Saturday, February 27, 2016

Duty Is Ours, Results Are God's

John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States. He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former President John Adams and Abigail Adams. Read more at  http://izquotes.com/quote/280760


"Duty, Honor, Country", is the motto of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Norman Schwarzkopf, the four-star general that led Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf War in 1991, is quoted as saying,

"As young West Point cadets, our motto was 'duty, honor, country.' But it was in the field, from the rice paddies of Southeast Asia to the sands of the Middle East, that I learned that motto's fullest meaning. There I saw gallant young Americans of every race, creed and background fight, and sometimes die, for 'duty, honor, and their country."

The young cadets at West Point are trained and conditioned, and dedicated to something greater than themselves. The ideals of ‘duty, honor, country’ are held in the highest esteem, placed above their own comforts and desires.  They have devoted themselves to these ideals and are willing to die for them.

I’m going to focus on the first one today; that of “duty”.

What is duty? Duty is something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation.  It is what one feels bound to do in fulfillment of the permanent dictates of conscience, piety, right, or law.

Duty is doing that which needs to be done, when it needs to be done, regardless of how we feel. It is the selfless fulfilling of our obligations to those we love and serve who depend on us despite what else may be demanding our time and attention.

Duty takes no thought for self. Each of us has assignments that we've been given to accomplish. We have tasks that are solely ours to complete. We each have our part, to do what is expected of us. Duty demands our action even when the outcome is uncertain and we don’t have control over the results. It is by the actions we take that we manifest the resolve and dedication to duty that lies within. We don’t know what tomorrow brings, but duty remains today.

John Quincy Adams, our 6th president, was an amazing man. He’s the only man ever to leave office as President of the United States and then run for Congress. While in Congress he lost many political battles, but when asked why he kept fighting for the cause and refused to give up, he simply said, “Duty is mine, results are God’s.”

Why would the apostle Paul continue on as he did? Even after being beaten and stoned and left for dead he turned right around and went back into the city. (Act 14:19-20) Even in the face of uncertainty when he didn’t know what would befall him at Jerusalem, he went anyway. (Act 20:22-23) He took no thought for his own life. (Act 20:24) He felt duty bound by the permanent dictates of conscience, piety, right, and law. It was his sense of duty and obedience to God, and his love for the followers of Jesus Christ that drove him on.

Even in the face of adversity, duty is ours. Even in the face of uncertainty, duty is ours. Results are God’s.

What is our duty as Christians? Ever wonder why you’re here? I don’t mean why you were born. I mean why are you here in this particular congregation? What brought us here? We don’t always know all the circumstances and forces at work that brought us together; that brought us to where we are in life. Yet here we are.

God’s plan is for each and every one of us to develop the character we need to become full-fledged sons and daughters of God in His Kingdom. We are to trust him and put our faith in him knowing that he has our best interest at heart, trusting the results to him knowing that he knows what's best for us. Much like a child trusts her parents and is totally dependent on them, we put our faith and trust in God.

Is it possible that God placed us here for a reason, for His purpose?

1Cor 12:18 KJV  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

We are being trained to serve in God’s Kingdom.

God placed us in the body of Christ where it pleases him, not us. Why did he place us here? Why not some other town? Why not some other church, some other congregation? There are certain jobs that will need to be done in the Kingdom of God. Who knows better than God what jobs need to be done and who has the potential to best fill those assignments? Do we know what will need to be done during the Millennium to transform what’s left in the aftermath into God’s Kingdom under the rulership of Christ?

Is it possible that we are exactly where we are in this life, and in this congregation, this unique blend of God’s people, because God wants us here? God wants us here because it is the very best place for him to work with us to mold us and shape us into the true servants he will need to serve in his Kingdom.

