Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Faith Of A Soldier

My scripture text today is from Matthew 8:5-13

This past week our nation honored men and women who have served our country. Even today, veterans are coming home from war with scars, injuries, and some of them are having a very hard time. Did you know there are veterans from the Iraq war that are homeless today?  We also should take time to honor families who have stood by husbands, wives, sons and daughters, and others who make a great sacrifice when their loved ones serve our country.  What is it like to sign your name to a paper that could possibly mean the end of your life? What is it like to walk down the cold hallways of a processing station? What is it like to sleep in a squeaky bunk bed where men have laid down their lives to never come home again? It takes the faith of a soldier – great faith!  What is it like to step on a plane not knowing if you will come back? What is it like to hug your little girl not knowing if you will ever hug her again? It takes great faith – the faith of a soldier.

THE FAITH OF THE CENTURION: What enabled this military officer to have such faith in Jesus?
1. Humility – he did not allow his position to keep him from asking for help. Many people think they are above needing help.
Some people have more faith in themselves than they do in God. They try to control and fix everything. But no matter what your status or rank is, we all need help. Why do we say, “All that is left it to pray?” Faith asks for help for anything. This man was not going to let anything keep him from Jesus! Will you?
2. Care – He cared for his servant. In his position, he could have easily found another servant. But he cared about people. Something incredible happens to our faith when we begin to care about other people. If you want great faith, you have to care about other people.   When you are in war, you are not concerned about personal affairs  “The church has had its hands up and eyes closed for  years while Satan has come in the back door and picked off families and pastors because we are more focused on what we can get out of God.”  Who do you cry for? Yourself? Do you weep for other people?
3. Belief – He believed in Jesus and the Word of God. He did not doubt the power of Jesus to speak and heal. If you want great faith, you need to believe His Word. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (another good reason to go to church). If you want great faith, speak His Word! Even Jesus was impressed! His servant was healed that hour!
We should all want the faith of a soldier. What does it take to have that kind of faith? If I was standing there that day, I would say, “I WANT A FAITH LIKE THAT!”  The Centurion came to Jesus. Jesus is the Source of Faith – Faith is not something we conjure up. Faith comes from knowing Jesus and being close to Him. If you want great faith, you have to be with the Great Lord. That relationship is going to cost you something – time, energy, passion, your life.
You must know….THE COST IS GREAT. 
John 15:13 tells us:

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Sometimes when we think of our struggles and begin to feel sorry for ourselves, we need to remember the soldier driving down a littered road in Baghdad not knowing when the next bomb will go off.

Have you ever laid your life down? The greatest thing we can do is not serve ourselves, but to serve others. If you want God’s blessing in your life, start laying your life down for others.

Jesus said to count the cost. We often mislead people by telling them to pray the sinner’s prayer, but don’t inform them what following Christ really means. It means salvation yes, but it also means sacrifice.

But it is a good sacrifice. There is no greater feeling than to realize that your sacrifice made a difference. When we follow Christ and His will, we are fulfilled. It is not hard to tell which people are fulfilled in Christ – they have a look and attitude of joy even in the hardest times.

I have this shirt from the Army. I paid $20 for it. It means a lot to me because it cost me something. Not the $20. But the commitment I made when I raised my hand to give my life to my country.


Philip. 2:25 (NLT) Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, a faithful worker, and a courageous soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need.  But we can honestly say that anyone who chooses to follow Christ is a soldier of the Cross, because to follow Christ means to lay your life down, it is great faith.

2 Tim. 2:3-4 (NLT) Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. [4] And as Christ’s soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in the affairs of this life, for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army.

You cannot lay your life down without some scars. You might not get a purple heart, but ever soldier endures pain and struggle. We will not get through this life without hurt and pain. We will be attacked, and hopefully, if we are truly faithful, we will be persecuted. We might not be set on fire like the Roman Christians as torches, but we can light up our world with the faith of a soldier. Reports often tell us that injured soldiers want nothing more than to get back to their buddies. If you want the faith of a soldier, you will have to let those scars be healed and get back into the battle. You may be facing some great battles. But take heart. Many have gone before you and made it through by faith.  The Army has a system called “Battle Buddies.” No one is ever to be alone in battle. You can’t even go to the bathroom alone. We need each other. I need your faith and you need mine.

I have a dear friend named Jim.  He is a Vietnam Veteran. He grew up in a Christian home and married a Christian girl. But when he came back from Vietnam, he was a different man – he had scars. His marriage fell apart. Later, he was injured at work and spent many days in the hospital in traction. His estranged wife was attending church and drove one hour every day to see him. A business acquaintance compelled him to attend a small local church called the “Church on the Way.” Soon God was working on his heart. While his wife was living with her parents, he slept on their couch for several weeks until their marriage was restored. Later he became a missionary. One day he was called to pastor a small Hispanic church of fifty people. In a short time, the church grew to 5,000. After the sudden death of the senior pastor, Jim was asked to become the Senior Pastor of The Church on the Way which now has 10,000 in weekly attendance.

You see, the faith of a soldier is great faith. And great faith will do great things.
• Great faith will heal marriages
• Great faith can save families
• Great faith can change communities
• Great faith can start revival


We will never know how critical one soldier’s actions were to save a nation. We may never know how critical our faith is to save our nation.  The military has a trauma system for mass casualties.
The lightly injured are called “minimal” because they don’t need immediate treatment.  The next level is “Delayed” – they need treatment but they can wait.  Then there is “Immediate” that have serious injuries but should survive if they get immediate treatment.  The final category is “Expectant” because the injuries are so severe that there is little hope.  There are many “Immediate” and “Expectants” in our world today. People who need Jesus right now! There is no other remedy. There is no other solution.

What hope is there for the murderer, the rapist, the child molester? Can therapy forgive them? Can prison take away their sins? NOT AT ALL? Can Mohammad or Buddha give them forgiveness? No. Can Congress help them? No. Only Jesus can.

All the programs in the world cannot take away the wounds of sin.
He was wounded for our wounds. He took our scars in His Hands.

WHO WILL BE IN HEAVEN? - There was great pride and prejudice against the Romans. Jesus said many people will take a seat at the feast with Abraham and others will be cast out – but people like this Centurion, people with great faith, will be there with Jesus. It doesn’t matter what color you are, what you have done, what church you go to, all that matters is that you have put all your faith in Jesus Christ by giving your WHOLE LIFE to Him.
“Having a Christian family is a wonderful blessing, but it won’t guarantee you eternal life. You must believe in and follow Christ.” Life Application Bible.  GREAT FAITH means “Here I am Lord. You have all of me because I trust You more than myself.”  Today is not about saying our country is perfect or even that our veterans are perfect people. But we do have a heritage of faith that is still seen in soldiers today. But the most important faith is not in America or even in our military, but in our Father in heaven.


Jesus said it was done has he believed. Sometimes our expectations are low. Don’t get me wrong – Jesus did not heal everyone, but he always healed to prove a point. And the point here is that FAITH MATTERS!   Let’s HAVE GREAT FAITH IN GOD FOR ANYTHING. The final outcome is up to Him, not us. But faith is the key to the ignition of miraculous power. Just like a soldier, stand up, raise your hand, and give your faith to Jesus Christ! Sign your life away – you won’t regret it!


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