May 25, 2023

You’ll find it in the program of most military ceremonies. It’s a brief—or lengthy—synopsis of the career, roles, awards, and accolades of the keynote speakers or guests of honor, with a small blip about their personal lives. For those of us in attendance, it provides the evidence by which we judge the importance of the words we are about to hear. Will the message be relevant and meaningful? Does this person have the experience and a title worthy of our attention? How closely should we attend to their words or can our minds wander?

A brief glance at our Commander’s Bio piques the reader’s interest. This commander doesn’t arrive with pomp, circumstance and reception into the noblest of families and kingdoms as a prince. Our Hero comes as a baby, wrapped in swaddling cloths, placed in a manger. His arrival is announced to the lowest social order and his genealogy is littered with scandal. He doesn’t arrive on the stage battle-tested, impervious to His humanity, with an carefully-curated social presence. Instead, we’re given the opportunity to observe Him growing in wisdom, learning obedience and being subjected to temptations and trials as He prepares to take command. He doesn’t call the smartest, most educated and powerful men to serve alongside Him. He calls the poor, the outcasts, the sinners and the despised. He doesn’t dictate the actions of those who would follow Him, but calls for attitude/altitude adjustments and guarantees the outflow and outcome of those adjustments.

This is an unusual Commander, indeed.

The first part of The Military Bible Challenge—in the new app, online, or in print, —covers “the Beginnings of Jesus”, our Lord and Commander, in his life and ministry on earth. As with most of the coming 15 weeks, this part is split into 5 days of reading in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

  • Day 1: his birth | “The Commander Arrives”
  • Day 2: his baptism | “The Commissioning”
  • Day 3: his trials and tests | “Avoiding Ambush”
  • Day 4: his call on disciples | “A Few Good Men”
  • Day 5: his transformation of behaviors into attitudes | “Code of Conduct”

Those who take a closer look and complete MBC Phase 1 Part 1 readings this week may notice an unexpected plot twist between the first and last Scripture selections. On the first day of readings, Jesus is announced by angels in the glory of the Lord who “bring good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:8-10). On the fifth/last day of reading, we find Jesus announcing to his followers (YOU) to “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory” (Matthew 5:16). 

The knowledge of your Commander’s Bio—full of glory and good news—

  • imparts His light, good works and glory to you
  • transforms your behaviors with new attitudes
  • equips you to give light to the world and glory to God. 

We, too, have good news for all the people around us.

You may find yourself asking the same questions of God and the Bible (His Word to us) when the opportunity to read and study Scripture presents itself. Is the Bible relevant and meaningful to me? Does Jesus have the experience and a title worthy of my attention? How closely should I attend to Scripture and its study?

Accept the challenge! Join us:

  • This summer: We’ll complete the Military Bible Challenge in the new MBC app together. (Apple / Android)
  • Daily: There will be reflections and reminders in our social stories.
  • Weekly: We’ll provide encouragement and clarity in our social content and on the ASM blog.