If you’ve been in any form of the military, or defended your country in any capacity…I want to personally thank you for your service. For I know many of you have never been recognized and appreciated for what you did. It takes a certain character make-up to be a good soldier…a certain firm stand and persistence to face adversity day in and day out…a certain firm determination to get the mission done. By the time Paul wrote this second letter to Timothy he was well acquainted with the life of a soldier…for he wrote this letter from prison. So Paul couldn’t help but watch the Roman soldiers as they worked around him…drawing inspiration from their mindset and resolve. This is why he exhorted Timothy to be a good soldier…enduring hardship, fighting the good fight, and holding on to his faith until his mission was accomplished.
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than the conviction of the Lord as He shines the light of truth onto our sinful lives. Conscience-stricken, we nervously look for a way to escape the situation and the guilty feelings that are overwhelming us. Humans don’t like feeling convicted…instead, we’d rather hear lovely, benign platitudes and feel-good stories that don’t offend. Over history, mankind has fabricated falsehoods in their minds…lying, deceiving fables and myths that go against the teachings of the Bible…but help to make them feel less guilty about their own forbidden and unrighteous desires. These fables and myths gloss-over doctrinal truth…rejecting the Gospel and deceiving the listener.
Don’t fool yourself…if your motive for serving the Lord is anything but pointing others to Jesus, you won’t succeed. For any Holy Spirit empowered ministry has to have at its basis the cornerstone of Christ. Without that origin, you are out there under your own power…with lopsided purpose and motives. So ask this of yourself…Is my outreach to others self-centered or selfless? Is it about Jesus, or about me? Then listen to that still small voice inside for direction.
As a Believer, you have been given the Spirit of adoption and strength. No longer are you an orphan, fearful of tomorrow. No longer are you a slave to anxiety or dread, for you have been embraced by your Heavenly Father…taken in as family and becoming a joint heir with Jesus.
Do the people around you even know you’re a Christian? ” I’ll let my walk do the talking,” you might be saying to yourself right now. But do you know how many “good” people don’t know Jesus and are going to hell? To paraphrase Jesus in Mark 8:38, If you’re ashamed of Me, I’ll be ashamed of you. Why should we be embarrassed to tell others what Jesus has done in our lives? Our testimony…or our personal story of redemption needs to be something we’re so comfortable telling others about that it flows naturally like breathing. No one can take your testimony from you…it’s totally unique and the supernatural power it has can melt hardened hearts. Someone around you today needs to hear your testimony…it will change their life forever. Be brave and declare Jesus as your Lord and Savior.