Monday, May 30, 2011

Remembering those who sacrificed for our freedom

As we fired up the grill this Memorial Day, we remember with gratitude those who fought and sacrificed for the freedom and prosperity we enjoy. The newspaper this morning, like too many other mornings, eulogized six soldiers who were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Earlier this year, Marine Lance Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter was presented with a purple heart for his heroic act of falling on a grenade to protect a fellow soldier. Carpenter lost an eye, most of his teeth and use of his right arm from a grenade blast Nov. 21 near Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Many other stories like this could be recounted.

Many have also given their lives for the sake of the message of freedom through belief in Jesus Christ, a freedom and prosperity that endures forever. Beginning with 10 of the 12 apostles who paid the ultimate price, to Nigerian Evangelist James Abdulkarim Yahaya, who was killed by men suspected to be Muslim fundamentalists. This Christian preacher was murdered in the Kado area of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, by four armed men who broke into his bedroom apartment as he slept and shot him. Yahaya was a former Muslim who converted to Christianity several years earlier. Then there's Missionary pilot Nate Saint and his companions who were killed in Equador in 1956 by Waodani tribesmen as they attempted to bring the message of Jesus. Though this tribe was isolated and cut off from civilization, due to the efforts of Christian missionaries, many came to belief in the Savior. Other stories like this could be recounted.

Similarly to the national Memorial Day celebration, Christians remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. In our busy lives, do we take a moment occasionally to ask, “Am I living my life in a way that honors His death?” The Apostle Paul, who gave his life for the message of salvation through Jesus Christ, admonished us to “walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:12) and “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1). The best way to honor those who have given their lives is to give ours every day.