“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Living Memorials, by Randall D. Kittle

In the midst of the most bloody war in U. S. history, with the country torn and nearly every family feeling the loss, something sadly wonderful happened. In the late spring women throughout this country, in the South and in the North, brought bouquets of wild flowers and laid them upon the graves of those brave soldiers who had lost their lives in the Civil War. Throughout the country these women decorated the graves of soldiers on both sides of the battle. It was only a few years later that a New York pharmacist purposed setting a day for observation of this “Decoration Day” we now call Memorial Day.

In the midst of the fun, food, and fellowship this Memorial Day, let us remember that it is a day set aside not merely to have a day off work or enjoy a picnic with friends, but to pause and give thanks for the many brave and dedicated soldiers who have given their lives so we can enjoy and exercise the freedom we possess today. You see, our freedom as Americans wasn’t free; it was purchased at a great price. It is only because of the blood of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers that we now live in a land of unparalleled freedom.

And so it is in the kingdom of God. Every true believer in Jesus Christ is free … free from the debt of their sin and free from their separation from God. Our freedom, too, came at a great price — the greatest price! Jesus, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God, willing gave His life and because of His shed blood our freedom from hell, death, and the grave has been purchased. As believers, all the rest of our lives should be an on-going memorial day, where we glorify Jesus as the Great Victor whose blood has purchased men for God and brought eternal freedom.

Strengthened By Remembrance
God wants us to remember His faithfulness and His victories in and through our lives. Do you recall how David, when was about to face Goliath, recounted to King Saul God’s faithfulness to him in giving victory over the lions and the bears that would attack his sheep. The Lord even ordained feasts so the children of Israel would pause and remember His great faithfulness as their Deliverer who brought them into freedom. In the New Testament, the writer of the book of Hebrews encourages us as he recounts the faithfulness of God working wonders through those great men and women of faith. The remembrance of God’s faithfulness exhorts us that He is well able to once again gain the victory in and through our lives.

When Israel completed their miraculous crossing of the Jordan River at flood stage to enter into the Promised Land, they didn’t pause to have a great feast nor did they press on to capture Jericho; the Lord has special instructions for them. They were to take 12 stones out of the middle of the river and pile them in a pile. This was to be an “altar of remembrance” to which they could look back and declare it was here at this place in this time that the Lord faithfully brought them through on dry ground!

How about your life? Do you have any “altars of remembrance” built where you can point back and say, “In that situation, my faithful God brought freedom and deliverance”? When God brings you through a hard trial or restores you when you’ve fallen, stop and with a thankful heart build an “altar of remembrance” in your heart. Every day of the believer’s life should be a memorial day — glorifying God and testifying of His goodness and faithfulness to His children.

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