A Salute To Veterans

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our United States Veterans.  I appreciate the sacrifice and service that they have given and are still giving to our country.  I have to admit that since my daughter is a veteran, I now have a greater appreciation of anyone who has given themselves to the cause of protecting our country than I did before she joined the military.  I think when we personally know someone who has been or is still a part of the military, there is a better understanding of the sacrificial decision they made to join.  They took an oath to completely give themselves to our country and to obey the ones in authority over them.  I whole-heartedly admire and respect the men and women who are a part of that distinguished group of American citizens.

Here is a short article giving the history about this important day.

 “A Brief History of Veterans Day

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.'” As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress — at the urging of the veterans service organizations — amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.

Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.” [1]

 

The word veteran can also be applied to someone who has had a length of time in experience in a certain occupation or was in some specific office or anything else for which they are known.  As I was thinking about the meaning of this word, I began thinking about how I would like to be thought of as a veteran for Christ.  If you read Hebrews chapter 11 (see below), you will find a list of Old Testament men and women who were used mightily by God.  Each time in this chapter when one of the individuals is mentioned, the verse starts with, “By faith..”

It is because of their faith that these people were recognized in this “hall of fame” listing.  They were not living in the time of Christ, yet they still lived their life in obedience to God without the aid of the Holy Spirit living within them as He does in believers today.  (See Hebrews 11:13 and 11:39 below)  I wonder how faithful we could be today without the aid of the Holy Spirit and the written Word of God giving us strength to remain steadfast?  Do we really, without any reservations, sign our lives over completely to Christ?  We often find it hard to be faithful even with the Holy Spirit and the Bible to guide us.

I want to have the kind of steadfast faith that those great saints of God possessed.  We are told in 2 Timothy that we can stand faithful by the grace of God.  We are to be soldiers of Christ.  We do that by not becoming too concerned about things of this world and by striving to please Him by obeying His Word.  Isn’t that like the ones who are a part of the military?  They give up living their lives for themselves and they do what they are told to do by those in command.

I want to make that oath to fully surrender to Christ. I want to be obedient to Him to the point of death.  And I hope someday that when I am “discharged” from this life, I can hear the Commander in Chief tell me, Happy Veterans Day.

 

 

[1] http://www.military.com/veterans-day/history-of-veterans-day.html; accessed 11/11/14

 

Scripture References

 

Hebrews 11 (NKJV)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.  By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.  By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.  By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.  By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.  11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.  13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.  17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.  20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.  21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.  22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.  23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.  24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.  27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.  29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.  30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.  32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.  Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.  39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

 

2 Timothy 2:1-4 (NKJV)

2 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.

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