• Jon Forrest

Checking Pockets

The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

Checking Pockets

A colonel who was the base inspector general paid close attention to how personnel wore their uniforms. On one occasion he spotted a junior airman with a violation. "Airman," he bellowed, "what do you do when a shirt pocket is unbuttoned?"

The startled airman pulled his senses back together and replied, "Button it, sir!"

The colonel looked him in the eye and said, "Well?"

Without hesitation, the airman nervously reached over and buttoned the colonel’s shirt pocket.

The colonel had been so concerned about the conduct and appearance of his airmen that he forgot to look at himself. On the other hand, the airman was humble and willing to do the proper thing in assisting his superior officer at the risk of being reprimanded or punished.

The New Testament speaks strongly about our relationship with ONE ANOTHER in the Body of Christ, also known as the Family of God. Jesus died for our individual sins, but he also died for THE CHURCH. He did not intend that we be Lone Ranger Christians. His plan was for us to DO JESUS TOGETHER.

A military unit is only at its best when individual members become a part of the whole. The greatest heroes are those who, with selfless attitude, care first for his/her comrades in arms. Such selfless devotion has led to soldiers falling on explosive devices to save the platoon. This commitment to one another and the mission leads to tremendous victory.

In the 12th chapter of Romans, Paul taught about the priority of the commitment to ONE ANOTHER in the church. In verse 3 we see an important attitude behind the concept.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Romans 12:3

When serving together in the church we should look at ourselves with humility. We must see that each us is nothing more than a sinner saved by the grace of God through the blood of Christ shed for us on the cross. This verse follows two well known verses that talk about presenting our bodies to God as a living sacrifice and being transformed by the renewal of our minds. Those verses tell us that real worship to God is what happens when God takes over and changes us from the inside out.

This is why we can examine ourselves soberly to recognize how God has prepared us to serve him side by side with our brothers and sisters in the church. His plan is for us to be DEVOTED TO ONE ANOTHER by using our unique giftedness to serve each other and with each other for God’s purpose.

Before you look at your brothers and sisters to see what each of them is doing for Christ, be sure that the first thing you do is check your own pocket.

Last Sunday we presented the 3rd installment of our series, “Resolutions the Will Make a Difference” with a message titled, Commit Yourself to Restoring Your Relationships based on Romans 12:18. This Sunday we will conclude with part 4, titled Commit Yourself to Leave Behind Familiar Sins, based on Romans 6. Romans is all about grace. We tend to think of Grace in terms of God’s forgiveness and our salvation. But it also teaches us that the same grace that saved us is also available to change us. I hope to see you Sunday as we seek God’s way in 2019.

Checking my own pocket,


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