Summary: Veterans Day Message
Earn this…A Veteran’s Day Message
Pastor Glenn Newton, November 10, 2013
Life Worthy of the Gospel - Philippians 1:27-30
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,[a] striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day. A Time to honor those who have fought and served, and who still serve our Country and protect our freedoms and our homes. We want to say how much we appreciate your dedication and your willingness to sacrifice for your country and its people.
We live in an area of the country that respects our fighting men and women a great deal, and I love that about Arkansas…we have some very patriotic values and Biblical values in our area, you can be proud to call Arkansas home. Every place our Football team went this year, not only did we stand and pledge allegiance to our flag….there was also a prayer, prayed in Jesus Name! I want you to know that doesn’t happen everywhere in America anymore, but it does around here!
When I think about the privilege of serving in the military, I always think of the big idea, that a soldier has to believe in the idea of being a part of something that is way bigger than them….what they are doing is more important than what they could ever accomplish on their own…there is a greater good that drives them through the horrors of war and combat.
How many saw the movie “Saving Private Ryan”? The movie is set in France during World War II.
The defense department receives notice that a family currently has 4 sons serving in the war. Three of those brothers have been killed. Their 4th son is somewhere in France. The Army decides that no mother should suffer the tragedy of losing 4 sons to war. So they send a team after this last son; Private Ryan.
The team must overcome countless obstacles, not to mention the enemy, in their search for Private Ryan. Along the way, members of their team are wounded and killed.
They begin to ask the question: “Why is the life of this one private more important than the lives being sacrificed to bring him home? Why is his life more important than theirs?
Tom Hanks is the leader of the outfit in search of Ryan. He does his best to maintain the focus of his men. He tells them that it’s not their place to question, but rather to accept their mission and carry out their orders. Their duty is to their country. And their country has asked them to “SAVE” Private Ryan.
Finally, they locate Ryan. They tell him that they have orders to get him home. But Private Ryan doesn’t want to leave his unit. Ryan’s unit has orders!
They must keep a group of German tanks from crossing a bridge, until adequate air support can arrive. If they can’t hold off the tanks, then they must blow up the bridge.
Private Ryan’s honor and sense of duty to his unit would not allow him to walk away from a battle that could cost his Army buddies their lives.
He didn’t feel justified in leaving for freedom and safety and leaving them to fight. Private Ryan convinces Hanks and his outfit to stay and fight. He promises to leave with them after the battle.
Well, Hanks agrees, but only if Ryan will stay out of harm’s way, so he can make it back home.
A bloody battle follows in which many lives are lost. Hanks’ entire outfit is killed. But they save Private Ryan.
There’s a touching scene at the end. Tom Hanks is dying. Private Ryan comes to help. But Hanks tells him to go on. And then he says to Private Ryan, “Earn this.”
In other words, go home and live in such a way… That you deserve the lives sacrificed to save you!
Transition: In our Bible text this morning… Paul is writing to the Philippian Christians. And he tells them, “Earn this:” Live a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Let’s think about that for a moment! Living a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You realize that Jesus died for you so that you could live for Him….God the Father sacrificed His Only Son…so that you could live…not just live a life, but live a Life that is contending for the Faith and the Gospel of Jesus Christ….my friends, that is an awesome calling and responsibility.