Big Idea

Not just a job, not just an adventure. Is it a calling?

Scene Setup

Sometimes it takes facing overwhelming circumstances to drive us to our knees so that we rely upon God, recognizing Him as the One who holds our lives in His hand. War is one arena that provides just these types of circumstances. One of the most disturbing, powerful, yet strangely uplifting films of the last few years is Steven Spielberg?s, Saving Private Ryan. The movie tells the story of an Army captain named John Miller who, having survived the carnage of the D-Day invasion at Normandy Beach, is ordered to find a solitary private among thousands of displaced soldiers. He must return Private James F. Ryan home to his mother. He is her last surviving son, because her other three have just been killed in action. Accompanying Captain Miller is Corporal Jackson, the unit's sniper. At first, the young corporal comes off as cocky and arrogant. But later in the film, the audience finds that this young man gives the glory to God for his gifts on that battlefield. In this scene, we meet Corporal Jackson, and discover that his assignment is not just a job, nor is it an adventure, it is his calling.


Calling, Obedience, Giftedness, Soldier, War


As Captain Miller's troops are marching through the French countryside, some of the men begin to complain about the mission. Most do not like the idea that the lives of them all are being placed in jeopardy for the life of one man. Corporal Jackson's complaint is different. He seems not to care much about the loss of his own life, rather he believes that the Army is not making adequate use of his God-given talent. He explains to Captain Miller: "Well, it seems to me, sir, that God gave me a special gift, made me a fine instrument of warfare?Well, what I mean by that, sir, is you put me and this here sniper rifle anywhere up to and including one mile of Adolph Hitler, with a clean line of sight, sir, pack your bags fellas, war?s over, Amen.?


Those who know Christ need not fear death. They are called to obey in this life, and to use whatever God has given them to advance the Kingdom. God's calling may be to the professional ministry, or it may be to be a plumber, or a soldier. What is important is to do answer the Call, and execute your gifts to the best of your ability.


Where To Find


1 Corinthians 10:31

Psalms 127:1-2

Video Times

Start: 00:44:00

End: 00:44:39


Calling, Obedience, Gift, Giftedness, Soldier, War

Illustration Sermon General Warning

Pay careful attention the start time. The characters in Saving Private Ryan are rough soldiers and occasionally use coarse language.

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