Today is the day after Memorial Day, and as I'm sitting here waiting for my computer to reboot (I'm grateful for a computer that works most of the time!), I was thinking about my trip to the Oklahoma City Bombing memorial. It was a humbling experience, standing where men, women and children who got up and went to the Federal Building as was their daily routine, and some would forever be changed, and some families forever broken apart. The memorials still exist on the gate outside, Parents still post of their lost kids, children and grandchildren speak of the lost parents, and some do remember. Meanwhile, the rest of us said we would never forget, but the memory faded, and we've all but forgotten. It was like that during 9/11 too, and it is like that for the many American soldiers who have given their lives for our freedoms that we often take for granted. Many of us forget what we promised we would never forget, while others live each and every day trying to keep memories of those gone alive. Beyond all of these memorials (and countless others), how often do we forget the most important one? An innocent man didn't merely die for our freedom, he died to set us free. He died to give us life, and that more abundantly, for we were dead, but He gave us new life. How often do we forget the day Jesus set us free? We take for granted the freedoms of Christ, and often use such freedoms to seek what we desire instead of to give thanks and bring Him glory. We say "He is Lord," but our lives might reflect something different. We can't take Him for granted. Every breath we have was paid for by His blood, every thought, action, labor and accomplishment bought by His wounds. We say we'll remember, but how often do we forget? Let us, then, set up our breath, thoughts, actions, even our very lives as a living memorial before the Lord, and never forget what He has done for us. Psalm 34 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.