I recently attended a special event honoring our military service men and women. There were a number of distinguished guests, a brass ensemble, bagpipes and sundry assortment of military pomp. It was a remarkable gathering, at times moving. Stories told of individuals who served their country well through racial turmoil (there was a Tuskegee airman present) and even loss of life (a young married airman killed in the Gulf). One of the speakers addressed the audience with bravado, reminding them of “a word that often follows military“: That word is service.
“But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” – 1 Samuel 12:24
I looked around the room and was touched to see the aging population present, remembering how they had so selflessly served their country well. They were committed to the cause. They were proud of their work. They were patriotic. They stood rigid, hand on chest, recognizing their fidelity to flag and country.
Yes, there was a mix of national bravado with Christian faith. One slide on the screen showed Christ on the cross against a bright sunset. But all was cause for me to stop and ponder, to consider the individuals before me. How do I serve? Disciples (and those who are serious about making disciples) should serve their Lord faithfully–as this verse suggests, “with all your heart.”
In years gone by I could reach out to my favorite airline and would be greeted on the phone with “Hello Mister Pape, how may I serve you?” There was nothing more affirming than to know that individual was there to help me out, to ensure my travel inquiry was accommodated and that I was, in the end, well served.
As I write this I reflect on how I am doing at service. As a Christ follower am I serving my wife well, my sons, my extended family, my colleagues, my boss? I want to be a disciple that serves faithfully, whole-heartedly.
By Don Pape, NavPress publisher.
Ready to learn more and disciple others, but not sure where to start? Here are great resources to get started: