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A Solider in the Army of the Lord
by Tom Goodman
June 15, 2011

We prefer to think of the church as a family where we find comfort and nurture and help.  But that's only one image of the church the Bible gives us.  An equally important image is the church as a boot camp where we are molded together into a disciplined fighting force.

We read, "Fight the good fight of the faith" in one place; and in another place we read, "Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."  In another place Paul asks, "What soldier on active service gets entangled in civilian pursuits?"

In fact, in nearly 20 places, the Bible pictures the church in militant terms.  The old spiritual was right:  You're a soldier in the army of the Lord.

Now, if we're soldiers, where's the fight?  Very simply:  Wherever the rule of Christ is needed, that's where soldiers are needed:

  • You may be a dad whose daughter is making heartbreaking choices. 
    The rule of Christ is needed there, and so a soldier is needed there.
  • You may be a friend helping a friend overcome addiction. 
    The rule of Christ is needed there, and so a soldier is needed there.
  • You may see injustice at work or in your community. 
    The rule of Christ is needed there, and so a soldier is needed there.
  • You may attend a Sunday School class that has become ingrown, self-satisfied, with no heart for outreach. 
    The rule of Christ is needed there, and so a soldier is needed there.
  • You may recognize within yourself a growing spirit of bitterness or cynicism. 
    The rule of Christ is needed there, within you, and so you must work as a soldier against those attitudes.

Christ calls us to be good soldiers for his cause until Christ is loved and followed -- within our hearts, our homes, our church, and our world.

Oh, we won't foist our values upon others.  That's important to say because our neighbors and co-workers in Austin are really sensitive to this issue.  Our aim is not to enforce but to persuade, to the end that Christ is loved and followed.

And if that's our aim, we'll need to develop five qualities according to 1 Corinthians 16:13-14: watchfulness, steadfastness, maturity, persistence, and love.  This Sunday, June 19, we'll look at how to develop these five characteristics of good soldiers.  Join us @ 10 for this important Father's Day message!


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