“Honor to the Veterans”
- Looking up the word “veteran” in the Webster’s dictionary I found these meanings…
- Old and experienced; long practiced especially in war or military service.
- A person of long experience in some service or position.
- Any person who has served in the armed forces of a country, especially in time of war.
- You will not find the word “veteran” in your bible. However, there are many examples of veterans in the bible.
- On Monday (tomorrow) we will celebrate Veteran’s Day in our country to honor those who served in the armed forces of the United States of America.
- I immediately think of my late father Kendall A. Wilcoxson who served proudly for 13 years active and received an honorable discharge due to his acquired deafness while serving.
- I also think of my Brother David M. Wilcoxson who also proudly served our country for some 21+ years and is now retired military still working on a base as a civilian.
- I am thankful for my uncles that served and also all those who fought in the wars over the years.
- There are several things I would like for us to ponder today about the word “veteran” and what it takes to be a veteran, what a veteran has endured, and are you a veteran in God’s service?
- On the internet I found some people who wanted to honor veterans with their words of deep gratitude for their service…
- We are not only thankful to you but also motivated by you. You have showed us how to be brave & honest. You will always be in our hearts.
- Without your bravery & compromises, we would never be here to thank you today. Your footprints will always be followed when its time for us to protect the nation!
- Liberty comes at a price and the men and women who serve our country are willing to pay that price for our freedom and for peace. Today, we thank you, we salute you, we honor you Veterans!
- I believe that God wants us to remember those who served our country to defend our rights and freedoms that allow us to worship God.
- I further believe that God wants us to recognize our veterans at SBBC for their loyal service to our church and God’s work here in Wichita.
I. Never Too Old To Serve
A) In the U.S. Military
- You will find the word “old” in the Bible 380 times, and the word “young” 300 times.
- We can find in Genesis 7:6…And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. Was He too old to serve? NO.
- Abraham and Sarah were old in Genesis 18:11…Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; Were they too old to serve? NO.
- Eli was old 1 Samuel 4:15…Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see. Was he too old to serve? NO.
- I do not believe that a person can ever be too old to serve our Lord Jesus Christ and God Almighty who is holy.
- Our U.S. Military (As well as most all military services in the world) however is different than the service in the military of God.
- According to information on thebalancecareers.com website about our US Military Careers they say that… Every branch of service has a maximum age limit to join the military. However, the age to enlist is not black and white. In fact, it is quite grey with different rules, regulations, and waivers to be accepted for various jobs at a wide range of ages. The federal law that can be manipulated in a case by case basis states that the minimum age for enlistment in the United States military is 17 (with parental consent) and 18 (without parental consent). The maximum age is 35. The Department of Defense policy allows the individual services to specify the maximum age of enlistment based upon their unique requirements. The Air Force tends to have an older upper limit for enlistment, whereas the Marine Corps’ cutoff age is younger than the other branches of the service.
- I personally am glad that our God has no age limit on our service in His military.
B) With age comes wisdom and experience
- In our text verse this morning (Jude1-5), this passage of scripture may seem odd to you but know these things…
- Jude was one of the 4 half brothers to Jesus Christ.
- This sermon of Jude could be titled “The Acts of the Apostates.”
- Judas is Judas in the Greek and Judah in the Hebrew.
- Jude in this epistle is calling for the church to fight for their Lord and His doctrines.
- Jude is the only book that is dedicated solely to the apostates.
- Some of you may ask… “What does apostate mean?” The answer is simply this… a person who has abandoned their faith, defected from the true biblical faith.
- In II Peter 2, Peter is forewarning the church of apostate people infiltrating the church in the future.
- Jude, in this epistle is dealing with the apostates.
- You may ask… “Why are we talking about apostates concerning our message on veterans?”
- Veterans are older people with more experience and less likely to change their belief or become apostates.
- Some older people may have dabbled into the different religions and their doctrines only to find out the true religion and doctrines is that of Jesus Christ.
