Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Good Soldier

Temple Baptist Church - 10-6-2013
2 Timothy 2:3-4
A. As Paul continues to instruct Pastor Timothy, he likens Timothy unto a soldier who is at war. We need to recognize that we are in a perpetual state of war as God’s children. We war against:
1. The flesh that we carry with us.
2. The world that tries to influence us – principalities and powers, spiritual wickedness in high places
3. The devil who hates everything God loves.
4. The wolves that continually infiltrate and destroy.
B. Paul admonishes Timothy to be a “good soldier.”
1. When I was in the military, I knew good soldiers and then there were some real “duds!”
2. I met professional soldiers and then there were “lifers.”
3. There were men who were combat ready and then there were those I would never choose to be in a foxhole with!
4. We were a “Band of Brothers.”
C. A good soldier: must take orders well, learn to use his weapons, get along with his brothers, learn to identify and neutralize his enemies, stay in good shape, determine to finish his work, adjust to adverse circumstances, endure hardness, and be proud of who and what he is.
D. We are soldiers: either good or bad; ready or not ready; dependable or not dependable! I look back over my short stint in the military and see many likenesses to the Christian life.
I was drafted. I did not choose to be a soldier, I was chosen by a higher power.
I received a letter two weeks after Barbara and I were married in June of 1969. No “Greetings” as I was told by some. It said, “You are ordered to report for induction into the armed forces of the United States of America!”
I was sent to Basic Training or “Boot Camp” at Fort Knox, Kentucky, in July 1969. Men from all over: single and married, city and country boys, college educated and high school educations, every color and race, from the north and the south, city and country boys.
I was sworn in at the Reception Station at Fort Knox. I pledged allegiance to our nation and I had no qualms about doing so. I loved my country.
I was given a G.I. haircut and issued a uniform.
I was taught discipline and obedience (police call, etc)
I was exercised into good physical shape.
I was taught well to use my weapons.
I was taught to fight our nation’s enemies.
My second post was Fort Bliss, Texas. Advanced Infantry Training or AIT. There I learned a specific job working with Army Air Defense Systems.
Upon completion of AIT, I was issued orders to report to Headquarters Battery, 10th Artillery Group, 32nd Army Air Defense Command (AADCOM) in Darmstadt, Germany.
On December 18th, 1969, I got home for my first Christmas (and last for a while) with Barbara. Three weeks later, I was sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey to await my flight overseas from McGuire Air Force Base.
January 14, 1970, We landed at Bonn-Cologne Airport in Germany. Took a train to Frankfurt, Germany where we were placed in the Reception Station until I took another train to Darmstadt.
I spend 18 months in Germany with only one leave when Barbara’s dad died.
I did not get involved with the affairs of Germany nor its people. I was married and stayed on base the vast majority of time. I did not get “entangled.” I was there for a purpose and that purpose was foremost.
July 9, 1971, I landed at the McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, sent back to Fort Dix, and then home.
I spent four years in the reserves and was honorably discharged July, 1975.
I am glad that I was privileged to serve my country!
I was specifically chosen
I was specifically trained
I was specifically placed
E. I am going to give to you an outline that Bro. Bret Groves sent to me because it would be hard to improve upon.
We are at War!
II Timothy 2:1-5
Bret Groves
I. Enlist others "the same commit thou to faithful men" We cannot win this war by ourselves, we need soldiers, not sissies!
A. The orders "the same" No new regulations, the same Bible, commandments.
B. The officers "commit thou" Not mama called, papa sent!
C. The only useful men "to faithful men" Who can find a faithful man?
II. Expect trouble "endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."
A. Be realistic about war - it's gonna get rough!
B. Be ready for it when it comes - prepare for the worst
C. Be resourceful - it could last quite some time
III. Escape entanglements "No man that warreth entangleth himself"
A. Free yourself from the world
B. Focus on the fight, not focus on the family (Don't be stupid, don't win the world and lose your family)
C. Find favor with God (Remember, you can't please everyone, so please the One Who really counts!)
IV. Examine tactics "except he strive lawfully."
A. Consider the commandments "lawfully"
B. Consider the casualties "strive"
C. Consider the crown "masteries"
V. Encourage yourself "be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
A. Personal encouragement "Thou" everyone needs to be encouraged.
B. Parental encouragement "my son" God's family is your family.
C. Powerful encouragement "be strong" don't fail, don't be frail.
D. Present encouragement "in the grace that is" He's not running low on grace.
E. Positional encouragement "in Christ Jesus." Go to the source of true strength!
Conclusion: I am a soldier in the army of my God! The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer! The King James Bible is my code of conduct! Faith, prayer and the Word are my weapons of warfare! I am enlisted in this army for eternity! I will either retire in this army at the rapture or die in this Army; But I will not get out, sell out, be talked out, or pushed out! I am faithful, reliable, capable and dependable! Wherever my God needs me, I am there! I am a soldier! I am not a baby! I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up, pumped up, picked up or pepped up! I am a soldier! No one has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me or lure me! I am a soldier! I am not a wimp! I am in place, saluting my King, obeying His orders, praising His name and building His kingdom! I do not need to be cuddled, cradled, cared for or catered to! I am committed! I cannot have my feelings hurt bad enough to turn me around! I cannot be discouraged enough to turn me aside! I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit! When Jesus called me into this army, I had nothing! If I end up with nothing, I will still come out ahead! I will win! My God will supply all my needs! I am more than a conqueror! I will always triumph! I can do all things through Christ! Devils cannot defeat me! People cannot disillusion me! Weather cannot weary me! Sickness cannot stop me! Battles cannot beat me! Money cannot buy me! Governments cannot silence me and HELL CANNOT HANDLE ME! I am a soldier! Even death cannot destroy me! For when my Commander calls me from this battlefield, He will promote me to a captain and then bring me back to rule this world with Him! I am a soldier, in the army, and I'm marching, claiming victory! I will not give up! I will not turn around! I am a soldier, marching heaven bound! Here I stand! WILL YOU STAND WITH ME? Guess what?!? If you've accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you're already enlisted! Or are you AWOL: Absent With Out the Lord.
“Clear Colors”
"I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer and labor by power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, and my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go until He comes, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He stops me -- and when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me -- my banner will be clear.

No comments: