SERMON DATE AND TITLE:20120527: "No Greater Love"

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A memorial is something that STIRS the MEMORY!
          An 80-year-old man went to the doctor for his annual check-up. The doctor gave him a good bill of health.   Then, he asked him if he exercised to keep in shape The man replied that he played a little golf.
The doctor told him to keep it up, and come back in a year. The man asked,
"Doc, will you do me a favor?  I need you to do something about ny vision, I'm not seeing too well these days!"
The doctor replied,
"Sorry, friend, there's not much I can do, because of your age.”
The patient begged,
"Doc! You've gotta do something! I LOVE to play golf! I can't give it up just because I can't see the ball!"
The doctor thought a minute. . .
"Well, maybe I CAN help you, after all!
I have a patient who is 82 years old, who has perfect vision! Maybe between the two of you, you can work something out!
So, the 80 year old man agreed, and the doctor called the older fellow with the good eye sight.
          The two men got together, and agreed to play a strange game of golf together with one being the golfer, and the other the eyes. The 80 year old struck the first ball, and asked the older fellow:
“Did you see it?  Can you see the ball?”
To which the older fellow replied:
“Yes, I see it!  That was great!”
“Well, where is it?  Where did it land?”

All of us have experienced problems with memory!
You are talking with a friend, and suddenly, embarrassingly, you forget what you are saying!
          Three older ladies were discussing the travails of getting older.  One said,
"Sometimes I catch myself with a jar of mayonnaise in my hand in front of the refrigerator and can't remember whether I need to put it away, or start making a sandwich."
The second lady chimed in,
"Yes, sometimes I find myself on the landing  of the stairs and can't remember whether I was on my way up or on my  way down."
The third one responded,
" Well, I'm glad I don't have that problem; knock on wood," as she rapped her knuckles on the table, then told them,
"That must be the door, I'll get it!"

         Forgetfulness is not always the case. Sometimes we are forgetful because we neglect in our conscious memory the Price many have paid so we call live Free and breathe the air of Freedom. Every Memorial Day we have an annual reminder to remember and give respect to those who have shown us that there is no greater love than to lay down our lives for our friends.

         The brave men and women of the past have paid the ultimate Price of Freedom. Today, as in all days we remember them and honor them with grateful hearts.


Pastor Phil  <><<

Memorial Day weekend - May 27, 2012

Pastor Phil Roland - Sheepfold Ministries



Real Love Involves Sacrifice

JOHN 15:9-17
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."

MEMORIAL DAY - A day of remembrance of those living and dead, who have sacrificed and denied themselves that we might enjoy the fruits of peace and freedom. They are our Christian Memorials.                       Pastor Phil

Memorial Day was begun by Presidential Proclamation, May 30, 1868, and was set aside to decorate the graves of the Confederate dead.  “A Memorial is something that preserves remembrance, and brings to mind an event or a person.  It is a boost to the memory.”

"As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love."
A. Abiding in His love - Galatians 2:20
          I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives
             in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of
             God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
                        1. You Die to Self to Receive His Love
                    2. Give up Pride, Stubborn Willfulness
                    3. Give up Secret, Hidden Sin
          B. Pursuing and Finding God's Love - Jeremiah 29:11
          "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts                   of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
1. Seeking His Love is the Primary Goal for believers
                    "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all                              your heart."
2. Find and Receive Jesus' Love for you - Matt. 6:33
                        "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all
                         these things shall be added to you."
          C. Inner Desire of all Believers is to find the Place of His Love
              Romans 5:6-8
            "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the                        ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a
             good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His
             own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
                        1. We are unworthy of His Love, but He still loves us
                        2. Find the Place of His Abiding
                    3. The Presence of Jesus
                    4. Anointing - The Place where Jesus is
                    5.. The Place of His Approval


