A repetition of concepts. God often speaks to me and guides me over a period of time with such repetition. He has used it on many occasions to strengthen my faith and affirm my walk. Recently it has been a bringing to mind again and again of being a soldier in God’s army. This morning as I was seeking God’s guidance and wisdom before walking in obedience to His call for me to write, He brought me to 2 Timothy. And there it was again. Bold and clear.
A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. (2 Timothy 2:1-7 ESV)
And in connection with the soldier theme is the theme that disciples make disciples. Multiply. Discipling another Christian in their walk in a manner that they will follow Jesus and also make disciples who then make disciples. All of us seeking to follow and obey Jesus Christ out of our love for the One who has saved our souls from eternal punishment; the one who hung on the cross as payment for my sins and in return handed me His righteousness. Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior.
No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits…..
Oh what wisdom. We who serve in God’s army must not be so entangled in the purposes of man that we are hindered or restricted from God’s pursuits. God’s soldiers have orders to follow. It is His pursuits to use His children to draw many into His Kingdom. He wants all, but He knows that not all will accept Him. He calls all, but most will turn away.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? (Matthew 7:13-16 ESV)
He has sent us (His army) out into this fallen world to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.
Persecution Will Come
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 10:16-23 ESV)
Oh how we fall so short. We call ourselves Christians and yet do not heed the call of Christ to go and tell. He has charged us to be brave and to face persecution in the face of our witness, yet many of us fail to ever utter in a public place or in our own homes the blessed truth of the salvation of Jesus Christ.
Father God, please work in me Your will and Your power. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit Lord so that I may walk blamelessly in Your ways. Let me rest knowing that You will provide the words that I need. Help me face persecution with grace, truth, and love that come from You alone. Help me to endure to the end. Forgive me Lord for my failures to make the most of each opportunity You have given me. Amen.
Sit quietly today with your Savior. Allow Him to work in your heart His will for your life. Get your marching orders soldier. Then go and share all that He has shown you with all who will listen. Make disciples for Jesus who make disciples for Jesus. Make it your aim to please the One who has enlisted you. Be encouraged. Press on. To God be the glory.