Beyond Memorial Day

Memorial Day

What does it mean? For many who lost sons, brothers, fathers or uncles in the war it is a time to remember.

For others who had sons, brothers, fathers or uncles who fought and came home it means a time to be thankful.

For me as a believer, it means that besides human sacrifice there is one who gave His life for me, not on the battlefield but on the cross, so that I could live eternally. What a beautiful time of remembrance and thankfulness.

My wife’s uncles, Emil and Bill, served in World War I from 1917-1918. And they sang the song When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again. Her brother Vernon served in the US Army in Germany in World War II from 1943-1945 and he sang White Cliffs of Dover and When the Lights Go On Again. My brothers JC and Glenn served in the US Navy and US Air Force in Korea and Viet Nam during both of those wars. And they sang Tie a Yellow Ribbon.

The battles still rage across the earth but there is no song that we sing in America today; just lethargy about our freedoms.

However, the spiritual battle is the Lord’s and He has given his life and He is the victor. We have read the back of the Book! John 8:36 promises “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Take time to thank God for your relatives who served in the military over the years. And be very sure to thank our Lord Jesus for serving and giving his life that we might live for eternity. Our glorious song can be Faith Is the Victory.

God’s Indebtedness

I had never thought of God as being indebted to anyone. Well, recently He changed my mind.

“Kindness to the needy is a loan from God and God pays back those loans in full” Proverb 19:17. and “God will not forget the love you have shown Him as you have helped his people” Hebrews 6:10. God recognizes an obligation on His part to reward his saved ones for their service to him.

What a concept! We lend to the Lord–the wealthiest Banker in the universe, who owns the Angelic Bank of Heaven and we borrow from him periodically. Then exactly how do we lend to the Lord?

In my hometown in Florida, an exciting lender to the Lord is Rock the Silence, a ministry of hope and help in music, interpretive dance, signing, and drama to the hearing challenged. It’s the only religious entertainers our community mall invites back to perform at Christmas. I’ve witnessed their performance. They are collecting massive loans from their Lord.

Another lender is my cousin, a young gifted violinist, who donates her time, playing at assisted living and nursing homes. She said to me, “I can’t wait to play for these dear, often lonely elderly and to see how music brings big smiles.”

An elderly Christian woman ministers to thousands of children yearly through the Agape Puppets. Often in other countries by herself, she packs and unpacks the crates of the puppet items. She also distributes food to hungry orphans. “My desire,” she says, “is to reach as many children as I can in my lifetime for Jesus.” When Linda shows up to receive her payback on her loans, Jesus will probably run out of crowns.

A biblical lender Job, having a heart to help the less fortunate, personifies lending to the Lord when he says ,“If I have not shared bread with the fatherless and warm clothing to the naked, pull my arm out of its socket” 31:17. A hyperbole that drives home the point–Lend to your God!

Have we considered what loans we’ve acquired in our lifetime as we have loaned willingly and generously of our time, abilities, and resources to the homeless, hungry, and abandoned to meet their needs? The irony of all of this is that the “good” we do for others we give out of God’s resources he’s already given us.

If you don’t see yourself as a lender to your generous heavenly Father, then mediate on Proverb 19:17 until you can pray, “Dear Lord, accept my feeble efforts to help others, knowing full well you keep accurate accounts Malachi 3:16, and you can’t wait to pay back your loans to your servants.”

And these loans will all be paid in full at the bema seat of Christ at his return for the church 1 Corinthians 4:5.

What a payday that will be!

Singing Each Day

music makersMy wife shared this morning that her 90-year-old brother has a list of 593 songs he has sung over the years. And he has a second list of 23 he sings every day.

When I heard about all those songs, the Holy Spirit flooded my mind with Scriptures about singing, especially these three.

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God” (Psalm 40:3). When others heard David singing praises, it caused them to “put their trust in God.”

What a motivation to sing!

In corporate worship, “Speaking to one another in a variety of Christian songs” (Eph 5:19, Leon’s paraphrase) to encourage and comfort others. Recently, our Bible study group visited a hospice center to sing for an elder in our church to encourage him and comfort his family. Although he could not verbally respond while we sang songs like “10,000 Reasons,” his wife assured us that he understood.

What a motivation to sing!

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25). As they sang in their pain from the cruel flogging and having their feet in stocks in the dark dungeon, their songs became a powerful vocal witness to “the other prisoners listening to them.”

What a motivation to sing!

I thank God for my wife’s sharing about her brother’s catalog of songs. It motivated me to sing songs during the day, like “You are My King,” “Jesus, Son of God,” and “In Christ Alone.”

Wanna join me in singing your favorite songs throughout the day?

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The first three to identify the guy wearing the bow tie in the picture, a free Starbuck’s latte is yours!