Thursday, August 31, 2006

Leave No Man Behind

Sgt. John Chapman had been driven once from the battlefield, but he went right back. Shortly before dawn on Monday, March 4, 2002, the Chinook helicopter carrying Chapman and a small reconnaissance team came under heavy fire as it tried to land high in the Afghan mountains. Riddled with bullets, the chopper limped to a safe landing zone. Chapman and his team jumped into a second chopper and returned to base—but only to regroup. Soon they were flying back into danger—to recover the body of a Navy SEAL, Petty Officer Neil Roberts, who had fallen from the chopper in the first landing attempt. Chapman’s squadron officer told his family what happened next:

THE TEAM, a half dozen of America’s toughest Special Operators, jumped out of the plane into a hail of bullets. Chapman laid down covering fire as his buddies tried to set up a defensive position behind some rocks. As he blasted away at the enemy, he was shot several times in the chest. He died fighting so his comrades would live. Before the day was done, five more of his comrades would perish: Sgt. Bradley Crose, Pfc. Matthew Commons, Spc. Marc Anderson (all Army Rangers), Sgt. Philip Svitak (a flight engineer) and Airman Jason Cunningham, a “pararescue” jumper.

"Leave no man behind" is the code of our fighting men and women. It is an ideal that brings security and comfort to those who fight in a cohesive unit. Soldiers feel protected knowing that their commrades will come to their rescue if needed. They will even enter the "hail of bullets" with great bravery and honor to recover a dead body. All because they're a team and they stick together.

What if the church had the same code of honor? What if Christians committed themselves to the team, instead of just their own interests and safety? What if they understood the necessesity of rescuing the wounded and recovering the dead? What if they decided to never leave a fallen commrade to the enemy (Satan)?

The book of Jude shows us a picture of this idea.

Vv. 17-19 say, "17 But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ told you, 18 that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to enjoy themselves in every evil way imaginable. 19 Now they are here, and they are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They live by natural instinct because they do not have God's Spirit living in them. "

Jude reveals to us the The Nature of the Battle we are in. It is a spiritual battle to divide us and distract us. This is why Jesus prayed that we may be one. Our unit is weak when we are fractured. So, it is extremely important to recognize how we're being attacked and for what reasons. The next time you see divisions and selfishness, recognize it as an attack from the enemy.

Vv. 20-21 say, "20 But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit. 21 Live in such a way that God's love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you."

In these verses we see The Focus Of The Soldier. It is to continue growing, to continue praying, and to be led by the Holy Spirit. Notice the great contrast between a scoffer and a good soldier. The scoffer lives by instinct, the soldier lives by the Spirit. To focus on growth and prayer is essential if we want to do the will of God. We cannot simply do what our flesh desires. Instead, we receive and demonstrate the love of God to others.

Finally, vv. 22-23 say, "22 Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. There are still others to whom you need to show mercy, but be careful that you aren't contaminated by their sins."

Jude wants us to realize The Great Rescue Mission that Christ has given us. During the battles of our life, we will see many who begin to lose faith. We will witness those who are messing around with evil, and still those who have fallen and are in the flames of judgment. Our posture needs to be mercy and concern for them, not the usual judgmental attitude that plagues many churches. Remember, Jesus would leave the 99 to go after the one!

The next time we are tempted to criticize, remember that God wants us to show mercy.

We will not be divided or distracted.

We will be spiritually disciplined.

We will not leave any man behind, but commit ourselves to their rescue.

3 comments:

xt4jfriend said...

"Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16 NKJV)

"Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with." (James 5:16 Message)

One of my friends gave me a list of points to take with me on my graduation and my 18th birthday. Here are some of them:
#2 Prayer is Powerful
#4 Life takes Friends
#5 Live...Love...Forgive...and Never Give Up -This one comes from a song by Superchic(k)-

I have found these things to be very important in life. Something about me: I don't always read my bible for personal devotions as much as I'd like to. I'm trying something new right now so I can spend more time in the word...pray it works out well.

JimmyBob said...

Thanks for posting! Glad you found me out here in the blogosphere. Come anytime. You can also visit my alternate site JimmyBobsPlace2. It's a long story, but I have 2 sites right now until all my friends on Blogger are upgraded to Blogger in Beta with Google accounts.

Great Scriptures! And I will be praying for you to accomplish what you're asking for in your personal devotional life.

See you later!

Iris said...

You don't have to post this, but I Read the story on Leave No Man behind. I have a song we wrote in honor of those who died..we met and hand delivered a copy to Bradley Crose's mother..We visited the park Bradley played in where they had a memorial..He was supposed to return home soon...a brave young man.. We were very touched when this took place and God told me to put it in song to honor their sacrifice. I wrote the words and Tommy wrote the music and sang it. I'd be honored for you to use it on your blog if you'd like to, I will send you an mp3 if you tell me where.. My website is www.survivingyellowrain.blogspot.com As you'll see the last several years have brought us tragedy, loss of our studio, possessions, but mainly our health as we have environmental poisoning. I'd appreciate the prayers of your church. We are close to the Lord and trying to show love and also help others with this illness find hope. Prayers truly appreciated..you're welcome to share our websites at your church..maybe it will help someone.. the other one is www.myspace.com/faceoftoxicmold God bless you and your ministry.