Summary: A sermon for Memorial Day. Our nation's veterans are remembered as are our heroes of faith from Scripture, and the heroes of faith from our lives. The sermon concludes with a call to be a hero of faith for the next generation.
Remember the Heroes
Hebrews 12:1, 2
Memorial Day weekend is celebrated in many different ways. Some celebrate having an extended weekend with the day off on Monday. Others use Memorial Day to visit family or to take a short vacation.
Memorial Day is actually a time for us to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom, our fallen soldiers. It is a time for us to remember OUR HEROES.
Today I want us to remember those who gave their lives for this country. But I also want us to remember the heroes of our faith, those from the Bible and those from our own lives. Finally, I want us to realize that we have been called to be heroes ourselves.
I. REMEMBER OUR VETERANS - THE NATION’S HEROES
What is a hero? Most heroes are ordinary people but they accomplish extraordinary things. Heroes don’t sit and watch, they get up and do. They do the right thing even when no one else does. Heroes do the right thing even if it costs them greatly. Heroes do the right thing without thought of reward. Heroes don’t see themselves as heroes.
Our Veterans are Heroes by every definition of the word. Listen to these words.
It is the Veteran, not the politician
who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Veteran, not the lawyer
who has given us the right to a fair trial
It is the Veteran, not the community organizer
who has given us the freedom to assemble
It is the Veteran, not the reporter
who has given us freedom of the press
It is the Veteran, not the preacher
who has given us freedom of religion
JOHN 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends
We remember today the fallen Veterans who are our heroes.
II. REMEMBER OUR HEROES OF FAITH FROM THE BIBLE
The 11th Chapter of Hebrews, which comes just before the passage we read in Chapter 12, has been called the Hall of Faith. There we find a list of faithful leaders like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and others.
The writer of Hebrews is having his own Memorial Day. He realizes that he has a heritage of faith. That’s the focus of the chapter – Faith. By Faith…
Our Old Testament Heroes were people of faith. They trusted God with their very lives. The writer actually defines faith in the 1st Verse - “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
In the last verse we are told that these heroes “obtained a good testimony” because of their Faith. Oh that we would be as faith-filled and faithful as our heroes from the Old Testament! The writer of Hebrews actually mentions that they were faithful even though they had not yet seen Jesus.
But what about those who did see Jesus? Remember them today. Remember the faithful lives of the Apostles, almost all of whom died as martyrs for their faith.
Remember Paul who traveled his world expanding the church and reaching the lost with the good news of Christ. Remember Paul who was beaten, imprisoned, and finally killed because he was faithful to the cause of Christ.
We are here today because they would not keep silent. They dared to share the truth that Jesus is the Son of God! We know Him today as our Savior because of these Bible heroes.
But the greatest hero of the Bible is Jesus himself! He paid the ultimate price for our sin. He made the way for our freedom. We need to remember Him every day we live.
III. REMEMBER THE HEROES OF FAITH FROM OUR LIVES
We who are believers in Jesus Christ stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us. Each of us can remember those who played important roles in our Faith Journey. For me it was my Mother, reading Bible stories at night, teaching Sunday school, and praying with me.
I have had pastors and other ministers along the way who encouraged me and helped me grow as a Christian. One of my pastors, Mike Owen, would take me to the hospital for visits when I was in high school. I would go with him to minister to families who had lost loved ones. He took me with him on evangelistic visits. He is one of my heroes of faith.
Remember your faith heroes. They were faithful in their service and we have benefitted from their faithfulness. They are in our hall of faith. Thank God for them today.
VI. WE ARE CALLED BY GOD TO BE HEROES OF FAITH
That is what these verses in Chapter 12 of Hebrews are all about. The key is found in the first 3 Words. “Therefore we also”