Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Stones

Set up road signs, put up guideposts.
Take note of the highway, the road
that you take.
                  Jeremiah 31:21 NIV

     The words road signs in the NIV and translated waymarks in the KJV mean exactly what they say. The Lord is instructing Jeremiah to inform God’s people that they are going into exile and on the way out they need to set up stones, raised pillars, road signs in order to mark their way home when exile is over.

     This weekend, as I have looked over photos and videos of our military grave markers, I have been reminded that those markers are road signs for Americans. As a nation, we have turned our back on God. Our WWI Veterans are deceased and in 2012 our WWII Veterans were dying at a rate of 670 per day. Korea, Vietnam and all the wars and battles since 1945 have continued to take a toll on the emotional and spiritual well being of our nation.

     Today, I challenge you to look back across the history of this great nation. Think about the lives lost from the beginning as we struggled for freedom from those who would keep us in bondage—even across the Atlantic. Think about the battle of brother against brother and father against son during the Civil War. Think about the tombstones, marked and unmarked, which are set as road signs across our nation and across the sea.

     If we once again fall into bondage, it will be of our own choosing. For just as the Israelites chose to ignore the prophet Jeremiah who spoke the warning issued by God to the Israelites, many of God’s people in America have become comfortable and lazy—choosing to ignore the neon warning signs now flashing across our land.

     We prefer sermons on grace, love and mercy over calls to repentance, holiness and obedience. In this entertain me age, we have limited our pastors to twenty minute sermons and taken the blood out of much of the new music. Many of us are no longer fit for duty. We are soldiers in name only.

     I challenge you and myself to stop and think! Look at the spiritual life of our great nation. Compare where we are spiritually against where we need to be. Remember the grave stones set as road signs against the landscape of America.

     Our freedom has been won and maintained because of the Hand of God. Today, let us choose to raise high the cross of Christ as we turn our hearts back to the God of our Fathers:

God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.

(George Warren, 1888)

© Joyce Powell

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