Sunday May 25th, 2014
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10).
As a nation, we did not get our freedom automatically, and we do not keep it automatically. Someone had to fight for our freedom and someone has to maintain our freedom. When soldiers go to war, they are not just doing a job, they are defending our freedom. When soldiers fight to defend our freedom, they are showing devotion to our country.
Devotion is being loving, faithful, and loyal toward someone or something. Soldiers must have the highest loyalty to our nation and their fellow soldiers. If they do not, if they refuse to do their duty or neglect to protect their fellow soldiers, their lack of devotion can cause disaster to their fellow soldiers. When a soldier faces enemy fire, he wants to know that the soldiers around him are going to back him up just as he is going to back them up. A battlefield without soldiers devoted to one another is a disaster. Our nation won its independence and keeps it because soldiers were and are devoted to each other and devoted to the cause of freedom. When the opportunity arises, whether on a holiday like Memorial Day or Veterans Day, or at any time that you meet a veteran, take a moment to express gratitude for their devotion and sacrifice. American freedoms are a reality because someone was willing to defend us. Don't forget.
Those who are followers of Christ can learn a lesson from soldiers serving their country. As followers of Christ, we are called to show devotion for other believers just as soldiers act loyally on the battlefield. Our battlefield is life. If we desert our fellow believers or turn our weapons against them – if we do not act with kindness toward others or if we strike out in anger or start to gossip – then we are not being loyal to our fellow “soldiers.” Romans 12:10 challenges us to be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Just as soldiers must be committed to each other, we must remain loyal and treat each other with honor and respect rather than with anger and disregard. We need to be devoted to each other so that we can serve each other to the best of our ability.
Not only should we be devoted to other believers, our highest devotion must be to our Lord and Savior. Colossians 3:1-2 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Christ must be our focus, our life, our all. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.” Colossians 3:4 reminds us that Christ is our life. We must be loving, faithful, and loyal to our Savior, for only when we are devoted to him are we going to truly live, truly love, truly find purpose and joy for our lives. Be devoted to Christ and to his followers.