17 February 2018

Jesus – My Captain

On 4th July 1991, as an 11 year old boy, I knelt down and wept as I whole heartedly surrendered everything to Jesus. Up until that point my life had been that of a normal church-going, East Belfast boy brought up in a loving Christian home. I had heard it all before; the story of Jesus, His birth, death and resurrection – I had even been in a winning team for the Campaigner Bible Quiz. But on that day, something was different, something had caught my full attention during the meeting. I listened to the preacher as if my very life depended on it. It was like I was hearing what Jesus had done for me for the very first time. That was it, I was changed – never to be the same again. I wanted to live for Him, no matter what…

Now, as a man of 31 I find that I rely on close fellowship with a small number of men to really help me in my Christian walk. These friends really know me – my failings and weaknesses – warts and all! We laugh and sometimes cry together, we argue, disagree and they could easily tell you about the things I’ve messed up in life. Truth is that my journey of faith since 4th July 1991 has been full of its up’s and down’s. I’ve fallen short so many times I dare not think about it. I’ve made mistakes, let people down – especially those who I care about the most. Like many men I’ve struggled in church – even as a leader! I’ve struggled with maintaining a personal time of prayer and devotion.

I follow Jesus with a passion. However, working out what it is to be a man and a Jesus follower can be tricky. One thing I find really useful is ‘The Code’ which has transformed my daily walk with God. Let me share with you a bit of how it has impacted me.

Code I

Jesus is my Captain, Brother, Rescuer and Friend. I can’t help but be engrossed when a war film comes on the TV. Films based on real life events (admittedly with a Hollywood spin) such as ‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘Black Hawk Down’ and ‘Band of Brothers’ always attract my attention. You can be sure that at one stage or another in all these films there is at least one scene where the Captain in the army orders his men to take a stand in what seems like an impossible situation.

Surrounded on all sides, out gunned and out manned, the position they are in looks grim, yet the Captain stands firm and shows no sign of fear or worry. He inspires his men to the very end – no matter what.

Jesus, as the author and finisher of our faith is the ultimate Captain. His standing orders, until His return are to, “Go into all the world…”(Matt 28). Therefore, as a soldier in His army, we have to be determined to do this. We have given away our rights and are servants to our Captain. Just as the Roman centurion in Matthew 8 recognised Jesus’ authority from the perspective of a hard bitten soldier, so do we, as men of God, need to recognise that we are His to command.

Now at this stage I could easily sign off and say see you next time! However I would be wrong to do so because Jesus is more than a Captain. In Mark 3:35 Jesus says, “Whosoever does God’s will is my brother and my sister…” and He even calls us His Friend in John 15:15. This is the critical point that we, as men, need to get our heads around. Your Captain -Jesus, the greatest man and leader ever to walk on the face of this planet, desires to have a relationship with you! He wants to walk with you, share life with you – we are His family.Most importantly of all He will never, never leave us – no matter what, because at some point in time before I was His brother or friend, before He became my Captain, I needed Him to become my Rescuer.

My friends who know me, ‘warts and all’ have been working through The CodeLife for over 6 months now. We meet at least twice a month and take time to study, share and hold each accountable. I can honestly say it has been life changing for us all. You can join in and sign up at www.codelife.org. uk, where you can get a free bible study download for you and your friends.

Spud Murphy

Gareth ‘Spud’ Murphy, Regional Director, CVM Northern Ireland

Email: spud@cvm.org.uk

City Life Centre 143, Northumberland Street, Belfast , BT13 2JF

@spud4jc on twitter

Footnote: CVM is a movement, not an organization. It’s a catalyst for an emerging band of brothers across the UK who want to see the nation won for Jesus. Wherever there are passionate, energetic followers of Christ, who are focused on introducing men in the UK to Jesus, exciting them in their faith and equipping them to live the adventure, CVM is right behind them.