NO GREATER LOVE, cont., p.2

"These things I have spoken to you, that My Joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."
          A. Oswald Chambers - "Total surrender is when you give up your                        right to yourself."
     1. J.B. Phillips says, Total Surrender involves Self-Abandonment
     “If anyone wants to follow in My footsteps, he must give up all right to
      himself, take up his cross and follow Me.”      Mark 8:34
2. Selfishness is not an option for those who surrender to Jesus
               3. Willfulness is not an option for true believers
               4. After surrendering it is always "His Way" - John 14:6
                  "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes
                   to the Father except through Me."
          B. There is Joy and Purpose in laying down your life for others
               1. Sacrifice - To give something valuable, to die for others or God
     2. There is Joy in surrendering yourself to God
               3. There is Joy in surrendering yourself to Others
          C. God's Joy is in His Gifts (Much like an Earthly Father)
               1. GREEK - CHAR-IS-MA-TA - God's Spiritual Gifts
               2. CHAR-IS-MA - God's Gift of Grace, Unearned Favor
               3. CHARIS - That which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness,                       charm, loveliness,
               4. God desires His Joy to be in us, it comes thru His Love
"These things I command you, that you love one another."
A. Service men and women know all about the sharing of God's Love
               1. Can they love one another with God's Love w/o knowing Him?
               2. Absolutely, when service persons lay down their lives for one                         another they are demonstrating God's Awesome Love
                  "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves
                    another has fulfilled the law."              Romans 13:8
B. Can we learn from their sacrifice?  - 1 John 4:7
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who
              loves is born of God and knows God."
1. Service personnel demonstrate Christ's Love on the Cross
                2. The Cross of Christ is the greatest picture of sacrifice
                3. Jesus showed us how to lay down our lives for one another
          C. Have you personalized His Love in your heart?

John 15:9-17
9 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
17 These things I command you, that you love one another.



Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”


Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share.
Ned Dolan
The enemy is behind us. The enemy is in front of us. The enemy is to the right and the left of us. They can't get away this time. General Douglas MacArthur

In command of Ranger in 1777 and 1778, he operated in British home waters and made audacious raids on England’s shore. In recognition of his exploits, he was placed in command of five French and American vessels. Aboard his flagship, the Bonhomme Richard, Jones led his small squadron in the capture of seven merchantmen off of the Scottish coast. On September 23, 1779, Jones fought one of the bloodiest engagements in naval history. Jones struggled with the 44-gun Royal Navy frigate Serapis, and although his own vessel was burning and sinking, Jones would not accept the British demand for surrender, replying,
“I have not yet begun to fight.”
More than three hours later, Serapis surrendered and Jones took command.


Famous Christian Martyrs
Biblical Martyrs











In the later years of his life, the great 19th century American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson suffered from an increasingly faulty memory. When things would slip his mind, he complained of his "naughty memory," as he called it. Sometimes Emerson would forget the names of different objects. In order to speak of them, he would refer to them in a round-about way. For instance, when he could not think of the word "plow," he would call it "the implement that cultivates the soil." More important was the fact that he could not remember the names of people who were quite familiar to him. At the funeral of his friend, the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Emerson commented to another person, "That gentleman has a sweet, beautiful soul, but I have entirely forgotten his name."

The loss of memory is a sad thing. It cuts us off from days gone by. It strips away the treasured residue of past experience. It erases our personal history and leaves us unaccountably blank pages. Certainly it is unfortunate, inconvenient and at times embarrassing not to remember. Yet without a doubt, for some people the failure of memory is largely unavoidable.


My purpose is not to be an advocate for a renewed practice of Memorial Day. This holiday is not expressly religious. It is secular. Nevertheless, it can serve to promote a value that is elevated throughout the Scriptures, that value being the importance of remembrance. You see, a failure of memory is not just something which leads to personal inconvenience or social embarrassment. It is a spiritual danger. A failure of memory in those things which are most significant results in a failure of faith. Forgetfulness erodes the foundation of our relationship with God.

