Summary: A message for the fourth anniversary of 9-11 and for a service to recognize local law enforcement, fire personnel, and emergency workers
SPECIAL DAY: PATRIOT DAY: AMERICA REMEMBERS
TEXT: PHILIPPIANS 2:3-8
TITLE: “THANK GOD FOR HEROES!”
INTRODUCTION: A. The passengers on a luxurious cruise ship were having a great time when one of
the passengers, a beautiful young woman fell overboard. As soon as the cries for help
rang out, one of the men went overboard and rescued the young lady. The crew
pulled them both out of the dangerous waters.
When they got them back on board, the captain was astonished to find that the
man who rescued this young lady was 80-years-old. The captain made special
arrangements to honor this gentleman at the evening meal. An award was made up
and the elderly hero presented with the award was asked to say a few words. He said,
“The first thing I’d like to do this evening is to find out who pushed me!’”
B. Rom. 13 tells us to give honor to whom honor is due.
1. First, today is the fourth anniversary of the terrorist bombings on 9-11-01.
--We remember those who lost their lives and the families and friends who lost
2. We saw the heroism of law enforcement, fire and emergency personnel in its wake
3. We see the heroism of our military as they defend our nation against those who
would destroy us.
4. We’re proud to have our special and honored guests with us this morning to
recognize their work in our community, state, and nation.
--(a note to those reading this message: we invited representatives of our local
police, sheriff’s department, fire department, ambulance service, and National
Guard and honored them with framed certificates of recognition for their heroic
service to our community, state, and nation)
5. We can legitimately call them “heroes”
6. Heroes are the personification of our ideals, the embodiment of our highest values.
--Someone: “A society writes its diary by naming its heroes.”
C. Several years ago, researchers for the World Almanac and Book of Facts asked 2,000
American eighth-grade students to name prominent people they admired and wanted
to be like.
1. Those most frequently mentioned by the teens, as their heroes were sports
celebrities and movie stars.
2. The heroes and heroines created by our society are people who have made it big,
but not necessarily people who have done big things.
a. They are people who have sought self-fulfillment.
b. While celebrities may dazzle us, heroes enlarge us.
3. Although the men and women here today would probably deny the idea that they
were somehow “special” or “heroes,” we recognize in them the selfless sacrifice
that is inherent in heroism.
D. It’s also Grandparents Day
1. Grandparents are great influencers of our kids
a. They do things that make their grandchildren feel special.
b. They, too, can become heroes in a grandchild’s life
2. Mom and Dad are the law. Grandma and Grandpa are grace.
--We honor our grandparents today also.
E. What are the marks of a hero?
--Phil 2:3-8 – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility
consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your
own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as
that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with
God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a
servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he
humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!”
I. HUMBLE, NOT PROUD
A. God despises proud behavior
1. Prov. 8:13 – God says, “I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”
2. Prov. 16:18 – “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
B. But He exalts the humble
1. Mt. 23:12 – “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be
2. Prov. 15:33 – “The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”
II. CONCERNED ABOUT THE WELFARE OF OTHERS
A. It was a 99-degree September day in San Antonio, when a 10-month-old baby girl was accidentally
locked inside a parked car by her aunt. Frantically the mother and aunt ran around the auto in near
hysteria, while a neighbor attempted to unlock the car with a clothes hanger. Soon the infant was turning
purple and had foam on her mouth.
It had become a life-or-death situation when Fred Arriola, a wrecker driver, arrived on the scene. He
grabbed a hammer and smashed the back window of the car to set her free. Was he heralded a hero?
Arriola reported, “The lady was mad at me because I broke the window. I just thought, What’s more