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Summary: Through sacrifice the good soldier of Christ concerns himself with the cause of Christ. A reminder of our duty as fellow soldiers.

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Preached at Laurel Church of Christ

On Sunday, November 17, 2002

Introduction:

I. Illustration: "My Country ,Tis of Thee"

The kindergarten teacher was showing her class an encyclopedia page picturing several national flags. She pointed to the American flag and asked, "What flag is this?"

A little girl called out, "That’s the flag of our country."

"Very good," the teacher said. "And what is the name of our country?"

"’Tis of Thee,’ the girl said confidently.

II. John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address Washington, D.C. January 20, 1961

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

III. We celebrated veterans day this past Monday.

A. We are sorely indebted to our veterans. (Freedom, peace, solitude, peace of mind)

B. They backed up the words of JFK and other political and military leaders

C. They backed it up with their lives

1. Statistics

a. Revolutionary war (1775-1783)

1.) Served: No Data

2.) Death: 4,435

3.) Wounded: 6,188

b. Civil War (1861-1865)

1.) Served: 2,213,363

2.) Death: 364,513

3.) Injured: 281,881

c. World War I (1917-1918)

1.) Served: 4,734,991

2.) Deaths: 116,516

3.) Injured: 204,002

d. World War II (1941-1946)

1.) Served: 16,113,566

2.) Deaths: 147,493

3.) Injured: 671,846

e. Vietnam War (1964-1973)

1.) Served: 8,744,000

2.) Deaths: 58,177

3.) Injured: 153,303

2. Their lives are examples of commitment, pride, honor, sacrifice, the pursuit of justices, and the pursuit of freedom.

IV. Which begs the question for us, "How do we honor such heroes of our fair country?"

A. We can begin by thanking them often

B. We can continue by joining in the spiritual war around us.

1. Giving our lives sacrificially with honor and commitment.

2. All for the cause of Christ

C. 2 Timothy 2:1-4 "You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer. And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules. It is the farmer who does the work who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in all things." (NRS)

Body:

I. The cause of Christ means SACRIFICE

A. "Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer."

B. Through sacrifice the good soldier of Christ concerns himself with the cause of Christ.

1. The concern of Christ is the Battle for lost souls

2. The concern of Christ is the Recruitment of new soldiers

3. The concern of Christ is the Training of soldiers

II. The concern of Christ is the Battle for lost souls

A. Whether you realize it or not there is an unseen realm of war going on at each moment of the day.

B. That being the case, the real war is waging within each of our hearts.

C. A man tells the story of a dead woman that is talking

1. He was sitting in a restaurant quietly sipping his coffee, when the Jane approached him

a. Though still breathing, her heart beating within her, Jane was dead asif she were wearing a shroud.

b. She spoke of her child in her womb without warmth or love, just detachment

c. Smiling vacantly, looking past him, she told her story in a voice I could have vanquished with a whisper.

d. "My husband’s happy. All these years he’s wanted a child, and now I’m pregnant. I don’t want to destroy him…I’ve decided not to tell him the child isn’t his."

2. Because of the timing of the conception, she was positive the child was her lover’s.

a. He wasn’t the first lover, but she was as in love with him as she could ever be with anyone…

b. Parts of the story are so routine that most counselors could tell her story with just missing a few details.

c. She had married young, escaping an unhappy childhood home.

d. Not really in love with the man who asked her, but craving deliverance, she convinced herself he was God’s blessing and the answer to her prayers, so she said yes.

3. Other lovers followed, but no one knew, especially her husband, had ever known. The single exception was her best friend.

a. They moved often and at each new place a man found her, and she confided in a new best friend

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