Leave a Message at the Beep?

Today I was thinking back to a time when I tearfully watched on as a police officer was laid to rest.  He was shot and killed while protecting the streets of a city where oftentimes you’re not even sure who is friend and who is foe.  There is so much to learn from these men and women who lay down their lives for others.  These men and women do not need to hang together every day to be called brothers.  If there is a call of, “Officer down”, nothing will stand between these dedicated officers and their obligation to protect and help their fellow officer.  The moment they put on the uniform they recognize one very important fact.  They are called!  They are not always popular.  They are called!  They watch each other’s back.  They are called!  They stand and fight alongside one another against evil.  They are called!  If need be they will die doing so.  They are called!  They are family.  They are called! They are unappreciated, misunderstood and oftentimes badmouthed.  They are called!  They get weary, frustrated, stressed-out and hurt.  They are called!  I’ve noticed that when there is danger and everyone else is running away they are the ones running into the battle zone and putting their lives on the line for others. Why?  They are called!

Hebrews 13:7  “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you.  Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”   I am reminded today of a southern Pastor who thankfully answered the call of God in his life and went forth into the battle zone to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.   I remember the words of this Mississippi man as he so passionately shared the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  I am thankful for the word of God that he spoke, but more than that I am grateful that the evidence of the impact of Jesus in his life far outweighed his words.   I have been humbled and encouraged to be able to witness in his life the battles and victories that come when a person commits all that God has made them to be to the cause of Christ.

Firemen put their lives on the line every day as they rush into towering infernos to save lives.  Policeman lay their lives on the line every time they put on the uniform and set out to defend their cities in the hopes that one life might be spared.  Oftentimes the people they set out to protect or defend are the very ones that lash back at them.  A pastor’s job is not so much different than that of a policeman or fireman. They put their lives, personal and professional, on the line everyday with the hope that they can lead someone away from the towering inferno of hell and into the loving shelter of our heavenly Father’s arms.  Why?  They are called!  And we, well we are called!  We are called by our God to take up God’s will and lay down our lives daily, even unto death.   We are called by God to serve and not be served.  We are called to run into the battle zone, not away from it.    Have you answered the call?