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Just dropping by ... Rules of engagement

Yevet Tenney for Progressive Dairyman Published on 24 May 2017

“Rules of engagement are rules or directives to military forces (including individuals) that define the circumstances, conditions, degree and manner in which the use of force ... may be applied.”

—Source: Wikipedia Rules of engagement

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Battles are raging all over the world. Daily, we see Jesus’ prophecy of the last days being played out on every front. He said, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars ...” (Matthew 24:6). In a time when many are espousing non-Christian behaviors and abandoning traditional values for the media’s revenge-above-all morals, the military needs rules of engagement more than ever.

Soldiers need to remember how to treat human beings with respect and dignity, even in war.

Physical battles are leaving casualties strewn across the globe, but there is an even greater battle being waged in the spiritual realm. The casualties of this battle are just as devastating but are often overlooked because there is no visible blood and carnage, and death is often slow and painful.

Casualties of this war are found among the ranks of radical groups, street rioters, participators in the travesties of spring break and at the end of a heroin needle. These casualties are ships set out on a hurricane ocean without a compass or life jacket.

Many of the generals in this spiritual battle, who hold victory and defeat in their grasp, are adrift in life rafts with one paddle, searching for answers in all the wrong places. They check Google, Facebook and the daily news to chart their course, ignoring the compass God has given them.

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The rules of engagement instituted thousands of years ago lie dusty on the shelf, and they have forgotten how to pray and get answers from the Creator of the Universe.

The rules of engagement instituted by the Savior are timeless and work as well today as they did a thousand years ago.

Rule No. 1

Be productive and a good example. Those who follow you will not lose their way. Make your life meaningful to future generations. Jesus said:

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

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Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

(Matt. 5:13-16)

Rule No. 2

The law is good until the earth passes away and, as far as I can see, the blue planet is still spinning around the sun – so don’t make up new rules and teach them as doctrine. Don’t take your cue from the world; you must be better than the world. Jesus said:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

(Matt. 5:17-20)

Rule No. 3

Anger only begets more anger. Make reconciliation with your brother, and don’t label him as foolish. Try to understand him. Battles of wills only lead to more misunderstanding. Agree to disagree if you must, but don’t turn it into a war of wills. When you involve lawyers, things always go downhill. Jesus said:

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

(Matt. 5:21-26)

Rule No. 4

Make your spouse and family your priority. Anything that jeopardizes those relationships should be squelched, by drastic means if necessary. Jesus said:

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

(Matt. 5:27-30)

Rule No. 5

Don’t make promises or threats you don’t intend to keep. Keep your communication simple. Jesus said:

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

(Matt. 5:33-37)

Rule No. 6

Learn to love. Jesus said:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

(Matt. 5:38-45)

Our world today needs to turn to God’s rules of engagement and seek counsel with God. These rules will change our hearts and, in turn, will have a great impact on the rising generation.  end mark

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