Read: 1 Peter 1:18-20
On Monday morning, I was watching the Veterans Day Ceremony from Arlington National Cemetery. I love it that time is set aside to honor the men and women who have sacrificed so much to keep us free. Thank you seems to be a small thing to say when I consider the fact that I am able to share God's love without fear because of the bravery of so many generations of veterans. Even so, I don't want to go any farther without saying it. Your service is appreciated.
Back to the ceremony. Vice President Pence was giving the keynote address. He spoke about Medal of Honor recipient, Kyle Carpenter. Vice President Pence told about this heroic man's bravery and the many surgeries he has undergone, as a result of the injuries he sustained while serving his country. Then came the story that has stayed with me all week. On one occasion, an Uber driver thanked Kyle Carpenter for his service. That was when the Medal of Honor recipient responded with words that surprised even him. He said, "You're worth it." Only three little words, but I can't help but think that hearing them from Kyle Carpenter was a gift to that driver. At least, I can say for certain that those beautiful words would have been a special present to me.
As I thought about those three little words, I was reminded that through His life, death and resurrection, Jesus said those same words to each of us. I thought about the many veterans we have here in Hot Springs. How I would love it if each one could understand that Jesus wants them to know, "You're worth it." Let's take a quick journey through Jesus' experiences to be reminded of what He endured and how His life rang with the truth of those three little words.
1. He left a place of honor, joy, complete love, perfection and riches and came to earth to say "You're worth it." 2 Corinthians 8:9; John 17:6; John 14:6.
2. He experienced all of the pain and limitations we deal with to say, "You're worth it." Hebrews 4:15; Philippians 2:6-7.
3. He experienced rejection rather than honor, from the ones He came to serve and save to say, "You're worth it." John 1:11-12; Luke 4:14-26.
4. He endured mocking, as well as demeaning treatment to say, “You're worth it.” Matthew 26:67-68
5. Even while He was on the cross, He reached out in love to His enemies to say, “You're worth it." He held out forgiveness to them, Luke 23:34.
6. He rose victoriously from the grave as a reminder that He had the power to say, You're worth it." John 10:17-18.
There are so many other examples from the scriptures, but let's end with one amazing fact about all that God has done to show us how much He values us. All of His actions are part of a plan that He had before He even created the earth, 1 Peter 1:18-20. Nothing He has done was done haphazardly like someone randomly throwing darts with the hope of hitting the target. No, He wants to remind you or tell you for the first time that He came to earth, lived, died and rose again for you because, "You're worth it".
Father, Thank You for the veterans who live here. Please meet each one at his or her point of need, reminding them that in Your eyes, "They're worth it".