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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20170528 NO GREATER LOVE

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Senior Pastor Phil Roland

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Pastor Ray Scott

 

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NO GREATER LOVE

SERMON STARTER

          This Memorial Day I have Two Stories of heroism from WWII:

A GRATEFUL SON’S RESPONSE

               World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to an aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific. One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to return to the carrier.
          Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet. As he was returning to the mothership, he saw something that turned his blood cold. A squadron of Japanese bombers were speeding their way toward the American fleet. The American fighters were gone on a sortie and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor, could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger.
          There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet. Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch weaved in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until finally all his ammunition was spent.
          Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying
to at least clip off a wing or tail, in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible and rendering them unfit to fly. He was desperate to do anything he could to keep them from reaching the American ships. Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.
          Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier. Upon arrival he reported in and

A GRATEFUL SON'S RESPONSE, cont., p. 2

 

related the event surrounding his return. The film from the camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had destroyed five enemy bombers. That was on February 20, 1942, and for that action he became the Navy's first Ace of WWII and the first Naval Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. A year later he was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of that heroic action die. And today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.
So the next time your in O'Hare visit his memorial with his statue and Medal of Honor.

It is located between terminal 1 and 2.

 

A FATHER'S GIFT

               Some years earlier there was a man in Chicago called Easy Eddie. At that time, Al Capone virtually owned the city. Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. His exploits were anything but  praiseworthy.  He was, however, notorious for enmeshing the city of Chicago in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.
          Easy Eddie was Capone's lawyer and for a good reason. He was very good! In fact, his skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time. To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big; Eddie got special dividends. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago city block.

Yes, Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.  Eddy did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddy saw to it that his young son had the best of everything; clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object. And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong.
A FATHER'S GIFT, cont., p.3

 

          Yes, Eddie tried to teach his son to rise above his own sordid life. He wanted him to be a better man than he was. Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things that Eddie couldn't give his son. Two things that Eddie sacrificed to the Capone mob that he could not pass on to his beloved son: a good name and a good example.
          One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision.  Offering his son a good name was far more important than all the riches he could lavish on him. He had to rectify all the wrong that he had done.  He would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Scar-face Al Capone. He would try to clean up his tarnished name and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this he must testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great.
          But more than anything, he wanted to be an example to his son. He wanted to do his best to make restoration and hopefully have a good name to leave his son.  So, he testified. Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago street. He had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer at the greatest price he would ever pay.
          I know what you're thinking. What do these two stories have to do with one another?

Well, you see, Butch O'Hare was Easy Eddie's son. . .

Image result for ILLUSTRATION, BUTCH O'HARE DIVING INTO JAPANESE BOMBERS

 

Memorial Day - May 28, 2017 -  Sheepfold Ministries

pastor Phil Roland

 

NO GREATER LOVE

JOHN 15:9-17

 

“Those who's love for country is stronger than death inspires and challenges us. Freedom has too many minimum commitment adherents who are ignorant of how many laid down their lives for it. Jesus said and demonstrated how to lay down your life for those you love. That's the core of Memorial Day and why we remember it."                             Pastor Phil  <><<

 

John 15:13 (NKJV)
13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

 

MEMORIAL - Any physical object that jolts the memory, and thus serves as a reminder of the past. 

 

SACRIFICE - FREEDOM ISN'T FREE. . .SOMEONE HAD TO PAY

 

We Remember. . .There is No Greater Love. . .

I. LAY DOWN THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY

   "Love is as strong as death"    Song of Songs 8:6

          A. Patriotism - Pure love of country and it's people

                    1. Stand up with the Flag passes

                    2. Thank our service personnel - "Thank you for your service"

          B. Those who lay down their lives for Freedom

                    1. Soldiers - Servicemen and women

                    2. They deny themselves for others

                    3. Deliberately put themselves into harm's way

          C. Those who lay down their lives daily to Keep Order

                    1. Police Officers face danger daily

                    2. Firemen go boldly into blazing infernos to save lives

 

We Remember. . .There is No Greater Love. . .

II.  LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE FOR YOUR COMRADES IN ARMS

13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.     John 15:13

          A. Butch O'Haire who saved thousands

                    1. Defended his fleet with everything he had

                    2. Fearless in the face of instant death

          B. Military concept, "No Man Left Behind"

                    1. Taps story

                        It all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain                     Robert Ellicombe  was  with  his  men  near  Harrison's  Landing  in                      Virginia.  The Confederate Army was on the other side of the         

NO GREATER LOVE, cont. p.2

 

                    narrow strip of land  During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the                     moan of a soldier who lay mortally wounded on the field. Not                               knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the captain                                         decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical                             attention.
                    Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the captain reached                       the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment.                      When the captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it                           was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.  The                     captain lit a lantern. Suddenly, he caught his breath and went numb                     with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was                        his own son.

                        The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke                               out. Without telling his father, he enlisted in the Confederate Army.                               The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of                              his superiors to give his son a full military burial despite his enemy                       status. His request was partially granted. The captain had asked if                              he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge                           for the son at the funeral. That request was turned down since the                            soldier was a Confederate. Out of respect for the father, they did                         say they could give him only one musician.
                    The captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of                               musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of his                          dead son's uniform. This wish was granted. This music was the                               haunting melody we now know as "Taps" that is used at all military                    funerals.
                    These are the word found written on the piece of paper along with                       the music.
                    Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lakes, From the hills,                            From the sky. All is well. Safely rest. God is nigh.

 

We Remember. . .There is No Greater Love. . .

III. LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE FOR YOUR ENEMIES

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Matthew 16:24

          A. Sgt. Rowland Kirkland story

              As wave after wave of blue-coated Yankees fell before Rebel rifles,                      then lay dying on this frozen battlefield, a 19-year-old's killer instinct                     deserted him.

              "All night and all day I have heard these poor people crying for                      water, and I can't stand it no longer,"  Sgt. Richard Rowland Kirkland                 said to Confederate Gen. Joseph B. Kershaw on Dec. 14, 1862. "I                      came to ask permission to go and give them water."

               With his commanding officer's consent, Sgt. Kirkland risked his life to           NO GREATER LOVE, cont. p.3

 

                offer wounded Union soldiers water and blankets as both armies   

                watched, guns silent, for nearly 11/2 hours.

                Gen. Kershaw on January 1880 he recounted the story for a                                Charleston newspaper. His account was so compelling that residents                  of Camden, S.C., dug up Sgt. Kirkland's body, moved it to their biggest                 cemetery and unveiled a large monument in 1910 to the man now k                    known as the "Angel of Marye's Heights" after the hillside that saw                    the worst of the battle.

               Sgt. Kirkland was killed almost 9 months later at the Battle of                        Chicamauga.

          B. Jesus laid down His life for us when we were his enemies

               8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we

            were still sinners, Christ died for us.    Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

          C. CAN WE DO LESS?

CLOSING:

Mansions of the Lord

(Eight Minute Clip)

http://worriersanonymous.org/ Share/Mansions.htm

 

 

Image result for ILLUSTRATION, BUTCH O'HARE DIVING INTO JAPANESE BOMBERS

          BUTCH O'HARE DOWNED FIVE ENEMY BOMBERS

America's First WWII Ace

 

NO GREATER LOVE

John 15:9-17 (NKJV)
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.