Jesus Gave, I Received
In one way, I feel fortunate that the years of the wars fell just such that I wasn't required to serve in the military. Yet in another way, I feel I missed something. I praise those who did serve, who fought courageously and I certainly honor those who died. Military personnel understand something that us non-military people can't, true sacrifice. Oh, we sort-of understand, but not really. They and their families have been on the giving side while the rest of us have been on the receiving side.
Look at our world today, look at the contempt many have for our military and for others who give selflessly to make and keep our nation safe. No, today's article isn't about the military, it's about appreciation for sacrifice. It's no secret that the majority who disrespect our military are the same ones who deny our LORD. It's no secret that the majority who honor our military are, at least to some degree, believers in God. Those are the facts, you can do the math.
From the time Jesus began His ministry until the day He died, He sacrificed. Really, if you want to see the big picture, He sacrificed more than we can imagine, just in leaving Heaven to come to earth. (John 6:38) His earthly life was all about sacrifice. It was all about serving and not being served. (Eph 5:2) Jesus didn't put Himself front and center, it was always others. He didn't even promote Himself really, because He always gave all the credit, glory and honor to His Father, God. (John 6:39, 9:4) Christ gave up every possible or imaginable lifestyle to live one where He would be mistreated, abused and neglected. He was willing to be treated wrongly in order to show the world a better way. He was rejected, gossiped about, lied about, forsaken, and wrongfully accused, all the while showing compassion and service to others.
We know eventually, all of this led to His torture and execution, yet, He was willing to pay that price (John 15:13) in order for you and me to be on the receiving side of God's blessings now and for eternity. He bought us back from certain eternal punishment through physical and spiritual sacrifice. (Gal 3:13-15) Christ was and is willing to make us His brothers and sisters (Heb 2:11-15), if we will commit to a life of service to Him. (Matt 9:13) We give ourselves to Jesus, living a humble service-oriented life full of thanksgiving, to achieve a glorious reward that far exceeds the cost. (2 Cor 4:10-17)
There is a saying about our military, "All gave some, some gave all". How very true. Here's a saying about Christ our LORD, "He gave all, and then some!"
We know what Jesus our LORD did for us in His life and through His death and subsequent resurrection. Hopefully, our understanding is much deeper than just saying He "suffered and died". Hopefully, we know the story of His life's purpose, His mission, His passion, and His ultimate sacrifice. To say that Jesus "suffered and died" is just the title. The article above is just the cliff notes. Have you read the book? If not, it's the best seller!