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Summary: From three professions we can learn how to be faithful in serving The Lord.

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Three Pictures Of Faithful Service

2 Timothy 2:3-7

INTRODUCTION

1. As Paul sought to encourage Timothy in his work as an evangelist... He made allusions to three secular occupations: soldier, athlete, farmer

2 Timothy 2:3-7

Here we find "Three Pictures Of Faithful Service"

2. Everyone who serves the Lord should learn from the soldier, athlete, and farmer.

No matter what our function is as members of the body of Christ.

With that in mind, let's look closer at the first "picture" in which we are reminded of...

I. THE DEDICATION OF A SOLDIER

A. A soldier must be LONGSUFFERING...

1. "...must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ"

2 Timothy 2:3 "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

2. Soldiers often endure great hardship in their service for their country

3. Should Christians be any less willing to suffer hardship?

a. For the gospel of Christ?

2 Timothy 1:8 "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;"

b. For the kingdom of God?

Matthew 5:10-12 "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

B. A soldier must be FOCUSED...

1. "No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life"

2 Timothy 2:4 "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

2. Soldiers must concentrate on the task at hand to survive

3. Christians need to be careful less they be distracted by the world

a. Or they will bear no fruit to maturity

Luke 8:14 "And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection."

b. Or they will drown themselves in destruction and perdition

1 Timothy 6:9-12 "But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."

c. A soldier must be DEVOTED...

1. "...that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier."

2 Timothy 2:4 "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

2. Soldiers desire to please their commanders

3. Should not Christians desire to please their Great Commander?

a. Note Paul's attitude concerning himself

2 Corinthians 5:9 "Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him."

b. Note Paul's prayer concerning the Colossians

Colossians 1:10 "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"

The next time you see a soldier who serves his or her country with honor, ask yourself: "Do I serve my Lord and His kingdom with the same dedication?"

Another picture that illustrates faithful service is...

II. THE DISCIPLINE OF AN ATHLETE

A. An athlete must be OBEDIENT...

1. "...he competes according to the rules."

2 Timothy 2:5 "And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully."

2. Athletes understand the need to abide by the rules if they desire to win

3. Are Christians under any less obligation to abide by the rules?

a. Jesus calls upon to observe what He taught -

Matthew 28:20 "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

Luke 6:46 "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

b. We must doers of the Word, and not hearers only

James 1:22 "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."

Matthew 7:21 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

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