Vessel of Mercy: A Quartermaster’s Charge

My grandfather was in the U.S. Army during World War II, a private in the group called the Quartermaster Corps. That’s him in the picture, if you’re wondering.

If you know much about me, you know I am a history nut and amateur genealogist. But when I came across this bit of information about my grandfather’s military service, I had to do some research.

I can hear you now…“What does this have to do with mercy?”

I promise, we will get there. We always do, right?

Quartermaster’s Charge

The quartermaster’s charge is to obtain supplies for the entire army. This can include clothes, food, fuel, weapons, supplies — in short, anything that a body of troops might need.

The obtaining and maintaining of this inventory is not the full scope of the quartermaster’s charge, however.

Those supplies do the soldiers no good if they are not provided and disbursed outside of storage. Orders would be received from command, and it was the quartermaster’s duty to fulfill them.

But the supplies could not be sent out without an order. Someone higher in command had to approve everything about the request and send a requisition with exact details of what was needed.

So, my grandfather was part of this vital group who would ensure supplies were given to the appropriate people, at the appropriate times, and to the correct locations. How cool is that!

In a sense, the quartermaster and associated corps act as servants to the Army. The corps has no power of its own but is required to meet the demands and requests of those in charge.

What if they don’t agree with the request? Maybe they think they have already sent them enough food rations for the month or that the officer is being greedy. Does the quartermaster just say no?

Nope. Because that is the quartermaster’s charge.

Here you go…

To show mercy by providing a service to others while fulfilling a calling given to them.

To show mercy by not withholding valuable supplies to those who need them.

Charge of a Christian

We who are God’s children are part of His ‘quartermaster corps’. We have been given a charge to give something to the world they cannot obtain on their own.

Our charge is to reach the world with the gospel of Christ.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

Matthew 28:19-20a, ESV

Acts 1:8 tells us to start where we are and continue spreading the good news until we have reached the world.

We do it, not on our own, but from the command of God the Father, with the help of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:20b).

Provision for All

We do it, not only to those we love or to those we think deserve to hear it, but to everyone.

Regardless of who they are, where they are, what they do, or what they look like.

If they need it (and they do!), we are to supply it!

Here’s one more thing…

Regardless of whether they like it or not.

Oh, one more…

Regardless of whether WE like it or not.

No Questions Asked

If the quartermaster questions the orders and makes a decision that the supplies are not really necessary, the army cannot do its job.

If we start deciding who is and is not worthy to receive the message God has given us, we are not fulfilling the charge given to us by our Leader. Because the truth is…none of us are worthy.

No matter what your physical purpose is on this earth, following and fulfilling what we call the Great Commission is every Christian’s job.

To share with the cashier who is quiet and troubled. With the co-worker who is anxious about a diagnosis. That neighbor who does things we don’t agree with. To the teenager who has a disturbed look in her eye. With the single mom who feels her world is in complete and utter chaos.

To share with anyone.

Share the message God has charged you to share. Provide what that person needs more than anything else in the world. Give them the opportunity to hear someone loves them and cares about their needs.

Regardless. Show mercy. Fulfill your commission, quartermaster.

So how is your charge going? Mine could use some refresher basic training. Let’s ask God to show us who we need to show mercy to today.

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