December 12, 2010
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men. Ephesians 6:7
During the American Revolution, a man in civilian clothes rode past a group of soldiers repairing a defensive barrier.
Their leader, a low-ranking corporal, seemed to delight in shouting orders.
He shouted, but he made no effort to help with the task at hand.
When the civilian asked the corporal why he was conducting himself in such a manner -- calling out commands but making no effort to provide assistance -- the corporal drew himself up tall and said, "Sir, I am a corporal!"
The civilian apologized for his ignorance. Then he dismounted from his horse and helped the exhausted privates.
When their job was completed, he turned to the corporal and said, "Mr. Corporal, the next time you have a job like this and you don't have enough men to do that job, please go to your commander-in-chief, and he will come and help you again."
If that story about George Washington isn't true, it ought to be.
It ought to be true for all of us. We all ought to be helping each other whenever we can, with whatever gifts the Holy Spirit has given us.
That's what the Lord Jesus did when He was about the work of saving us.
He knew we couldn't save ourselves. We couldn't get that job done. So He pitched in and did everything -- everything that was necessary to win our forgiveness and salvation.
Now He has entrusted us with the opportunity of glorifying Him by helping others.
Following the Lord's example and doing as Washington did, parents can provide direction to their children; employers can give encouragement to those who work under them; churches can reach out to those who are floundering and lost.
Helping those who can't do the job themselves is not just an obligation; it's an opportunity that can change the world.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us use the gifts You have given us to uplift and uphold those who need the help and comfort we can provide. This we ask in the Name of Jesus who did that for us. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries