I heard a message yesterday about a man's father who had fought in World War 2. Whilst fighting, he had led an attack to secure a strategic location on top of a hill. As a result, this man's father received a medal of honour for his bravery, and fifty years later, his son climbed the same hill and visited the spot where his father had fought on the battlefield. On arriving, he frequented the restaurant, which had been built there and sat down with his wife to eat a meal.
The interesting part of the story is that as the son looked around him, he noticed the other diners enjoying the ambience and fellowship with one another. On one side of him was a family from the local Italian area, and on the other side was a German family happily eating their meal. Once enemies, now peacefully sitting alongside one another.
The sacrifice that his father and many others had made enabled a table of fellowship with those who only a few decades earlier had been enemies. Without the sacrifice of the father and those who had gone before, this would not have been possible.
It's a reminder that through the sacrifice of our forebearers, we are able to have the life we live: our grandparents, parents, teachers and mentors' sacrifice and effort weren't given lightly. Even more so and of greater benefit is the sacrifice that Jesus made for us to be set free to live a life free from guilt and shame. His sacrifice came at a great cost, but the benefits are given freely to us.
Jesus drank from the bitter cup of sacrifice so that we could live at peace and sit at his table in fellowship with all of heaven.
"What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ." (1 John 1:3)
Today I encourage you to remember Jesus' sacrifice for you, who, for the joy set before him, endured the cross so you could live a full and abundant life. ( Hebrews 12:2)
Consider also the legacy of those who have sacrificed to enable you to live a better life and now pass the baton onto you. What difference will your life and decisions make for you now and for future generations?
I encourage you to continue to seek to be the best version of yourself. Your wise choices, sacrifices, and commitments are creating your legacy. As you get an education, look after your health, work on your relationships, set an example to those around you, and choose to be faithful in your commitment to Jesus. Whatever sacrifice you are making sets an example and table that others will be able to benefit from and enjoy eating at.
Your life makes a difference, so make your story a good one that you and those coming after you will be proud of.
"A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children" (Proverbs 13:22 NKJV)
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the sacrifice of those who have gone before me. But most of all, thank you for all you did for me so that I might have freedom and life. Please help me not to take what's been given to me lightly but that it would inspire and encourage me to live a life that honours you. In Jesus name Amen.