- Today we want to honor those older “veterans of the Word” and the veterans of the faith in the war against Satan and his minions.
- It is the younger generation today that I am worried about because they have no morals, no faith, no set standards, and they are those mentioned of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:14 “…children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
- “children” meaning that they are unlearned, unskilled, and jumping around like a frog with no sense of direction.
- With age comes wisdom and experience that will lead to a better future for the church if only the younger would take heed to their rebukes.
- If it weren’t for the seniors, the veterans in our church being faithful in their giving of time, offerings, and labor of love in this ministry…I would not be here. Because they are the backbone of this church.
- You younger deaf are too wishy-washy, unstable, lacking a love for the Lord and His sheep that is required of you to be in the Kingdom of Heaven.
II. Jesus Honored the Faith of a Veteran
A) A paralyzed servant
- Look to Matthew 8:5-13…
- Look at your bulletin this morning and you will find “Veterans are so deserving of our honor to them.” Why? Because a veteran is committed to the cause of FREEDOM, COURAGE, and THE LOVE OF COUNTRY.
- Long after the veteran has laid aside his or her military uniform they remain some of the most PATRIOTIC, most LOYAL, most COMMITTED Americans we have in this country. And for that commitment to a cause greater than themselves they are deserving of our honor.
- In Matthew 8, Jesus pays great honor to a military veteran. Not because of his service to his country, but rather for his faith in God and willingness to seek out freedom for his servant.
- Freedom comes in many forms. Freedom of religion, freedom of faith, freedom from sin, freedom from addiction, and etc.
- Here in Matthew 8, we see a servant who was bound by the palsy (paralyzed).
- The soldier was a leader of many men. He says he would command men to do something and they did it. He commanded his servant to do something and he did it.
- But we notice this centurion soldier was an authority in Rome but gave honor to Christ as being “Lord.”
- Jesus then said in verse 7… “ I will come and heal him.”
- Do you know what this veteran soldier did that no young whipper-snapper would do? Look at verse 8…The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
- This veteran humbled himself and thought himself unworthy of having Jesus coming to his home.
- I don’t know for sure but can imagine that quite possibly this soldier had a messy home and maybe considered to be filthy by some standards and did not want this holy man (clean) to dirty his garments by coming in to heal an unclean servant.
- The act of our Lord goes beyond any doctors we have today. They don’t make house calls any more, you have to make an appointment to go see them.
- This centurion recognized that he was not worthy of a visit from Jesus. He recognized the power in the name of Jesus who spoke the world into existence.
- How did Jesus honor this soldier for his faith?
- Look at Matthew 8:10…When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
- This had to be an embarrassment to the others there at Capernaum. Why embarrassed? They were embarrassed because they had less faith than this Roman Soldier. They all had believed in God but lacked the faith in His Son to heal them of their sin, their physical problems, their mental state, their spiritual state and their battle in the war with Satan.
- There is a judgment day coming folks and you need to be ready.
- If it weren’t for the veterans and their faith in God and their faithfulness to God’s house and faithfulness in giving to support the work…there would be no church building for you to meet in and no one to give you the wisdom or experience that you need to continue on in your service to God.
- Now look at Jesus’ warning of the judgment to come for those who lack the veteran faith…verse 11) And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12) But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
- How did Jesus honor this soldier’s service? Look at verse 13) And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
- Jesus granted the veteran’s unselfish wish. Jesus healed the servant that meant a lot to the centurion soldier.
- I ask you this morning… “Are you a veteran that is lacking in faith?” or “Are you a young person who needs to become a seasoned veteran in God’s army?”
- I encourage you today to shake hands with a veteran of our military every time you see them and thank them for their service to our country which has given you the right to worship God and own your own home.
- Shake hands with the veterans of our church and thank them for their faithful service and giving that has allowed you come serve the Lord Jesus Christ and worship the only true Almighty living God.
THANK YOU VETERANS !