Next week we celebrate Veteran's Day here in the United States of America. It is a day set aside to honor our men and women who have served in the armed forces of our nation. Originally known as Armistice Day, the holiday was created to remember the Armistice agreement signed between Kaiser Wilhelm's German Army commanders and the leaders of the Allied Forces, which brought an end to World War I. The truce was signed 90 years ago this week on November 11, 1918, on the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month".
In 1954, President Eisenhower signed the proclamation which changed the name of the holiday to Veteran's Day, honoring veterans of all wars - not just World War I.
At this time of year when we recognize and honor those who have served our country in military service, we can also draw parallels between the qualities of a member of the military who serves honorably, and those of us who are "soldiers of the cross".
In 2 Timothy 2: 3-4 the Apostle Paul writes to the young pastor Timothy. Paul writes, "You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier".
A Good Soldier is a Follower! This implies a relationship. Paul refers to us as being enlisted as soldiers for Jesus Christ. It also implies an soldier's understanding of rank. Each of us have our own place in formation. We understand our tasks. There are some who are under our responsibility and there are those who are over us. This also impliesrule. We understand that in the service, we are called to follow orders. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).
Have you enlisted? Are you a Good Soldier for the Lord? The pay may not put you in the top tax bracket, but the retirement plan and benefits are "out of this world"!
I'll be preaching this Sunday morning at Wesmoreland Baptist Church in Huntington, about the "Qualities Of A Good Soldier".. I'll use these two verses, as well as verses 8-13 to go more in depth to this subject. If you don't have a home church, let me invite you to worship with us. We're located at 3401 Hughes Street in Huntington, WV.