I love my country. I love the brave men and women who defend our freedoms everyday. I am thankful for those who have paid the ultimate price for that freedom. Without Good Soldiers where would this country be? Without Good Soldiers for Jesus Christ where would the church be?
If you are a believer you are called to be a Good Soldier. Second Timothy 2:1-4 outlines the characteristics of a good soldier.
Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 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.
A Good Soldier:
1. Is Strong in Grace
A Soldier must be strong. Strength training is of most importance to a soldier. As for the Christian, our strength is His strength. We need to be strong in Grace. Trusting in the Grace of God for eternal salvation makes us free and alive. So trusting in God’s grace makes us strong for the battle. The Apostle Paul asked three times for his “thorn in the flesh” to be removed, but God never answered that request. The Lord’s reply was, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
2. Is Faithful to the Truth
If a soldier is anything he is faithful! Faithful to the mission, the cause, and his fellow soldiers. We believers must be “faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2) We are to be faithful to the Truth of God’s word. Paul says to Timothy, take the things that you have learned from me and pass them on to someone else who will faithfully do the same. Praise God for Faithful Men who have done just that throughout history. Where would we be without people who were faithful to the Lord and His Truth?
3. Endures Hardness
The life of a soldier is often one of great hardships. Take a look at history, or talk with someone who’s been there and you will understand the many hard things soldiers endure. The Apostle Paul was certainly a Good Soldier of Jesus Christ and he endured faithfully to the end. He faced many terrible things. He said that 5 times he was whipped nearly to the point of death, 3 times he was beaten with rods, once he was stoned, and he was shipwrecked 3 times. He faced robbers, the harshest conditions of nature, problems with false brethren, opposition with unbelievers, and yet he endured. What hardness may we face? No one can say. Will we face anything like Paul or Timothy faced? I hope not. Whatever the “hardness” you face don’t flinch, but endure.
4. Is Not Entangled
Single-mindedness is a term that applies to the soldier’s life. The good soldier must focus on the task at hand. A distraction on the battle field can be fatal. A distracted Christian will fall prey to the devil.
We must remember why we are in this fight. Because the Lord Jesus Christ has called us to be His soldiers. He is our goal. Pleasing our Saviour is the highest motive for service.
And don’t think, ‘I’m not the soldier type, I’m not interested in joining the Lord’s Army’, because He has already called you. In verse 4 we learn that Jesus has chosen us to be His soldier. So be a Good Soldier for Jesus Christ.