Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day.
I pay particular attention to all holidays and holy days in this blog; because I love to observe the seasons and times that God has ordained for our lives.
The Holy Days belong to God.
The holidays are days that man has proclaimed on his own.
Some holidays are very good and some holidays are not so good.
Thanksgiving, for example; is a very good holiday. I think Halloween is not.
Different people make different choices for different reasons. These are simply the choices I have made from the wisdom I have been given. There are many out there much wiser than me. However; I do my best with what God has granted; and we all have our own choices to make.
Those choices do matter. They should not be taken lightly.
Perhaps that is why I have always been so fascinated with the story of the sword in the stone. I love the way that the young man learns to live his life to the fullest by observing the things that God has granted to him and by putting aside the false messages from the world around him. Therein lies the secret of the sword; that it comes from God and no other. This is where I seek wisdom; from the Word of God. Occasionally a fairy tale or a fictional story just lines up to teach the same lessons.
Because I love to live my life so seasonally; I have a definite opinion about each holiday. Some holidays I do not approve of; and I’ll be glad to tell you why; others I regard highly; and I’ll also be glad to tell you why.
Sometimes I’m right; and sometimes I’m wrong; but I’ll be the first to tell you that is definite proof of my own human limitations. I am human; and for that reason I am always willing to listen to the other side of things; to study them and ponder them and reconsider every breath that I take if necessary. I never want to live my life NOT KNOWING or NOT CARING how I feel. I consider life sacred; and I want to live each moment of life to its fullest and most sacred capacity.
So I explore even the most minute details of the holidays and holy days; and this truly thrills some people and drives others up the wall.
Today I wish to explore the thoughts behind Veteran’s Day. I haven’t explored that topic in this blog before; and it is a timely subject to delve into today.
Just what exactly is Veteran’s Day anyway?
It is a type of memorial; a day to remember those who have served our country in some military capacity.
Have you ever noticed how many times God has given us things to remember as memorials?
It is an interesting study; if you have never considered it. There is the occasion of the Passover; and that is probably the most famous memorial. There is the part of the New Testament where Jesus says to His disciples; “Remember Me.” We commemorate this occasion whenever we take communion or participate in The Lord’s Supper or observe The Holy Eucharist.
God asks us to remember.
God tells us to remember some things so often and so sternly that it is almost like He is shouting to us that we should never take ANYTHING happening around us for granted. There are just some things that are too important to forget.
Life/love/freedom/worship/the right to be accepted/the right to be warm and fed and clothed/the right to exist without strife/the right not to be the object of someone else’s hatred/the right to make our own choices/the right to move and act freely without unnecessary constraint.
The Passover was about the right of the Israelites to worship God freely. When Jesus told us “Remember Me” I’m sure He was thinking about His commandment for us to love one another. These are things that should never be taken for granted.
The Old Testament battles of Joshua, David, Solomon, Nehemiah, and so many more were all about the rights to live freely in the land where God had planted His people. It was about the right to choose God’s way over man’s way. These things were issues of justice and freedom and righteousness.
There are a million more things that I could name that God has asked us to keep in our thoughts and memories; never to forget. Most of them are things that God has done; not mankind; but I guess you could say that every battle fought in every land anywhere had an ending because God ordained it.
That might be hard for some people to swallow.
On the other hand I know many, many people who will tell you the stories of how God led them through a miraculous victory in battle.
These things that matter and are of great importance are worth fighting for and worth defending. That is what Veterans have done.
Jesus Christ can be quoted as saying “ Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come not to bring peace but the sword.” (Matthew 10:34) He goes on to predict accurately how households, men, women and children will grow to be divided among the nations because of opposing opinions and beliefs. He sends His disciples out to minister to these. He tells them how this will never be easy. They are sent out to fight a spiritual war against Satan and his helpers. My friends; it is a war. Sometimes war cannot be avoided!
If you have never pictured Jesus Christ as a mighty warrior; you might need to get to know Him a little better.
He KNEW He was entering a war zone when He came down to earth to defend us and deliver our souls. Just as any veteran who signed up for service KNEW he would be encountering a battle at some point in time.
Jesus chose to join the battle. No one had to draft Him; He laid down His life willingly. That is what a war veteran has done for you. Can you not see the comparison?
