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.
Are you a Veteran?
- 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
- 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.