Summary: Veterans are very special people. It takes great faith to be a soldier. The Roman Centurion demonstrated what great faith is and what a difference great faith makes.
THE FAITH OF A SOLDIER Veterans Day
November 11, 2007 Pastor Charlie Wallis Rosamond, CA
Text: Matthew 8:5-13
Today, our nation honors men and women who have served our country. Even today, veterans are coming home from war with scars, injuries, and some of them are having a very hard time. Did you know there are veterans from the Iraq war that are homeless today?
We also should take time to honor families who have stood by husbands, wives, sons, daughters, and others who make a great sacrifice when their loved ones serve our country.
What is it like to sign your name to a paper that could possibly mean the end of your life? What is it like to walk down the cold hallways of a processing station? What is it like to sleep in a squeaky bunk bed where men have laid down their lives to never come home again? It takes the faith of a soldier – great faith!
What is it like to step on a plane not knowing if you will come back? What is it like to hug your little girl not knowing if you will ever hug her again? It takes great faith – the faith of a soldier.
THE FAITH OF THE CENTURION: What enabled this military officer to have such faith in Jesus?
1. Humility – he did not allow his position to keep him from asking for help. Many people think they are above needing help.
Some people have more faith in themselves than they do in God. They try to control and fix everything. But no matter what your status or rank is, we all need help. Why do we say, “All that is left it to pray?” Faith asks for help for anything. This man was not going to let anything keep him from Jesus! Will you?
2. Care – He cared for his servant. In his position, he could have easily found another servant. But he cared about people. Something incredible happens to our faith when we begin to care about other people. If you want great faith, you have to care about other people.
When you are in war, you are not concerned about personal affairs
“The church has had its hands up and eyes closed for ten years while Satan has come in the back door and picked off families and pastors because we are more focused on what we can get out of God.” (Jonah 33 lead singer on YouTube)
Who do you cry for? Yourself? Do you weep for other people?
3. Belief – He believed in Jesus and the Word of God. He did not doubt the power of Jesus to speak and heal. If you want great faith, you need to believe His Word. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (another good reason to go to church). If you want great faith, speak His Word!
Even Jesus was impressed! His servant was healed that hour!
Jonah 33 sings a song, “I Want a Faith like that.” We should all want the faith of a soldier. What does it take to have that kind of faith? If I was standing there that day, I would say, “I WANT A FAITH LIKE THAT!”
COME TO JESUS:
The Centurion came to Jesus. Jesus is the Source of Faith – Faith is not something we conjure up. Faith comes from knowing Jesus and being close to Him. If you want great faith, you have to be with the Great Lord. That relationship is going to cost you something – time, energy, passion, your life.
THE COST IS GREAT
John 15:13 (KJV) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Sometimes when we think of our struggles and begin to feel sorry for ourselves, we need to remember the soldier driving down a littered road in Baghdad not knowing when the next bomb will go off.
Have you ever laid your life down? The greatest thing we can do is not serve ourselves, but to serve others. If you want God’s blessing in your life, start laying your life down for others.
Jesus said to count the cost. We often mislead people by telling them to pray the sinner’s prayer, but don’t inform them what following Christ really means. It means salvation yes, but it also means sacrifice.
But it is a good sacrifice. There is no greater feeling than to realize that your sacrifice made a difference. When we follow Christ and His will, we are fulfilled. It is not hard to tell which people are fulfilled in Christ – they have a look and attitude of joy even in the hardest times.
I have this shirt from the Army. I paid $20 for it. It means a lot to me because it cost me something. Not the $20. But the commitment I made when I raised my hand to give my life to my country.