'Memorial Day - A Reminder to Remember'
by Travis Wiginton
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In our churches, the Lord's Supper is a 'reminder to remember' the death of our Lord Who brought about so much for us. I trust that you remember the Lord and His life and death daily...and not just now and then.
Memorial Day observance is a 'reminder to remember', not only the military deaths, but also family and friends who have gone on to Heaven. Memorial Day used to be called 'Decoration Day' as many would go to the cemetery to beautify the graves and to remember loved ones and thank God for them.
The finest memorial that we can leave is found in the lives of people we influence during our days on earth.
A paper that I wrote recently, 'Living With Eternity in Mind' deals with this.
Jesus said, "You are salt, so influence quietly and privately,
but you are also light, so influence publicly."
Have you ever known anyone who could light up a room when they entered?
Be that person by your life of love!
Your Memorial Day can start today....
as you influence someone in a positive way.
Memorial Day is an important day, but around this time each year, Graduation Day is a big day also! We live in a University town, so there has been MUCH going on here as well as at the High Schools in our area.
Our eldest gr'son, Jeremiah Wiginton, graduated from Noble High last evening. During that ceremony, we realized anew just how many people there are in each graduate's life, to help bring them to Graduation day.
We are very proud of Jeremiah as he has overcome a lot to reach this milestone in his life.
We were so thrilled when he came home from church camp 2 yrs. ago and shared with us the MANY verses from the Bible he had memorized that week. As he quoted them (and some were quite lengthy) he then challenged us to do the same!!!
We believe that he has listened to the Lord and we feel that the prayers of many have brought wisdom into his life, along with knowledge.
In addition to his high school classes this past semester, he took Pharmacy classes at the local Vo Tech school as he plans to major in Pharmacy. He has applied several places, seeking a job as a Pharmacy Technician, so we would appreciate your prayers for him concerning that.
I have had several opportunities over the years, to speak to graduating classes.
Let me share some of my thoughts in hopes that they might help or encourage you.
I entitled it "The Choice is Yours" from Deuteronomy 30:15-20.
These are God's words via Moses:
"See, I have set before you this day, life and good and death and evil.
In that I command you this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways and to keep His Commandments and His statues and His judgments, that you may live and multiply and the Lord thy God shall bless you in the land that you are to possess.
But if your heart turn away so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away and worship other gods and serve them; I pronounce unto you this day that you shall surely perish and that you shall not prolong your days upon the land that you intend to possess.
I call Heaven and Earth to record this day against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:
therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live. Make sure that you love the Lord thy God and that you obey His voice, and cleave unto Him for He is your life and the length of your days as you dwell in the land which the Lord promised unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
1) GOD HAS GIVEN US THE DIGNITY OF CHOICE (Vs. 11-17)
God created us in His image and a big part of this is 'free will' and the ability to choose.
Salvation in Christ helps to sharpen your ability to choose by way of....
the Presence of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
This means that there are crossroads in life, not so much left or right...
but upper and lower roads!
John Oxenham wrote: "To every man there opens a way and ways and a way and the high soul climbs the high way and the low gropes the low and in between in the misty flats, the rest drift to and fro. But to everyone, there opens a high way and a low....and everyone decides the way his soul (and life) shall go."
A mother said to her son (a famous painter):
"Remember, my son, you were a Christian before you were a painter".
So God has given to us, the dignity of choice....
don't disappoint Him...nor underestimate yourself!
2) GOD WARNS US OF THE DANGERS OF CHOICE (Vs. 18-19)
For most of us, the bad is not our enemy.
Being satisfied with 'the good' instead of 'the best', is our enemy!
Our epitath should be: "We did our best in the worst of times!"
There are three dangers here:
a) Choosing money over ministry.
Money can be a 'means' to minister, but not to replace it.
Money is not the root of all evil, but the love of money is! (I Tim. 6:10)
How much money does it take to satisfy? Just a little bit more.
In getting what money can buy, make sure that you get what money can NOT buy: Love, peace, respect, salvation, eternal life in Heaven.
b) Choosing time over Eternity.
Too many live just for earth, with little or no thought of Eternity.
They end up with short term pleasures, but long term consequences.
They prepare for everything but death.
c) Choosing knowledge over wisdom.
It takes both of course, but don't leave God out, for wisdom comes from God
(Proverbs 4:17 and 16:16)
It helps you to assimilate and properly use knowledge.
I Corinthians 1:24 "Christ is the power and wisdom of God".
Education MUST have Christ and morality in it, or it will fail as it did in Nazi Germany.
A soldier who was fatality burned in Korea, said to the Chaplain,
"This is the result of too much chemistry and not enough Christ!"
The Bible is very plain in Matthew 6:33:
"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness".
The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10:
"The highest knowledge is to know Christ, experience His power and fellowship in His sufferings."
These are some of the last words of Moses to the people,
preparing them for entering the Promised Land.
He emphasizes the importance of choosing:
GOOD over EVIL....
LIFE over DEATH....
GOD over IDOLS.....
He knew (as we should) that you become like the god you worship.
In Deut. 33:25-27, we have some of my favorite words from the lips of Moses:
"As thy days, so shall thy strength be and underneath are the everlasting arms of God"
"Thus you can exist or really live....the choice is your's."
In Shakespeare's McBeth, "Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
Jesus said, "I have come that you may have life and have it more abundant"
(John 10:10) Quite a contrast, huh?
At the funeral of the great missionary David Livingston, a childhood friend of his was heard to say: "I put the emphasis on the wrong world."
Sam Hadley (Dir. of a downtown mission) said:
"The night I was converted I went out and looked up at the stars. I had not seen them for 16 yrs. as a drunkard never looks up. It is a man's privilege to relate himself to God through Christ, that he CAN look up!"
Live so that you can:
look inward with respect...
look outward with sympathy...
look back with satisfaction...
and up with faith.
The choice is yours...so make the right one as tomorrow may be too late!
The 'Roman Road' gives us the way to Christ (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8 and 10:9-13)
The difference between excellence and mediocrity is
how we treat the high and holy impressions that come to us.
In other words, make the right choices! "Opt to co-op with God!"
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I love this Travis! "A Reminder to Remember" You wrote: CONCLUSION: These are some of the last words of Moses to the people, preparing them for entering the Promised Land. He emphasizes the importance of choosing: GOOD over EVIL.... LIFE over DEATH.... GOD over IDOLS..... He knew (as we should) that you become like the god you worship. We find in Mal.4:4, something we should remember as well! "REMEMBER the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for ALL Israel, with the statutes and judgments. (5) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet BEFORE the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. (6) And he will TURN the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse. This is my hope and my prayer and my remembrance for our children. May God continue to bless both you and La Moyne immensely! In His love, Sharon