A Thankful Heart on Memorial Day (Romans 11)

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! Romans 11:33

In America the last Monday is designated as Memorial Day.  Question: “Do you know why?”  Here is a little history lesson for us:

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It marks the start of the unofficial summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

Today we, as Americans give thanks for all who have died for our freedom.  But at the same time we also, as Christians, should be giving thanks every day for what Jesus did for us.

This is so clear in Romans 11.  This chapter is Paul’s climatic argument for God’s justice in condemning all men as sinners.  God did not reject Israel, she rejected God.  Gentiles did not choose God, God chose Gentiles.  Both would experience eternal destruction if not for the mercy of God.  Here is how Paul sums this up:

32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. 11:32

Paul’s direction to the Gentile race is simply, “Be humble before God.”   Paul’s direction to the Jewish race is simple, “Hunger for God.”

This morning I come with a thankful heart before this God who deserves glory forever!!! May the lyrics of the following song help you to have a thankful heart this memorial day:

Thankful Heart

I have a thankful heart that You have given me
And it can only come from You

There is no way to begin to tell you how I feel
There are no words to express how you’ve become so real
Jesus, You’ve given me so much I can’t repay
I have no offering

There is no way to begin to tell you how I feel
There’s nothing more I can say, and now way to repay
Your warming touch that melts my heart of stone
Your steadfast love I’ll never be alone

I have a thankful heart that You have given me
And it can only come from You
I have a thankful heart words don’t come easily
But I am sure you can see my thankful heart

Help me be a man of God
A man who’s after Your own heart
Help me show my gratitude
And keep in me a thankful heart

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