MEMORIAL DAY IS A TIME TO REMEMBER

Nobleton Community Church
29084 Sentinel Street PO Box 224
Nobleton, Florida 34661

Rev. Paul V. Lehmann, Pastor
813-389-8683
Nobletoncommunitychurch.org
info@nobletoncommunitychurch.org

OUR VISION IS:
To experience SPIRIT-FILLED WORSHIP AND PRAYER
To be involved in EVANGELISM, DISCIPLINING AND TRAINING PEOPLE
To use our SPIRITUAL GIFTS
To SERVE AND REACH PEOPLE FOR CHRIST, BOTH
“ACROSS THE STREET AND ACROSS THE WORLD”

Nobleton Community Church
May 26, 2024
Text: Joshua 4:1-24
Pastor Paul V Lehmann

Listen to live audio here

We do remember those who have served our country and lost their lives. Memorial Day is consecrated to these soldiers; it is dedicated to patriotism; around this sacred day precious memories of our fallen brave, especially if someone in our family died in the service of their country. We place flowers over their graves, symbols of our love and gratitude. These graves are the Nation’s shrine, to which patriots journey to renew their devotion to the cause for which they died. The fruit of their victories is a united country. It is a shame, that in these changing political times, we are much less united than ever before.

When we remember the sacrifice for our freedom, we should also realize it is a sacred heritage purchased by their valor and sealed by their blood.

This is what this weekend is all about but often people don’t even think about that. Monday (the last of the month) is the day we now celebrate, and is a day off work, giving a long week-end. But —Let;’s consider what Memorial Day really represents, for its very name calls us to remember. There are events that we should never forget, and Memorial Day commemorates some ot them.

The special day started near the end of the Civil War. Within a few years, the practice of placing flowers on military graves had spread throughout both the North and South and was being called by almost everyone, “Decoration Day.” Then, after WWI it became a national holiday dedicated to remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms that we enjoy. It is also a day upon which we remember our loved ones who have gone on before.

So even though past successes against tyranny from the beginning of our young nation and struggling to be united through a terrible civil war, and bring freedom and liberty to all people, through the battles of two World Wars, today our country is in danger of being divided. We are in danger of no longer being united. No, not by something that brings us to the battlefield of war, but rather by partisan politics that are taking the place of what once was just being an American. Nevertheless, once again we remember and honor those who lost their lives while fighting for the freedom we now enjoy.

Memorials can be to remember those who have passed on for some reason or another, but they can also be something symbolic, in order to help us REMEMBER something very special.

Today, what is happening in the political climate of our government, is also happening in the Spiritual realm.

Not just that our Judeo/Christian heritage is being attacked, by those who do not believe in God, but also among those who profess to be Christians. We argue and criticize anything that seems extreme and that puts too much emphasis on the supernatural. We are content for things to be very ordinary. We forget too often the splendors of the past, so we doubt if he is interested in our present or our future.

The ability to remember is a wonderful gift God has given us. In a flash we can be a child again, skipping rocks across a pond, or fishing, or camping or riding our bike, some distance from home. Something unheard of for children to do today, unless their parents are with them. There may be details in your past that you can’t recall, but if it was a significant event you can vividly remember it. When people write their “memoirs” it is about the events in their life that are important to them. The little book that I wrote is not really the “memoirs” of my life, because I left out so much. The purpose was to give an account specifically of God’s protection, because he had his hand on me to be a missionary, and as long as I obeyed him and moved towards that goal, nothing could stop that. I am writing now, about all the things that were left out of the book; “They Meant to Kill Me.” It will include my memory of my childhood and teenage years and our ministry which was over a 50 year period, starting from my calling to the mission field.

Through memory, we can enjoy the pleasant things but shut out the unpleasant. We can remember what it was like to fall in love, get married, and enjoy our children all over again. All this is possible through the blessing of memory. The bad times may come to the forefront, but those can be forgiven and forgotten forever if we confess it and ask the Lord to forgive us. Sin that is forgiven, the Bible says in Psalm 103:12; “He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west, and Micah 7:19 says; “You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!” (We are told that the Mariana trench in the Pacific Ocean is the deepest part of the ocean at over 35,000 feet.- almost 7 miles) Now— Some theologians have said, that we still will have to account for our sins, or “bad works” at the judgment seat of Christ.

