Summary: A sermon for Vetran’s Day or any other day. A focus on what it takes to be a good soldier of the Cross.
SOLDIERS OF THE CROSS
We could ask any of these veterans that have served their country well to speak about self-sacrifice. This brief acknowledgment service and giving of pens is our way of saying thank you. But I realize that it does not come close to saying it well enough. Men and Women of the armed forces have given unselfishly of themselves to guarantee that our freedom will continue. They represent the term “good soldier” for us today.
Today’s message will focus on the same idea. The idea of a good soldier in the Spiritual realm.
None of us have been drafted to be soldiers of the cross. We have been invited to enlist. The Scripture gives us some clear instruction about how to be a good soldier of the cross.
I. WE MUST BE STRONG. Vs. 1
A) The word Strong here in the Greek means to be strengthened inwardly.
This is the realization that our strength does not come from ourselves but from God.
ILL. There once was a woodpecker that flew to a large Oak Tree in the midst of a great forest. He pecked and pecked away at the trunk of that tree. Just as he flew away, a lightening bolt struck the tree he had just been working on. As the large tree split into, the woodpecker boasted to the other animals, Look what I have done.
1) Strengthened inwardly by the power of God. God will always equip the soldier of the cross to do what He has called us to do.
2) Strengthened inwardly by the grace of God. We understand grace when we understand our hopelessness without God and our invincibility with Him.
B) That is found in Christ Jesus. Mohammed doesn’t and didn’t contain this strength. No self help book or mystical meditation will lead to this strength. It is found when we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord.
II. WE MUST TRAIN OTHERS. VS. 2
A) As we learn and grow we are not to become spiritual encyclopedias to ourselves. We are not to get in a spiritual fox hole and hide away from the spiritual battle we face.
B) The value of multiplication is found here. IF ONE PERSON WINS TWO AND THEN THOSE WIN TWO AND SO ON FOR TEN TIMES. THEY WILL TOGETHER WIN 1024. This is such a simple principle so why do we fail? Most the time it is a result of not discipleing or training others with what the Lord has given us in Spiritual Growth.
C) D. L. Moody said “It is better to train ten people than to do the work of ten people. But it is harder.”
III. WE MUST STAY FAITHFUL WHEN THE BATTLE GETS HARD. VS. 3
A) Every solider that has served this great country has had to endure hardness. Some more than others. Some even gave their lives on the battle field.
B) It is easy to quit. Former heavy-weight boxer James (Quick) Tillis is a cowboy from Oklahoma who fought out of Chicago in the early 1980s. He still remembers his first day in the Windy City after his arrival from Tulsa. "I got off the bus with two cardboard suitcases under by arms in downtown Chicago and stopped in front of the Sears Tower. I put my suitcases down, and I looked up at the Tower and I said to myself, ’I’m going to conquer Chicago.’ "When I looked down, the suitcases were gone." Today in the Word, September 10, 1992.
C) When we are willing to become a soldier of the cross, Satan will attack. The world will attack. Sometimes even our friends will attack. But no battle has ever been won by soldiers that were unwilling to stay faithful when the battle gets hard.
IV. WE MUST BE FOCUSED.
A) On the battle, not entangled and distracted by the world. Vs. 4
1) Many things in this life are not evil in and of themselves but when our focus moves from the battleground to the playground, they become sin in our life.
2) In war, soldiers must be careful not to be fooled by diversionary tactics. These are things that the enemy does to gain our attention while on another front the real danger advances. Satan is the master of diversionary tactics in our life.
B) On the instructions given by the commander. Vs. 5
1) We are not allowed in this battle to make up our own rules of conduct. God’s military doesn’t contain a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. God has given us in His Word the instructions. It is simply our duty to obey them.
2) Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; I Tim 6:14