Jesus said to him,'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great Commandment. And the Second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two Commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.
The Oath of Enlistment to the U.S. Army ends with the words, 'So help me God.' Core Values include loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.*
On earth, Jesus was an impeccable Soldier. His value became our core. He beat every opponent, including Satan, identified as our real enemy. He gave us that same Power. But in other relationships, Jesus simplified our Core Values into Two Rules, further summed up by one word: love.
Because 'Love never fails' (1 Corinthians 13:8). In that light, consider:
Commandment #1: Love God with everything you've got: heart, body and mind; thought, deed and word. Not so easy to remember, even harder to surrender. Nevertheless, we must: 'Present your bodies a living sacrifice... which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind' (Romans 12:1-2).
When you mess up, fess up and bless up. Repent and return to Sender.
Commandment #2: Tend to your neighbor's needs as if they were your own. Got food, clothes, money, family, health and freedom? Then feed, dress, support, include, nurture and visit those who don't. Your neighbor is anyone in your path: 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me' (Matthew 25:40).
When you live well, help your neighbors live well, too.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: The entertainment industry has a different set of core values. They include professionalism, polish, personality, perseverance and performance. Consider two additional qualities in a recent letter from Christian Kaplan (regarding an AMTC grad on the cusp of fame):** 'Individuality and fearlessness.'
Can God's Core Values, Army Core Values and entertainment core values co-exist? Yes! In proper order, they can and do. Embrace them all.
To Be Continued...
* Oath of Enlistment: http://www.military.com/join-armed-forces/swearing-in-for-military-service.html
* Military Values: http://www.army.mil/values/
** Christian Kaplan has been a great friend to AMTC. He is the Sr. VP of Feature Film Casting for 20th Century Fox. He assisted a Summer 2014 Grad, Ricardo Hurtado, who booked the lead in a new fall 2015 show: http://www.bopandtigerbeat.com/2015/03/exclusive-your-first-look-at-school-of-rock/
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Soldier's Orders series.