WOL Newsletter 149: The Big Red One
July 12, 2015
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Edited by Stacie Thomas
It’s always hard to do a sermon recap based on my notes only. And unfortunately for you, when Pastor Doss doesn’t preach- that’s typically what you’re stuck with. It makes me think though, as to whether or not I’m paying attention throughout, and if my notes are comprehensive enough for me to continue studying throughout the week. Sometimes, I get home and reread my notes that evening (with the greatest intention of starting this recap on Sunday evenings—it rarely happens—but I attempt) and can’t decipher what my abbreviations mean (I wish I knew shorthand), or how a Scripture was used, or what the gibberish I wrote even says… It’s disheartening when I have a hard time remembering what the notes mean, when the sermon was only a few short hours ago… And it makes me wonder if anyone else has this problem. It was the main reason I felt inspired to begin the newsletter. I felt like we needed prodding during the week to keep the sermon relevant and on the forefront of our minds.
It hit me during worship (as it often does) the magnitude of our God’s Love. The song “How Many Kings” (Downhere); more specifically the line: “How many gods have poured out their hearts- to romance a world that is torn all apart?” Maybe it’s because I truly feel that this world is torn apart. Christianity isn’t quite the world religion it used to be; and Christians aren’t quite the people they used to be. And isn’t that the purpose of the past months’ worth of sermons? When will we wake up? Our Lord Jesus gave up everything; everything to become a servant of ours; and then gave up His physical life for our salvation. That love is inexplicable; and incomprehensible to us. Our minds can’t wrap around this notion. We tend to think we’re special, that He chose us… completely ignoring He chose each of us; every single person on is this earth is why He gave it all up. And then we complain because all He wants in return is our love: for Him and for His people. (Matthew 22:37-39) And we fail miserably.

The Big Red One

We’re compared as soldiers, in the army for God. And if we’re going to be His army, we need to be the best. And in history, the best, most famous army is the 1st army infantry The Big Red One, a division in World War II (though formed in 1917), was known for liberating the areas it entered. It’s primary goal was not to fight, but to liberate. The point being, we are like The Big Red One. We are here to liberate God’s people; not fight them. Ephesians 6:11-12; 2 Corinthians 10:1-5. We don’t battle the flesh, we spiritually battle the enemy. We are God’s warriors in this spiritual fight. For examples of how to love God’s people this way, we can follow our Commander’s lead. Luke 4:16-21: we are to ‘preach the gospel, heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance to the captives, recover the sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised…’ [aren’t we all bruised?] {note: captives: (G164, aichmalotos) prisoner of war} Hasn’t God done that for us? By sending Jesus down to this world [torn all apart], hasn’t He preached to us the gospel, healed the brokenhearted…freed us from the bondage of sin? John 4:4-23: Jesus came to the woman at the well without reprimand or judgment of her sins; HE was encouraging and delivered His message. John 8:1-11: Jesus caught the adulteress in her sin, yet didn’t condemn her. He was the only one with the right to judge her and cast the stone, but He forgave her. John 5:4-14: Jesus healed the sick man and restored his hope. [I’d like to insert my Bible notes that “no matter how trapped you feel in your infirmities, God can minister to your deepest needs.”]
In all three of these references, Jesus liberated His people. His concern has always been to free His children. He didn’t condemn them (though it’s interesting to note that the people He did condemn were the church—because their legalism ruled over love). The people in this world don’t need to be condemned for their sins because the enemy has a hold on them. “We don’t have to tell them they’re wrong; we just have to introduce them to God, and then trust Him to liberate them from their sins.” (Elder Don Kinser) It’s our job, as Jesus’ warriors, not to condemn and hold captive His people, but to love others, and liberate them. Matthew 22:34-40: The whole law depends on these two commandments. God doesn’t want us to be mercenaries; He wants us to be merciful. He’s given each of us His mercy—why can’t we reciprocate?

It’s also interesting to note a few facts that Don (may or may not have—as my notes don’t detail the war history—pointed out): The Big Red One was also referred to as The Fighting First. Relevance: Jesus first fought for us; we must fight for others. (If we don’t, who will?) The motto was: “No Mission Too Difficult, No Sacrifice Too Great, Duty First”. Relevance: That was pretty much Jesus’ motto. And if we’re to be ‘like Christ’, shouldn’t it also be our motto?
The other logo for Big Red One: This angel with it's arms lifted towards heaven in Victory. Relevance: We have Jesus on our side, and in the end, we will all claim Victory. Why not lift your arms towards Him now, and help free His people from their bondage and hopelessness? You have the means, will you use it?

Don't forget: Vacation Bible School begins July 28-July 31 from 6:30-9:00pm each night.
With a Splash Park Celebration August 2 from 7-9pm!
We hope to see you there!

VBS will focus on Moses and the Exodus. Meet Moses as we walk through the Bible. Discover how he found the courage to lead the Israelite people from captivity to freedom. Experience what life was like as a slave of the Egyptians. Witness Moses as he stands before Pharaoh and demands, "Let my people go!" Learn about the plagues and why God sent them. And finally, join Moses and his people for the Great Escape.  

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