Summary: What does it take to be a soldier for Christ? This message ends with a bold statement of being a soldier for Christ and was delivered with soft background music. Very heart-touching.
This past Wednesday was Veteran’s Day. I don’t want to let that day go by without honoring our veterans and thanking them for their service. After all, if it wasn’t for their service, we might not have the freedoms that we have.
But in 2 Timothy 2: 1-4, Paul talks about being a soldier for Christ. Most veterans have experienced first hand the battles that this country has been engaged in. They know what it was like to suffer and go without. They know the struggles that are involved when they accepted the call to be a soldier for this country.
But in the same way, being a soldier for Christ has its challenges as well. Let’s talk about that first-hand experience as a Christian. I’m not going to flower it up. Don’t get me wrong, when you accept Christ and become a Christian, that’s the most important decision you’ll make in your life. That’s when your Christian life begins.
And believe me, Satan hates it. When you become a Christian, life doesn’t become all puppy dogs and rainbows and white puffy clouds and butterflies. No! That’s when you began to face a lot of challenges. And you veteran Christians know that Satan is going to do everything he can to cause you to fail as a child of God. That’s where you become a soldier for Christ.
READ 2 Timothy 2: 1-4 Looking at this Scripture really drives home the importance of serving in God’s mighty service and I believe to honor our vets we must place God first in our thoughts and relate military service to that of our service to God. We need to ask ourselves, “What is involved in serving Christ? Do you consider yourself as being a soldier for Christ.
Veteran’s Day was originally named Armistice Day. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. An Act approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday. All veterans need to be honored for their dedication to our country—for their hardships they have endured, for the Warfare they have battled, and for the struggles that each has battled within their lives. Being a soldier and serving this great nation is an honor and it is one thing that I am sure every veteran is proud of. But I can’t help but to think of a greater calling to a service that God has called all of us to. We are all called to be Soldiers of Christ!!
In the first portion of Paul’s letter to Timothy, Paul says: “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” I believe this has a lot of meaning that deserves some thought.
Most people would generally agree that serving as a soldier during wartime is no fun to say the least. Being a soldier during a time of war is a difficult thing to deal with. Soldiers often go without water, food, sleep, medical treatment, seeing their family, not to mention other unimaginable hardships. Sacrifice is the major hardship for the soldier.
The hardship of being a soldier is un-comprehendible unless you’ve served yourself. For me to stand here before you this morning and try to paint the picture for you will never truly bring it to life. This is a truth that many of us seem to forget or really don’t understand in the first place. In much the same manner, once we gave our lives to Jesus, we enlisted into His Army. By joining His Army, hardships are going to follow…. Sacrifices!
For some, their friend circle gets smaller. When I first became a Christian, many of my former friends seemed to fade out of the picture. But let me tell, on the positive end, I gained so many more even better friends that also knew Jesus.
I’ll admit that I came very close to enlisting in the Air Force. But circumstances came about and God changed my path. The problem was that my recruiter didn’t exactly tell the whole truth about what they would offer me for enlisting. So, when it came to the truth, on the day I walked into the room to swear in, I was pulled to the side and then found out about the lies that were told to be to get me to enlist.
I don’t speak for all the recruiters but not many of them were totally honest to say the least. If you were to ask one of them if they ever lied to their potential recruits, they would tell you “of course not, I just didn’t tell them everything.”
If you were to ask the mass majority of soldiers today that are actively serving if they knew totally all the hardships that came with serving, they would probably answer “nope, not even close.”