But you say – Jesus was fighting for heavenly causes. Hmmmmm…..yes; you and me and others. Our soldiers defending our country have done the same thing. They have defended you and me and others. They have defended our right to live a free and happy life. I know they do not compare with Jesus; but the two causes have great parallels. We must realize this.
Spiritual battles can actually be much harder than physical battles.
Christ endured both; a physical battle and a spiritual battle for our souls.
The only wars worthy of fighting are those that are fought for righteousness and justice. These are the wars in which the sword must always prevail. God has equipped us to win these wars because the greatest warrior that ever walked the earth leads us into such battles. He is Jesus Christ; the defender of justice and righteousness. None of us truly have those qualities; but with Him leading us; we are covered with His armor and the victory is always going to be certain.
In His wisdom Jesus distinguished between the time to be still and the time to fight. He let men lead Him to the cross. He was meak and silent. In this He was strong. This was part of the battle strategy. He wasn’t being weak. He was doing the hard thing that had to be done in order to win the battle.
When He returns there will be a different battle strategy. Everyone will know the whole story. There will be no meekness; only a charge into a victorious battle. The victory is sure. The cause is right. Those who overcome will be right at His side.
Pacifists, who usually despise Veteran’s Day, are quick to say that a God of peace would not allow or condone war. Constantly they are asking the hard to answer question; “why would a God of love allow war to take place?”
Then there is that other question: “Why would a fair God not want to bring about justice?”
Sometimes; as much as we hate to think about it; justice requires war. Any other alternative is desirable; but not often attainable. Often we forget to remember that even in the Heavens; there is a war going on. I do not think that God condemns war. I think He often participates in the greatest battle that has ever been fought.
I DO think that God condemns luke-warm people who are unwilling to stand for justice and righteousness.
Does that mean I enjoy the thought of wars?
How I wish we could have peace on this earth and live in harmony as brothers and sisters just as God has always intended. We all long for that day; but it seems so very far away.
There is only One who will ever be able to bring about the peace on earth that we crave. His name is Jesus Christ. He too; is a veteran. He fought more wars in his time on this earth than we could ever imagine.
He had to survive coming into the battleground at first; it must have been hard coming into the earthly realm after living in a place from which time does not exist; from the heavenly realm. Like many soldiers; Christ gave up a beautiful home and a lovely life for the hard battle that must be fought and won in order for those that he loved to have the life that He wanted to give to them. He gave it all for us to have it all.
Isn’t that what a Veteran of war does?
There are not many left out there. They aren’t as plentiful on this earth as they used to be.
We also live in an environment that is more chaotic and evil than ever before. We will truly need more Veterans in the days to come. We need those who are willing to give their lives for those that they love and who are anxious to defend justice and righteousness. Those are the only reasons for war. Those are quite enough.
If you know someone who has picked up their cross and laid down their life willingly in service to our country; I suggest you extend honor to them tomorrow on Veteran’s day.
It just could be that they have been following in the pathway of the greatest warrior of all time; even after the days of official battle; you will find them today fighting a different kind of war. They confront the ruins of life after war. It is a daily struggle; yet it is still a type of war just the same.
Let’s lift them up in prayer and applaud them for serving our country so willingly. Let us pray for others to come along and join in their legacy; that of wanting us to become once again; one nation under God. Let us pray for the leaders over these new volunteers who will become the veterans of the future; that they will guide them in a godly way. Let them not bring shame and disgrace to our country; but let them led our younger men and women into paths that are honorable and righteous. Men and women with good hearts that are dedicated to serving the greater good are only as good as their leaders. Let us look to the tried and true wisdom of some of these more experienced veterans who have already walked down the road and know the way.
To all Veterans out there: Thank you for your service.
In summary I will repeat a further passage of that scripture from Matthew, Chapter ten that I referred to above. This part, that gives the words of that great warrior named Jesus Christ can be found in verses 38 through 42:
“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
Some rewards are recognized and received while on the earth; and some rewards await those who will know the reign of Christ in eternity. If men do not always understand just remember that God always does. Do not lose hope but remember 2 Timothy 4:8: From now on the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but to all who crave His appearing.
You haven’t seen a parade like this one yet.
It is going to be SOMETHING else!
Just you wait and see!
A King is coming; and He knows how to remove the sword from the stone.