But if our name is in the “Book of Life” our sins are paid for by Christ. It is only our service and deeds for the Lord that are judged and will affect our rewards.

Some of our memories are happy, as we recall wonderful experiences. But some are sad, and we may weep as we remember them, especially if we lived many years away from the Lord, and followed only the desires of the flesh.

Memories are also very practical. If we couldn’t remember that a red light means “stop” we’d be in trouble. You better not be driving. Well, I know very well that I must stop at a red light. However, in Lakeland the first Sat March 9th, When I played in the Polk County Senior 3 0n 3 basketball tournament, I ran a red light without knowing it. I was following a truck that got through the intersection while the light was yellow, and I just followed along, but the light turned red before I entered the intersection. No problem? Maybe you have done this too, especially if you are in a hurry. I wasn’t in a hurry, in fact, I was early. I had no idea I had run a red light. Until I got a notice in the mail, with a hefty ticket for $150 and a video link showing me (license plate magnified) going slowly through the light. Lakeland has these cameras at their intersections. If you choose to ignore it you license is suspended. I PAID THE FINE.

If you weren’t able to remember your anniversary or wife’s birthday, your children’s or grandchildren’s birthdays you’d be in big trouble also. So memories are practical.

The problem though, is that sometimes memory fails us. Sometimes we forget.

Maybe you have heard about a guy named John who has a serious memory problem. One day John ran into a friend he had not seen in a long time. He greeted him and said, “Bill do you remember what a bad memory I had? Bill answered, “Yes, I certainly do.” Well, it’s not bad anymore. I went to a seminar that taught us how to remember things. It was great, and now I have a wonderful memory.” Bill answered, “That’s great. What was the name of the seminar?” “ Well” John said, “wait a minute, my wife went with me. I’ll ask her.” He turned and saw his wife nearby. Then he turned back to Bill and said, “What’s the name of that flower with a long stem and Thorns and red blooms?” “Do you mean a rose?” Bill answered. “Yeah that’s it, thanks,” John said. “Hey Rose, what’s the name of that seminar we attended?”

People tend to be forgetful—-not as bad as that guy, but we seem to need help to jog our memories. In the Bible, we find that;

God has given us many such reminders.

After God destroyed the earth in a flood, He told Noah, “I establish my covenant with you. Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood, never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth” (Genesis 9:11).

Then God stated; “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” Verse 13). So every time we see a rainbow, it serves as a reminder of God’s promise.

In our text another memorial was erected when Joshua led the people of Israel across the Jordan River. Remember, the water stopped flowing just as the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant stepped into the water at the river’s edge. Then they stood in the middle of the river until the people had crossed safely into the Promised Land.

While they were crossing, Joshua told 12 men, one from each of the 12 tribes, to go into the middle of the riverbed and select 12 large stones. They brought those stones up onto the riverbank and made a monument out of them there at Gilgal.

GILGAL IS A PLACE OF REMEMBRANCE.

In Joshua 5:9 we read that the meaning of this word in Hebrew is “the reproach is rolled away” That word reproach means shame, or contempt, disgrace or insult. All of this is applied to the fact that during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, for refusing to believe God, has been removed for the younger generation. But we are risen with Christ—He covered our shame. Then:

GILGAL IS A PLACE OF RESURECTION

When God performed yet another miracle of parting the waters of the Jordan, so that the Arc of the Covenant could be taken across on dry ground, the people followed. They went down onto the river bed, and then came up out of it, symbolic of what we must do in Christ. We are crucified with Him Paul says, nevertheless we live. So the question is;

“Have you died with Christ? Died to your reputation, to your point of view, to your self-esteem? Even to some natural things of life but have never been God’s will for you? Have you totally submitted yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ?

In Joshua 4:6-7, Joshua tells them; “In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord.”

“When we crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

There are special days and times in the Bible designed to help us remember specific events. Times when God intervened in our life and by His Holy Spirit, brought us to salvation. Sanctified us, (set us apart for him) and filled us with his Holy Spirit, helped us, protected us, healed us, and other events that are “memorials” to his love for us, his work in us, and empowerment for us to be witnesses for him.

We should be able to recall such times and rejoice for what the Lord has done for us. If you find it difficult this morning to remember any such times in your life, it is not too late to do something about it. Trust in the Lord, and not in anything else, to save you, heal you, protect you. I know that most of you have done this.