Summary: We got to grow from believer to laborer and then grow to become a soldier for Christ! Who is a soldier? A soldier is an alert, active, loyal, militant follower who arises during the time of crisis and God wants each one of us to resurrect from our comfort
We got to grow – Part 3
Our fellow soldier!
Philemon 1:2”…………..Archippus our fellow soldier……….”
We got to grow from believer to laborer and then grow to become a soldier for Christ! Who is a soldier? A soldier is an alert, active, loyal, militant follower who arises during the time of crisis and God wants each one of us to resurrect from our comfort zone and become soldiers in His army. Are you listening please???
Please read my earlier portion (part 1) as I explain the book of Philemon to understand the message in full. A soldier endures inconveniences and hardship, are you listening? We would not grumble when the church lacks comfortable chairs and enough space or we would not murmur against God during times of affliction and pain.
Hudson Taylor was a missionary who went to China from England during tough times. Even as a young boy, burden for China burned in Hudson’s heart, as he grew, the burden intensified. He prepared himself for the mission by trusting God alone for his needs, since he was going to a far-away country with only God by his side. Butter, milk and other such luxuries he stopped to use and lived mostly on oatmeal and rice so that he could save that money. In this way he had more than two-thirds of his income available for other purposes like helping out people in need. Eventually, when Hudson Taylor sailed for China, it took him many months by sea unlike the airplanes today. The long and tedious voyage, persecutions, poverty and difficulties of culture and language did not deter his passion for the mission. He remained loyal and faithful till the end and accomplished great things for God. Taylor spent 51 years in China. The society that he began (China Inland Mission) was responsible for bringing over 800 missionaries to the country who began 125 schools and directly resulted in 18,000 Christian conversions, as well as the establishment of more than 300 stations of work with more than 500 local helpers in all eighteen provinces. Glory to Jesus! Today, our ears tickle to hear messages on ‘prosperity’ rather than prepare ourselves for adversity.
Coming back to the above scripture that we have taken for meditation, Apostle Paul called Archippus ‘our fellow soldier.’ Archippus was connected to Philemon in his ministry and the family very closely (some Bible researchers say that Archippus was the son of Philemon – we have no Biblical proof, though) whatever, we could see the growth in the life of Archippus. He has grown to be a strong, sturdy, reliable, loyal soldier in Christ and supported Philemon in his ministry. Amen. There is a dearth of people like Archippus in the body of Christ! We have youngsters who will come and dance, scream, shout, whistle, jump and play merry-go-round in the church but very few who would take the back stage and help. One particular young boy who was very weak physically, from a very simple background would volunteer to stay back after our all-night-prayer services and help in packing the equipments which would take not less than two hours; consistently for several years he did that when we were ministering in Chennai. Today he is a senior coordinator in a big mega church in Chennai with around 40,000 members, he is in church every Sunday before 6 am in the morning, organizing for the Sunday School. He is a fruit of my ministry and got water baptized through our ministry and I named him ‘stephen.’ I can call him ‘stephen, my below soldier!’