Memorial Day is one of those holidays that grips my soul. Living in this country and enjoying the benefits of liberty surely does make one grateful for those that gave up their liberty and life so that I could enjoy both. The most difficult part of this holiday is that I don’t know the families to thank for the sacrifice of their loved one for me because I don’t know a person that died in battle. So, I am grateful for the marvelous group of heroes that were the “few that did so much for so many”. Thank you for your sacrifice to preserve the freedom that is the cord that binds this nation under the hand of Almighty God!
This year, I am also mindful of that larger and growing group that are dying daily for the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ around the world as martyrs for our faith. The hostility globally and now even in our country against Christianity is growing in its momentum. More Christians have died for the faith in the 20th and 21st centuries than in all of the 19 centuries preceding. We know about ISIS from the news and their continual violence against Christians in Iraq and Syria. Their brutal murdering of adults and children, their animalistic raping of children and women, and their blood thirst to see people die through being burned, drowned, eaten through with acid, or dismembering is beyond any violence we have witnessed on news media reports before.
Here are some stats that you may not know. This is what happens every month in the world….
- Did you know that 322 Christians die monthly because they profess Christ as Lord?
- 214 churches or Christian properties are destroyed?
- 772 forms of violence are committed against Christians? That includes abductions, beatings, arrests, rapes, forced marriages, slavery, and discrimination?
Did you know that there are more than 60 countries where Christians are facing persecutions? The top five most violent countries toward Christians are: North Korea, Iraq, Eritrea, Afghanistan, and Syria.
On this Memorial Day, please take time to give God thanks for men and women that died to give us liberty as a nation. Please thank God for those that are dying rather than to turn their back on their deep faith in Jesus. Pray that God would cause the killing of Christians to cease so that all men could live in freedom of religious practice. Pray for this country and the erosion of the Christian convictions that made us great as a world leader. Pray with great and unceasing thanksgiving for Jesus Christ who died to provide eternal freedom from the bondage of sin and the death that sin brings, and who came alive from the grave to offer eternal life for all who believe!
May God empower us in this generation so that when the time comes for us to stand for our faith against the tyranny of unbelief, Godlessness, and moral bankruptcy that we will be found faithful! It was the words of our LORD that resonate in my heart on this day of “remembering”… “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. (Matt.5:11). If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me first. If you were of the world, it would love you as its own. Instead, the world hates you, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. (John 15:18-19). No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13).