Summary: Just like the heroes that we honor on Memorial Day, Christians are called to be good soldiers.
Be A Good Soldier
Intro: On Monday we will celebrate what we as Americans call Memorial Day. We will have parades and speeches, family outings and picnics. There will be flags and flowers placed on graves and our president will place a wreath on the grave of the Unknown Soldier.
. The first observance of this day was on May 30, 1868. The purpose was to decorate the graves of the civil war dead. It has evolved onto a day where we honor all those who have died in our nations wars.
. The wars that have been fought for the privilege that you and I have this morning to meet freely and worship God.
. All of these heroes would be called good soldiers.
. They gave their life for what they believed in.
. Being a good soldier carries with it some characteristics.
. A good soldier would be a fighter, he would be faithful to his mission, he would be familiar with all that was expected of him and finally he would be a follower. All soldiers must be followers.
. As I thought about Memorial Day and what it means I realized that we as Christians are called to be good soldiers, just like the ones we honor today.
. In our scripture this morning the apostle Paul is encouraging his protégé Timothy and us to be good soldiers of Jesus.
. 3Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
4Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.
. Paul is encouraging timothy to persevere even through hardships.
. He uses the analogy of being a good soldier for Jesus and warns him to not get caught up in the world.
. He warns him that if he does get sidetracked that he cannot please God.
. Just how does a good soldier of Jesus keep from getting sidetracked?
. I believe that the four characteristics that we used to describe a good secular soldier will also apply to a soldier of Christ.
. A good soldier of Christ will be a Fighter.
. 12Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.
. A man was sitting on the back porch of the parsonage talking to the pastor and said, "Pastor, I’ve got something to tell you. I’ve never told this to a soul, it’s extremely difficult to tell you this now, but my wife and I have had a fight almost every day for the past 30 years of our marriage."
The pastor was taken back. He looked away. He nervously took a sip of his coffee. He didn’t know what to say. The young Pastor said, "Everyday?" "Yes, just about every day." "Did you fight today before you came to church?" "Yes." "Well, how did it end up?" "She came crawling to me on her hands and knees." "MY Goodness what did she say?" "Come out from under that bed you coward and fight like a man!"
. While we are not called to fight with our wives, we are called to be fighters.
. We are to fight the good fight.
. We are called to defend our faith.