This weekend has been set aside as a time that our nation honors men and women who not only served [and are still serving] in wars – but to also honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice of their lives for the cause of freedom and for the security of this country. Memorial Day initially started out being called Decoration Day. Decoration Day was established to honor the men and women who died during the many battles of the Civil War. Memorial Day was established as the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971to honor all fallen men and women who served this country.
Consider for a moment the freedoms that we do enjoy: being able to move within our country without state borders and restrictions, the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the freedom to be gainfully employed, the freedom to seek higher education. Throughout the history of this country, many have volunteered to not only protect, but willingly gave their lives to secure these freedoms; and, today we still have an all volunteer military. However, many today believe that the “freedom” we enjoy in this country is equated to being able to do what I want, when I want, and where ever I want – without ever considering the cost and/or the responsibilities of doing so; yes, “liberty” and “freedom” bear responsibility.
But let us be reminded here that it is not man or country that provides these freedoms. It is our Creator [God] who does so – for it is He who created man and it is He who ordained governments to be formed. In fact, our own founding fathers clearly understood this point and penned the following words in our country’s Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
When we realize that true Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness can only be found through a personal relationship with our Creator – through Jesus Christ – our “freedoms” will become more precious and appreciated. Notice the following passages of Scripture.
John 8:32, 36 states,
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
Galatians 5:1 states,
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
Having been given liberty and freedom through faith in Jesus Christ, it is now our responsibility to willingly and voluntarily serve Christ in sharing His offer of liberty [salvation] to others.
Romans 6:18 states,
“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-20 states,
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
And Colossians 3:23-25 states,
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”
This weekend, when we commemorate Memorial Day, may we first be mindful and thankful of the liberty and freedom afforded us through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May we also take time to remember our men and women of the armed forces – especially those who have been so willing to defend the freedoms that we so enjoy in this country and for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.