Remembering the places we’ve been, the things we’ve seen, what we’ve experienced and the rivers we’ve crossed… So if we try to walk away, we have to walk back past the memorials of our relationship with Jesus.
PASTOR MONTE YOUNG | 5/29/2016
>> READ SERMON NOTES
Society’s influence creates a tension in our relationship with Jesus:
I’m in an OPEN relationship with Jesus vs Jesus is my EVERYTHING
(Joshua 4:1-3, NLT) When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, “Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe. Tell them, ‘Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.’”
- Build your memorials from the STUFF you WALKED OVER to receive your victory
(Joshua 4:4-7, NLT) So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the LORD your GOD. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.”
Two reasons we build memorials:
- To share our TESTIMONY with someone else
- To REMIND US what Jesus has already done
LEAVE MY PAST BEHIND AND FOLLOW HIM INTO MY PROMISE
MY PAST IS A PRISON, BUT MY MEMORIALS ARE STEPPING STONES
JESUS WILL USE EVERY LIFE-EXPERIENCE AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ME TO FULFILL MY PURPOSE
Make a Difference
MY MEMORIALS ARE TESTIMONIES FOR ME TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE
(Revelation 12:10b-11a, NKJV) “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our GOD, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our GOD day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…”
Make MEMORIALS of every VICTORY in my relationship with Jesus, and share MY STORY everywhere
>> WE ARE MEMORIALS | BLOG POST
Inukshuk, the singular of inuksuit, means “in the likeness of a human” in the Inuit language. They are monuments made of unworked stones that are used by the Inuit for communication and survival. The traditional meaning of the inukshuk is “Someone was here” or “You are on the right path.”
The Inuit make inuksuit in different forms for a variety of purposes: as navigation or directional aids, to mark a place of respect or memorial for a beloved person, or to indicate migration routes or places where fish can be found.
These sculptural forms are among the oldest and most important objects placed by humans upon the vast Arctic landscape and have become a familiar symbol of the Inuit and of their homeland. Inuit tradition forbids the destruction of inuksuit. An inukshuk (also known as inuksuk) is often venerated as symbolizing an ancestor who knew how to survive on the land in the traditional way. A familiar inukshuk is a welcome sight to a traveler on a featureless and forbidding landscape.”
• From http://www.inukshukgallery.com/inukshuk.html (emphasis added)
So what does this have to do with making memorials for our faith lives?
1. We are Reminded of Those Who Have Gone Before Us
Like Inuksuit, our Memorials remind us of other believers who have paved the way for us to discover and connect with Jesus. As the opening of Hebrews 11 reminds us, “Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.” We make Memorials to remind us of these individuals who set examples for us and call us to live up to the calling GOD has placed on our lives. We make memorials to honor and remember those who have gone before us.
2. We are Led Closer to Christ
Memorials keep us on the path of righteousness. When we see and remember what Jesus has done in our lives and what He’s brought us out of, we’re encouraged, challenged and inspired to remain faithful even during trials and difficult seasons, for He uses our Memorials to guide us back to Him and to remind us of His faithful love.
“And in the future, your children will ask you, ‘What does all this mean?’ Then you will tell them, ‘With the power of his mighty hand, the LORD brought us out of Egypt, the place of our slavery.'”
3. We Find Sustenance
Inuksuit were used for, among other things, tracking the migration patterns of wild game. In the same way, our Memorials guide us back to Jesus for our daily bread. He remains faithful, even in seasons of migration or wandering. He provides our daily manna in the form of His living and active Word (Exodus 16; Hebrews 4:12). In reading His Word and connecting with Christ daily, we’re led into deeper relationship and stronger faith.
We Are Memorials
The only reason I knew what an Inukshuk was in the first place is that I have a small replica sitting on my desk from a trip my mom took to Niagara Falls last year. When we opened the box, we found the top stone had been broken in several pieces. We glued it back together, but as you can see, it turned out pretty messy.
It turns out, I like it better this way—this cracked and put back together Inukshuk reminds me that GOD doesn’t demand perfection before He is able use us. He allows and calls us to lead others to Him well before His work is finished in us. We, those still in process, are called to guide the hurting and broken around us to the only source of true healing, Jesus Christ.
So not only do we make Memorials to the victory we claim through Jesus’ resurrection, but we ourselves become Memorials for how GOD is moving and working in our lives. Just as Inuksuit are stones “in the likeness of a human” we are called to humans “in the likeness of GOD” (Genesis 1:27).
We are examples of His love. We are guideposts to GOD. We lead the way towards not only sustenance, but abundant life.
We are Memorials.
“Don’t tear down your memorials… keep remembering your victory… it builds your faith.”