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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Quiet Time: Act of Valor

Act of Valor

Read: Psalm 60:9-12

Through God we shall do valiantly,
And it is He who will tread down our adversaries. – Psalm 60:12

My son and I recently viewed the movie “Act of Valor”. I usually watch these types of movies in the privacy of my home because they have a tendency to touch my heart deeply. Our men and women in the armed forces sacrifice so much. There’s a line in the movie where the soldiers are crossing a river, the narrator says, "You live your life by a code, it's your shore line - it's what guides you home. And trust me; you're always trying to get home." The code of honor, among other things, is what kept the SEALS going when the going got tough.

The soldiers in bible may not have had a true code. They were not fighting for freedom. They often fought for whatever they could get out it. But, they were still respected for their ability to suffer hardship and follow orders without question.

We’ve all read the bible passages where soldiers treated Christ with contempt. They were corrupt (Matthew 28:12; Luke 3:14) cruel and sadistic (Luke 23:11-36; John 19:2).

But there were good men who were soldiers too. Like Cornelius the centurion, who feared God, gave from his heart, and was a man of constant prayer. So much so, that God actually sent an angel to talk to him so that he and his family would hear the Good News of Jesus from Peter himself and be saved (Acts 10:1-7). Or, how about the soldier who stopped Paul from be beaten to death by the mob (Acts 21:31-33). Then there was the centurion who kept the soldiers from murdering Paul and the other prisoners during the ship wreck incident (Acts 27:41-43).

By the time letters are being written to the newly formed churches located from Jerusalem to Rome, soldiers were being used as examples for Christian conduct (1 Corinthians 9:7; Philippians 2:25; 2 Timothy 2:3-4; Philemon 1:2).

My point is this. I know we’re about to celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. PRAISE GOD! But while we’re celebrating His sacrifice and victory, I don't think that He'd mind if we lift up a prayer for those who are sacrificing today for tomorrow’s victory over evil and injustice.

It wouldn't hurt either to shake a soldier’s hand, especially if he or she attends your church tomorrow. Better yet, take the time to write a “Thank You” note and slip it into his or her hand at the end of the service.

Who knows, you may be the only act of kindness he’s received for his act of valor.

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