The next value that all Christians should have or seek to have is duty. All Christians have been called to be a follower of Christ, and with that comes obligations. Here are some definitions of the value duty:
- Google’s definition: “a moral or legal obligation; a responsibility” and “a task or action that someone is required to perform.”
- The definition I learned in ROTC: “doing what you are supposed to do, even when you don’t want to do it.“
- The Army’s definition: “Fulfill your obligations.”
- My definition to match our lives as Christians: “Fulfill the obligations that Jesus Christ calls us to do.“
So, what exactly are those obligations, tasks or actions, or whatever we have to do? To answer that, all you have to do is read the Gospels. Jesus lays down very specific instructions for us to follow. I could go on talking about all the things that Jesus tells us to do, but there are three commands that I feel sum up most, if not all, of the instructions that Jesus calls us to do as Christians.
Matthew 22:34-38 (ESV) tells us a story of what is called the Great Commandment. It reads, “But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him. ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?’ And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment…” Jesus tells us specifically what the greatest commandment is when He answers the lawyer.
But what does it mean to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind? The best definition of love can be found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV) when it says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” To do all these things to the best of our abilities…to live our life with all these things…to actually want to do all of these things (to be a better Christian)…that is what it means to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind.
But Jesus doesn’t stop there. He continues to bring up another commandment immediately following in Matthew 22:39 (ESV), “…and a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” Not only do you love the Lord with your entire being, but your neighbor, even to the point of loving them as much as you love yourself. I don’t know about you, but I know quite a bit of people who love themselves…a lot…too much sometimes.
While I say that jokingly, I’m also serious. How often do we truly love those around us? Are we patient and kind to those who are slow…or bad drivers? Do we envy the things that our neighbors have? How quick are we to boast to our co-workers of our accomplishments? Are we arrogant or rude to the workers at restaurants and stores? Do we celebrate when a friend does something that you know is wrong?
I ask these tough questions, but trust me when I say I am nowhere near perfect. This is a reminder to myself as much as it is towards you. It is my hope that you walk away from reading this post wanting to strive to do better as a Christian. Jesus lays down the two greatest commandments that all Christians should follow. Abiding by the Great Commandment means fulfilling an obligation, doing the task or action that we are required to do (even when we don’t want to), and performing the duty that Christ calls for all Christians.
The next, and final, obligation that stands out to me is known as the Great Commission. This story can be found in Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV) as it reads, “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the ages.'”
This is the last command of Jesus Christ, while on earth. He commands for us to go and make more disciples from all across the world, to baptize them in the names of the Holy Trinity, and to teach them what it means to be a follower and believer of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ disciples were told to teach obedience to all the commands of the Lord Jesus to all those who believed the gospel. He commands this Great Commission with the authority given by the Father, through Him. There can’t be any higher authority than that. He is, essentially, the top of the Chain of Command.
This is an obligation that Jesus sets before leaving. It is an action that we are required to perform. Even if we don’t like it, it is what we are supposed to do. And it is our duty to perform it as Christians. For each person, that looks different. God may call on us to do something at a specific place for a specific time. Maybe it’s doing a mission trip for a week or two overseas. Maybe it’s to start a bible study at your school or work. Maybe it’s to just be a good Christian in your community. I can’t tell you what it is.
Personally, I firmly feel like my own mission is to eventually enter ministry, after I finish the current season of my life in the military. Until then, I can only hope to be a loyal soldier of God and to fulfill the rest of my duties as a Christian.
I hope you found this blog entry to be challenging, inspiring, and encouraging. As I said earlier, it is my hope that you walk away from reading these blogs inspired to be a better Christian. May we all strive to be loyal soldiers of God. May we all love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, and minds. May we all love our neighbor as our self. May we all fulfill the Great Commission that Christ calls us to do. May we all have a sense of duty that we strive to fulfill.