A self-proclaimed military brat grew up with an Army father, an Air Force grandfather, and a Marine uncle. Her uncle was the strangest of the lot, and she never could figure him out.
When it was time to get married, somehow she fell in love with a Marine. She laughed one day and said she never understood her tough-as-nails Marine uncle until she married her tougher-than-nails Marine husband.
What does it take to make a good Christian soldier who can fight the spiritual fight for the Lord? In 2 Timothy 2:1-8, John writes to Timothy and lays out eight qualities every good Christian soldier must have.
The Christian soldier must be strong in the grace that is found in Christ Jesus.
Shear willpower cannot empower a Christian soldier to battle against the forces of evil. The strongest backbone will crumble at the devil’s devious assault. Only the grace of our Lord Jesus can create a shield of protection to surround us against all attacks.
The Christian soldier must train up others to spread the Gospel of our Savior.
We are not snipers for Jesus. We are soldiers in arms. It is in the strength of our numbers that we conquer Satan’s evil forces. When we train up our brothers to be strong in the Lord, we become strong, also.
The Christian soldier must be prepared to suffer hardship in the service of the Lord.
American soldiers in Iraq labored under 100+ degree heat. Sand clogged their pores. Yet the fight had to go on. When our spiritual battles grow wearisome, we must strive to hold to the battle plan.
The Christian soldier must cast off earthly duties to pursue the good fight of Christ.
A man cannot serve two masters. When we are worried about our annuities, vacation houses, and stock market investments, how much of our energies can we invest in our spiritual battles?
The Christian soldier battles by God’s rules, in order that he might receive a victor’s crown at the Judgment.
Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times. Yet, when his doping came to light, his victories were stripped from him. We must win our spiritual battles by God’s rules.
The Christian soldier willingly takes his share of the spoils of battle.
As a farmer deserves the first of his crops, or an athlete deserves the victory crown, so we deserve to partake of the blessings our Father provides for us as we battle for him.
The Christian soldier trusts to the Lord for his battle plans.
When we tire of waiting on the Lord, we run the risk of stepping out on our own. When we move forward without God, we move into dangerous territory.
The Christian soldier never forgets the message of Jesus, who is the Root of David, the Bright and Morning Star, and the Risen Lord.
If we share any other message, we are worse than infidels, and we will not join in the heavenly blessings of the true believers.
Only when we become one of Jesus’ spiritual brats can we hope to win the battles this world will bring against us.
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