Memorial Day Memories in Cloud

[Watch the Video Below]

We talk about “the cloud” all the time these days.  Everything is “in the cloud.”  We store all kinds of data, including pictures of family and friends, music, documents, and more, in the cloud.  But there’s another kind of cloud that stores vital information and the “images” in that cloud are witnesses and the “documents” are words of truth. 

As Memorial Day approaches, take a minute to watch a very short and inspiring video. It’s about a Cloud of Witnesses who have gone before us in service to our country. Remember all the men and women who have served in the armed forces in years gone by.  Remember those who currently serve and especially those who have given their lives that we might live in freedom.  The total number of Americans who lost their lives in eleven wars is 1,263,123 and counting. (See the list below that gives statistics from each war.)  Sadly, until Jesus returns and reigns there will always be war.

The short video at the end of this article will inspire you and bless your heart.  Remember that the statistic of American deaths from each war is much more than a just a number.  It represents individual lives. Lives of fathers and sons, mothers and daughter. Lives that bought our freedom. The video calls us to remember them, so we will never forget the cost of freedom.

Hall of Faith Testimonies

Now, before watching the video, let’s take a minute to remember another freedom and those who have gone before us in the faith and have testified of God. Hebrews 11 is often called the “Hall of Faith.” It speaks of 17 faithful Old Testament saints by name and several more by their acts of faith.  All of these saints lived loving and trusting God.  While they are often called “Heroes of the Bible,” the only real Hero in the Bible is Jesus. 

These were people of great faith.  They were heroic, yet they were weak and sinful as we all are.  It was by their prevailing faith, that they were strengthened by God and He was able to use them to accomplish His good purposes.  What God worked in their hearts was displayed in their words and their works.  Chapter 11 of Hebrews serves as a record of the mighty works of God in people of faith.  In chapter 12 these saints are referred to as a “cloud of witnesses” — witnesses who continue to testify of the blessings of abiding faith.

A Cloud of Witnesses?

Why does God call them a “cloud of witnesses?”  I suggest that it brings to mind another “cloud”—the cloud that led the Israelites in the desert by day.  In that cloud was the power of God in a miraculous manifestation, right before the eyes of the people.  In that cloud was the provision of God’s perfect direction as He led His people. And, in that cloud was the providence of God in moving His people forward to the place of promises fulfilled.  The faithful “cloud of witnesses” is a spiritual cloud that leads us and strengthens us in our journeys. We remember, ponder and treasure their words and works and we are encouraged by their steadfast examples of faith. They testify from “the cloud” (Heaven) of our good God and His love and provision for His children in all generations.   

As we remember the sacrifices of those in our armed forces, let us also remember the greatest sacrifice of all.  Jesus gave His life on the cross to give us life and hope.  How do we remember Jesus?  Through the words and works of the Great Cloud of Witnesses and through the Word of God.  

So Great a Cloud of Witnesses

Take to heart the following words of wisdom from a Cloud of Witnesses of more recent times.  They remind us of the great testimony of Jesus that God has given us in the words of the Holy Bible. Always remember the importance of reading and studying God’s Word.  It is the knowledge, truth and encouragement that fuels us to live the sacrificial lives that we are all called to live.  

(Excerpt from Got Questions? We have Reasons for Hope— Reasons Book 3)

The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home. — Saint Augustine

A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education. — Theodore Roosevelt 

Take all that you can of this book upon reason, and the balance on faith, and you will live and die a happier man.  — Abraham Lincoln [Response when a skeptic expressed surprise seeing Lincoln reading a Bible]

As Commander-in-Chief I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States.  Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel and inspiration.  It is a fountain of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul.   — Franklin D. Roosevelt, January 25, 1941  [Letter from the White House to the Armed Forces on the first page of my father’s military-issued New Testament and Psalms pocket Bible.]

Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face. — Ronald Reagan 

We can never learn too much of His will towards us, too much of His messages and His advice. The Bible is His word and its study gives at once the foundation for our faith and an inspiration to battle onward in the fight against the tempter. — John D. Rockefeller

Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations because we lack equilibrium between light and darkness. — Helen Keller 

The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible. — Dwight L. Moody 

The Bible was not given for our information but for our transformation.  — Dwight L. Moody 

A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.  — Charles H. Spurgeon

The Bible is worth all the other books that have ever been printed.  — Patrick Henry 

I study my Bible like I gather apples. I search the Bible as a whole like shaking the whole tree. Then I shake every limb – study book after book. Then I shake every branch, giving attention to the chapters. Then I shake every twig, or a careful study of the paragraphs and sentences and words and their meanings. — Martin Luther

The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian. — A. W. Tozer 

All miseries and evils that men suffer from—vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war—proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.   — Noah Webster 

Word of God Speak

In addition to the voice of the “cloud of witnesses” who have gone before us, the Word of God itself speaks to us.  The Bible empowers, equips and encourages us in our daily walk in faith with the Lord.

John 1:1, 14  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Romans 15:4  For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

2 Timothy 2:15  Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Peter 1:5  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

Psalm 119:89  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

Matthew 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Psalm 119:81, 114  I hope in thy word.  

Remember

Now watch this short video for Memorial Day and let it challenge you to REMEMBER.  Give thanks to God for the brave men and women who fight the battles to protect our freedoms.  Give thanks for the Cloud of Witnesses in the faith who by their testimonies strengthen us.

***And always remember to give thanks and praise to the One who fought the greatest battle of all and gave His life that we might live in ultimate freedom.  His testimony lives on in the Bible and in everyone who belongs to Him.  Be a witness today and create memories in the cloud.

Always Remembered

American Deaths in War

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