Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What Would You Die For?

Our military are trained for one thing and one thing only -- protect our nation from all dangers. Often that means mortal combat and soldiers will lose their lives. Our fallen combatants understood they might have to offer their lives, and still they went into battle.

The first responders of this nation are often called upon to put themselves in harms way -- knowing they may have to pay the ultimate price for their service. Still, they enter burning buildings, speed down highways enroute to disasters, and brave hazardous conditions to rescue strangers.

Our police officers carry firearms as a standard part of their uniform. They know that at any moment, with any traffic stop, with any domestic disturbance call, they may be called on to use deadly force to serve and protect. Officers willing to use deadly force understand they, too, are in danger and may be called upon to offer their lives.

First-century Christians worshipped Christ -- often at the risk of their own lives. They devised an elaborate system to stay under the radar of the Roman government. They knew Rome wanted to exterminate the Christian faith, and the only way to accomplish this was the annihilation of its believers. The choice was to deny Christ or face death. They followed Christ.

Our military, the first responders, our police officers, and first-century Christians all belong to a community that understands men who are called upon to offer their lives need to be surrounded by men who encourage, support, and are willing to make ultimate sacrifices themselves. A band of brothers -- united together and all called upon equally to offer the same sacrifices -- help each other face the future with bravery.

Many of us in North America do not know what it means to face the threat of death in our job or our faith life. Most of our occupations do not place us in mortal danger, nor do we face death to worship, pray, and witness openly to Christ.

Do we take advantage of this freedom? Do we share Christ? Do our lives witness to our words? We may not be called upon to die for our faith, but are we willing to suffer some embarrassment or ridicule to share our faith? Are we willing to risk being made fun of as we pray in restaurants, thanking God for His blessings, or share words of witness with another? Are we willing to stand apart from the world around us and speak against injustice, immorality, and sin? I confess I miss opportunities.

I need encouragement from my brothers in the faith who will strengthen me with their resolve, support me in my trials, and willingly stand with me in a common fight. How about you?


The Layman said...

I have often wondered where one might find a good Bible study on God's part in this world's wars. We send our recruiters into the high schools to find our adventurous youth. They arrive at a military base but as far as I know our Armed forces do not bring religion into the battle so as to not offend some one. I am not faulting our military trainers, but it seems this might be a great service that the LCMS could enlighten our soldiers with....before they stick their heads out of the foxholes, and it seems only fair that they have studied the religious needs for a war before they raise their hands and say, 'I will."

Anonymous said...

I am stretched thin at home, church, work, and elsewhere, but am willing to do my part one small step at a time. Please keep this network going to encourage me in my small roles.

Rich said...

I encourage you - too often we men beat ourselves up because we are not the Superman we want to be. We must take the time to know that the little thngs we do - talking to the wife and kids, doing our best at work, refusing to give back evil when we are wronged, standing on the high moral ground, keeping our word, accepting responsibility, and trusting in the Lord - often add up as major differences in the life styles of those that watch us. We fail, yes. We can do better, yes. We trust God and His promises, yes. We strive to do the good that we would and confess we often to the evil we would not. But we have a Savior!

Keep on keeping on - I pray for you - my brother.

Rand said...

I feel it to be an honor to die for the truth.

Years back, it was the thing to do to go to church... today, it is not so popular.

Real Faith = Real Christians... even when it is not hip.

agedwirehead said...

I faced this back in 1970. Was I willing give my life for a country that seemed not to value any sacrifice? I was one of the very last men drafted. Opportunities to fail to serve beckoned all around me.

The answer came to me as this: It does not matter what your neighbors think. What matters is that you do the right thing.

I was not responsible for determining the direction of the country. I was responsible for defending the Constitution of the United States. My responsibility came not from an oath, but because I honored the sacrifices made on my behalf to live as a free man--which is guaranteed to me by the Constitution.

What is a man worth if he does not honor that which others have done for him?

Jesus Christ has done the utmost for me. How can I not honor his sacrifice?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your service - you served at a time when it was neither popular or appreciated - I just want to say - "Thank You"

God bless you