Our country is built on the foundation of freedom and the willingness to sacrifice for the common good. God established at the foundation of creation that Christ would give His life for our freedom. This weekend is Memorial Day, when we remember those who gave their lives for our freedom. Let’s take a moment and reflect on our lives; are we willing to lay down our lives for the benefit of someone else? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Every day in every corner of the world men and women have set their lives aside to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have put their families on hold. They have missed birthdays, weddings, births and deaths. Why, to serve us. Many have laid down their life for us. They defended our right to freedom;  defended our right to go to the track of our choice and enjoy racing; defended our right to say whatever we want; defended our right to protest; defended our right to vote and have a say in how this country is run. America is still the greatest nation on the earth because of these men and women. People from around the world still want to come here because of the freedoms we enjoy. We need to appreciate what we have been given and recognize those who sacrifice in service to maintain it. Don’t be guilty of complacency; let them know you are thankful for their sacrifice.

Galatians 5:13-14, (NLT), For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

One of the basic concepts of life is give and take. Life is much more rewarding and fulfilling when we learn the balance of giving and taking. When our life seems out of control, it can be traced to giving and taking being out of balance. We are either taking too much or giving too much. You can decide which one you are prone to do.

Think about it in racing terms, when we have a race with some give and take the racing is better. When someone is out there and all they’re doing is taking, the racing gets heated and contentious. The other drivers are frustrated and the results are not the best. Conversely, when all someone does is pull over and let everyone pass the racing isn’t very exciting either. When there is a balance there is better racing.

The concept of giving one’s life for the benefit of others is not new. This is the greatest gift someone can give. The problem arises when we take it for granted. When we do not remember to acknowledge that sacrifice we become the takers. We instead should be motivated to give because of the opportunity we have been received.

Think about times in your life when you have been given something, something of great value. If your first feeling is that you don’t deserve it; that is good. Then if you are motivated to give back, that is great. It is when we have the attitude that we deserved it that we falter. Compassion has its roots in our willingness to give when we have been provided for.

Our country is based on the right response to the gift of freedom provided by those who have laid down their lives for us. If we respond with an attitude that we deserve this we are wrong. The right response is to express a deep appreciation to those who have given so much. This appreciation should motivate us to give as we have been given to.

God gave us the opportunity to overcome our shortcomings. He loved us and didn’t want us to live our lives in vain, separated from His guidance and wisdom. He provided a way for us to receive forgiveness. Out of love for us, He provided Jesus.

John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

As you read these verses you can see how the proper response is one of believing and accepting this gift. Without a proper response to the gift we have been given we condemn ourselves to living life and eternity separated from God.

I would encourage you to develop the right spirit in your heart. Recognize the gift of freedom we have been given by those who have laid down their lives for us. Go out this weekend and drive through a cemetery, look at the American Flags that adorn the graves of the veterans who have paid the ultimate price. Take a moment to say thank you and pray for the family that lost this person. Let them know that you appreciate their sacrifice.

Likewise, remember the gift of forgiveness that has been provided to us by God, and say thank you to Him. Let Him know how much you appreciate His sacrifice for our freedom from the consequences of sin.

After we have said our thanks, commit to live a life that demonstrates that appreciation. Live like you have been given a tremendous gift, the gift of freedom to live.

1Peter 3:8-12,  Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.  For,

  “Whoever would love life

    and see good days

  must keep his tongue from evil

    and his lips from deceitful speech.

   He must turn from evil and do good;

    he must seek peace and pursue it.

  For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous

    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,

  but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.