Summary: Examines ways Christians can "Earn" the freedoms purchased for us by others.
MEMORIAL DAY 2012
Some of you remember the movie “Saving Private Ryan”. In that movie, set in World War II, a family has 4 sons serving in the military. The defense department receives word that 3 of the brothers have been killed, and it is decided that no mother should have to lose 4 sons; so a team is sent to France to save the 4th son.
When the team finally finds Ryan, he and his unit are attempting to defend a bridge against some German tanks until air support arrives. Ryan, the 4th son, has a sense of honor himself. He feels that he cannot leave his unit until this mission is completed and the bridge taken care of. The entire unit sent to rescue him is killed in defending that bridge.
As Ryan goes to leave, one of the last defenders of the bridge turns to him and says, “Earn this”.
We, as Americans, have a responsibility to “earn” the freedoms we enjoy today, that have come to us at such great cost to others as well. We do that in several ways.
I. EARNING THE FREEDOMS WE ENJOY
1. By respecting and honoring those who have fought to give us those liberties.
- Recognize veterans.
2. By never taking for granted the freedom and liberties and way of life others have died protecting and to provide for us.
3. By being willing to defend those freedoms and liberties ourselves.
a. In voting – by voting for people who protect and respect those freedoms
b. In speech – by standing up for those freedoms
c. By prayer – praying for those in authority
Prayer for service men & women & leaders.
II. EARNING THE BADGE, OF “CHRISTIAN”, “CHRIST-FOLLOWER”, “AMBASSADOR”, OR “CHILD-OF-GOD”
1. By living for Christ – v21
Making pleasing Him a priority in this life.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things shall be added unto you.”
- v22 – Being engaged in fruitful work for the kingdom.
What are you doing for the kingdom of God? How are you serving to help it grow, minister to others, …
2. By living for others – vv 24-26
Helping others’ confidence in Christ.
What are you doing to help others grow as Christians? What are you doing to help others’ confidence in Christ grow?
Do you point out to them the love of Christ? Do you remind them of God’s love? Do you remind them of God’s provision? Do you teach them the Word of God?
3. By living out a good witness – v27
In business, in language, conversation, etc.
Bob Harrington tells of a man who came to his pastor one day and asked if he remembered hearing about the man who had died down at the plant that week …
“Won’t someone tell me about Jesus? You can’t help me. I’m dying. Won’t someone tell me about Jesus?”
Because the life I had lived in front of that man, closed my mouth to that man when he needed me most.
Bobby Taylor, the man with the tent.
4. By standing firm – v27
The Gospel does not change, neither does our teaching or our doctrine.
Everyone without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is lost and condemned to an eternity cut off from God …
We do not change God’s Word, we do not change the Bible or the Gospel in order to make people feel better. We tell the truth.
Jesus said, “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes unto the Father, but by Me”.
5. By working with one mind in one spirit – v27
Our enemies are not other Christians. Our enemies are not others in this church nor others in other Christian churches. We are different and we can either fight because we are different or we can celebrate that fact and use our differences as a strength.
Gladys and I are different in many ways …
She is neat and orderly, I am not. She enjoys bookkeeping and records, and I took just enough accounting in college to discover that was not for me. I enjoy dreaming and looking for opportunities, she deals with the details and the follow up.
Now, we can either emphasize and bicker over those differences, or we can celebrate them and see them as a strength.
Some are evangelists, others better equipped for waiting tables. Some build, some mow, some teach, and some are great prayer warriors.
Paul said that we all have different gifts, but that we are all part of one body. We cannot say we don’t need each other, just because one is an eye, or an ear, and not a hand.
We are to work together with one mind and one spirit, with one goal in mind; pleasing the Lord Jesus Christ.