John 15:13

Ronald Reagan Memorial Day speech 1984 – video

 

On Memorial Day, the flag is to be raised to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.

The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

 

Memorial Day began as Decoration day as a local observance in the aftermath of the Civil War, the first national commemoration took place May 30, 1868.

For five decades, the holiday remained essentially unchanged. But in 1919, as the bodies of young Americans were being returned to the U.S. from the battlefields of World War I, May 30 became a truly national event.

In 1971, during Vietnam — the war America wanted to forget Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act and turned Memorial Day into a “three-day weekend.”

Now instead of a solemn remembrance it has become an occasion for picnics and sales.

 

Oliver North writes about one of our brave war dead.

Sgt. Kenneth Conde Jr. was wounded in action during a gunfight with enemy insurgents in April 2004. North, asked him why he refused to be medically evacuated. His response: “There is no other choice for a sergeant in the Marine Corps. You have to lead your Marines.”

One of Conde’s Marines, said of his sergeant: “He always led from the front and never asked us to do something he wouldn’t do.” Sgt. Conde was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his valor and wounds in that engagement. On July 1, just eight days after his 23rd birthday, he was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED).

At the dedication ceremony, Conde’s battalion commander, described the young sergeant as “a courageous, inspiring leader.” The fallen Marine’s father, Kenneth Conde Sr., said: “I’m wearing my son’s combat boots. Though they fit, I could never fill them.”

 

This is what Memorial Day is: a time to honor those who have fought and died for our freedom.

Freedom is not Free.

 

Young Sgt. Conde lived out what Jesus said in two ways.

John 13:15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

John 15:13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

 

Since our nation’s founding, more than one million American Soldiers have paid the ultimate price indefense of our nation, and it is their final sacrifice that we honor with solemn reverence.

 

As we remember our heroes we must also remember their families who grieve. Our soldiers who were willing to give their lives for our freedom were brave and so were their parents, siblings, spouses and children.

 

In May 1982,President Ronald Reagan offered these words in honor of Patriots interred atArlington National Cemetery: “I have no illusions about what little I can add now to the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for their country. Words are even more feeble on this Memorial Day, for the sight before us is that of a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for them. Yet, we must try to honor them not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.”

Every American ought to recognize Memorial Day out of his patriotic duty to his country and in honor of those who spilled their blood to make America what she is today–free, strong, and a nation worth fighting for.
Because men have died for this country, we have the right to preach Gods word freely. We have the right to live at peace in our own homes.

 

As Americans we are free and thankful. As Christians we are doubly free and grateful. Jesus has set us free. That is why we gather every week to remember His gift of Salvation and to say thank you as we partake of His Supper.

Our words cannot repay Jesus, but with our actions we must strive to live for Him.

 

As Americans we do all those who have died for our freedom a disservice if we dont remain free and enjoy the freedom they provided.

As Christians, we do Jesus a disservice if we dont remain free and enjoy the freedom He has given.

 

Jesus came to set us free

Luke 4:16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

We were prisoners of sin but Jesus has set us free. Come to Jesus and be set free.

 

But we hear just the opposite – Break the rules, find your freedom, live your life.

We can find freedom in self or freedom in God.

We have a choice autonomy self-rule or submission to a ruler.

If we choose self-rule then we are absolutely free, we determine everything. If we can do that why would we choose to submit to someone elses authority?

Only a fool would choose to submit to someone else.

I like being the boss; I am not going to be someones slave.

 

There is a problem with this thinking it is a false choice. There is not a choice between autonomy and authority self-rule and submission. The only choice we have is which master will we choose; God or Sin?

 

Romans 6:16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Are living in freedom or slavery? Jesus has set you free live as free. Live for righteousness!

 

Are you living a life of freedom? Which means are you living a life controlled by righteousness, a life of holiness that results in Eternal Life.

 

Everyone wants Eternal Life but you have to know how to get there. You have to submit to the Lordship of Jesus. You have to be a slave of righteousness.

 

Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

 

Flesh vs Spirit

Freedom vs Indulging the flesh

Serve one another in love Love your neighbor as yourself.

Not biting and devouring each other you are destroying each other

Dont become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

 

Live by the Spirit not the flesh

The flesh seeks sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

 

Be honest and critical of yourself Are you living by the flesh are you seeking after these sins?

Or are you growing in the fruit of the Spirit?

love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

 

When people live in sin they think they are living in freedom but they are not. Sin is not freedom, sin is slavery to the flesh and the end is destruction. Dont you love yourself enough not to be a slave to sin?

I saw a horrible video on Facebook of a mother abusing her child hitting her with a pillow, slapping across the face, twisting her arm. This poor little person is in slavery to her abusive mother. This little girl is being destroyed. If she could only protect herself or run to safety.

I mention this because when we are slaves to sin our end is destruction. We voluntarily submit to suffering the consequence of sin. Please love yourself enough to run from the desires of the flesh and live by the Spirit. Love others enough to warn them and rescue them from the abuse of sin so they can truly be free in Christ.

 

Jesus has set us free

John 8:23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins.”31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

 

So you want to be truly free today? Accept the truth of Jesus.

Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross to save you from your sin?

Are you willing to come to Jesus, repenting of your sins and seeking forgiveness?

 

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Jesus laid down His life for you. Jesus loves you.

Will you accept His love and live for Him?