HE WAS JUST A COMMON MAN. But God called him for a noble mission and he courageously responded. That earned him his notable mark in the pages of Bible history.
Gideon had never been a mighty warrior or leader in his life. But were it not for him, the vicious destruction of their land and livelihood by their ruthless oppressors would not have ended, and his countrymen would have suffered too much and died of hunger.
Responding to God-given task
Gideon was just threshing out wheat in the winepress and hiding from the merciless Midianites who would take away the little wheat he had for his family when the Lord commissioned him: “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites” (Judg. 6:14 New King James Version). Coming from a clan “weakest in Manasseh” and being “the least in [his] father’s house” (Judg. 6:15 NKJV), the Lord nonetheless saw in him a “mighty man of valor,” and he was promised to “defeat the Midianites” (Judg. 6:12, 16 NKJV). Responding to this divine calling, he valiantly went on to defeat their enemies, delivered God’s people from tyranny, and became one of the great judges of Israel.
Gideon is just one of the many Bible characters who put their confidence in God, selflessly acted in response to their God-given task, and had thus performed noble deeds. The secular world may not consider their accomplishments as great, but for us, the people of God, they are the ones whom, despite their imperfections, we look up to with admiration, especially today when more and more people think only of themselves and act just to protect their self-interest.
Doing things for a noble cause
Undoubtedly, exemplary are the selfless people who do things for a noble cause even in the face of great adversities. Time and again, we witness our society honoring people who are willing to do great deeds for others, while correspondingly condemning people who exhibit selfish and deceitful acts.
It really pays to perform generous undertakings, for even when people fail in an honorable task, their determination lives on and inspires other people to pursue their noble mission. Great and divine as it is, altruism is always encouraged.
Christians’ mission for fellowmen
Are true Christians also called by God to do selfless deeds? Do they have a virtuous mission to do for their fellowmen?
Being “light of the world” tasked to “shine before men” by doing “good works” to others (Matt. 5:14, 16 NKJV), the true disciples of Christ are called to fulfill an unselfish mission. Also made by Christ to be “salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13 NKJV), the members of the Church Of Christ are given the virtuous calling to become instrumental in the saving function of Christ:
“Save some by snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself. And as for others, help them to find the Lord by being kind to them, but be careful that you yourselves aren’t pulled along into their sins. Hate every trace of their sin while being merciful to them as sinners.” (Jude 1:23 Living Bible)
The people of the world who are in “the bondage of corruption” (Rom. 8:21) are in real danger, for they are condemned to die in the lake of fire which is the second death (Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:14). To be saved, such people need “to come to the knowledge of the truth” (I Tim. 2:3-4)—the words of God (John 17:17) written in the Scriptures (II Tim. 3:15-17) as preached by those commissioned by God (Rom. 10:15; II Cor. 5:18-20). Therefore, the vital part of Church Of Christ members in this God-given mission is to guide people to listen to the teachings of the Lord, as the woman in Samaria earnestly did:
“The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, ‘Come, see a Man who told me all the things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’ Then they went out to the city and came to Him.
“And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all that I ever did’.
“And many more believed because of His own word. Then they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world’.” (John 4:28-30, 39, 41-42 NKJV)
What the woman did may seem to be simple, but considering what it essentially brought to the lives of those Samaritans who heeded her invitation, it was in no way less than noble. Hence, by devoting time and effort to propagational works, true Christians carry out a mission that may not be as exciting and challenging as that of Gideon’s, but is nonetheless altruistically never inferior.
Intensify the work of propagation
Iglesia Ni Cristo members may never be hailed as heroes—like the decorated military men who lead the country’s army in its life-saving undertakings, or the inventors or researchers who find cures for man’s diseases—however, they could be like those unselfish people who do their work unnoticed by many but make a difference in the lives of others, like the volunteer workers who leave their homes to assist the marginalized in their battle against malnutrition and disease, or the teachers in rural villages who walk several miles every day to give their students education, all for a measly compensation.
By concernedly devoting selfless support to the propagation of the gospel to the countless helpless people doomed to suffer in hell eternally, true Christians are doing an undertaking nothing less than heroic—for winning people back to God is giving them the best they could ever have.