Monday, May 25, 2015

A Different Kind Of Memorial Day

It's refreshing to watch all of the posts on Facebook, honoring our soldiers who have sacrificed so much for our country. It wasn't always that way. I grew up in the Vietnam era. The American public greeted soldiers returning from war with jeers and riots. Our soldiers were spit upon and degraded by the very people who they were fighting for. A very dark time in this country's history. But today, thank God, things are a whole lot better in the way we treat our soldiers.

As I was reading the book of Revelation this past week I came across a passage of scripture that made me stop and take notice. The story was about a different kind of soldier. They were honored for their service and for making the ultimate sacrifice for the God they love and serve. I would like you to read this, keeping in mind the numerous Christians who have lost their lives because of their faith. It is a story of their ultimate reward.

"I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years." - Revelation 20:4

Most of cannot understand what goes through the mind of someone who has been asked to make a choice between denying Jesus Christ or dying. It is a testimony to those brave souls who did not struggle when a knife-wielding Islamic extremist cut their heads off. Their reward is in heaven as we have just read.

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." - Philippians 1:21

We need to lift up our soldiers in prayer. Not just the brave soldiers that guard our country and protect it against all enemies - foreign and domestic. We also need to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to pray for their families as well as their enemies. OUR enemies.

If we lived in a world without evil there would be no need for soldiers. Our young men and women would never have to go off to war. They would never have to die for their country or for God. They could stay at home and love their children and their spouses. They could play and work in an environment of peace rather than fear.

What will it take to one day live in a world without the bloodshed of human lives. Two things. We need to pray, as I have already mentioned, and we need to place our faith in God, the one TRUE God. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We need to repent of our sins, receive Jesus, the savior of the world, into our hearts and live our lives for Him, not for our selfish desires.

Jesus already paid the price for our sins. Let us remember HIM this Memorial Day and also the soldiers in God's army, men, women and children, who have paid the ultimate price for their faith.

"34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” - Luke 23:24

The following is a very powerful video. It is also very graphic in nature - depicting a Christian family choosing Jesus over death. I offer it to you this morning because we often do not know these people who are dying for their faith. If we did, we might take action and pray. Otherwise we sadly just flip the channel, onto something else, ignoring the all-too-real threat many of our brothers and sisters face every day.

Pray. Pray for the fallen . . . and for those left behind.

Liena's Prayer - Voice of The Martyrs

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