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Summary: Just like the heroes that we honor on Memorial Day, Christians are called to be good soldiers.

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Be A Good Soldier

2 Timothy 2:3&4

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.

. 2 Timothy 2:3-4

. 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.

. In 1 Timothy 6:12 Paul tells Timothy:

. 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.

. I don’t throw a lot of Greek words or translations at you but this one is important.

. The verb fight in the New Testament is present tense and it is in what they call the imperative mode. What all that means is that this verse could be read like this.

. I command you Timothy, to keep on fighting, no matter what because what we fight a good fight that we have been called to.

. A fighter never gives up. No matter what.

. That imperative mode means that this is a command, not a suggestion.

. Folks we can’t tire of telling others about Jesus.

. Paul told Timothy to fight the good fight for the true faith.

. Folks a good Christian soldier will fight the good fight for the faith.

. Just like the good soldiers that we remember and honor on Memorial Day, a good Christian soldier must be a fighter.

. Next we see that a good soldier must be Faithful.

. Look back at our scripture. Verse 3 says this:

. 3Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

. Folks if we are to be good soldiers we must be faithful no matter what is going on in our lives.

. One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey So he invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was

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