September 2, 2020
Anyone who has served in the Marine Corps learned the mantra, “Every Marine is a rifleman.” Regardless of what the MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) will be, the ability to shoot and handle a weapon efficiently is learned by everyone from the first days of boot camp. It means being able to pick up your weapon to defend yourself and your fellow Marines when needed. To ensure this mantra holds true, there is an annual shooting proficiency every Marine must pass. This has been one of the hallmarks of this elite branch of our military.
As Christians, we must remember that we are in a war. Whatever role we fill in our daily responsibilities, we must remember that there is an enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy. We cannot take a stance that this isn’t our battle or our job. When the enemy tries to “come over the wall,” we must be ready pick up our weapon and be able to use it efficiently.
Our greatest enemy is not another human. It’s not a political opponent or another perspective. In our polarized and emotionally charged culture, it’s critical we remember who we are really fighting against. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us it is the devil and his forces. We are in a spiritual battle, and it can only be fought with spiritual weapons (2 Corinthians 10:4). One of the greatest weapons God has given us is His Word because it “is alive and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12). Ephesians 6:17 tells us to “take [up] the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
The Swordsman Project, developed by Royal Rangers in conjunction with the Bible Engagement Project, is designed to promote the habit of daily Bible reading. It is a movement of men and boys who desire to grow in their relationships with God and to become more fully connected to Him by regularly spending time in the Word.
Research from Barna shows that people who have high levels of Bible engagement have noticeably different lives from those who don’t. Evidence shows that people who consistently read the Bible have the following attributes:
Becoming a Swordsman begins with the realization that reading the Word a minimum of 10 minutes a day at least four (4) days a week will activate a critical development in your spiritual growth. That realization is followed by a commitment to join the Swordsman Project. Bible reading may be done individually or as part of a group, whichever works best for you.
There is no cost to join the movement; there only needs to be a desire to become a more fully developed follower of God. However, after signing up, there is an opportunity to purchase a lapel pin or other insignia to identify you as a Swordsman and to encourage others to join the movement. To commemorate a lifelong commitment of reading the Word, active Swordsmen have the option to purchase an annual commemorative coin at the end of each year in which they have met the goal of reading the Bible a minimum of 208 days a year.