American Flag

Abraham Lincoln’s presidency came with a tremendous sacrifice—he paid for it with his life. One of his most celebrated speeches was the Gettysburg Address, and as he dedicated a portion of the battlefield as a final resting place for the soldiers who perished, he said:

“In a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.”

Freedom is not free. On this Memorial Day weekend let’s pause to pray:

Heavenly Father,

Our freedom did not come easily, and we give thanks for those who made the ultimate sacrifice, laying down their lives on our behalf. Thank You for those who continue to stand watch, serving and training with diligence and vigilance so the rest of us can live in freedom. Watch over them and bless them today. Bring Your blessings upon their families and be attentive to the prayers they have offered to You.

Lord, You called our nation into existence, and in the midst of our brokenness, flaws, and inconsistencies, You are at work. Thank You for changing our hearts and transforming us—may it continue, and may we submit to Your authority so righteousness breaks forth in us. Help purity, honesty, integrity, and respect for one another grow in our hearts. Grant us leaders who fear Your name and will yield to Your authority and Your principles, so that it might bring your blessings upon us in even greater ways.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

The final words of the Gettysburg Address can serve as marching orders for us today:

“It is for us the living … to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The best way to honor those who gave their lives for our freedoms is to exercise those freedoms today. It’s time to turn up the light and use our voices, our influence, and our leadership to help God’s purposes come forth in our nation.

Onward in Him,

Pastor Allen Jackson

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