Flak Vest Devotion #29: The First Salute an Officer Receives

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

When an officer is first commissioned, it is customary for that young officer to have a silver dollar in their pocket. They are supposed to present that silver dollar to the first person they encounter that salutes them. This long practiced custom is a significant event that proclaims to that new officer that they now have a new status in the military society. For the person who becomes an officer, there are heightened expectations of them. They will be given projects and jobs that have higher scopes of responsibility. Things will never be the same again. Some will be trusted with not only leadership roles but with actual command positions.

Even society will now have a different view of them as a military officer. The phrase “an officer and a gentleman” is often used as this is the language in the documentation regarding their commission. Rarely will you see an enlisted person interviewed on a news program. Although the enlisted person is likely the person with the most intricate knowledge regarding a subject, officers are put into those positions of leadership that the media often looks to for answers.

In a like manner, the moment a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ they begin to experience a new life. They no longer live for themselves. They can try to recapture the past and engage in prior sinful behavior. But, now they are a new creation in Jesus Christ. In the salvation experience, we don’t have a widely practiced ritual such as the passing of a coin from a new believer. But, as the old country preacher said after a person had responded to his altar call to receive salvation through Jesus Christ, “There’s a new name written down in heaven.” Receiving Christ is a moment in time similar to the moment a military officer is pronounced a second lieutenant.

We certainly aren’t saved by our works. But, after a person’s name has been written down in heaven, there are new expectations of them. They are now a citizen of heaven and no longer this world. Now the new Christian should grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. Being saved is not just the goal of a person being saved…but, salvation is now the gateway to a brand new life. Spiritual growth will come through studying God’s word, becoming involved with other Christians through worship and commitment to each other and living a life of prayer and walking in the knowledge of the grace and redemption we have in Jesus Christ.

Lord, help me remember that I am now a citizen of heaven. Please give me eyes to see what you are doing around me so I can be a productive citizen of heaven making the most of every opportunity to further the mission of Jesus Christ. Help me to have increased understanding of the grace and redemption I have through Jesus Christ.

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