Heroes by Pastor Carl W. Mann, II

Galatians 6:5 (KJV)“For every man shall bear his own burden.”

I believe everyone desires to accomplish something significant in their lifetime.  Since we are created in the image and likeness of God, this thought should not be surprising at all.  God is Great, AND He placed “greatness” in every human being.  Unfortunately, the enemy of our souls has made it his purpose to diminish this “greatness” and influence humanity to either exalt itself above God or adopt a low self-esteem to hurt the Heart of God, with a hope that God would give up on the “Apple of His Eye” – Humanity!  I am grateful that God’s Love is UNCONDITIONALLY Eternal!

Paul was inspired by God to write today’s Scripture to accentuate the principle that every human is created by God with a definite purpose, personality, and path to promote the Kingdom of God and be fulfilled in the process.  He also emphasized the fact that every human being will give an account to God for what he or she did with the life God gave.

There are many “heroes” around us in this world.  When I speak with young people concerning the subject of “heroes,” they most often respond with names of professional athletes or fictional “Action Heroes” that are portrayed in the movies. Some will present the names of historical figures, and a few will name First Responders or members of the Military.

Jesus gives a statement that I believe defines who a real “hero” is…

Matthew 10:38 (KJV)“And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”

This statement is associated with…

Matthew 16:24-26 (KJV) “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

I’ve come to understand that the definition of a “Hero” is, “A person who does what he needs to do, although it’s not something he desires to do, while being grateful he has the ability to do, knowing that he was created for such a task, time, or trial.”

I’ve never been personally impressed with an individual who could run fastest with a football, hit the baseball the farthest, or jump the highest to stuff a basketball into the hoop.  I have taken notice of their ability, however.  What impressed me was the individual that would fit any of these descriptions, but who gave God the glory for their ability and acted in a manner, both on and off the field or court, that exhibited a deep faith in God and made a positive contribution to the society into which God placed him or her.

I present the following examples of “Heroes” that will most likely get overlooked when people make a list of those they consider such; BUT, I believe God considers them His “Heroes” …

  • A man who overcame racial prejudice and poverty to maintain his integrity and self-esteem.  While having every reason to become bitter and resentful, he chose to become a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.  So, he pursued his education amid a bigoted and spiteful atmosphere, remained true to his faith in God and the belief that he was Christ’s Ambassador, and received his degree in Education so that he could make a difference in the lives of young people.For years he taught in the classrooms of “lower-end” schools and maintained a positive attitude and instructed his students in the higher values of life as effectively as he taught higher math. He spent 40+ years in the classroom teaching over 1,500 students.  While he made a positive impact on each student, only five students wrote letters of gratitude in all those years.  Nonetheless, he never lost his humility, sense of humor, or honor.  No statue was erected in his honor after his death.
  • A young couple discover one another after seeking God for His choice for their “life partner.”  They are filled with hopeful anticipation for their future together.  After 15 years of marriage, and two lovely children added to their family, the wife is stricken with a terminal illness. They served the Lord faithfully throughout their marriage, infidelity was not present, and there was no evidence of disobedience to the Lord; nonetheless, the wife was destined to “go to Jesus” unless God intervened with a miracle.No miracle came, although much faith and prayer was extended toward God seeking Him for mercy and a miracle touch.  One year after the diagnosis, the wife went to be with Jesus.

    The husband “picks up the pieces,” and encourages himself in the Lord to be a faithful father and follower of Jesus Christ.  He raises his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and chooses not to date anyone so he could devote his time and efforts in providing sustenance and security for his children and ensuring that the Lord would get his children back.

    He works hard and is a loving father.  He provides the counsel and financial contributions to enable his children to complete their higher educational pursuits.  He enjoys watching his son graduate from medical school and leave to go on the mission field as a missionary doctor.  He relishes watching his daughter graduate from university with a degree in Counseling and relishes that she is proficient in guiding others through the process of grieving with a high degree of compassion and excellence.

    This husband, father, and faithful friend of Jesus will not be named in the catalogue of heroes; however, to his son and daughter, and to his grandchildren, he will be held in high esteem.  And, it will be enough that God would count him as one of His “Heroes.”

I could present many other examples of “Heroes” I’ve encountered in my 40+ years of ministry; but, I think you understand the principle I am expressing.

EVERY one of us has been given a “Cross” that we must bear so that we may fulfill the purpose for which we’ve been created.  Just because we are “here” does NOT ensure that we will successfully complete our “mission.”

True “Heroes” in God’s family DO successfully complete their “earthly mission!”  ONLY these will hear the Lord say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!”