Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Well Done!

    There were no medals given out by the Confederate Army, not in the whole course of the Civil War.  The Union Army on the other hand awarded many medals for such things as: bravery, campaigns, individual battles, service, and, of course, the highest award was the Congressional Medal of Honor.  The Confederate reason for this was their soldiers were all considered heroes, and it would not be right to single any one man out.  There was, however, a suggestion made to General Robert E. Lee that there could,at least, be a Roll of Honor for the Army of Northern Virginia, but Lee disallowed it.  Therefore, the highest honor you could receive in the Confederate Army was to be mentioned in one of General Lee's dispatches.  If your name was referred to in one of the General's battlefield communiques it was considered a high honor.  Another way that Lee did bestow recognition on his exemplary commanders was by the complimentary titles he gave them.  Lee called General Longstreet his, 'Old War Horse' and referred to General Jackson as, 'My Right Arm'.  To these men, General Lee's kind titles were worth more than any chest of medals.
    The same goes true for the soldiers in the Army of the Living God.  The Apostle Paul bestows such a compliment on a most unlikely candidate.  In writing a letter to Timothy from his prison cell, Paul instructs him with these words, "Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service." 2 Tim. 4:11
    This is the same Mark, who just a few years earlier had abandoned and angered Paul on his first missionary journey.  This is also the same Mark that caused a division between Paul and Barnabas resulting in the break up of the first mission team. Acts 15: 36-40
    Could there be any sweeter words to Mark's ears from Paul than these, "Pick up Mark.  For he is useful to me for service."  If Paul had awarded a real medal to pin on Mark's chest, the inscription would have read, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Brotherhood.  But, I believe Mark would have no doubt chosen those words from Paul's mouth over any ribboned decorations.
    The Scriptures speak of rewards and crowns, that one day in heaven will be given to the saints in God's Army.  If you are like me, I'm sure the only reward you are looking forward to is our eternal reward; Eternal Life in the Presence of our God.  My desire is not for any applauds from man on earth, nor for a reward or crown in heaven.  My deepest heartfelt longing is to hear these words from my Savior. "Well done, My good and faithful servant... enter into the Joy of Your Lord." Matt. 25:23  Well Done!

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