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Memorial Day Weekend

We had a great time hanging out with friends as we relaxed and remembered those that have died serving our Country. In our weekend worship we combined Memorial Day and Veterans Day to Honor those that serve and have served this country. Their call and service is a picture of what we are called to as Christ Followers. Because of Christ their story parallels our story. I don’t know if I tied this together very well in our MS service but it seemed to feel better during our HS service. I am still trying to wrap my head around it. I really do think God is working. In our Heroes series here were the reasons why we said Veterans are Heroes:

1. They have left EVERYTHING BEHIND!
We have seen this first hand with one of our own going into the Air force. Many of you know Josh Adkins, he grew up in this church, served as a MS Small Group Leader for 6th grade boys. But when he decided to join the Air Force, he had to leave everything behind, family, friends, college, work, everything. When he got there they shaved his head and gave him a set of clothes the wear and he began what is known as boot camp. After surviving Boot Camp he was sent off to a different base for more training, while there he found out where he would be stationed. For Josh, he is in Germany where he is serving in the United States Air Force.

Josh has left everything behind so he could serve our country. This right here is why Veterans are heroes.

As I look at this point, for me it is a real life picture of what Jesus calls Christians to do. The Bible talks in several locations about a spiritual battle that takes place around us. Jesus says if you want to be my follower, you have to leave everything behind. Look for yourself,

“Then he said to the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.’” Luke 9:23-24 (NLT)

Are you willing to leave everything behind to be a Jesus Follower? What are you still hanging on too? Are you willing to follow Him Daily?

2. They defend MY FREEDOM!
It is easy to take for granted the freedoms we have as Americans. But our freedom has a price tag. Men and Women serve to protect for our freedom, they fight for our Freedom, and some have even died defending our freedom. Freedom isn’t free it cost someone! It has a price tag. Veterans are heroes because they defend, and have defended, the freedoms that you and I enjoy today.

This is a picture of what Jesus has done for everyone in this world today! He defended our freedom! Even to the point of allowing Himself to be nailed to a cross so we could be freed from the trap or bondage of sin. As you can see, our freedom wasn’t free, it cost Jesus His life. As Christ followers, we are to defend this freedom so others can experience it also. Check out these two passages of scripture,

“We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.” Romans 6:6-7 (NLT)

“Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Jude 3-4 (NLT)

3. They risked their life, so I could ENJOY MINE!
Every time we have gone to war to defend others, our nation, even our own freedom, soldiers have risked their lives so we didn’t have to go to battle. By them doing this, we are able to enjoy the life we have. They have risked theirs, so we could enjoy ours, That’s why Veterans are Heroes.

But this is also a picture of what Christians are doing all over the world for the sake and name of Christ. Christ Followers are risking their life, so others can hear the gospel and have a relationship with God.

It saddens me that some of us are afraid to tell a friend about Jesus when there are others so passionate about what God has done; that they would rather go thru persecution and even death, than to keep silent about the Good News of Jesus Christ.

“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-12 (NLT)

Are you taking any Risk so others can enjoy a relationship with Christ?

4. They have DIED SERVING our country!
Sadly, the reason why we celebrate Memorial Day is to remember those that have died serving this country. It is a day that is set aside to honor and remember their sacrifice. It’s a day to encourage those that are currently serving, and thank them for their willingness to serve in this way.

For us, this is a picture of people who die everyday for the sake of the Gospel. This Book, Jesus Freaks, tells stories of people who have died while sharing the gospel. They understand and have lived by these two verses,

“But for your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”
Psalm 44:22 (NLT)

“For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.” Philippians 1:21 (NLT)

I am inspired by, and grateful to, the men and women that have done these things for our country and for me. As a Christ Follower, I see how their dedication to this country is a picture of what it means to do what ever it takes for the sake of the cause, so that others can experience the things we are so thankful for. It causes me to want to serve Christ, with the same dedication and commitment that these men and women have shown our Nation.

This is why on this Memorial Day Weekend we say thank you and declare that Veterans, those that are serving, have served, and died serving are Heroes.

Categories: Student Ministry
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