November 11, 2018
November 11, 1918 one-hundred years ago today we celebrated the end of the great war. It was the war to end all wars. That was of course until WW2 came along. But one hundred years ago today on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month hostility came to an end. November 11, 1919 was the first observance of “Armistice Day” but it did not become a national holiday until 1939. In 1954 the name was officially change to Veterans' day.
It is a day that means a little or a lot depending on your experience. When I was a child, it was a day marked with parades and celebrations to honor the men and women who served in the various armed forces of our country. While I was in the Navy it became unpopular to be in the armed services and the celebrations became muted. That was a sad time because many who served during that time had no desire to do so, but they were drafted and had to serve two years. Others volunteered because they wanted to give back. Give back for what? The answer has many facets. Give back because our ancestors’ setup a system of government that allows us, what was then, an unprecedented amount of freedom.
Give back because our ancestors fought wars to maintain that freedom. As a young teen I heard someone say I’m willing to fight so that my children won’t have to. At the time I served I had no children but looking to the future I hoped that when they did arrive there would be no need for them to have to fight to keep our freedom. I guess that could be called paying it forward rather than back.
Today, unless there is a close family member in the armed forces, we don’t think often about our Veterans. They live among us, many more than we know. They could have been a nurse, mechanic, farmer or any of a hundred other professions, but they served. Thankfully the recognition of our Veterans has once again returned to favor. It’s not the length of time that they served or the branch of service or their duty station. They all did the same thing, they answered the call to serve, they went where they were told to go and they did the work assigned to them. Some were in more dangerous situations than others and some in situations that carried a constant danger, such that most have never considered. All of them separated from their families by many miles on many holidays and family occasions. Thanks for li
Thanks for listening and keep on shining.
Have you heard about the boxer who fought like a baseball pitcher-at the end of the fight he had a no-hitter! Most of us attach negative feelings and reactions to the idea of fighting. We learn from childhood up that fighting is bad and that we ought not to fight. But there is at least one fight which not only is not bad, but which God Himself calls us to get in! I'm talking, of course, about the "good fight of faith." When Paul wrote to his young preacher-friend Timothy, he directed him in I Timothy 6:12 - "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." These words sound strange to many in our age of user-friendly religion. The popular notion is that faith is more about fan than fighting; more about excitement than effort; more about wearing a crown than carrying a cross. But those who seek to truly follow Christ can expect a fight. The devil has declared war on God and His people. He uses "devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11) and "wiles" (or schemes; Ephesians 6:11) in his efforts to hurt and hinder Christians.
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Are You in the Fight?
Therefore, we are warned, 'Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8). Both Paul and Peter teach Christians to fight against the devil because he is fighting against us! These words sound strange to many in our age of user-friendly religion. The popular notion is that faith is more about fan than fighting; more about excitement than effort; more about wearing a crown than carrying a cross. But those who seek to truly follow Christ can expect a fight. The devil has declared war on God and His people. He uses "devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11) and "wiles" (or schemes; Ephesians 6:11) in his efforts to hurt and hinder Christians. Therefore, we are warned, 'Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8). Both Paul and Peter teach Christians to fight against the devil because he is fighting against us!
Faith has always had foes. From the Garden of Eden to Golgatha, those committed to God and doing His will have always found themselves in a fight. The foes range from sin and Satan to doubt and discouragement to trials and temptations to pain and persecution. Moses facing Pharaoh, Joshua walking around Jericho's heavily fortified walls, David glaring at a giant named Goliath, Daniel in a lion's den, Christ on a cross at Calvary, the apostles and the early church facing prejudice and persecution- all these were fighting the good fight of faith! Brother John Gipson, in a bulletin article entitled, "Have You Made Any Enemies? " tells that back in 1884, General Bragg stirred the entire political convention when he closed his nominating speech for Grover Cleveland with the words, "We love him for the enemies he has made." The cross where Jesus died proved that He had enemies and that He was in a fight. That's precisely why we love and serve Him today! Faith still involves a fight and intense effort, but those who fight to the finish lay hold on eternal life! How about it? Are you in the fight?
Smithville church of Christ