By Pastor Lee Hemen
August 11, 2008
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. (2 Timothy 2:1-7)
We get so distracted so easily as people. Like honey bees, it is as if each little blossom in life demands our attention, wilted or not we busily flit from flower to flower. We are not the soldiers we are meant to be! Not everything on the road of our lives is worthwhile and not everyone we befriend is either. What then is to attract our concerted effort and examination? “Patton” Paul writes Timothy that it is “the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Why? Grace is the undeserved love of God in our lives and Paul realized that most believers did not fully understand its implications and exactly what it meant. You know what? This is true for us as well in our day and age. We entrust our spirituality to people that are less than able to teach anyone about the grace of Christ. They are mere spiritual hucksters that can speak smooth sounding words that grease our ears but give little benefit for our Christian discipline. Few are qualified to teach. Fewer still are worth our effort. A message in a minute will not instruct one in how to stand and fight when the enemy overruns our position.
What is more is the sickening fact that many have reduced their walk with the Lord to how they feel for the moment. The Lord’s Army has been reduced to a religious diverse loving Boy Scout Troop at best! (No offense to the Scouts.) They are incapable of enduring any hardship in life and especially when it comes to their faith. It is as if the whole church went AWOL and ran away from the enemy rather than meet him face-to-face in the trenches of life. Our fine sounding instructors of how we can feel better about Jesus have given too many of us blanks for bullets to face the enemy. They teach us to be more concerned for the cares of the world, the “civilian affairs,” rather than the work of the soldier of God in the Army of Christ. If you are taught always to seek first your kingdom and how you feel, then you will only defend what you think you deserve rather than sacrifice for your true Commander.
Remember General Patton. Sure he was accused of being “insensitive” to a shell-shocked soldier, but we have very few of those in the ranks of the church in our day and age. Paul, like Patton, was more concerned for the battle and for those men and women already in the midst of the fight. Not some hurtsy-feelie namby-pamby goodtime feeling do-gooder. YUCK! Is this what the church of God has been reduced to?
Soldier of Christ, whom do you want to please today? Yourself or your Commanding Officer Jesus? We need more teachers that are like “Patton” Paul that are willing to use the swagger stick of God’s word to smack us back into the battle instead of pussy-footing us around with spiritual platitudes. God’s grace is undeserved in your life and you are expected to fight like, well… hell was trying to gain control! Get up, get going, and stop getting involved in “civilian affairs.”
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