Each year we set aside the last Monday in May for a special occasion we call “Memorial Day.” This is a day where we as a country honor the people who gave their lives in the service of defending our country. We also look at this day as a time to reflect and remember the loved ones in our lives who have passed. Cemeteries will be beautifully decorated with flowers and the American flag. It is right that we remember those who have died and give them honor for their lives. But God also has “memorials.” He gave us the rainbow as a memorial that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood. The Passover feast and the Lord’s supper are both memorials of something special that God did. In this post I want to cover three aspects of memorials that I believe are vital for us to understand.
The Need For Memorials
After Israel came out of Egyptian bondage and the Lord was bringing them into the promised land, He gave them a warning in Deuteronomy 6:12-15. God tells them “be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” Memorials help us to remember and not forget what God has done for us. To often we have “short memories” and we forget what happened in the past and how that God delivered us from some situation or how God saved us. Set up a memorial to help you remember those things.
The Purpose Of Memorials
There are two primary purposes for setting up memorials.
- To Teach Our Children of God’s Power and Mercy: When Israel came to the Jordan river and the Lord stopped the flow of the river so they could cross, Joshua instructed a man from each of the twelve tribes to carry a stone across the river with them. Joshua told the people that the stones will serve as a sign so that in the future, when their children asked “what do these stones mean?” they were to tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. Joshua went on to say that the stones would be a memorial to the people of Israel forever. (Joshua 4:4-7)
- To Reach Others With Our Message: Another purpose of this memorial of stones was that it would show all the people of the earth that the Lord alone is God. One of our main purposes as believers is to show Christ to a lost and dying world.
What Are The Christian’s Memorial Stones?
I have identified five “memorial stones” that Christian’s are to remember as they live out their faith.
- Remembering Our Faith: Hebrews 11:6 tells us “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Ask yourself these questions: Will your children, grandchildren or family remember you for your faith? Will they be able to say that you taught them how to have confidence in God? You want to leave a memorial stone of your faith for others to see and remember.
- Remember Our Fervency: Throughout the New Testament there is a theme of encouraging us to be “fervent in spirit” and “fervent in prayer.” (Acts 18:25; Romans 12:11; James 5:16)
- Remembering Our Fruitfulness: John 15:8 reads “My Father is glorified by this; that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” Will you be remembered as one who cares about souls? Will anyone remember that you gave all you could to win your family, friends, and neighbors to Christ?
- Remembering Our Commitment: Proverbs 20:6 reads “Many a man proclaims his own loyalty; but who can find a trustworthy man? Will your family and those around you find you live a committed life to Christ?
- Remembering Our Love: Will your children remember that you loved them or that you just “put up with them?” God forbid that when you are gone those closest to you are glad because of the way you treated them. So your love in the deepest and most meaningful ways you can so people will remember you as a compassionate and caring individual.
It is important that we build memorials in our life. Not for the purpose of “you looking good” but for the purpose of leaving a legacy for others to live by and be encouraged.
Are you taking the time to build memorial stones in your life that others can remember you by?
— Pastor Temple