Weekly Watch Focus: Memorial Day
FRIDAY, May 22, 2020—On this Memorial Day weekend, we set aside time to honor the U.S. men and women who lost their lives serving our country. We honor the many allied soldiers who fought and died by their sides. We salute them all. Let us continue to cover in prayer all our armed forces presently serving. May the Lord of Hosts cover and protect those in harm’s way in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world as they stand in the gap for our freedom. May they feel our love and support; may their families be blessed with provision and strength. We thank them and their families for their sacrifice.
As we honor the thousands of Americans who laid down their lives for freedom across the globe, let us pray that the Lord brings healing, peace, and reconciliation to the United States. Pray that the economy be restored; that Americans will once again have opportunity to rejoin the workforce and pursue prosperity; and that the freedoms for which so many have made the ultimate sacrifice will prevail.
Part 2: Remembering Ravi Zacharias
Ravi Zacharias: 1946-2020
Founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, Zacharias’ mission was “helping the thinker believe and the believer think.”
He is survived by Margie, his wife, his children Sarah, Naomi, Nathan, and five grandchildren.
He was born in Madras, now Chennai, India in the shadow of the resting place of the Apostle Thomas, known to the world as the “Doubter” but to Zacharias as the “Great Questioner.”
At the age of seventeen, while recovering in a Delhi hospital from a suicide attempt, Zacharias was read the words of Jesus recorded in the Bible by the apostle John: “Because I live, you will also live.” In response, Zacharias surrendered his life to Christ and offered up a prayer that if he emerged from the hospital, he would leave no stone unturned in his pursuit of truth. Ravi’s passion burned bright until the very end.
Zacharias’ transgenerational and transcultural team consists of nearly one hundred gifted speakers who on any given night can be found sharing the gospel at events across the globe. His ministry has a footprint in seventeen countries on five continents. His conviction was that 20th-century cultures and philosophies had formed “vast chasms between the message of Christ and the mind of man.” His approach was one of love and humility to answer the heart cry of the lost. When Billy Graham invited him to address an international gathering of evangelists, Zacharias said, “in certain strands of evangelicalism, we sometimes think it is necessary to so humiliate someone of a different worldview that we think unless we destroy everything he holds valuable, we cannot preach to him the gospel of Christ…when you are trying to reach someone, please be sensitive to what he holds valuable.”
Zacharias devoted his life and gifts to dealing with the hard questions of origin, meaning, morality and destiny that every worldview must answer. Today, Let My People Think is syndicated to over 2,000 stations in thirty-two countries and has also been downloaded 15.6 million times as a podcast over the last year. He authored twenty-eight books that have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into over a dozen languages.
Through Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, four hundred students from fifty countries have gone on to carry the gospel in many arenas globally. Also, Wellspring International, founded on the principle that love is the most powerful apologetic, deals with the critical needs of vulnerable women and children around the world.
In 2018, Zacharias told the story of standing with his successor, Michael Ramsden, in front of Lazarus’s grave in Cyprus. The stone simply reads, “Lazarus, four days dead, friend of Christ.” Zacharias turned to Ramsden and said if he was remembered as “a friend of Christ that would be all I want.” Indeed, he was and is. We remember and honor Ravi Zacharias today.
John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
Psalm 20, “May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend you; may He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion; may He remember all your offerings, and accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah. May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose. We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions. Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They have bowed down and fallen; but we have risen and stand upright. Save, Lord! May the King answer us when we call.”
2 Corinthians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction.”
Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Mark 4:39, “And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”
Isaiah 61:1-3, Psalm 46:1-3; Psalm 109:4