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EVERY DAY IS MEMORIAL DAY – 5.27.2017

Intro: In April 1863, in Columbus, Mississippi, after decorating graves of her two sons who died representing their beloved south-land, an elderly woman walked to two mounds of dirt at the corner of the cemetery to place memorial flowers there also. “What are you doing?” friends shouted, “Those are the graves of two union soldiers.” Softly that compassionate mother said, “I know. I also know that somewhere in the North, a mother or a young wife mourns for them as we do for ours.

That loving deed set in motion our celebration which has become known as Memorial Day. We honor the war dead once a year, but their sacrifice is evident every single day of the year!  Today, we want to honor the memory of all those who have sacrificed their lives on the altar of freedom.  Those thousands of sacrificed lives were not given in vain!  Because of their sacrifice, we are free today and have the right to assemble ourselves together and worship our God. Think of the numbers of those who died to preserve the freedoms we enjoy today:

Revolutionary War 25,324
Civil War 498,332
World War I 116,710
World War II 407,316
Korean War 54,546
Vietnam War  58,098
First Gulf War 293
Iraq War 819

Today, I do not want to diminish the sacrifice and service of those men and women who have served our nation so faithfully and so valiantly, but I want to talk about one great Soldier. This great Soldier stepped onto a harsh battlefield one day.  He took up arms and entered the fight knowing that it would cost Him everything.  This Soldier bravely entered that battlefield and won a great victory, but at a terrible price.  This Great Soldier gave His life, not for a nation, but for all humanity.  His was not a life given in vain, but the sacrifice of His life served to set free the captives of sin.

For the child of God, Every Day Is Memorial Day.  We need to remember the sacrifice of Heaven’s Greatest Soldier.  Today, let us remember a man named Jesus and the sacrifice He made for us all.

The verse before us today is probably and ancient hymn of the early church.  In its six short stanzas, it tells us all about the Gospel of grace.  I would like to look at this brief, but powerful song.  I want to share three great blessings that are made plain through its words.  Let’s look at this verse together and as we do, I want to tell you why I say that Every Day Is Memorial Day.

 

FIVE QUALITIES OF A GOOD SOLDIER
2 Tim. 2:3-4; 4:7-8

Intro: While we honor the war dead throughout America’s history this morning, another great Soldier comes to my mind.

Jesus was a good soldier! Even while we honor our war dead and our resurrected Warrior, there is another great group of soldiers that leaps into my mind today.

Let’s remember those in Christ’s Army who have died on the battlefields of Faith.

One day, our lives will all be over! One day every person in this room will be just a memory to those living on this planet. When it comes time for you to leave this world, what kind of legacy will you leave behind? When people remember the kind of person you were, will they remember you as a soldier of the cross?

The time to think about these things is now. After you are gone, it will be forever too late! As Paul neared the end of his life, he was living in a Roman prison. But, from that cell, the great Apostle took steps to ensure that he would be remembered as a good solider of the cross.

He took the time to write to young Timothy and give him the secret for becoming a good soldier. THE 5 QUALITIES OF A GOOD SOLDIER. Perhaps this will encourage and challenge each of us to become the best soldiers that we can be for the glory of the Lord.

I. HE IS A FOLLOWER – 2:3 
A. The first step is to join the army.
B. No one can be a soldier for the Lord until they first get into the army.
C. This is accomplished only through receiving Jesus as your Savior, John 3:3;
D. To refuse to follow orders is treason!
E. When we are in the Lord’s Army, we have the obligation of obeying His orders even unto death!

II. HE IS FAITHFUL 
A. Can be seen in:
1. 2:3 His Patience – Endures hardship and does not quit.
a. The good soldier realizes that there will be troubles along the way and is not detoured by them.
b. He understands that pain is often part of the Christian experience,
2. 2:4 His Priorities – Seeks to please the Commander.
a. Notice that the good soldier has no higher goal in life than pleasing His Superior.
b. The good soldier knows that anything which interferes with his performance in the military must be done away with.
3. 4:7b His Practice – Guards the truths of the faith.
a. The good soldier takes care of the things delivered unto him.
b. He is determined to do a good job, and he refuses to do anything to bring disgrace and dishonor upon his Superior.

III. HE IS FAMILIAR 
(Ill. There are some things that the good soldier knows.
He is familiar with:
A. The Sound Of The Commanders’ Voice – The way to get more familiar with the Lord’s voice is to spend more time listening to it. You do this by getting in the Word. Do you know Him when He speaks?
B. With The Skill Of Using His Weapons – (Eph. 6:10-18) The good soldier knows that he is engaged in mortal warfare and he knows that the only way to succeed in the fight is to be proficient in the use of spiritual weaponry. You and I would do well to learn the art of spiritual warfare if we intend to succeed for the glory of the Lord.
C. With The Strategy Of The Enemy – (2 Cor. 11:14; 1 Pet. 5:8) The good soldier knows that the enemy is ever active and never rests. The good soldier knows that the enemy is shrewd and ever attacking, but he also knows the Lord is there to help him, Heb. 13:5. He knows that regardless of the trap, God will make a way of escape for him, 1 Cor. 10:13.

IV. HE IS A FIGHTER – 4:7 (Paul makes 3 statements in this verse that describe the good soldier. Notice:
A. He Is Determined – The good soldier does not retreat in the face of the enemy, he does not run from a fight. Instead, he stands his ground and fights the battle until the battle is over!
B. (Many Christian soldiers have dropped out of the battle! I challenge you not be among that number! (1 Tim. 1:19-20)
C. He Is Driven
D. The good soldier realizes that the battle does not run according to his time frame. He knows that another is in charge of the duration of the battle, but the good soldier is driven to finish. The good soldier is in the battle to the finish. Are you?
E. He Is Dedicated – The good soldier dedicates himself to keeping his oath. He is determined to live for the Lord regardless of the personal cost.

V. He Is A Finisher!

 

Conc: Friends over 1.1 million men and women have died to guarantee our freedom as Americans.  They gave their all so that we might enjoy all the blessings of this great land.  Today, we honor they memory and their sacrifice.  Thank God for every one of them.

But, I would remind you that Every Day Is Memorial Day!  Why? One day Heaven’s greatest Soldier came to this earth and died to give us eternal freedom from the penalty, power and presence of sin.  Thank God for His unspeakable gift!  May we, the redeemed, never forget Who Jesus is, what He has done for us, and where He is taking us some day!

Oh friend, are you ready to meet Him?  Are your sins under the blood today?  Have you been to Calvary and trusted Jesus as your personal Savior?  If you haven’t, then I invite you to come to Jesus, bow before Him and claim Him as your Savior!

If you are saved, maybe you need to get before Him and tell Him how much you love him for all that He has done for you.  He is worthy of our praise and of all the worship and glory we can offer to Him.  What a Savior!

2 Timothy 2:3-4New Living Translation (NLT)

Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.

 

2 Timothy 4:7-8New Living Translation (NLT)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.

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