Lieutenant Anthony Barnes speaks for God’s Fellow Workers
Latest session answers call and receives first appointments.
by Lieutenant Anthony Barnes –
The following is part of a speech delivered during the service of appointments by session representative Lieutenant Anthony Barnes.
1 Corinthians 15:58 reads, “My beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Our session, God’s Fellow Workers, arrived at the College for Officer Training on August 22, 2006. We came because God placed a calling on our lives, but we could never have predicted what we were going to experience as a result of answering that call.
In one of our very first times together, we were reminded that God’s grace is free, but is it not cheap. In fact, we were urged, as our Scripture in 2 Corinthians 6:1 reads, not to take God’s grace in vain. We were in for an experience that would involve shaping us, stretching us, and refining us, so that we may be used as a resource for God in growing his kingdom. We were taught to unpack Scripture beyond what is seen on the surface. We were persuaded to tease out critical issues beyond just a basic understanding, and we were constantly encouraged to finish strong, giving God the best of our time, our talents, and our passion for ministry.
With God at our side, we were being guided through a spiritual transition, the beginning of the fulfillment of our calling. It was in these moments that we were living proof of the age-old saying that God doesn’t call the equipped, but he equips the called. Although separately we came with various gifts and experiences, we were often reminded that the process of training for officership would not be possible without the strength of God. Today is no different. For it is with dependence upon the strength of God that we sit here before you today. No, we have not arrived. We will continue to strive for God’s best until our Savior brings us home. Nonetheless, we have been faithful in our training. We placed our trust in God, enough to confidently receive our commission and proclaim, “Here am I, my Lord, send me.”
In closing, as the time for us to receive our appointments draws near, we want to say thank you to our corps officers, soldiers, and CFOT staff that have offered and invested their time, resources, and prayers on our behalf. We promise to you, and everyone here today, that we will always honor, with great reverence and respect, the calling that God has placed on our lives. We will honor, with great integrity, stewardship of all aspects of the ministry God has provided us with. We will, without hesitation, be true to the covenant and promises we have made as soldiers, and now officers, of The Salvation Army.
It would take more than just a few moments to express the fullness of the transformation that this process has brought us, so we will leave you with this: Remain faithful to God in all that you do. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit with trust and expectation; and lastly, As God’s Fellow Workers, we now urge you, not to receive God’s grace in vain.