Established in 1868 as a day to honor the fallen soldiers of the just concluded Civil War, Memorial Day has grown to become a solemn recognition of all of our nation?s war dead and the high price of our freedoms.
OUR GODLY HERITAGE REMINDS US OF SPIRITUAL TRUTHS WE SHOULD NEVER IGNORE: vv. 1-4
1. A definition of faith. v. 1
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
2. A declaration of faith. vv. 2-3
“This is what the ancients were commended for. 3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”
3. A description of faith. v. 4.
“By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.”
“There is a sense in which the dead, though silent, still speak?the quality and character of their lives lingering long after they have gone.”
–H.B. London, Jr.
OUR GODLY HERITAGE MOTIVATES US TO LIVE THE HOLINESS LIFESTYLE: Hebrews 12:1
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
1. We should make God our number one priority .
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
2. We should strive for moral and spiritual purity.
II Corinthians 7:1
“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”
3. We should persevere in the work of the Lord. I Corinthians 15:58
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
OUR GODLY HERITAGE CHALLENGES US TO SHARE THE GOOD NEWS ONCE AGAIN: Hebrews 12:2-3
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
1. The good news of Jesus Christ is still relevant today. Acts 4:2
2. The good news of Jesus Christ must be proclaimed to others. Hebrews 12:14-15
“These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:39-40).