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Summary: A Christian Veteran has three principles that he or she MUST stand by: to never give up, to be loyal, and to never lose focus.

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Are you a Veteran?

Philippians 1:27-30

- Veterans Day is a celebration across the globe in remembrance of service

-- It reminds us that we have been given a special gift; a gift of freedom

-- It is a gift that many died for; and are dying for; in defense of a principle

- Not a dream, not a concept, not a belief … but a PRINCIPLE!

- Webster’s defines principle as, “A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.”

- Also, “A rule or belief governing one's personal behavior.”

-- When we consider all that God has done for us; we must strive to be loyal

-- We must strive to never give up, and we must never lose focus

- Read Philippians 1:27-30 / Pray

- A Christian Veteran has three principles that he or she MUST stand by

- To never give up, to be loyal, and to never lose focus

Point 1 - A Veteran doesn’t give up (v27)

- Regardless of where we come from or the situation, conduct yourself as Jesus rep

- This is critical because the world is paying attention (even when we are alone)

- Even when we feel defeated or beaten or when we’ve lost; vets don’t quit

- Others testify to what you are doing; just as veterans share the heroes’ stories

-- Paul encourages us to live the same life; that our testimony would be strong!

- Our faith is always being strengthened; or at least it MUST be strengthened

-- Paul challenges us to know that others are watching and sharing our deeds

- The testimony of what you’ve been through speaks volumes!

-- Sharing your testimony is simple: first hand witness to what has happened

-- Even when others deny it; you can still share it … b/c it happened to you!

- TRANS: When we never give up, we are TRULY being LOYAL

Point 2 - A Veteran is loyal (v28)

- Fear is not something that a veteran is concerned with

- It does not paralyze us in the face of challenges or struggles which may come

- Examples of fear in challenges:

-- Firefighters do not run out of the building when the heat gets turned up

-- Soldiers do not cower in the shadows when the bullets start flying

-- Police officers do not avoid answering the 911 call because it could be unsafe

- If we are not loyal – what are we? DISLOYAL!

- Christians can NOT avoid sharing the Gospel because of unpopularity issues

- Loyalty comes from practice because of a joined belief in something

TRANS: Never giving up and being loyal leads us to never losing focus

Point 3 - A Veteran never loses focus (v29-30)

- Compassion is something we each have within us to display to others

- Suffering is a command of Christ which Paul talks of often

- APP: His testimony gives us encouragement that being a veteran IS possible

- 2 Cor 11:24-27, “Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.”

- Let’s examine an example of Jesus’ suffering for us:

Go to 1 Peter 2:21-25

1. He did not retaliate

2. He made no threats

3. He entrusted himself to God

- BIG APPLICATION: Why would Jesus do this?

-- So that we might die to sin (might is a decision word – we must choose)

- We were going away like sheep – but needed a redeemer

- TRANS: Imagine if Jesus had just decided to give up because it was too hard

Conclusion

- Remember: Principle is “A rule or belief governing one's personal behavior.”

- When we consider all that God has done for us; we must strive to be loyal

- We must strive to never give up, and we must never lose focus

- Following the election I posted the following thought on Facebook:

- What now?

1) Fall deeper in love with God.

2) Testify to that love by loving people.

3) Be faithful to my Lord, my family, & my country.

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