2 Timothy 2:1-13
Verse of the Week
“Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.” [2 Timothy 2:3-4 NIV]
A Soldier is one who lives on mission.
Read: 1 John 2:15-17
Sin distorts through the lust of the flesh.
We’ve said it many times that “sin always over promises and always under delivers”. One of the areas that draws us into sin is the lust of the flesh. This is basically giving way to what feels good now contrary to God’s Word and God’s best for us. It is impossible to live in the lust of the flesh and sin and be an effective soldier for Jesus, our commanding officer.
Satan distracts through the lust of the eyes.
I heard a pastor say one time, “if the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” One of satan’s greatest tactics is to keep our eyes off eternal things and put them on temporary things. Where we live, this is one of the major areas where the enemy is winning against the church. When we begin to have a greater desire for created things rather than the Creator, we are thrown off track and won’t be effective in the mission.
Self defeats through the pride of life.
At the root of all sin, there’s pride. The essence of pride is the desire to live life on our terms instead of on God’s terms. We can trace this back to the fall of satan and to Adam and Even in the garden. A good soldier is only concerned about pleasing the commanding officer (Christ) and doing what’s best for the army (the elect). A good soldier will surrender his/her life for these things, not seek to keep it. That’s why it’s so important to recognize pride in our lives.
How do we combat this as a soldier?
Play by the book. (2 Timothy 2:5)
The book is alluding to the Word of God. In disciplining ourselves to read and study God’s Word we are growing in our intimacy with Jesus as well as learning our commanding orders. This is a vital part of growing in our relationship with Jesus and being effective in the mission.
Pray in the Spirit. (2 Timothy 2:7)
Prayer is the key to receive the strength to walk out the Christian life. Through prayer we receive the strength we need to fight temptation (lust of the flesh/eyes), and hear the officer’s voice to obey what he calls us to. This is vital to live life on mission.
Remember Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:8)
This is perhaps the most vital of all the components to combat distortion, distraction and pride. We consistently have to remember that Jesus saved us from our sin, Jesus gives us the grace to combat sin, and Jesus gives us the fuel to be effective in the mission. As a good soldier carries on, he/she must be reminded that we endure for the glory of our officer and for the good of those who will be saved and come into the Kingdom.
How has your week been spiritually?
What has the Lord shown you through the passage this week?
Of the 3 things that prevent us from living on mission, which one do you struggle with the most?
In the 3 points mentioned of how to battle against the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life would you like to grow in? How do you plan to do that?
What’s your next step in your relationship with God?
Who can you invite to church and/or group next week?