Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to motivate the bereaved family to affirm to others EVERYONE that LIVES-BELIEVING and accepting JESUS CHRIST as their Personal Savior WILL RECEIVE eternal life.
U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris
San Joaquin National Cemetery
5 May 2008
Memorial Service for SFC (Retired) Lester Corley
BIG IDEA: Everyone that LIVES-BELIEVING and accepting Jesus Christ as their Personal Savior WILL RECEIVE Eternal Life.
REFERENCES: John 11:17-27 (I Am the Resurrection and the Life); John 11:26 (KJV) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die; I Corinthians 2:9 (KJV) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him; Romans 8:18 (KJV) I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us; 1 Corinthians. 15:52-54 (KJV); 2 Corinthians. 5:1-10 (MSG); Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 KJV (Everything has its time: To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven; A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted); Job 14:1 KJV (Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble);
I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: John 11:24-26 (KJV)
II. READ THE PERICOPE: John 11:24-26 (KJV)
III. READ THE TEXT: John 11:24-26 KJV (Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?)
IV. PURPOSE: To motivate the bereaved family to affirm to others EVERYONE that LIVES-BELIEVING and accepting JESUS CHRIST as their Personal Savior WILL RECEIVE eternal life.
V. SERMONIC THEME: “You Got To Live To Get It”
INTRODUCTION: I am one of the US Garrison Command Chaplains stationed at the Presidio of Monterey in Monterey, CA; and Les was a member of our Garrison family. I first met Les at CHOMP (California Hospital of Monterey Bay Peninsular). Needless to say, Les and his lovely wife Sook-Hui and I became friends. So much so, that we all looked forward to our visits – especially Les and me. In a very short period of time, Les and I converse about many of life challenges – particularly the challenges which lay in our Social Security Retirement System. Quite frankly, if you knew Les, you knew Les, you knew that he was very passionate about his feelings regarding Social Security. In fact, he had coined a phrase (long before our meeting, I’m sure ) that I quickly fell in love with; which also became a catalyst to all of our future conversations. This phrase became “our phrase”. Anyone privileged to one of our several hospital visitations (at CHOMP or at the VA Hospital in Pale Alto, CA) could attest to the “instant connection” and ultimately the generous smile that was displayed across Les’s face when I uttered our phrase.
****** TAKE 5 BEATS *******
MOVE 1: Simply because, this particular phrase was our personal connection – one to another – regardless of the circumstance and regardless who was present.
a. The phrase: You Got to Live to Get It embodied what Les and I both believed.
b. For you see, my brothers and sisters, there are some things in life that we can be given dead or alive;
c. For example, as a US Army Soldier and proud member of the military, I can receive some military honors dead or alive.
d. While on the other hand, there are other things in life that I have to LIVE TO RECEIVE.
******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******
MOVE 2: For instance, I can receive my minimum Social Security benefit at age 62;
a. … if I wait until I’m 67 – I can receive even greater monthly benefits.
b. But, in order to receive the maximum monthly benefit of my Social Security Retirement Plan, I have to live to the ripe age of 70.
c. If I die before age 70 then I loose the “benefit”.
d. Albeit, my spouse can receive my entitlement; but I lose.
e. In other words, if Les was given the opportunity to utter 7 last words regarding Social Security Retirement, today, he would say (smiling): “You Got To Live To Get It”.
******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******
MOVE 3: Likewise, in our scripture today, we find a young lady by the name of Martha (the sister of Mary and Lazarus) mourning the death of her “only” brother – Lazarus – who was also told “You Got to Live to Get It”.
a. For don’t you remember, in this particular passage we find ourselves observing how believers in the First Century dealt with Death and Grieve “In Their Hour of Sorrow”.