Summary: People count most of all.
II Tim. 1:3-5
INTRO.- ILL.- Ron was a fifteen-year-old teenager, a tenth-grade student at Granger High School. It was game day, and he was the only sophomore suiting up with the varsity team. Excitedly, he invited his mother to attend. It was her very first football game, and she promised to be there with several of her friends. The game finally ended, and she was waiting outside the locker room to drive Ron home.
"What did you think of the game, Mom? Did you see the three touchdown passes our team made and our tough defense, and the fumble on the kickoff return that we recovered?" he asked.
His mother replied, "Ron, you were magnificent. You have such presence, and I was proud of the pride you took in the way you looked. You pulled up your knee socks eleven times during the game, and I could tell you were perspiring in all those bulky pads because you got eight drinks and splashed water on your face twice. I really like how you went out of you way to pat number nineteen, number five and number ninety on the back every time they came off the field."
"Mom, how do you know all that? And how can you say I was magnificent? I didn’t even play in the game."
His mother smiled and hugged him. "Ron, I don’t know anything about football. I didn’t come here to watch the game. I came here to watch you!"
Brethren, the moral of this story is: PEOPLE COUNT MOST OF ALL! Football is fine. Football is fantastic for some people. But people are supreme! People are more important than football.
Here’s another way to look at it.
ILL.- One time the popular actress Sophia Loren sobbed to her Italian movie director, Vittorio De Sica, over the theft of some of her jewelry. And he said to her, “Listen to me, Sophia. I am much older than you and if there is one great truth I have learned about life, it is this: NEVER CRY OVER ANYTHING THAT CAN’T CRY OVER YOU!”
What a lesson! And have you learned that lesson in life? People are more important than things! People are more important than cars and computers. People are more important than houses and furniture. People are more important than all material things!
ILL.- In 1968 I ordered a new Pontiac Firebird. It’s the only new car I ever ordered from a dealership. Naturally, I was quite excited when the car came. It was a pretty dark blue color and was loaded with power. I washed that car every day and waxed it once every week. It was as though I worshipped that car, and in some ways, I did. I fell in love with that car. BUT I SHOULD HAVE FELL IN LOVE WITH PEOPLE! I should have valued people most of all. And I am in the process of trying to learn that lesson.
I think it is a life-long lesson. It is something that we continue to learn all our lives. And if we don’t learn that lesson, then we are the losers! FOR TO LOVE PEOPLE IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS THAT ANYBODY CAN LEARN! If there is one thing that Jesus tried to teach us, it is to love others.
On this Memorial Day weekend I want to remind you that people count! People are more important than material things. People are more important than our own personal fun and pleasures. People are the most important thing that God has created.
In II Timothy 1:3-5 we see that Paul remembered his friend Timothy.
V. 3 - “I constantly remember you...in my prayers.”
V. 4 - “Recalling your tears....”
V. 5 - “I have been reminded of your sincere faith...”
Paul remembered Timothy in several ways. He remembered him enough to pray for him. He remembered Timothy’s pain in life. He recalled his tears. And remembered that he was a man of faith in the Lord.
Timothy was important to Paul. He was an important person in his life. He was a VIP. A very important person. And people should be very important to us.
PROP.- People count. Memorial Day weekend is about people, about remembering certain people. We should:
1- Look back and remember
2- Look out and love
3- Look up and honor
I. LOOK BACK AND REMEMBER
This Memorial Day weekend we should look back and remember people. We should remember the deceased: deceased veterans, deceased family members and friends.
Originally, Memorial Day was instituted to remember the Civil War dead, but over the years it has become a time to remember all deceased veterans and all our deceased loved ones.
This is one reason why it has long been called “Decoration Day.” Many people still go to the graves of their loved ones and decorate them as a sign they haven’t forgotten them. HOW COMMENDABLE THAT IS!