Monday, February 20, 2012

If You Aint Got Love, You Aint Got Nothin!

A hero is most often described as a person who in the face of grave danger unselfishly and without regard for their own personal welfare, risks their own life to help save the life or lives of others. Michael A. Monsoor was a Navy SEAL who is such a hero.

Monsoor became a SEAL on September 2, 2004. In April 2006, he was sent to Ramadi, Iraq to help train Iraqi soldiers to fight in the War on Terror. Ramadi was described by former President Bush as a place where the fighting was most fierce. Yet even though Monsoor was scheduled to be going home, he volunteered to stay and continue to fight.

On September 29, 2006, Monsoor and his team were engaged in heavy combat. He and several other SEAL and Iraqi soldiers took a roof-top position. He was a heavy machine gunner and he positioned himself between two snipers. From out of nowhere a grenade was thrown and it hit Monsoor in the chest. Instead of taking cover behind a nearby brick wall and saving his own life, he yelled “Grenade!” to warn his teammates and then leaped on top of it smothering it with his own body. He died thirty minutes later but saved the lives of his fellow soldiers.

Monsoor won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his valor. He is described as a man who had faith in God. Master at Arms Second Class (SEAL), Michael A. Monsoor, was true to his identity as a Navy SEAL.

Although many in Jesus day tried hard to persuade him to be someone he wasn’t, Jesus was also true to his identity as the one and only Son of God-God incarnate or God in the flesh. Yet being God didn’t diminish him from being a man. He was and still is the Godman; one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man. The apostle Paul says he is “the fullness of God in a human body,” (Colossians 2:9).

The apostle Paul lived as a Pharisee until he saw a “blinding light” and the risen Lord revealed himself to him while Paul was traveling on the road to Damascus. Paul was then given the task of telling others that they have an “identity crisis” and that their true identity is in Christ Jesus. He told the Colossians, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God,” (Colossians 3:3).

A couple of years ago, I came to see that I had been worshiping an anemic Jesus; one who had shed a lot of blood and made that long journey from earth to heaven and in the process had grown a little tired and had become frail.  Because I was worshiping an anemic Jesus, I thought I needed to help him out and work tirelessly to “help him save me.”  I was having an “identity crisis.” I didn’t know the “real Jesus,” the one that Paul told the Colossians about and because I didn’t know the “real Jesus,” I didn’t live in the reality of who I am in Christ. I didn’t understand that the Christ who “lived in me,” (Galatians 2:20), was the all-Powerful all Mighty God himself. He was and is the God who knows who he is and always was and is faithful to who he is and the fact that he now lives in me by the Holy Spirit, does not change who he is.

When Jesus commanded his disciples to “Love each other as I have loved you,” (John 15:12, 17), it seemed like an impossible thing to ask, especially when we consider that Jesus lived a life of selfless surrender. I believe what Jesus was saying, was to trust in his faithfulness to be who he is-love (1 John 4:16), and then live in the identity of who you really are in Christ.

The soldiers who were with Monsoor the day he displayed great courage trusted in his faithfulness to be true to his identity as a Navy SEAL and he did not disappoint them.

Upon graduation from SEAL training both officers and enlisted personnel receive a gold badge that’s called a trident. Because they are brothers in training and on the battlefield, they receive the same insignia. On the day of Monsoor’s funeral almost every SEAL on the west coast turned up. Each SEAL took the gold trident from his uniform and tapped it into Monsoor’s casket as they passed by to pay their final respects.

Jesus didn’t receive any gold badge when he was killed. His insignia is his wounds of love that he bore in his flesh on our behalf! He was content with that. All he asks is that we trust in his faithfulness to continue to do what he has done throughout eternity-love! 

Listen to sermon here:

Sources: You Tube Videos: Mike Monsoor Medal of Honor by eliotness76; Medal of Honor Story by gopconvention 2008; Marcus Lutrell on Michael Monsoor’s Medal of Honor by unclejimbomadcity; Michael Monsoor-American Hero-On Huckabee by timandanita; Zuster Michael Monsoor by kruisvaarder1683; Rare Mikey Monsoor memorial footage by SEALbrotherhood. The Holy Bible. Incarnation, The Person and Life of Christ, Thomas F. Torrance.

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