What You Are Called
“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” 2 Timothy 2:3-7 (ESV)
Found myself in quite a crowd on a Saturday morning. It was Men’s Breakfast at First Baptist Church in Egg Harbor City and it was the largest one I’ve been to, ever. I’m not sure if the count was right but the number was four times the amount it was the month before. Pastor Paul Ort (FBC’s Pastor) had his family in the area for his daughters 18th birthday and they themselves were quite a crowd. His brother Peter opened us in prayer and his prayer was an encouragement for men to regain our places as the spiritual head of the home and for men to take ownership of the home. I’m stoked…let’s eat!!
Then came the message…WOW!!! His name was Bob (got some sermons on CD from him) and the content of his message was simple. He had us open our Bibles to the verses I am using in my opening today and said if we say we are Christian then we are called to be soldiers, athletes and farmers…then he cruised through verses in the Bible at top gear. At one point I was wondering if there was a book he wasn’t gonna quote from. Good thing my I-phone app could keep up, but I think I may need to see a doctor for my sprained thumb (just kidding…but he was that fast). Bob made such an impression with me that morning that I have come back to that spot in Timothy to take another look.
First we need to look at being a soldier. Be prepared to lose your very life for the Gospel’s sake, understanding that as we are abiding in Him we willingly enlist ourselves to serve under His banner. To quote John Gill…”manfully behave against sin, Satan and the world” as true believers who are ready to fight the good fight of faith. And the only rest we get is having Jesus Christ as our Captain of salvation, standing side by side with our brethren, enrolled and registered as a Christian. Not at the ready to please men, our own selfish desires or rest in worldly concerns but to please the Lord Jesus Christ, in whose book we will find our names written.
Next as athletes… but not like contending through games that would have us attain a corruptible, fading crown that would have been made of vines and leaves but to run this race lawfully and with endurance. And being mindful that we fix our mark as to be looking unto Jesus, pressing through all difficulties, towards the prize and holding on unto the end of the race. And then as a farmer or as King Jimmy put’s it “The husbandman that laboureth” by plowing, fertilizing, sowing, weeding and then reaping for the sake of the Cross of Calvary. We do this as ministers of the Gospel who first labor, and endure hardships in this life, knowing He will let us sit down in the kingdom of heaven and enjoy the crown of glory, which the chief Shepherd shall give unto us.
I really needed to hear that battle cry again. Just because I get this privilege to write Freedom Fighters doesn’t mean that I have passed some finish line myself…far from it. At times it can be so refreshing to come out of those deep theological studies and just hear a simple reminder that all I am called to be is a soldier, an athlete and a farmer. Where ever you are today Bob I want to thank you for the reminder and to FBC of EHC for letting him have the pulpit on a Spirit-filled Saturday morning. – Chris Hughes is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger and a graduate of the Colony of Mercy
Quote of the day: “Christ’s work in us is not finished until He has perfected His own form in us. We must be assimilated to the form of Christ in its entirety, the form of Christ incarnate, crucified and glorified.”—Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Verse to Memorize: My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ears to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. Proverbs 4:20-21 ESV