ATLANTA — It was a morning of grits and grace, biscuits and the Bible, sausage and songs, eggs and encouragement, as well as politicians, preachers, patriotism, prayer, and proclamation.
At least, that is one way to describe the annual legislative prayer breakfast sponsored by the Public Affairs Ministry of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board. The early morning gathering in the James H. “Sloppy” Floyd Building across the street from the Georgia State Capitol is designed to encourage and pray for the Georgia state legislators and other elected governmental officials.
J. Robert White, executive director of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, presided over the meeting and Jon Duncan, the Mission Board’s specialist in Worship and Music Ministries, led the music and sang “Were It Not for Grace before Dr. Frank Cox, pastor of North Metro Baptist Church brought the message” Life Defining Mission.”
Cox made reference to Jeremiah 29:11 and talked about God’s plan to give to those who trust Him good and not evil as well as a future and a hope.
The North Metro preacher indicated there are a lot of similarities in preachers and politicians and asked, “Do you have what it takes to be the best at what you do?” He also inquired of his audience, “Are you willing to pay the price for victory whatever the battle is at hand?”
Called to be warriors
Cox made reference to his son, Jonathan, who is a U.S. Army Ranger in Special Forces. In preparation for Jonathan’s strategic role in the military Cox stated that his training involved sleep deprivation, starvation, physical exhaustion, climbing steep mountains with over 100 pounds on his back, and parachuting into alligator- and snake-infested swamps – all to prove his fitness to serve as a Ranger.
Cox indicated that preachers and politicians are both called to be warriors and should live for the life-defining missions that will allow them to make a difference in the world and in the lives of others.
The speaker for the prayer breakfast said his son gave him three reasons that were the driving factors in his commitment to serve as a Ranger. “First, Jonathan stated, ‘I love being a member of a team that has a cause.’
“Every great soldier understands, Together Everyone Achieves More. That’s what a team is. This applies to government and ministry. In other words, a team works together to do what no man can do alone.
“In the government of our state you cannot do it alone. You need the discernment and wisdom of God and the prayers of God’s people. We must not elect you and forget you. We are commanded by God to pray for you. We must all pull together as a team.”
Cox continued, “Second, Jonathan said, ‘I love being accountable to the team with a cause. I want to be accountable to do my job with excellence, so my teammates know I have their backs and they don’t have to worry.’
“It was obvious that each Ranger knew two things.” Cox stated. “They knew their assignment well; and they did not deviate from it. They knew they could count on each other.”
For the cause
“Finally,” Cox explained, “Jonathan declared, ‘I am willing to sacrifice for the cause.’ I am willing to give my life for my team and for my country. I’m willing to give the ultimate sacrifice.’
“His statement sent chills up my spine,” Cox admitted. “The Ranger Pledge states, ‘Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and to complete the mission, though I be the lone survivor.’
“I pray that we will have that kind of commitment when it comes to fulfilling the mission God has for us.”
It should be noted that Jonathan Cox is a highly decorated soldier. Among his many medals and insignia, he has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, which is given to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.
Do not let us ever forget to pray for those who stand in harm’s way to defend our freedom and preserve our heritage. God bless them all!
Cox’s message was compelling and challenging. It was an inspiring way to start the day and caused those in attendance to realize that the fight for faith and freedom is worth the sacrifice it takes to win and preserve them.