Sermons

Summary: This is a message for Remembrance day or Veteran's Day. Christians need to display the same courage, dedication and commitment that the people in our Armed Forces display.

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AM I A SOLDIER OF THE CROSS

ROMANS 13:8-14

THE FACT THAT WE HAVE HONORED OUR VETERANS DURING OUR SERVICE THIS MORNING, ALONG WITH THE FACT THAT THE BIBLE USES MANY MILITARY ILLUSTRATIONS, LEADS US TO CONSIDER WHETHER OR NOT WE TRULY ARE SOLDIERS OF THE CROSS.

WHEN I CONSIDER THOSE IN MILITARY SERVICE TODAY, AND THE VETERANS FROM PAST YEARS, THREE WORDS COME TO MIND: COURAGE, COMMITMENT, DEDICATION. OBVIOUSLY WITHIN THESE THREE WORDS THERE ARE SEVERAL BRANCHES.

PAUL IS REMINDING US HERE, THAT AS CHRISTIANS IN GOD’S ARMY, WE HAVE TO UPHOLD THOSE SAME STANDARDS. WE HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PRAY FOR OUR LEADERS, POLITICAL, PROFESSIONAL, AND RELIGIOUS. HE HAD STATED THAT WHEN CALLED UPON WHERE BIBLICALLY POSSIBLE WE ARE TO SUBMIT TO THOSE IN AUTHORITY AS A PUBLIC WITNESS AS TO HOW WE ARE TO SUBMIT TO CHRIST.

PAUL USES THIS PASSAGE TO HAVE US DEAL WITH THE MOTIVATION FOR FULFILLING OUR CHRISTIAN RESPONSIBILITIES. I WOULD GO AS FAR AS TO SAY THAT IF OUR MOTIVATION ISN’T PROPER, THEN OUR ACTIONS WILL NOT BE PROPLER AS WELL.

I’M REMINDED OF A CHURCH THAT WAS SEARCHING FOR A MINISTER. TWO MEN WERE INVITED TO SPEAK AT THE CHURCH. ONE WAS AN OLDER MORE POLISHED PREACHER, THE OTHER A YOUNGER, NERVOUS, PREACHER JUST OUT OF DIVINITY SCHOOL. NEITHER KNEW THAT THE OTHER HAD BEEN INVITED TO SPEAK, AND BY COINCIDENCE THEY BOTH SPOKE ON THE TOPIC OF HELL.

THE YOUNG MAN DID NOT THINK HE DID PARTICULARLY WELL. HE WAS EMOTIONAL, AND HAD TO STOP A FEW TIMES DURING THE SERVICE TO COLLECT HIMSELF. HE WAS CAUGHT BY SURPRISE WHEN A FEW DAYS LATER HE WAS CALLED BY THE CHURCH TO BE THEIR PASTOR.

A COUPLE OF MONTHS LATER, AS HE WAS HAVING LUCH WITH A DEACON, HE REMARKED THAT HE WAS STILL SURPRISED THAT THEY ISSUED THE CALL TO HIM.

THE DEACON LOOKED HIM STRAIGHT ON AND SAID, “THE OTHER MAN WAS A MUCH BETTER SPEAKER THAN YOU WERE. BUT THERE WAS ONE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOU THAT WE COULDN’T IGNORE. THE REASON THAT YOU HAD A DIFFICULT TIME, WAS BECAUSE WHEN YOU SPOKE ON HELL, YOU HAD TEARS IN YOUR EYES AND AN ACHE IN YOUR HEART. THAT’S THE MAN WE WANT.”

MOTIVATION BEHIND ACTION IS THE KEY. WE SAW IT WHEN WE SPOKE ON LOVE.

ROMANS 12:20: IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM; IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM SOMETHING TO DRINK. IN DOING THIS, YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.

DOESN’T THIS LOOK LIKE THE PERFECT WAY TO GET REVENGE. I’LL FEED MY ENEMY AND TREAT HIM ALL RIGHT, AND THIS WILL JUST ADD TO HIS MISERY WHEN GOD FINISHES WITH HIM. I’LL DO IT, BUT IT’S NOT ABOUT AGAPE.

SOMEHOW WE MISSED THE VERSE BEFORE THIS:

ROMANS 12:19: DO NOT TAKE REVENGE, MY DEAR FRIENDS, BUT LEAVE ROOM FOR GOD’S WRATH, FOR IT IS WRITTEN: “IT IS MINE TO AVENGE; I WILL REPAY,” N SAYS THE LORD

LETS GO TO THE PASSAGE NOW.

ROMANS 13:8-9:

LET NO DEBT REMAIN OUTSTANDING, EXCEPT THE CONTINUING DEBT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER, FOR WHOEVER LOVES OTHERS HAS FULFILLED THE LAW. 9 THE COMMANDMENTS, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,” “YOU SHALL NOT MURDER,” “YOU SHALL NOT STEAL,” “YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” Y AND WHATEVER OTHER COMMAND THERE MAY BE, ARE SUMMED UP IN THIS ONE COMMAND: “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” A 10 LOVE DOES NO HARM TO A NEIGHBOR. THEREFORE LOVE IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW.

I WANT TO SUGGEST TO YOU THAT WE LOOK AT THESE VERSES FROM A GENERAL POINT OF VIEW, AS A TEACHING THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO ALL SITUATIONS OF LIFE, AND NOT MERELY FINANCIAL.

THIS IS GOOD TEACHING ABOUT OUR FINANCIAL SITUATION, BUT I BELIEVE IT CAN ALSO BE APPLIED TO OTHER DEBTS THAT WE OWE IN OUR DAILY LIVES. SOME TRANSLATIONS OF THE LORD’S PRAYER INCLUDE THIS STATEMENT:

MATTHEW 6:12: AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE ALSO HAVE FORGIVEN OUR DEBTORS.

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE SAID THAT WE OWE SOMEONE FOR THE WAY THEY HAVE ENHANCED OUR LIVES? THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WE OWE DEBTS OF GRATITUDE TO. AT THIS TIME OF YEAR, I THINK ESPECIALLY OF OUR WAR VETERANS. THEY CARRY WITHIN THEM THE HORRORS OF WAR THAT THEY LIVED AND WENT THROUGH SO THAT YOU AND I WOULD NOT HAVE TO.

SOME CARRY THE EFFECTS OF THAT WAR THROUGHOUT THEIR LIVES. SOME HAVE MISSING LIMBS, AND ARE MISSING PHYSICAL SENSES LIKE SIGHT, HEARING, OR TOUCH. OTHERS HAVE MENTAL PICTURES OF PAIN AND HORROR THAT THEY CHOSE TO BURY DEEPLY WITHIN THEMSELVES SO THAT THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO CONTINUE TO SUFFER FROM THEM.

THESE PEOPLE AND MILLIONS OF FAMILIES DEALT WITH BROKEN BODIES, BROKEN MINDS, AND BROKEN DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE, SO THAT YOU AND I COULD HAVE A FUTURE. YES WE OWE OUR VETERANS.

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