By Series - Memorial Day
2 Chronicles 15:7, “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded”.
The Navy SEAL Code: Loyalty to Country, Team and Teammate, Serve with Honor and Integrity On and Off the Battlefield, Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit…
We live in a culture that applauds non-commitment and quitting when life gets hard. But the greatest events and accomplishments in history are all results of total commitment. If our world had always been so quick to quit we wouldn’t have electricity, the telephone, airplanes, or so many other inventions we rely on every day. Inventors such as Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Graham Bell made many failed attempts before they achieved success. And thankfully, they never quit!
Now, consider the freedom we have in this country. We stand on the shoulders of countless men and women who made a commitment to fight for our safety. Hearing the story of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell is a powerful reminder of what can happen when we refuse to quit. Unable to walk with a broken body and stranded all alone, he found the strength to do whatever it took to survive. And as he put it, “God has given me everything I’ve ever needed”. Isn’t it awesome that we have a God that provides for our every need? He always is there to help us break through every barrier to discover true life. Perseverance brings great joy, and when we succeed, we’ll have an amazing story to encourage others!
Ask God to help you crash through the quitting points you face today. Focus on what He’s brought you through and what He’s done in your past. Pray for wisdom and discernment so those memories can help propel you into the future. Then thank Him in advance knowing He’ll give you what you need to persevere.
If you are struggling with non-commitment, tell a friend so they can encourage you to stay the course. Mentally, draw a line in the sand, crawl to it, and then draw another. Just keep moving, and discover not only what it takes to survive, but also what it takes to thrive!
Psalm 37:5, “Commit your way to the Lord. Trust also in Him, and He will do it”.
Commitment is pledging ourselves to a position no matter the cost. It is a powerful quality that stands at the core of every other great character trait. When we remain committed, we discover integrity and honor. And we experience a reality that would otherwise be absent in our lives. But there’s something else about commitment; it swims against the current of our culture. Our society is committed to being non-committal. Too many people would rather quit something than commit.
To get the most out of life, to experience all that God has in store for us, commitment to being who He wants us to be and doing what He wants us to do is crucial to our spiritual development. Are you committed to where you are, to others, and to God who loves you?
Ask God for the ability, strength, and courage to stay committed to those around you and most of all to Him. And pray for the conviction to be a shining example to others, as you remain accountable to finish the work set before you.
Use today to focus on your commitment to God.
Luke 15:4-6, “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep, and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’”
When something is lost frustration ensues. Feelings quickly become frantic when the missing article is a living being. As the shepherd does in the passage above, we too would search for the one lost until it is found and safe again. For a parent, the desperation of finding a lost child is unimaginable. And when the lost child is rescued radically, the relief and joy is also beyond comprehension.
Right now, God is searching for countless people. The lost matter deeply to Him. In fact, Luke 15:7 continues, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” How amazing to be celebrated in such a way! The message is clear: God sees you. He wants you to find peace. And you matter to Him!
Thank God for His kindness and love. Ask Him to place someone in your path today to share from the overflow of your heart, how much they matter to God also.
Pray a high-risk prayer that you will encounter someone lost today. Be aware of those you encounter and be ready to share God’s love.
John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”.
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”.
Memorial Day is more than a three-day weekend. It’s a time to give thanks, to pay tribute, and to remember those who gave their lives to protect our country. It’s also a day to set aside our own agendas, political leanings, and differences, because it’s not a day of division; it’s a day of reconciliation and unity. Yet, we often fail to give it much thought beyond our own plans. People selflessly laid down their lives for us! Thus, it should stir within us a sense of gratitude and a willingness to serve others in Christ’s name.
As the saying goes, “All gave some, some gave all”, but no one has given more than Jesus. Romans 5:8 states, “God demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. Wow! How great is our God? As the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus endured the unimaginable by bearing our wrath and shedding His blood to reconcile us to the Father. He died so that we could live! Death couldn’t keep Him as He burst forth with supernatural resurrection power and conquered the grave. Now we are forever free. And those who died for us in battle have done so to secure the freedom of our democracy—“One nation under God”. So, today, amid all the fun and sun, pause to pay respect and honor to the fallen, because in doing so you are also honoring our great and faithful God.
Father God, first I give You thanks for sending Jesus to die for my sins and to rise again. Help me to remember the cost of freedom as I honor the fallen. And may I remember to reflect on your faithfulness as I praise You in Jesus’ name, Amen.
At Fellowship Church we want to make sure that every military service member is inspired and honored with letters of encouragement! Share a word of hope, gratitude for service, or just a simple thank you to a solider.