From the lessons we learn on the job, to things we learn at home and in our relationships, to the things we learn by serving in the Church, this life is a training ground, a proving ground, for the Kingdom of God. We will be serving our king, Jesus Christ, as part of a task force deployed to bring about the Millennial conditions we hear about during the Feast of Tabernacles. We need to demonstrate the faithful performance of our duties now, growing in grace and knowledge with preparation for God’s Kingdom in mind. Doesn’t that seem reasonable, that we are to be ever mindful of the Kingdom as we go about our duties serving our families, friends and neighbors, sacrificing our time, developing relationships, and doing that which we are required to do?

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
  
Which is our reasonable service. Our duty. Sacrificial, selfless, duty.

Presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, denying self, expecting nothing in return and submitting to God’s will is our reasonable service, our duty.


We are being conditioned to serve in God’s Kingdom.

We need to be conditioned to develop the right character so that our training is rightly applied at the right time in concert with the rest of the Millennial Task Force. The right skillset without the right attitude won’t serve well in the Kingdom. We must condition ourselves to the ideal of selfless service, our duty, in a coordinated effort with others.

What if we had all the talent in the world but didn’t apply it in the right manner or with the right attitude? What if we have all the ability in the world but have a contentious or rebellious attitude? We may think that all we need to do is to utilize the skills we have in the way we want to and that will somehow prepare us to serve in God’s Kingdom. We could have all the talent in the world but if it is not properly applied in concert with others who are doing their part it could actually work counter to the overall strategy and plan.

Throughout the history of the nation of Israel, they have been proven to be a stiff-necked and rebellious people. They have demonstrated their wanton desires to do things their own way rather than yielding to God. Every time, God has brought chastisement on them to bring them back in line to an attitude of repentance; to a humble and contrite spirit. (Isa 57:15) It is only with such a humble and contrite spirit yielded to God and Christ that we will serve him in his Kingdom.

We spend the whole of our Christian lives learning to submit to God the Father and Jesus Christ.  We do that in part by learning to submit to authority in the physical sense in this life. In this life we submit to authority starting with our parents and continues with our teachers, the police, our boss, our church leaders, etc. If we cannot obey our parents whom we can see it is difficult to obey a God whom we cannot see. If we have not learned to take direction from our spiritual leaders, whom God has placed over us in this life, can we be trusted to submit to Christ in the Millennium? The physical models the spiritual.

So not only do we need to develop certain talents, we must take learn to take direction from a higher authority so that our talent, our part of the plan, our duty can be effectively coordinated with the rest of the team. We may have some marvelous talents that we feel would be a delight to others if only we were given the opportunity. However, we need to learn to submit to authority in this life if we are to be trusted to do our duty in the next. If we intend to be an effective member of the Millennial Task Force, we must be conditioned to submit to authority, to those placed over us.

Heb 13:17 KJV  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Just like the cadets at West Point, we must be trained and conditioned for service. We have lessons we need to learn and talents we need to develop while we’re here in this life so we’ll have the experience to draw from in the next. We have been called by God to serve Him according to His purpose (will). God has placed us in the body of Christ where it pleases Him, where we’re best suited for him to work with us. (1Cor 12:18) We have been given our duty, our tasks, in this life, according to our individual talents and lessons to be learned. Our reasonable service is to perform that duty diligently to the best of our ability trusting God for the outcome. The results may or may not be what we have in mind but all work together for good to fulfill God's plan in accordance with His greater purpose.

When we have done all that God has commanded us, we shouldn’t feel that we deserve any special reward. It is but our duty to serve the God we love and worship. One day we will be rewarded but now, we are but unprofitable servants in that we have done that which was our duty to do.

Luke 17:10  So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.


We are the Israel of God, (Gal 6:16) the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven. We must be trained and conditioned, and dedicated to something greater than ourselves to serve in the Kingdom of God. That is our reasonable service, our duty. 

Duty is ours, results are God's.



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I strive to be as the Bereans spoken of in Acts 17:10-11 receiving the word with all readiness of mind, and searching the scriptures daily, whether those things are so. Check up on me in your own bible. Should you find me in error please let me know immediately. We must prove all things (1Thes 5:21) and rightly divide the word of truth (2Tim 2:15) together lest we be deceived. (Matt 24:24)

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