OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DATE: WEDNESDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER 2016
THEME: SOLIDERS OF THE CROSS
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3
Read: 2 Timothy 2:1-4
2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2:2 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.
2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
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.
The word ‘soldier’ appears in the Bible quite frequently, along with a number of synonymous terms. A solider is a person involved in military activity, one who is specially trained for war. In Bible days, the phrase ‘men who drew the sword,’ was commonly used to identify a soldier’s primary function as a combatant and to symbolise warfare in general. Ephesians 6:11-17, is a Bible reference comparing the weapons of a fully armed Roman soldier to that of a Christian’s spiritual armour. In recruiting earthly soldiers, some are chosen while others who are unfit are dropped. The fact that you are born again shows that you have scaled through the first selection hurdle. The next thing is to prove that you are a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Why? There are bad soldiers of the Cross. There are many supposed soldiers in God’s army who are no better than earthly civilians. In 1 Timothy 6:12, Paul enjoins fellow Heavenly soldiers to fight the good fight of faith. We have been called into a fight. It is a fight that is based on your faith in Christ. 2 Timothy 2:4 says:
“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.”
The chosen is also expected to be a soldier. Therefore, if you cannot fight to resist or terminate Satan’s operation in your life, family or church, you are a civilian not a soldier. If you cannot fight for God’s promises to be fulfilled in your life and circumstances, you are a civilian, not a soldier. Can you imagine a soldier who is armed and at the battle front drops his weapons, only to plead with fellow soldiers to assist him in shooting at his enemies? That is a civilian soldier! In the Christian faith, there many civilian soldiers. If you keep relying on others to pray for you, you are a civilian soldier. If you pay prayer contractors to go to Prayer Mountains on your behalf while you are asleep at home, you are a civilian soldier.
Civilian soldiers make God nauseous. If you are a soldier of the Cross, you must endure hardness. If because of little trials- delayed conception, no money, or some persecution, you decide to call it quits with your faith in Christ, you become a deserter, not a soldier. Soldiers are tough and able to go through tough and difficult terrains. What would stop civilians cannot stop soldiers. They are armed, disciplined and operate according to the orders of their superiors. They are faithful to their oats to defend and kill identified enemies of the kingdom. They fight, putting their lives on the line. The big question that every Christian must answer with all sincerity is, are you a soldier of the cross, a deserter, or a civilian?
Father, I am determined to be a soldier of the cross, please help my resolve to stand for you and the Gospel in Jesus’ name.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
HYMN 12: MY HOPE IS BUILT ON NOTHING LESS
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
3. His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.