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Today, we honor all veterans, and especially those who are with us this morning.  

You see before you two flags. The American Flag, and the Christian Flag. One represents our country, and the other represents our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. To serve either of these flags, and the kingdoms they represent, faithfully and effectively, you must meet certain requirements. Therefore, before you can become a veteran, you must first be a good soldier.

Webster’s Dictionary defines a veteran as a person who has served in a military force, or one who is experienced through long service or practice.

Let’s look at what is required to be a good soldier and thus become a true veteran of the Lord.

To serve either flag you must do so voluntarily. America no longer requires men and women to serve in the military. They are asked to volunteer to serve. Recruitment officers are sent out to encourage people to volunteer to serve in the military.

God does not force anyone to serve in His Kingdom, but He does plead with us to volunteer and come to salvation through Christ our Lord. He also sends out “recruitment officers” to urge people to serve in His Army.

Complete Faith

When you serve the American flag, you must have faith in the American government. Faith that it will supply your every need. Your food, clothing, shelter, medical needs…heck, even the company you keep are supplied by your government.

When you serve the Christian flag, you must also have faith in the one who has called you into His service; that He will supply your every need. You will not have to worry about your physical needs when you serve Christ. Christ will even provide godly company for you to keep.

When it comes to faith, the Lord wants us to be true veterans; “experienced through long service and practice.”

Complete Commitment

When you serve the American flag, you are expected to be completely committed to your country and to allow nothing to prevent you from performing your duties and serving faithfully.

When you serve the Christian flag, you are also expected to be completely committed to Christ and His Kingdom. You are expected to serve Him faithfully, not allowing anything to keep you from doing His will.

Commitment requires discipline.

I am reminded of a story…Several years ago, in England, Sir John Elliott Gardner was conducting a renowned symphony orchestra made up of 85 of the most accomplished and disciplined musicians in the world, all playing before a "standing room only" audience. The concert hall is used for cultural events on weekdays and for church services on Sundays. On this particular Saturday evening, one of the patrons of the orchestra noticed that his pastor was in the audience. He leaned over and said to him, sarcastically, "When are you going to fill this hall on Sunday the way Sir John has tonight?" His pastor looked him straight in the eye and said with a steady voice, "I will fill this hall on Sunday morning when you give to me, as you gave to Sir John tonight, eighty-five disciplined men and women to be with me and to work with me."

Complete Obedience

When you serve the American flag, you are required to follow orders and are expected to be obedient to the letter.

When you serve the Christian flag, Christ expects and requires no less.

It is written in John 14, “Whoever has my commands and keeps them, is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too, will love them and show myself to them.”

John Newton, the writer of "Amazing Grace" said: "… if two angels in heaven were given assignments by God at the same time, one of them to go and rule over the greatest nation on earth and the other to go sweep the streets of the dirtiest village, each angel would be completely indifferent as to which one got which assignment.

It simply wouldn’t matter to them. Why? Because the real joy lies in being obedient to God.

For a Christ follower, the important thing isn’t what God has us doing; the important thing is that we’re doing what God wants us to do."

Complete Devotion

When you serve the American flag, you are expected to be completely devoted to the country it represents.

When you serve the Christian flag, Christ expects you to be completely devoted to Him and His Kingdom.

Webster’s Dictionary defines devotion as earnest attachment to a cause, a person, or a profound dedication, especially to religion.

To be a true spiritual veteran, you must be completely devoted to the service of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, to become true veterans of the cross, we must first be good soldiers of the cross.

May the Lord, on this Veteran’s Day, make us all true Spiritual Veterans.