How To Be A Good Soldier
A study of 2nd Timothy 2:1-5
"Do you want to be strong in Grace? Fight like a Soldier!"
In this scripture Paul is talking to Timothy. Two men from different backgrounds, different ages, but the same goal. Paul is giving Timothy advice before he goes out on his own to win people to the Lord. In chapter one, Paul tells Timothy of some of his personal experiences (which were mostly hardships and prison) not to scare him, but to encourage him to keep his eye on the goal and to rely on grace.
Paul reminds Timothy that it won't always be easy:
2nd Timothy 2:1 "You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." NASB
Grace is an amazing thing to rest in, gain strength through, fight temptation with and so much more. Paul is teaching Timothy how to fight like a soldier of Christ. He gives three specific mindsets to have to be the best soldier you can be in God's army.
Don't Ever Give Up
As Paul encouraged Timothy we also need to endure hardships and persevere.
2nd Timothy 2:3 "Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus." NASB
Paul spent a lot of time training Timothy in both books (1st and 2nd Timothy), and mostly reminding him to keep on keeping on.
1st Timothy 1:18-19 "This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith." NASB
We are given these same words of encouragement for our service to the body of Christ.
Hebrews 6:10 "For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints." NASB
Hebrews 10:36 "For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised." NASB
Hebrews 12:1-2 "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." NASB
Don't Ever Take A Detour
We are called to a life of faithfulness. God needs to be able to count on you.
1ST Peter 5:9 "But resist him [Satan], firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world." NASB
2ND Timothy 2:15 "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth." NASB
Stand firm, stand up for Jesus Christ. Hold on to the teachings you know are true and don't waiver. Often times we are led astray and don't realize it.
Proverbs 4:25 "Let your eyes look directly ahead, And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you." NASB
That's why we must stay alert, and the best way is through daily prayer to re-establish our life of faithfulness.
Don't Ever Be Distracted
2nd Timothy 2:4 "No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier." NASB
Basically we are to have one thing on our mind â€“ to please our commanding officer - Jesus Christ.
1st Timothy 2:5-6 "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time." NASB
I'm sure an athlete striving for a crown would be training every day and staying focused on that goal. He may miss out on some parties and maybe some fun, but is always working towards the goal.
Remember, a soldier always want to please his commanding officer, and does so even when he doesn't understand the direction. I also think we must enlist without reservation. I can't imagine being in a war and my comrade having reservations about fighting.
A good soldier also understands his weapons. We have the Armor of God and should take full advantage of each piece in order to win people to Christ (which is what the soldier for Christ is to be doing). In the army they take their guns apart a bunch of times and put them back together so they get faster at it and know it better. A good soldier knows his men. He knows who is good at what, and puts the aces in their places just as you would in a war.
A good soldier never takes his eyes off the enemy. Remember, he is like a roaring lion seeking to destroy. Satan is also an angel of light that can lead you astray. Your enemy is very cunning â€“ do not underestimate him. A good soldier only takes commands from the commanding officer. This is a part of not taking a detour.
"I'm so glad to be a part of the family of God". What a great hymn describing our faith! I'm a sinner saved by grace and I am a part of Lord's army. There is also "Onward Christians Soldiers", etc. Do you remember singing these hymns? They are not just hymns to sing in church. The words have real meaning and were written to encourage future generations. Take the time to look them up in the hymnal and read them instead of just singing them. It will give you an awesome sense of the empowerment God gives us as His child.
Let God know He can count on you. Talk to Him every day so you know what the plan is. How else will we be a part of all the opportunities He has for you to take part in?
Created By Julie Robinson
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