Plan Of The Day

Remember the Lord’s people who are in jail {persecuted, accused} and be concerned for them {Bound with them, persecuted along side of them}. Don’t forget those who are suffering, but imagine that you are there with them {suffering as they are}.         Hebrews 13:3

This passage reminds me of my former life…
For twenty years, I served in the military. As a military officer, I had been bought and purchased by the United States Government for service. While serving, I learned many things. I learned about the call to duty and what was required as well as how to take and give orders. Obviously, for new service members giving orders is never quite as hard as taking them.

In like manner, Hebrews 13:3 are our orders; our ‘charge’; our duty. It is a directive to which we have been called. It is our reasonable or logical service (Romans 12: 1).

POD-2As military members and leaders, we were under the authority of the Commanding Officer (CO). Each morning the CO provided the Plan of the Day (POD) as well as a bit of personal guidance for us to carry out. His message generally reflected a broad theme, but always, always conveyed direct action. His words were predictable. The message was team-oriented, ethically-based and included a directive. For example, some CO’s would say, “Serve with excellence as you carry out your duties. Treat each patient or customer as you would have them treat you” or another would say, “Make a difference today and care for your patients as if they were your mother. Make your mother smile because if Momma’s not happy, nobody’s happy”. Sometimes, we were given cause, effect messages to the same end e.g. “Make me proud as you work today. Don’t ask for punishment by negating or neglecting your duty, for surely I will give it. Punishment will be quick and sure”. We learned many important lessons.

Persecution1Here we see, in like manner, God giving His Army, the Plan of Day and a little personal direction. The broad overarching concept is to remember.  Our duty is to remember our fellows who are being persecuted for their faith. Remembrance can take many forms. In this context, remembrance implies more than merely “thinking” of or about them; we are to remember them as we would wish others to remember us if we were in their place. That is, we are to feel such deep compassion that it is as if we were bound or tied up with them; tied to them, experiencing the bondage ourselves. God, our CO, the Living One, Jehovah gives this directive; be touched, as they are touched; take on their discomfort and misery as if it were your own. Right about now, you may be asking, surely you don’t mean we should tie ourselves up or have someone lock us in a closet to commiserate with those who are? No, you are right, I am not advocating some form of masochism, but I am exhorting us to this; to share our faith. We are charged with sharing our testimony as they have done. Often this passage and this chapter of Hebrews, for that matter, has been interpreted as a call to prayer.  It is a call to share, not to prayer.  From the words shared on this blog, I think you know, that I am all about prayer; the importance of prayer; the power of prayer; and the call to prayer. However, this directive has nothing to do with prayer.  It is specifically targeted towards telling others about Christ.  And for my part, too often, I am silent.  Do you ever wonder if God as He watches us, ever slaps His head and says to the angels, “Man, I moved heaven and earth to get these two individuals together, so that she or he would share that specific thing that happened; that I orchestrated so that this lost one; this unbeliever could see how much I love them”.   We are called to tell God’s story.  In the words of Nik Ripken in his book, The Insanity of God, this is our action, “Don’t give up in freedom, what others have suffered in persecution”.

This is a scriptural based concept. “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” (1 Corinthians 12: 26). The message is clear. If we stop sharing, persecution will cease, but our call, the higher order is to share and in so doing, join in the suffering. Don’t stop, sharing! Share all the more! Share in and along with those in bondage. “Don’t give up in freedom, what they are suffering in persecution”

Today, as we carry out the POD, God, our CO asks of us to share in the suffering, by sharing His words and His story. Tell God’s story, the Good News. Tell how He came to you while you were debased, unworthy and had nothing to offer. Tell of His rescuing grace that took you from the pit despair.

Tell of Christ, our God and King, who loved so deeply that He wanted to look us in the eyes and tell us; show us love. Leaving Heaven, He lived a sinless life and put our sins on Himself, thus bridging the gap between Holy God and defiled man. He did this in love, so that He could demonstrate the depth, the height and breadth of love; love without terms; love without boundaries; love that is everlasting; God’s love. Yes, tell of God’s love.

In all this, do for God as He has done for you. You are dismissed to carry out the POD. Carry on.


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