by Robert F. Turner
via Plain Talk, February 1974
During World War II, when British troops were facing Dunkirk; when our boys were pushed from Bataan; someone applied the term "expendable" to forces left to cover the withdrawal. They were considered certainly lost -- given to the enemy -- their death or capture, the price paid for what was hoped to be some greater gain. There were examples of men accepting, even choosing this role, because they too believed in the greater end. One must believe in and greatly love his country to freely make such a sacrifice.
How many soldiers of the Cross are willing to consider themselves (their pride, their comforts, not to mention their life) expendable in order that the greater purposes of His kingdom might be achieved?
Do we dare consider that "giving ourselves" to Christ means just this? The Apostle Paul could ask others to pray that Christ be magnified, whether by his life or his death (Phil. 1:19ff). He considered himself expendable. He had long ago "died with Christ" (Romans 6:6-11), so that his own life, his earthly desires and appetites, were "hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:2-3). The greater end, service to his Master and the eternal reward, so dominated his thinking that no demands were too great. He was not his own (I Corinthians 6:19; 7:22-23), but was, and urged others to be "a living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1ff).
Had you rather suffer wrong than see Christ's cause suffer? Will you swallow your pride rather than see the greater work damaged? That's what it takes when one is expendable. But this is no easy role to accept. We find ourselves reasoning that others get by without making the sacrifice -- why me? "If any provide not for his own --" is always good for rejecting the financial pinch; and we "live to fight tomorrow" in the more important battles -- which somehow never come.
To us "expendable" says "worthless" but to Christ it was the way to find one's life, (Matthew 10:39). He "died for the people, that the whole nation perish not" (John 11:50-51; 12:32).
Full service to Christ begins the day we see ourselves as "expendable."