say it is a strategic part of your nervous system. It sends messages to the brain regarding heat and cold, pressure and pain. A part of it the size of a Quarter contains three million cells, a hundred sweat glands, fifty nerve endings and three feet of blood vessels. Its primary role relates to touch.

By it Jesus knew a woman touched Him. That was a physical touch, and though Jesus no longer touches us physically He does touch us spiritually. He touches the person with an aching sorrow, and by it the heavy cloud of grief and hopelessness is dispelled. He touches the competing athlete, the fearful soldier, and the anxious mother. He touches you….

To say He touched me is a metaphor for saying He illumined my mind, inspired my emotion, or instilled my will.

You can feel, that is, sense His touch by a multiplicity of means. He continues to touch us by transforming impacts on our life. There have been times most of us have sung along with Bill Gaither:

“Shackled by a heavy burden
‘Neath a load of guilt and shame
Then the hand of Jesus touched me
And now I am no longer the same
He touched me, oh, He touched me
And oh, the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened, and now I know
He touched me, and made me whole
Since I’ve met this blessed Savior
Since He’s cleansed and made me whole
Oh, I will never cease to praise Him ….”

That initial saving touch is experienced all through life, even today. Sometimes it is such a tender touch it isn’t even felt, but still it is a guiding touch.

Little Things Matter

The Emperor of China, it is said, fell so in love with a new game called chess he offered the inventor anything he wanted as a reward.

“Just give me one grain of rice, “ was the request.

“Just one grain?” 

“Well, one grain for the first square of the chessboard, doubling to two for the second, four for the third, and so on.”

The Emperor readily agreed before realizing until too late that doubling the grains of rice for each square ultimately required him to give 18 million trillion grains to the inventor. This would have been equal to all the rice in the world, times approximately ten.

Jesus told the parable of the mustard seed. This is a different mustard than grown in America. Its seeds are small round seeds that are usually about 1 to 2 millimeters (0.039 to 0.079 in) in diameter. Yet, they grow to become mid-sized trees.

Pay attention to little things in your life. They are important to God, and they should be important to you.

Jesus taught, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a little thing is unrighteous also in much.” 

Remember, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7-8

Note, “whatsoever things,” no matter how small, they matter. That applies to good things as well as bad, so go out there and sow some good little seed. Enjoy doing good.

Jesus Christ Human and Divine Nature

“…God was manifest in the flesh…” I Timothy 3:16 


Females have two copies of the X chromosome, while males have one X and one Y chromosome.

The mother (female) has two copies of the X chromosome and the father (male) has one X and one Y chromosome. 

The mother (female) provides the substance (body), and the father (male) the animator, (the one who gives life). Thomas Aquinas observed, “The female provides the matter, while the male is the active principle of generation.”

Jesus having a human mother, Mary, and a divine father, the Holy Spirit, thus combined the two natures forming the God man/man God, Jesus Christ.

This gives a 21st Century reading to a 1st Century writing (Matthew 1:18-25, & Luke 1:26-30).

Jesus is God’s mono genesis, the only one of a kind Son.

On a flight my seat mate was one of the President’s main labor negotiators. I ask what constituted a mediator. He said a mediator must be equal to both parties. The Bible says, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5

Jesus is equal to both making Him the God-man/man-God. Jesus is the one mediator between God and man. Is He such in your life? Has he made peace between you and God?

He is open for business. 

The Laws Of Nature And Nature’s God

Our Founders “…pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

 “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence…” Embedded in that vital document were several references to that divine Providence. One such reference is to  “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” 

Controversy now rages over the meaning of that statement. Secularists attribute to Thomas Jefferson a secular meaning. The best way to understand it is to consider Jefferson’s source. Jefferson was a student of Henry St John Lord Bolingbroke of England.  He first began studying Lord Bolingbroke’s writings at the age of fourteen. Jefferson quoted him more than any source.

Lord Bolingbroke provided a very specific definition for this phrase.   

In a letter to Alexander Pope, Lord Bolingbroke wrote the following words which were to become the basis for Jefferson’s opening paragraph of the Declaration of Independence: “You will find that it is the modest, not the presumptuous enquirer, who makes a real, and safe progress in the discovery of divine truths. One follows nature, and nature’s God; that is, he follows God in his works, and in his word.”

According to Lord Bolingbroke, the law of nature’s God is the Law which is found in God’s Word.  This was the definition which was intended by Jefferson, and this was the manner in which his words were understood by our forefathers.  The law of nature’s God upon which our nation was founded is nothing less than the Bible itself.

Our Declaration of Independence was at once a declaration of independence from England, and a declaration of dependence upon God.

We have drifted a dramatic distance from the well understood eighteenth century meaning of dependence upon God. We have so hotly pursued happiness we have neglected quality of life and an understanding of true liberty. We have sold our birthright for a “mess of pottage,” and are now beginning to taste the bitter menu afforded by such neglect. 

There is yet hope for renewal if we will respond as George Washington admonished the people of his day: “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear them from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)