Christians have the most important mission in the world.
- Assigned, not by man, but by the King of kings and Lord of lords... by God Himself.
- Our Commander has provided us with everything we need for victory of the battlefield at His own expense.
- He has promised us eternal life even if our mortal body is destroyed.
- He has promised to and is faithful to provide for our family in this life and beyond.
- Do other people have more money? Yes. Do others make fewer sacrifices? Yes. Do many never answer the call to service for something bigger than themselves? Yes. But you and I are called to be bondservants. To give up our freedoms in order to be a soldier in an all-volunteer army.
Next: "Open their eyes..." Mission » Illumination
- "...I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me." (Acts 26:17-18 NKJV)
- "You are the light of the world." (Matthew 5:14a NKJV)
- "You are the salt of the earth..." (Matthew 5:13a NKJV)
- He sent them to preach the kingdom of God... (Luke 9:2 NKJV)
- Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation... (2 Corinthians 5:18-20 NKJV)
- When a new recruit enters the military, the focus is on the individual. What do they want? Money, education, travel, adventure, security, opportunity? When do they want it? Right after school, or six months later? How long do you want to serve your country: 2, 4, or 6 years? Do they want to be a full-time soldier, or just part-time? Do they want a military job that they could never experience in civilian life, or a civilian-type job in a uniform? The choices can seem endless.
- As that recruit enters basic training, the focus changes to becoming a member of the team. "Me" is turned upside-down and transformed into "We". The recent US Army slogan of "An Army of One" takes on a completely new meaning, one often unforeseen by the recruit. As the recruit learns new skills, adapts to and overcomes new challenges, and conforms to military values and norms, they eventually earn the title... soldier.
- After additional advanced training, the new
soldier arrives at their first duty station. From the moment they report
for duty to the day they leave the service their life is defined by one word: mission.
- Don't get me wrong, there are many distractions and diversions. And plenty of free-time off-duty, and a good bit of down-time when on-duty... even when that means a 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week schedule.
- There are times that "the men are the mission". Rest and Recreation(R&R) is absolutely essential to maintaining combat readiness. Additional schooling, both professional and personal, is an investment in the individual soldier that benefits both the person and the institution.
- And most importantly: time to spend with and take care of the family. A soldier with their mind consumed by worries about their family is practically useless, and a lethal liability on the battlefield.
- But ALL of the above revolves around readiness and deployments to accomplish the mission. So the army leadership ensures the soldier prepares their family before the unit's deployment, promises the soldier the family will be provided for in their absence, and comforts the family with the knowledge that their loved-one is the best-trained, best-equipped soldier ever sent into harm's way.
- Every grueling hour spent in training, and every boring hour spent maintaining equipment and organizing supplies, is focused on the assigned mission. Returning the soldier to their family after the battle is a primary concern, but also secondary to victory regardless of the cost.
- Do soldiers in battle think about all that, all the time? No, of course not. They just do their duty the best they can, and try not to let their teammates down. None want to die, all want to go home. But... above all else... no one wants to get their buddy killed. Not by mistake, by accident, or by negligence. Sacrifices may be made, casualties in the face of the enemy are simply a fact-of-life. But not because of stupidity, please. And most would sacrifice themselves to save the life of another.
- Many that answer the call to Christian service, never get past the idea that the world doesn't revolve around themselves: their dreams, their goals, their desires, their felt-needs. A few grasp the concept that everything we do reflects upon and affects the team: the family, the church, and Jesus Christ. If an employee of a big corporation kills someone, the employer usually isn't mentioned in the news headlines. But if a soldier commits the crime, the headlines read: "Local Soldier Kills Wife! Army Training Faulted!". The same with Christianity. Fewer still put the mission ahead of personal and family gain, or even convenience. And it its extraordinary to find one willing to die so that others may live.
- Since you're still reading, I'll assume you're one of the latter. Bottom-line, we have one overall mission: Discipleship, e.g., make disciples among all peoples in the image of Jesus Christ.
In order to accomplish that overall mission in one life, several others must be accomplished simultaneously within the Church body:
|Illumination||Ministry & Worship|
|Salvation||Evangelism & Revival|
|Sanctification||Preaching & Practicing|
Next: "Open their eyes..." Mission » Illumination