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A GOOD SOLDIER
 
"Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (2 Tim. 2:3)
On Memorial Day we will pay tribute to the men and women who served their country during the armed conflicts we have been involved in. Regardless of what our views of war might be, we have to admit that our country remains a free and independent nation because of the mercies of God and, and the sacrifices our servicemen have made on the field of battle. Our boys have, been good solders and have done their job well and we owe a great debt of gratitude to them.
Now we may ask, "What is a good soldier?" Briefly, I would answer: One who is willing to leave the security and comforts of home and endure the hardships, dangers, and sufferings of military life. The soldier gives up all of his personal rights for his country, even the right to live.
A good soldier obeys the commands of his superior officers. A good soldier goes where he is sent and serves his best at that post of duty. A good-soldier never retreats unless ordered to.
A good soldier serves until his enlistment time is over or he is discharged for other reasons.
Of course, Paul is addressing Timothy as a soldier serving the King of Kings, the kingdom to which he belongs and for which he battles is the Kingdom of God. As a good soldier of the King of Kings, Timothy and all other Christians, ministers and lay-persons alike are to forsake all else that they might be good soldiers. As a good soldier of the King of Kings, we must obey the Captain of our salvation, Jesus Christ, in all things. For the good soldier of Jesus Christ there is never to be a retreat in our battle against the enemies of God. The orders are ever, "Onward Christian soldier."
The Christian soldier does not wage the battle at his own charge or in his own strength. God supplies all of our needs. He equips us with the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness, the girdle of truth for our loins, the helmet of salvation for our head, the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace for our feet and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit for our strength. The soldier of the Christ enlists for life. True, some go A.W.O.L. and rejoin the Prince of Darkness. However, our orders and His promise is "Be thou faithful, unto death and ye shall receive a crown of life."
Praise God!! We belong to a kingdom that shall never be overthrown and Our King shall conquer all enemies of righteousness. We are on the winning side and we shall reign with Him forever and forever. Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory thru our Lord Jesus Christ.
May 20, 1981

OUR FATHER
In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus teaches us to address God by the title known, loved, and respected by all the families of earth. We see this image of God as Father to His blood-bought, spirit-born children in all the teachings of Christ that refer to the character of God. Thus, we see Him as an understanding, loving and forgiving Father in the parable of the Prodigal Son. We also see Him as Father who is wise and generous in the giving of good gifts to His children, but will with-hold gifts that will prove spiritually harmful. God is also revealed in this Father-role as Protector, Guide, Counselor, Provider, and when the need arises, -Punisher. Hence, our understanding of God in His relationship to us is greatly enhanced when we think of Him in terms of our relationship to our earthly father (if that relationship is a healthy normal one) On this Father's Day, many of us, will reflect upon our childhood days and the tender, wise watchful loving care of our earthly father. If he is still living, let us give him due tribute for what he is and what he has done for us. If he has passed on, let us honor him by living the kind of life that will honor his memory and will reflect upon his wise and loving guidance as he sought to direct our foot-steps in the teachings of our Heavenly Father. Certainly, Jesus must have esteemed the position of father-hood very highly to liken it to the character and position of God and instruct us to address God by that term that means so much to us "Father".
June 15, 1977
June 1971
May is past and June will soon be over and once again on July 4 (Independence Day) our nation will celebrate her birthday.
What a parade of special days have May and June brought to us. Most of these were days in which we honored people or institutions. May 2 was Children's Day and we honored our children. May 9, we honored the queen of the home. Mother. May 16 (Heritage Sun) we honored John Wesley. May 30 (Memorial Sunday) we honored the dead. June 13 we honored our students. On June 20 we hope to have something good to say about Fathers.
Looking forward to July 4th and our effort to honor our nation and thank God for her, I wonder how meaningful it will be to most of the celebrants. Just as the previously mentioned days were set aside to remind us of our debt to others and to urge an expression of our gratitude, likewise, Independence Day would remind us of our great heritage and the sacrifices that have been made to gain and safe-guard the blessings that American enjoys. The road to victory and preservation of that victory over the enemies of freedom runs red with the blood of our patriots. The climb from our humble beginnings as colonies of another nation to a place of supremacy in the world today has been over mountains of struggle and sacrifice. A people with their eye upon a star and with faith in God, toiled and sweated every step of the way to the top.
However while America struggled to achieve a place among the world powers, she never lost sight of the needs of those less fortunate. Time after time she has sent of her wealth of money, skill, material and men to the aid of the oppressed. The blood of the flower of our manhood has stained the soil of many distant lands to procure and preserve the well-being of oft-times ungrateful people. Truly, as a nation we have much to glory in and be thankful for this Independence Day.
But, as we remember and honor Children, mothers, fathers, students, farmers, the dead, and our nation lets remember to look beyond the gifts to the Giver. Particularly as we revel in our political freedom. Let us remember with humble and grateful hearts the One who uttered the words of our text. The One who, with His blood, purchased our freedom from the bondage of the penalty for and someday soon the presence of greatest tyrant of all-SIN. A glorious freedom that can be had under any tyrant or system of government man may have. A freedom that can shout in the face of adversity "Thanks be unto God for victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ". Yes, we should shout "Hurrah" for the red, white, and blue and support our country in every good cause, but, while shouting "Hurrah" for our glorious nation, and the flag we are proud or, we should be forever praising God for the blood stained banner of the cross that sets us free spiritually and puts a song of joy in our heart and a smile on our lips. "We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us".

 

 

 
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