Intro: Kingdom principles can be viewed by the world as being very “upside down.” In truth, God’s Kingdom is upside down from the world; righteousness calls for reversed values. In the world, leadership is about flesh-driven authority, elite dominance, and the misuse of power. In the spiritual family, leadership is about humble commitment, holy dependence, and selfless servanthood. Leaders, according to Jesus, are completely committed to him, dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit, and are driven to love God passionately by serving others (Mat 25:40). In between these two very different Kingdoms, we find a battle/opposition between the flesh, the Spirit, and Satan (Gal 5:17; Eph 6:10-12).
There are many places in the New Testament where our writers use warfare as a metaphor for the Christian life. Paul does the same in our passage today. A soldier for Christ is called to duty; he/she must look beyond the pleasures of this world and not let it distract him/her from fulfilling God’s command to be his witnesses. Paul encourages Timothy to be bold and productive—hardworking even to the point of exhaustion. He is not to allow the enemy to intimidate him; otherwise he will not be effective for Christ. Timothy is to give deep thought to these words from Paul.
Following Christ is not easy; it is the road less traveled that leads one to the narrow way of righteousness. We, too, should give deep thought to Paul’s words, because, we are soldiers of Christ Jesus and it is our duty to be witnesses for Christ in our culture. So, onward Christian soldiers! Have a blessed weekend…
2 Timothy 2:1-7 NLT A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus
1 Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. 2 You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
3 Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. 5 And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. 6 And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. 7 Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for this reminder from Paul to Timothy that we are soldiers in your spiritual army. We fight the good fight of faith and we claim every victory in the power of your name. Continue to make us courageous and bold in our witness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.