Monday, October 6, 2014

Open Heavens Devotional for Monday October 6, 2014: A SOLDIER OF THE CROSS


Memorise: Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3

Read: 2 Timothy 2:1-7
1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

I believe that knowledge and wisdom are crucial to our greatness in life. Simply put, knowledge is information that is censored by intelligence, while wisdom is the right application of knowledge. One piece of knowledge every child of God should have is the fact that every sincere Christian is a soldier of the cross. Christians are combatants, and we are expected to be equipped for battle. Ephesians 6:11 says,

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

The first group of enemies Christians wrestle against are principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). It is our duty as soldiers of the cross to earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). A saint is holy, and the faith delivered to the saints is of great value. Therefore, no evil conduct must be found or even mentioned among soldiers of the cross. How should a soldier of the cross live? We are to resist the devil (James 4:7). Resisting an opposing force is serious business. Whoever will resist the devil should first and foremost submit himself or herself to God. Prioritise only the needful in your life and let God be your first priority. As soldiers of the cross, the principle of proper prioritisation is relevant to our growth in Christ.

Someone once said the reason most major goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first. Many Christians find it difficult to make God their first priority because petty and mundane matters steal much of their time. Unfortunately, many are living for the wrong things. They fail to know that part of being wise is to know what to overlook. If God will be your Number One, there are many things you will have to flee from or refuse to touch. One of such things is sexual immorality. The scripture enjoins us to flee fornication (1 Corinthians 6:18). In the same vein, we should flee idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14). 

A Christian soldier knows, as Paul did, that all things are lawful, but not all things are expedient. As a soldier of the cross, it is your duty to be sober, vigilant and watchful. You should set your affection on heavenly things, not on the mundane (Colossians 3:2). Soldiers of the cross are the elect of God and should therefore put on the attributes of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness and longsuffering. We should learn to bear with one another and to forgive one another. Finally, every soldier of the cross is expected to demonstrate the true love of God. You should also be thankful and allow the peace of God to rule in your heart.

Action Point: Spend quality time in worship and in singing spiritual songs with grace in your heart to God.

Bible in a year: 1 Samuel:21-23; Proverbs 7:10-27


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