Monday - May 25th
Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: Hebrews 9:25-26
Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 5:13-16
He has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Since July 4th, 1776, over 1,354,000 American men and women have died in wars and other operations. They made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be free. On this Memorial Day, our nation remembers and honors them for the price they paid.
In His first Memorial Day address in 2009, President Barak Obama asked a rhetorical question regarding the uniqueness of the sacrifice of those he called "the best of America." He asked:
What tugs at a person until he or she says, "Send me"? Why, in an age when so many have acted only in pursuit of the narrowest self-interest, have the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of this generation volunteered all that they have on behalf of others? Why have they been willing to bear the heaviest burden?
Whatever it is, they felt some tug; they answered a call; they said, "I'll go." That is why they are the best of America, and that is what separates them from those of us who have not served in uniform — their extraordinary willingness to risk their lives for people they never met.
Because of their willingness to say, "I'll go," we enjoy freedoms as no other nation has ever known. I am proud to be an American. The freedoms I enjoy every day are mine to enjoy because of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure those freedoms.
As we think of the values of Christ and His Kingdom, sacrifice stands out. He gave of Himself, so we could live, so we could be released from our sin and guilt.
President Obama talked about the tug of the heart that caused the brave men and women to give their lives for their nation. Christ sacrificed Himself out of love for us. It was not a "tug of the heart," but a heart of love that motivated our Savior to give Himself on our behalf.
In the Old Testament, priests offered sacrifices daily for the sins of the people. After Christ's finished work on the cross, no more sacrifices were required. Hebrews 9:25-26 emphasizes how Christ's sacrifice was a once and done sacrifice. All of the rituals related to the daily offerings in the Old Testament were fulfilled entirely in Jesus. He became the final sacrifice.
As you think of those who gave their lives for our country, thank God for what you enjoy because of them. As you think of your Savior's sacrifice for you, thank Him for showing you, such great love!