On August 17, 1961, the East German communists erected the infamous Berlin Wall.  The tension within West Berlin became unbearable.  The communists tried to shut off the Western sector from its food and supplies.  One day the East Berliners took a truckload of garbage and dumped it on the west side of the wall.
          The people of West Berlin could have retaliated with more garbage of the same sort.  Instead, they took a truckload of canned goods, bread and milk. . .and neatly stacked it on the East side of The Wall.  On top of the stack of good food they placed a sign:
The Berlin Wall became an infamous memorial to Communist oppression.  It served as a reminder. . .
The brave men and women, who paid the full price for our freedom and to make this world better and safer, gave what they had. Their last, full measure of devotion was paid in their own blood. May we never forget them. May they always be honored for their sacrifice.

Memorial Day Sonnet

If Liberty means anything to me,
I will remember what my freedom cost,
By those who gave their all to keep me free,
Whose lives were sacrificed, but never lost.
I will remind myself of what they did,
And keep them dearly cherished in my heart;
Their honor never from me shall be hid
And I will know they always did their part
To save our nation and its people here,
To pledge their lives in defense of our ways,
To show that freedom always outlives fear,
And sacrifice is hallowed all our days.
If Liberty means anything to me,
I will remember those who kept me free.

John Stuart 2008
Pastor at Erin Presbyterian Church,
Knoxville, Tennessee

Over 1.1 million men and women have died to guarantee our freedom as Americans.  They gave their all so that we might enjoy the blessings of this great land.  Today, we honor their memory and sacrifice.  Thank God for every one of them. We will never forget them.





"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."

Stephen was preaching the gospel in Jerusalem on the Passover after Christ’s crucifixion. He was cast out of the city and stoned to death. About 2,000 Christians suffered martyrdom during this time (about 34 A.D.).

James, the son of Zebedee and the elder brother of John, was killed when Herod Agrippa arrived as governor of Judea. Many early disciples were martyred under Agrippa’s rule, including Timon and Parmenas (about 44 A.D.).

Philip, a disciple from Bethsaida, in Galilee, suffered martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Phrygia. He was scourged, thrown into prison, and afterwards crucified (about 54 A.D.).

Matthew, the tax-collector from Nazareth who wrote a gospel in Hebrew, was preaching in Ethiopia when he suffered martyrdom by the sword (about 60 A.D.).

James, the Brother of Jesus, administered the early church in Jerusalem and was the author of a book in the Bible. At the age of 94 he was beat and stoned, and finally had his brains bashed out with a fuller's club.

Matthias was the apostle who filled the vacant place of Judas. He was stoned at Jerusalem and then beheaded.

Andrew, the brother of Peter, preached the gospel throughout Asia. On his arrival at Edessa, he was arrested and crucified on a cross, two ends of which were fixed transversely in the ground (thus the term, St. Andrew's Cross).

Mark was converted to Christianity by Peter, and then transcribed Peter’s account of Jesus in his Gospel. Mark was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandria in front of Serapis, their pagan idol.

Peter was condemned to death and crucified at Rome. Jerome holds that Peter was crucified upside down, at his own request, because he said he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord.

Paul suffered in the first persecution under Nero. Because of the converting impact he was having on people in the face of martyrdom, he was led to a private place outside the city where he gave his neck to the sword.


Jude, the brother of James, was commonly called Thaddeus. He was crucified at Edessa in about 72 A.D.

Bartholomew translated the Gospel of Matthew in India. He was cruelly beaten and crucified by idolaters there.

Thomas, called Didymus, preached in Parthia and India. He was thrust through with a spear by pagan priests.

Luke was the author of the Gospel under his name. He traveled with Paul through various countries and was supposedly hanged on an olive tree by idolatrous priests in Greece.

Barnabas, of Cyprus, was killed without many known facts about 73 A.D. Simon, surnamed Zelotes, preached in Africa and Britain, where he was crucified in about 74 A.D.

John, the "beloved disciple," was the brother of James. Although he suffered great persecution, including imprisonment where he wrote the book of Revelation, he was the only apostle who escaped a violent death.