Would you turn to 2 Timothy 2
Tomorrow, November 11th, much of the world will celebrate their soldiers. Many countries will observe Armistice Day while others Remembrance Day while in the Unites States, it will be Veterans Day.
According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, there are approximately 23 million Veterans of the US Armed Forces currently living in the United States. A little less than 10% of these US Veterans are female while more than 90% are male. In addition to those veterans there are another 2.3 million men and women currently serving in the military branches of our great nation.
Since 1776 more than 48 million men and women have served in our country’s military. The last US Veteran to have served in WWI was US Army Corporal Frank Woodruff Buckles.
“Corporal Wood Buckles”, a Missouri boy, went to his heavenly reward in Feb of 2011 at 110 years old. Surely he must have honored his father and mother to have lived so long. Today there are approximately 1.4 million Veterans of WWII still living in the US; 2.3 million Korean War Veterans; 5.6 million from the Gulf War; 6.2 million peace-time Veterans; while the largest segment of the Veteran population is the 7.5 million from the Vietnam War.
Almost 10 million, or nearly half of all of our valued Veterans are over the age of 65. And, approximately 50% of those Veterans over 65 live in one of three states: California, Florida or the Great Republic of Texas.
In country after country, city, town and village alike, from France to Great Britain, from Australia to the Americas, tomorrow will bring the remembrance of that faithful day when At the 11th Hour on the 11th Day of the 11th Month in 1918 the Germans signed the Armistice bringing an end to World War I.
HAVE ALL VETERANS PRESENT STAND TO BE RECOGNIZED
May God bless each and every Veteran of our US and Allied Armed Forces for their service to the cause of freedom. The many Veterans around us are examples of service and citizenship and each one is a living reminder that freedom is not free.
Concerning Veterans we must account that when the question was asked, “Who will give their life for this nation?” Each one got up and took their place in the line. (Points to Ponder)
When I volunteered to serve in the US Military, like all other new recruits, I was sent to boot camp and entered a basic military training that taught me what was expected of me in the defense of my nation’s decided best interests.
I raised my right hand and swore with an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic so help me God. Furthermore I was supplied a military handbook and told to open that book to The Code of Conduct. Then the meanest, loudest, most serious man I ever heard got right in my face and in no uncertain terms told me what service to my country required.
The Code of Conduct spoke to me and struck a chord of patriotism in my life that was deeper than I ever imagined. Whatever it was that moved me, has never stopped moving me. I am still that man pledged to defend the constitution of the United States of America. I made that commitment because it was already in me. But, I didn’t make it until somebody else, whose passion had already been sparked, lit my fire and challenged me to keep it burning. Here is that Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct
I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.
If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.
I re-read this on occasion and while reading it this week and considering why it still spoke to me so deeply, once again I recognized the power of a commitment and the opportunity that comes when someone simply tells us what is expected of us and challenges us to commit. So, I took a few minutes and wrote a COTR Code of Conduct and just before we turn to our scriptures for this morning, allow me to challenge you to ignite the passion within you for a cause greater than yourself, a cause worth your life.
Church On The Rock
Code of Conduct
I am a Believer in Jesus Christ, serving in the forces which spread the Gospel and Eternal Life. I am prepared to live my life in their defense.
I will never sin of my own free will. I will never lead, abandon or entice others to sin or fall short of the glory of God.
If I am tempted, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape, and to aid others in escaping, the snares of the devil. I will not accept compromise in my own life nor receive the increase or favor it promises.
If I sin, I will repent, accept forgiveness and continue in faith with my fellow Believers. I will not be critical, judgmental, sow discord nor take up a reproach against my brothers and sisters in Christ. If I am rightfully placed in a senior leadership role, I will take command. If not, I will obey those who have the rule over me, who speak the Word of God, and I will follow their faith and back them up in every way.
When questioned concerning my faith, I am required to speak the truth in love. I will avoid answering questions which gender strife to the utmost of my ability. I will loyally proclaim the Word of God and am determined to know nothing save Christ and Him crucified.
I will never forget that I am a Christian soldier, fighting for the souls of men, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the truth which sets men free. I will trust in my Savior and in the Body of Christ which is the Church of the Living God.
I challenge you to commit. Light the fire and keep it burning.
Let’s begin reading from Paul’s second letter to Timothy.
2 Timothy 2 NKJV
1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
6 The hard-working farmer must be first to partake of the crops.
7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.
· You = direct and non ambiguous confrontation
· my son – God sent His only Son on a mission to a foreign land and He died accomplishing His Father’s command. Paul could do no better and wish no more than his son follow that example.
· be strong = a warning and a calling to commit beyond comfort
· be strong in the grace – admonition and direction to depend on Christ and His unmerited favor and blessing – it will be bigger than you … you will need God on your side for this
· you have heard from me = Paul was diligent to train his son
· commit = instill in others what I have instilled in you
· to faithful men = not able men not the richest, smartest, best looking
· who will be able = God makes the faithful able, He does not make the able faithful … faithfulness is the choice of every individual – God however, can easily make men able whether they are smart or not
· to teach other also – so that the process of discipleship continues to every generation, on purpose, with a plan, to teach what was taught.
· You therefore must = nothing short of a requirement
· endure hardship = it won’t always be safe, easy, or personally profitable … if it gets hard or costly, bear up under it and endure, persevere, carryon, continue, persist, keep going and don’t give up
· as a good soldier = these things are simple and already easily understood by good soldiers … now be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
· No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life = every soldier clearly understands this as well, I think everyone else understands this as the correct perspective of a soldier … I just don’t think many Christian Believers think of themselves as soldiers of the cross … but evidently Paul did!
· that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier = either pleasing Jesus or else and even also the one whom God has provided to shepherd, teach, disciple, guard, guide and lead us. Every regimen has a structure, a hierarchy, a command – and so does the Kingdom of Christ. Many complimentary scriptures encourage this thought.
· competes in athletics = if you prefer an athletic analogy … we, even as soldiers, are competing for a prize on this field of service.
· according to the rules = there are rules that govern our commitment and either increase or limit our potential for success
· hard-working farmer = perhaps you prefer an agricultural analogy … notice Paul chose a hard working farmer who cares for the field and crop all year long instead of the barely-get-by approach of the slothful farmer
· first to partake – providing of course that he is that chosen example of the “hard-working” farmer. The hard-working farmer is rewarded for following the rules. The slothful is not first or best or longest.
· Consider what I say = just think clearly, openly and honestly without protest or a guarded position …meditate on these truths
· the Lord give you understanding in all things = if you will meditate on and grasps the simple truths contained in the principles I have just given you, it will help you to receive revelation from Christ in every other area of life.
BTW, the word “Veteran” comes from the Latin, “Vetus”, which means old or experienced. I believe Paul was a Veteran in the Army of the Lord. Today I leave you with a challenge to commit your life to Christ as a good soldier of the cross. Pledge yourself with passion and follow the rules.