Sunday, May 24, 2020 – Memorial Day 2020: Things Worth Remembering
Pastor Troy Brewer, OpenDoor Church, Burleson, Texas
In the entrance of the CIA headquarters looms a huge marble wall into which seventy-one stars are carved–each representing an agent who died in the line of duty. At the base of this wall lies “The Book of Honor,” in which the names of these agents are inscribed–or at least thirty-five of them.
Beside the dates of the other thirty-six, there are no names. The identity of these “nameless stars” has been one of the CIA’s most closely guarded secrets for the fifty-three years of the agency’s existence. Even family members are told little. In some cases, the agency has denied the deceased were covert operatives at all.
But just a few years ago, a name was written in the book that identified the star put there back in 1972.
“John W. Kearns”
(code name LONE STAR) and the Cold War in Laos
Kearns was one of the young Turks in Laos who wanted to take the fight directly to the NVA.
He oversaw all phases of these operations; planning, training, team leadership and motivation – command and control – and post mission debriefing and analysis.
He was considered fearless by his peers.
Once, despite suffering a high fever from malaria, he insisted on flying over dangerous terrain to support one of his teams in securing a helicopter landing zone for a major troop infiltration behind enemy lines.
Kearns volunteered to try a cable landing from a helicopter to search for the missing crew of a crashed aircraft. He made it down but had only 10 minutes on the ground due to shortage of fuel. He extracted the body of the copilot and called out in vain for survivors.
Kearns sent action teams against North Vietnamese installations deep in enemy-held territory.
In his book, “A Look Over My Shoulder: My Life in the Central Intelligence Agency,” Richard Helms writes:
“Although Kearns was seriously wounded in the mortar attack, he directed counter battery fire, led others to safety and supervised as much of the evacuation of the wounded by helicopter as he could before being evacuated himself. Kearns died en route to the hospital. A mortar fragment had pierced his aorta…”
On this Memorial Day, choose carefully what you remember because not everything is worth remembering.
My Uncle Johnny is also mention is a book called “Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA” by John Prados.
“The CIA’S deaths now included Louis Ojibway, Wilbur Greene, Wayne McNulty, John Kearns, and John Peterson.”
- One of the key components of living a victorious spirit-filled life is learning and having complete victory in what we do and what we do not remember.
- God is such an awesome God that He can choose what He remembers. He can choose what He will never remember again.
- THERE IS A KINGDOM PRINCIPLE IN MEMORIAL
- Remembering certain things causes certain things to happen.
- Forgetting certain things causes certain things to happen.
Psalms 42:6-7 – My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me
THIS IS THE SPIRIT THAT BELONGS TO GOD’S PEOPLE.
- A great big part own the fruit of the Holy Spirit is called SELF-CONTROL.
- It’s a Philistine spirit that wants us to remember things not worth remembering/
- The word “Philistine” means “to roll in the dust” or to “woller in self.”
- Self-pity, self-promotion, self-righteousness, self-preservation – these are all selfishness.
- Self-preservation is the first order of all things fleshly. That’s why we have something like Memorial Day where we remember those who have laid down their lives for the sake of our freedom.
- There are things we must be willing to forget. Things we must say, “I’m not going to make a big deal out that anymore because every time I make a big deal out of that, I woller and roll around in self-pity or self-indulgence and I become toxic.”
- Philippians 3:7-15 – But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind;
- Maturity brings a God-given ability to be selfless in how we live and in how we think.
THIS IS WHAT GOD DOES AND HE INVITES US INTO THIS FREEDOM
GOD WILL REMEMBER YOU
Isaiah 49:14-16 – But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.” 15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. 16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.”
GOD WILL REMEMBER YOU
Hebrews 6:10 – For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
GOD WILL REMEMBER YOU
Luke 23:42-43 – Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” 43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
GOD WILL FORGET YOUR YOUR SINS
Hebrews 8:12 – For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
THERE IS A SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE OF MEMORIAL
- Things change when we remember certain things.
- Psalms 20:7 – Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the lord our God.
- Horses are the strength of man and chariots are the clever inventions of man. David is saying, “All I need for certain deliverance is to remember the name of the Lord. How I know God personally.”
1. REMEMBER the promises God has given you.
- This list will keep you in times of trouble.
- There are over 3,000 biblical promises.
- The Father always keeps His promises—the same today as He did in the days of the Bible.
- Some promises are conditional. For example, the guarantee of Psalm 37:4 requires obedience and partnership
- Psalm 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
- 2 Corinthians 1:20 – For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
2. REMEMBER the miracles God has done in your life.
- This list will keep you trusting God.
- 2 Samuel 22:31 – He is a shield to all who trust in Him; All those promises of rescue, deliverance and redemption.
- LIVING IN A CONSTANT AWARENESS THAT NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
3. REMEMBER the privileges and things you love about your life. This list will keep you thankful.
- DO YOU REMEMBER HOW BLESSED YOU ARE?
- Zephaniah 3:17 says he will take great delight in us and quiet us with his love, he will rejoice over us with singing. Believers are special and God has given us many great and wonderful privileges.
What are our privileges as saints of God?
- Believers have the privilege of continually coming into the presence of Christ. Let us avail ourselves of this daily through prayer, study of the Word, and the Christian community. This is our greatest honor.
- Believers have the privilege of being built into a house of God. We need one another, a brick has very little usefulness by itself. Also, because we are the house of God, we should be a holy place, set apart for God’s worship. Everything we do can be worship because we are his temple.
- Believers have the privilege of being priests that offer spiritual sacrifices. We should labor in prayer for others; we should serve others as priests in order to please and honor our God.
- Believers have the privilege of sharing in the honor of Christ. The glory given to Christ by God has been given to us (John 17:22). Though rejected by the world, along with Christ, we must rejoice in the coming honor and glory. We are co-heirs with Christ, and therefore, recipients of the coming kingdom. This honor shines even brighter against the destiny of the lost.
King James Bible: Psalms 16:6 –The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
- New American Standard Bible: The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.
- The New Living Translation: The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!
REMEMBERING HOW YOUR LIFE IS BLESSED WILL KEEP YOU THANKFUL
4. REMEMBER the prayers God has answered in your life.
This list will keep you praying.
5. REMEMBER the people God has put in your path who teach you, encourage you and have helped you become closer to the Lord and more solid in your walk.
This list will keep you humbly connected and ward off an independent spirit.
The value of healthy relationships
- Everything in the kingdom is relational before it is functional
- THIS LIST WILL KEEP YOU RELATIONAL
- Remember what God has saved you from.
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