Special thanks to NASA for allowing me to use this photo taken by the Hubble telescope.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Veterans Day Sermon - What is a Patriot?

What is a PATRIOT?

Introduction:  What do you think of when you hear the word, Patriot?  Some will think of the football team that won the Super Bowl.  Others will think of colors: red, white, and blue or of flags waving in the breeze.  You might be thinking back in American History of men like George Washington, Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson, and the list could on and on.  The dictionary tells me a patriot is one who loves, supports, and defends one's country.  The thesaurus tells me a patriot is a good citizen, a loyalist, a nationalist, a statesman, a countryman, or a volunteer.  A patriot is one of those words that is hard to define, but when you seen one, you know it.
I would like all of our military men and women to stand today.  If you have ever served the United States of America in any branch of the armed forces, please stand.  Thank you.  On behalf of my family and on behalf of the Irving Baptist Church, we say, “Thank you!”.  You are patriots.  Many of you who stood have fought for this country.  You have sacrificed; your families have sacrificed; we owe each of you an debt of gratitude.
My brother asked me to do him a favor a few years ago.  I didn’t mind doing the favor for him at all, but the favor turned out to take longer than I expected it to.  Have you ever told someone you do something for them, and it took longer than you thought?  Well, I caught myself telling Sandi that he was really going to owe me for this one.  Then it hit me!  He just spent a year in Iraq for me.  I can’t tell him he owes me anything!  I’m never going to be able to tell him, “You owe me one!”.

What is a patriot?

I.  A patriot is Passionate.
John 2:15-17  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up..
This is the trait of Zeal.
A.  Passion is missing from American Christianity today.
B.  The reason so many young people today don’t love God and country today is because their parents are not passionate about God and country.
C.  Everyone is passionate about something.
1.  Matthew 6:21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
2.  If you want to know where your passion is; ask yourself, “What do I treasure?”

II.  A patriot is Available to serve.
Isaiah 6:8  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
This is the trait of Humility.
Being humble doesn’t mean you’re a little person; it just means you recognize that there is something or Someone a whole lot bigger than you.
A.  What have you done with your time?
1.  I believe that is the question God asks each of us.  “What…?”
2.  Are you too busy to be available to serve your country.
3.  “I wanted to vote this year, but I had some errands to run!”
4.  “It was raining and I didn’t want to get out!”
B.  The voice of the Lord is speaking to you this morning.  It is saying, “Whom shall I send?  Who will go for us?”
1.  Are you too busy?
2.  Are you too proud?
3.  Or are available like the prophet Isaiah and responding to God, “Here am I, send me.”

III.  A patriot is Trustworthy.
Daniel 6:4  Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
This is the trait of Faithfulness.
A.  Daniel was faithful.
1.  To His God.
2.  To His country.
3.  Daniel was a POW.
B.  Daniel could be trusted.
1.  Trusted by God
2.  Trusted by his friends and neighbors
3.  Trusted by the king (i.e. government)

IV.  A patriot is Ready to defend.
Nehemiah 4:16-18  And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.  
This is the trait of Preparedness
A.  Are you prepared to defend what you believe.
B.  The key to victory in almost any conflict is preparation.
C.  Why did it only take our troops 51 days to win the war in Iraq?  preparation.
D.  Why did the Rangers make it to the World Series?  preparation

V.  A patriot is an Idealist.
Mark 1:22  And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
This is the trait of Conviction.
A.  Romans 14:5  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
B.  Patriots know what they believe and why they believe it.
C.  They have ideals and convictions from which they will not budge.
D.  Ephesians 4:14  That we henceforth be no more 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…

VI.  A patriot is Optimistic.
2 Chronicles 25:11  And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his people, and went to the valley of salt, and smote of the children of Seir ten thousand.
This is the trait of Hope.
A.  Romans 8:24-25  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
B.  It is hard to keep fighting, when you have no hope.
C.  Strengthen yourself with hope.

VII.  A patriot is Totally committed.
Matthew 19:29  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
Mark 12:33  And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. This is the trait of Devotion

Conclusion: Serving the United States of America is great privilege.  We as free Americans owe a huge debt for blood spilled to obtain and keep our freedom.  I love my country.  I love the Red, White, and Blue!  If the day ever comes where I have take up arms to fight for her, I will.  Even if I’m old—I’d fight for my country.
As great as the United States is, it will not last forever.  You see, I am a citizen of another country.
Hebrews 11:13-16  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
I too desire a better country!  This better country is a great Kingdom with a almighty King!  I’m glad I live in a democracy, but one day I’ll live in a monarchy with Jesus as my King.  I’m glad I live in a country where I can vote, but one day we will have a government with no more elections.  Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  It will no longer be thus sayeth the polls, but thus sayeth the Lord.  I’m glad I have freedom of religion, but one day I’ll I will live in a country with a state religion – “One nation under God” will be a reality once and for all.
Are you a patriot?  Are you a patriot for the Kingdom of Jesus?