Memorial Day is a national holiday set aside to honor the memory of those who have given their lives in military service for our country. I have always had a special place in my heart for the military men and women who risk their lives and sacrifice so much for my safety and the safety of those I love. Today, in the town I live in, the boy scouts will place American flags on the graves in the Civil War Cemetery as a tribute to them, our American heroes.
What about the heroes of the faith? There are so many who have gone before us and have given their lives for the Kingdom of God. Just like those who have served in the military, some of these have lost their lives in violent ways because they chose to proclaim the Gospel in lands where it is illegal. They were beaten, tortured and even put to death because of their faithfulness to Jesus. Others have died a natural death while faithfully serving the Lord preaching and teaching the Gospel as humble servants. Some are well known, like Mother Theresa, and others are known only by those they served.
As I think of these men and women who have served so faithfully, I am challenged by what they did and do not want their sacrifice to be in vain. They have advanced the Kingdom because of their blood, sweat, tears and hours on their knees. Where does that leave me?
The book of Hebrews talks about the heroes of the faith in the Bible; however, I believe the Lord did not end His list there. I believe the list goes on and on as time passes. We all have the opportunity to have our name on the list of those who didn’t just have a ticket into heaven, but chose to be world changers and history makers both in big ways and small ways. Hebrews 12:1 says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Just like in a relay race, each person runs their allotted leg of the race and then they pass the baton on to those behind them to continue running. You have been given the baton. What will you do?