“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?”–Proverbs 27:23-24
In his farewell speech at West Point, General Douglas MacArthur praised the courage and willingness to sacrifice of the American soldier: “His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. He needs no eulogy from me, or from any other man. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements.
“In twenty campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people. From one end of the world to the other, he has drained deep the chalice of courage. I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, Country.”
The freedom we enjoy as Americans was purchased at great cost—but it is not a once-for-all purchase. The price must continue to be paid if the freedom is to continue. The same is true in the spiritual realm. Jude said we must “Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3). The faith has been delivered, but we must still be willing to stand and fight for it. Let it never be said that we allowed the flame of faith to go out.—-
As we thank God for the freedom we enjoy and remember its cost, let us commit to stand in our day and do our part to maintain it.–Dr. Paul Chappell