Sunday, May 25, 2014

A true memorial

Philippians 3

King James Version (KJV)
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

I realize that this is a strange scripture to use for a memorial day post, but there's a reason for that. 

I see many posts on Facebook that say, "if you enjoy your freedom, thank a veteran." In principle, I find myself somewhat in agreement with these postings. It is true that we enjoy our freedoms in this country due to the sacrifices of those who were willing to fight and die to gain and keep our God-given rights.

However, freedom won does not equate to freedom lived well. Do we use our freedoms wisely? Do we make godly choices that glorify God, aid our families, and help our fellow man? Or, do we use our freedoms to sew to the flesh and it's every ungodly desire?

Has our national freedom been used to make us better? or worse?

Many veterans shake their heads when they see the way our freedoms have been abused and misused to make society worse, not better. Many will tell you that what our nation has become is NOT what they fought to preserve, but rather it has become something they no longer recognize. Something far less than our founding fathers aspired to.

The best way to honor our veterans (living and dead) is to return to and lift up the ideals of our founders. We should stand firmly on the Constitution and stand against those that would destroy and change it.

Some 2000 years ago, Paul reminds us in the above passage that- due to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ- we have a high calling to attain to. We are not to allow God's grace to become a do as you want, it's covered thing. We are, in light of the battle fought and won on Calvary, to live our lives in such a way as to glorify and honor the one who died to give us the chance for salvation.

Pithy, religious sounding slogans, don't cut it. Going through the motions of religion doesn't cut it. We are to live our lives in the light of the one who called us into his marvelous light. We should honor him daily in everything we do and say. We should strive to let him live through us to touch a lost and dying world- who have no hope except through him.

He didn't call us to build grand cathedrals. He called us to be his hands and feet. He called us to build into the lives of the hurting, the broken, the poor, the widow, the orphan, the unwanted of society. He called us to shine his light of truth into the dark places of humanity- even when those places are occupied by the rich and powerful- in order that they might see themselves as HE sees them and repent before it is too late.

Yes, we must be biblically born again (Acts 2:38), but real Christianity is so much more than that. Paul said that in spite of his well educated and high standing social status of his past, he counted it all as DUNG that he might attain Christ!

We need to stop holding onto yesterdays anointing, yesterdays blessings, and yesterdays revivals. God has promised us revival in these last days, but we won't be a part of it unless we live our lives immersed in him. We must immerse ourselves in his word and spirit and allow him to change us. We must let his holy fire burn away the chaff that we've allowed into our souls so that the world can see him in all we do.

So, on this memorial day, lets rededicate our lives to the cause of the one who truly should be lifted up- Jesus Christ. Let us seek first his righteousness and watch him work. He's not interested in our abilities and education. He's interested in our availability and submission to him as Lord (supreme controller). This truly is the best memorial we can give him.

In closing, let's pray:

Lord Jesus, we repent of our shortsightedness. We repent of being caught up in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. We repent of getting caught up in the "me generation." We ask that you move deep inside us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. We ask that you strengthen us to walk in your word and ways- whatever the cost. We ask that you help us to be your hands, feet, heart, and mouths in this backward and broken generation. Lead us to such as would be saved, and save them. Let us look past the pride and see the pain. Give us the wisdom to know when to speak and what to do. Use us to spread you word and your love to this lost and dying world. In Jesus name!