About a week ago I was in a Christian Business Men's meeting, and the speaker shared a really touching story. He was sharing how he was up in Bangor, Maine for a business meeting. While he was at the hotel he was talking with some troop greeters. I am a little fuzzy on the details, but these greeters were either going over to the airport or military base to send troops off prior to going to Afghanistan. Upon talking with them, he discovered that the only slot that wasn't filled was from 2:00--4:00a.m. It was smack dab in the middle of the night, but he went. He figured that he could catch up on sleep some other time. He thought that when he got over there, he might see a hand full of soldiers waiting to board a plane. However, when he arrived, there were literally hundreds of young men and women leaving the United States with no assurance of what the future held.
I got tears in my eyes when I heard that. I thought of all of the men and women that have laid down their lives for my freedom. One of the most emotional movies I have ever seen is "Private Ryan." I will never forget that moment in the movie when Private Ryan many years later went to visit the Normandy American National Cemetery, to see the grave of Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) who had given his life to find him. Captain Miller's dying words in the movie were, "Earn this!" I am fairly certain that we can say that the lives of those that were given in order that I might have freedom, have Earned it.
Freedom isn't free, Somebody paid the price. My Jesus paid a Great price when He gave His life on the cross at Calvary more than 2000 years ago. Do you realize that not only did He take upon Himself just your sins, but all of mankinds, whether they reject Him or not? The amazing thing to this is that all we have to do is BELIEVE in Him. It is a free gift to all. He tells us that because He died for us, his Grace enables us to EARN IT. Not on any of our own merit, but purely on His. We deserved to die as sinners, but because of the sacrifice and price that Jesus paid, we are a new creation.
I would like to request two things of you today. One, call a Veteran and tell them thank you. Tell them that you want to let them know how much you appreciate the freedom in which you rest under every night. Make sure that they feel treasured on this special day with honor and respect that is due to them. Then I want you to turn right around and Thank Jesus for what He did for YOU. Whether or not you are a Christian is beyond the point. He died for YOU irregardless of whether you have surrendered your life to Him. However, HE wants you to BELIEVE and accept the free gift of LIFE that He gives to you Free of Charge.
Mine and your Freedom came at a Price. Let's not take it for granted, but instead give thanks for what has been surrendered...