Temple Baptist Church - 5-30-2010 (Memorial Day)
A. First of all this morning, I want to recognize those who served. Stand and give me your name, rank, and serial number! J Tell us where and when you served. God bless each and every one of you! In time of war or occupation, because of you we remain free.
B. As we look forward to Memorial Day tomorrow, I want us here at Temple Baptist Church to keep upon our minds and hearts the sacrifices that have made the day possible.
1. “All gave some and some gave all” is a quote that we often hear around Memorial Day. President Ronald Reagan said that these who have died gave up two lives: the one that they had and the one that they should have had.
2. As far as I can tell (in all wars) app. 1,139,784 men and women have died in defense of our freedom while app. 1,447,299 have been wounded (excluding wounded who did not require hospitalization. These statistics also do not include POW’s.
C. I watched a series not long ago on World War II called “A World At War.” I was once again made horrifically aware of the great price paid for our being able to assemble in church this morning.
1. I saw the battles; I saw the bodies of our boys floating in the ocean foam on the shores of both Normandy and the islands of the South Pacific; I saw the faces of the wives, children, and parents as they waited not knowing. I saw the bodies swollen in the heat and the flies that covered them. I watched as they took their dog tags from around their necks so that they could inform the fathers, mothers, wives, loved ones, and children back home of their fate.
2. These were young men: teens and early twenties. Just kids who were made to grow up on the beaches of the South Pacific; on the shores of North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and Normandy. Children who became young men and then old men in a matter of months! These were young men who gave up their hopes and dreams that we may hope and live out those dreams for them. Women who gave up the comforts of America to tend to the wounded
3. They lived, they loved, and they died. They were white, brown, red, yellow, and black; but they were Americans! They were from many different nations but they were Americans! They were mill workers, coal miners, farmers, business men, doctors, lawyers, preachers, salesmen, and a myriad of other professions; men and women from every walk of life brought together in a cause that was greater and more dear than their lives. I watched as families had every male in them who were of age join.
4. My Aunt Edna (my father’s older sister) had a letter from my dad, who fought with Patton in North Africa-Sicily-Italy where he was wounded, written on a long piece of calculator paper because it was all he had to write home on. She had a letter from dad’s older brother, Austin, written from Iran. All of the sons joined and served as well as did your fathers and family members. They paid so that we could enjoy the benefits. We have reaped what they have lost!
D. Our nation was founded by men and their families who left England, Europe, as well as other nations in search of a utopia which was framed in their minds. They had little but expected much as they came to the “New World” in search of freedom and prosperity. They carved out for us the greatest nation on the face of the earth. Righteousness exalteth a nation! America is known for its integrity.
E. We are so blessed and should be so thankful for the sacrifices of these pilgrims! God bless the memories of those who made these blessings possible for us. We inherited that which they paid so dearly for.
“What Makes America A Great Nation?”
1. The Principles Upon Which It Was Founded – Liberty and justice for all. Men who could never be free left their homes and families that they might find freedom and liberty on foreign soil. They bought and paid for our liberty through their foresight and sacrifice. These freedoms our Constitution upholds today. We have liberty to worship; liberty of speech; liberty to travel; liberty to personally excel in life; liberty to be all that we can be. We are free, praise the Lord, we are free! “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty!” Never let anyone take our freedom from us or our children.
2. The Values That Our Forefathers Bore – They were honest and principled. They were men of integrity and their word was their bond. Their values were Bible based, even those who were not saved. We call it “Old School” but its precepts are anchored deeply in biblical principles. Our people were honest and hard working with no time for deadbeats. They had character instead of being characters. They loved their families, their church, and their nation. They were Americans!
3. The Courage Of Our Military To Die And Our People To Sacrifice – “Give me liberty or give me death” has been the motto of every American fighting man in all wars. I gave some statistics of those who died but could not count the countless millions who have served in all branches of the military. They lay behind the bodies of their dead brothers while the bullets whizzed past their heads and returned fire. They still join up; they still fight; and they still die. Their crosses are around the world from Normandy to the South Pacific to North Africa to Arlington National Cemetery where the Tomb of the Unknowns (also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) are engraved with these words: “HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD.” The willingness of our nation to sacrifice – families have sacrificed their sons and daughters; they have sacrificed their moneys and possessions; they have sacrificed their personal desires for the betterment of the nation as a whole.
4. The Diversity Of America’s People – The greatness of America is in its diversity! We are not all the same but we all have the same rights. We are not all the same but we accept and love those who are not like us. Different cultures and ethnic backgrounds and yet united. We are of every race and every creed; we are from every country on the face of the earth. We do not look the same or act the same, but we all love the same! We love America and are willing to both die and live for her.
5. The Natural Resources That God Gave – God has given to our nation the capability to both be and remain self-sufficient. We are indebted to others because of greed and ignorance. From shore to shore and boundary to boundary, our nation is the most beautiful and blessed of all nations. America is truly a nation flowing with milk and honey. We have all and abound! We are blessed!
6. The Benevolence Of America – In natural disasters as well as war and genocide, the United States of America is the first to respond. We get relief and medical aid to other countries while other governments are thinking about it. America gives many times what all of the other nations give combined. God blesses benevolence! “It is more blessed to give than to receive” has always been America’s motto.
7. The System Of Government That We Have – America was founded as a republic, not a democracy! Three branches of government set up with checks and balances that keep us both safe and directed. Every two years we have elections to correct the mistakes that we made in the last elections. Both veto power and the power to overcome veto! The men who set up our government had divine foresight. What a magnificent piece of legislative work our Constitution is! Wise men made sure that we remain both free and prosperous.
8. The Love Of America For Israel – “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” God still blesses those who bless Israel and He still curses those who curse Israel. To this point, we have stood with God’s covenant people and God has blessed us for it. “Hang on to Israel’s coat tails, America, hang on!”
9. The Possibility Of Impossibility – Young man, young lady, you can be anything that you want to be. You can be a doctor, a lawyer, a business owner, or any other thing that you wish. You can excel both in school and the work place. You can go to college, work in the career of your choice, start your own business, and be the president of the United States of America. You are limited only by the limitations that you place on yourself!
10. The God Who Gave Her Birth – America is blessed because “In God We Trust” is still on our money and in the hearts of most. The blessed gospel is allowed to be preached and missionaries are being sent around the world. Psalms 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” May God bless the memory of our war dead and those who served! May God bless our nation! May we bless God for His blessings upon us!