Summary: There are fundamental similarities between being a good military soldier and a soldier for Jesus.
1. We are constantly made aware of War in our world -- Hamas and Israel; ISIS in Syria and Iraq; Jihadists in our country -- we all wonder what to do
2. [Veteran's Visit to France
Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.
At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.
"You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically.
Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.
"Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."
The American said, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."
"Impossible. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France !"
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to."
3. Appreciation for our veterans -- My family has had Patriots all the way back to the Revolution
As someone wrote:
It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the VETERAN, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN, not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the VETERAN, who salutes the Flag,
Who serves under the Flag.
4. Application to Our Faith and the Great Battle We are Engaged in 2 Timothy 2:1-7
5. What are some keys to being a successful soldier?
I. A Successful Soldier is Willing to Pay the Price (2:3)
1. The "Whatever it takes mentality." Normal for the military.
2. Which comes first for us -- our comfort or the willingness to sacrifice for others? Convenience or Conviction?
[Soldiers at Valley Forge had a choice -- shoes or printed Bibles for their children. They chose Bibles.
3. What price do we have to pay?
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23
II. A Successful Soldier Stays Focused (2:4)
A. On His Mission
1. Mission involves a Goal [1991- Fee Kuwait/2003 oust Saddam
2. Personal level -- Philippians 3:12-14
12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
3. For others --
[During the Civil War a watchmaker had been drafted into the Union Army. Every one in camp would bring their watches to him. On one occasion the troops were called into action. He yelled, "I can't go now, I have 12 watches to repair!" He forgot why he was in the Army.
21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:21-23
4. To the End
Matthew 10:22 "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."
B. On His Commander
1. The Commander understands the Enemy ["Meade will be cautious." RE Lee
a. Jesus, our commander understand the Enemy (Matthew 4)
b. Do we? (BTW, WE are not the enemy)
7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:7-9
c. [Sgt Asan Akbar tossed grenades into tents at the 101st Airborne Command Center in Kuwait. He was fighting on the wrong enemy.
d. On November 5, 2009, a mass murder took place at Fort Hood, near 9.29.2014 Killeen, Texas. Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army major and psychiatrist, fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others.