Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day – 2015

Temple Baptist Church - 5-24-2015
2 Samuel 1:17-27


A.  First of all, I want to recognize all of our church members who served in the Armed Forces with their branch of service.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service to both this nation and my family.

B.  Tomorrow is Memorial Day.  I like to recognize our service men and women but tomorrow is not about us.  It is a day set aside to remember our war dead.  Each one of you who served in our armed forces gave some but those we recognize and remember tomorrow gave all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5th, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971. On this day we need to pause and thank God for the men and the women who served our Armed Forces to bring Liberty and Justice for all to our country. May we truly pause and remember their sacrifice, their service, and their blood.

C.  In all of the American wars, either by our country or within our country, over 45,000,00 men and women have served in wartime with app. 1,200,000+ war dead and over 1,500,000 wounded in action.  That is a tremendous number of young lives that have been given and forever changed while affording us the freedom that we now enjoy.
D.  Freedom is a privilege, not a right!  There are many in this country that enjoys the freedoms while misusing them.  We do not have the freedom to do wrong in this land.  We do not have the freedom to live here and defame this land.  America has had some sordidness in its history and still is not a perfect land, but it is my country and I say, “Love it or leave it.”

E.  War is not something that any sane man or woman wants, but war is sometimes a necessity.  Men who will not fight will not remain free.  Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death!”  It is the cry of the patriot!  It is the prerequisite for freedom!  New Hampshire’s moto is “Live free or die!”  In order to live free, men must sometimes die.  The question has been asked, “Why cannot men live in peace?”  I certainly wish that they would or could but peace is not an option that they choose.

F.  I want to look at the subject of “War” as found in the Scriptures for a while this morning.  God has much to say on the subject of war, both physical and spiritual.  And, by the way, there are causalities in both kinds of war.  Men and women have died to give us our Bible as well as our country.  Men and women have died in order to give us religious liberty.  Our spiritual heritage has been paid for by the blood of Christ and the blood of believers through the ages.

G.  I want to key in on our spiritual warfare as we are all called to be soldiers for Christ.  King David was a man after God’s own heart and was a man of war!  Because war is a reality and the Bible says that the Lord is a “man of war.”  In our text, we find David lamenting the death of Saul and Jonathan.  Why?  Because losses in war are a reality!

1.  We must war with the right Armor – Ephesians 6:10-11  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  (11)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  (Spiritual, not physical.  Armored with the Word of God, salvation, faith!)

2.  We must war with the right Attitude – 2 Corinthians 1:8-10  For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:  (9)  But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:  (10)  Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.  (A willingness to die in order to be free.  New Hampshire’s slogan is “Live Free or Die!”  There are some things worth living for and some worth dying for.  Going into battle is as much mental as it is physical.)

Philippians 2:5-8  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  (6)  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  (7)  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  (8)  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

3.  We must war with the right Action – Matthew 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  (You pick your battles!  God soldiers are good strategists!  Choose the high ground!  Take the battle to Satan!  The best defense is a good offense!)

4.  We must understand that there is Attrition in War – Hebrews 12:1-3  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  (2)  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  (3)  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  (It can and will wear on you.  You are either a combatant or a causality!  Satan never gives up and quits.  He is a lot like ISIL.  You cannot reason with him; you cannot negotiate with him because he wants to destroy you, not compromise with you.)

5.  We must have Anticipation in the right outcome of War – Romans 8:36-37  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  (37)  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  (Always remember that the battle is the Lord’s!  The final victory is assured!  We are conquerors.  We are overcomers.  We are victors.  We are not in our spiritual warfare to either lose or draw.  Good losers are just that: losers!)

Daniel 3:16-17  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.  (17)  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

Philippians 1:20-21  According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always,so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.  (21)  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

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