My name Is Archie and I am a recovered alcoholic. Recovered through the saving grace of JesusChrist and the power of the Holy Spirit living in and through my life on a daily basis. On October 29th, 1989 I became a soldier in the Salvation Army, signing The Salvation Army ARTICLES OF WAR. At the same time, I donned a uniform with two S’s on the uniform which stands for SAVED TO SERVE and SAVE TO SAVE. Today I am no longer a soldier in The Salvation Army but I am still a ‘Soldier of God’ and the commitment I made in 1989 is still a very valuable and intricate part of my life. In the ‘Articles of War’ I consciously and actively signed in 1989 it says:
I will be responsive to the Holy Spirit’s work and obedient to His leading in my life, growing in grace through worship, prayer, service and the reading of the Bible.
I will make the values of the Kingdom of God and not the values of the world the standard for my life.
I will uphold Christian integrity in every area of my life, allowing nothing in thought. word or deed that is unworthy, unclean, untrue, profane, dishonest or immoral.
I will maintain Christian ideals in all my relationships with others: my family and neighbours, my colleagues and fellow salvationists, those to whom and for whom I am responsible, and the wider community.
I will uphold the sanctity of marriage and of family life.
I will be a faithful steward of my time and gifts, my money and possessions, my body, my mind and my spirit, knowing that I am accountable to God.
I will abstain from alcoholic drink. tobacco, the non-medical use of addictive drugs. gambling, pornography, the occult, and all else that could enslave the body or spirit.
I will be faithful to the purposes for which God raised up The Salvation Army, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, endeavouring to win others to Him, and in His name caring for the needy and the disadvantaged.
I will be actively involved, as lam able, in the life, work, worship and witness of the corps, giving as large a proportion of my income as possible to support its ministries and the worldwide work of the Army.
I will be true to the principles and practices of The Salvation Army, loyal to its leaders, and I will show the spirit of salvationism whether in times of popularity or persecution.
Commitments I made to God that remain my life guiding principles, even now I am no longer a soldier of TheSalvation Army.
Luke 6:13 TLB saysAt daybreak he called together his followers and “chose twelve of them to be the inner circle of his disciples.”
As I said Dr. Robert E. Coleman wrote a book. He wrote a number actually that have influenced my life. My ministry and my mission. The one I am concentrating on right now and re-reading is ‘The Master Plan of Evangelism.’
The ‘Great Commissions’ says Matthew 28:19 MSG “Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Step 12 of theLiving Life Recovery steps says “Having gone through these steps and discovering the importance of an individual relationship with God through Jesus, I will try to live according to His principles and to lead others to a personal relationship with Him.”
One of the things that bothers me about ‘Recovery’ and ‘the Church’ is that people when they enter both and get a bit of faith knowledge believe and start to live as if God’s purpose for them is to become the Saviour of the world. Unfortunately, people that job is taken. And, even though He is the Saviour of the world that is not how Jesus practiced ministry and mission. Luke 6:13 highlights for me a couple of things.
- Jesus selected “ordinary” men with a mixture of backgroundsand personalities to be his disciples. Today, God calls “ordinary”people together to build Hischurch, teach salvation’s message, and serve others out of love. Alone we may feel unqualified to serve Christ effectively, but together we make up a group strong enough to serve God in all circumstances we find ourselves in,
- Jesus had many disciples,but He chose only 12 as His inner circle to whom he gave special training and whom He sent out with His ownauthority. These were the men who started the Christian church.
- Jesus knew it takes ordinary people to reach ordinary people.
- Jesus concentrated on just a few in His inner circle to be trained in achieving our God’s mission of saving this fallen world.
- Jesus knew the only way any of us can ‘Make a Difference’ is through the empowerment of His authority given to us through the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus chose men that were willing to learn.
HE CHOSE ME
From ‘The Master Plan of Evangelism’ page 30 “Why did Jesus deliberately concentrate His life on comparatively so few people? Had He not come to save the world? The answer “Jesus was not trying to impress the crowd but to usher the kingdom. In my life, ministry and mission of recovery God has chosen me ‘To be different and make a difference’ ‘To introduce others to His promises for their lives through learning, understanding and applying the Twelve Steps of Living Life Recovery.’ For me, I believe it is important for me to see how Jesus trained others to live lives of faithful service and live according to His principles to lead others to a personal relationship with Him. What a privilege in mine to be one of His messengers of recovery here and now