A member of our church posted a video on FB yesterday that I enjoyed watching. It was a speech given by Ronald Reagan about Memorial Day. It was a very moving video in a number of respects that should make any American grateful to be a citizen of this country. While I love this nation and our history, I am aware of two things: 1. Our nation is not perfect and we have many problems and godlessness is spreading like wildfire in our country; 2. God loves the people of all nations every bit as much as He loves people in America. That said, I still love this country and am thankful for the freedom we have and I am thankful for the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.
In the middle of his speech, President Reagan referred to a young man named Martin Treptow who volunteered to leave his job as a barber in 1917 to go to France as a part of The Rainbow Division. He ended up being killed as a soldier for this country carrying a message between two battalions under heavy artillery fire. There was a diary he had in his uniform. Under the fly leaf he wrote these words… “My pledge: America must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure. I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost as if the whole issue of the struggle depended on me alone.”
Reagan said, “We must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have.”
I admire that soldier and his words of commitment. And it caused me to think of how the love for freedom inspires a desire for people to be willing to sacrifice so much for it.
As Christians, we have the greatest news in the history of the world of freedom. In Jesus Christ all people can have freedom from the guilt and power of sin. All people can live with the freedom of the promise of eternal life when they die in the new heavens and new earth. And without that news, people will spend eternity separated from God.
Wouldn’t it be great if we had Treptow’s perspective that we will work, save and sacrifice and endure and do our utmost as if the whole issue of the struggle depended on us and on us alone. I know it does not – it all depends upon Jesus! But we should have that kind of commitment to spreading the message of freedom in the gospel of Jesus Christ.