Pastor Thomas Smith   -  

“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.”┬áII Timothy 2:3, 4

The life of a soldier is not an easy one. The sacrifices that are made are real and should be appreciated. Our nation would not be what it is, were it not for the brave men and women who have courageously served their country. We should be grateful for our veterans, including those who presently serve, and for their families who have known the price of defending our freedoms.

It is fitting to honor veterans for their patriotism and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the cause of freedom. However, it is also important to recognize those who have sacrificed for the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. So many faithful servants of God, some with familiar names but many more who were virtually unknown, have enlisted in the fight for what is right. Paul often used the matter of warfare to describe the conflicts of the Christian life. We are indeed in a spiritual battle, not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness and dangerous error. This war has resulted in many casualties, sometimes because God’s people forget that there is a battle raging.

According to the Scripture, we are to be a “good soldier of Jesus Christ.” He has chosen us to serve under His command. Because we are serving the Savior, we want to be good soldiers. We want to be loyal and obedient to our Commander in Chief and always seeking to please Him. In order to be a good soldier, we must take care not to become entangled with “the affairs of this life.” A soldier must keep his mind focused on the war. Soldiers cannot afford to forget the dangers of battle and the consequences of negligence. One of the chief reasons we have seen many past, or potential, soldiers removed or disqualified from active duty is because they got entangled with the affairs of this present, evil world.

There will be difficulties and hardships as we serve the Lord Jesus Christ. As good soldiers, we are to endure through times of adversity. We must recognize and resist temptations to be distracted from our cause, which is to honor and obey the Lord. We honor the veterans who have served our nation well, but also the veterans of the faith who have given their lives in service to Christ.