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Be a Fellow Suffering Soldier – July 9, 2024

Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:3

Be a Fellow Suffering Soldier

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Daily Devotion – July 9, 2024

Devotion based on 2 Timothy 2:3

See series: Devotions

“Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before.” That’s the first line of a hymn written in the 1800s. In that hymn, God’s Church on earth is compared with an army. Not an army bent on conquest and destruction, but an army bent on breaking down the gates of hell and freeing souls with the message of Jesus’ cross. God’s Church has a mission to advance with the gospel to every corner of the earth.

The apostle Paul also briefly takes on the imagery of an army and soldiers in today’s Bible reading from the book of 2 Timothy. He urges Timothy to join him as a fellow suffering soldier for Christ. Soldiers follow orders. Soldiers leave their quiet lives as a citizens behind to go on a mission. Soldiers on active duty may have to go hungry and sleepless as they engage the enemy.

This reminds us that our time as God’s people on earth isn’t a cakewalk. As followers of Christ, we take on this calling to be suffering soldiers for Christ. It’s not supposed to be easy if we’re following behind our commander, Jesus. He’s going to bring us into the places that are hardest hit by sin and despair. He puts us on the front lines in our communities, planting us among people who need hope and forgiveness. Taking on the ministry of God’s Church in the world will take a toll on us. It will likely leave us feeling like a discouraged soldier pinned down under enemy fire at times.

But God doesn’t leave us to be suffering soldiers alone. We have a commander who has gotten down into the front lines with his troops. God, in Jesus, made himself a fellow suffering soldier in our war against sin, death, and Satan. Jesus, God-in-the-flesh, fought on the front lines, led the charge, and took all the enemy fire away from us by going to the cross in our place.

The next line in that old hymn says, “Christ, the royal master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see his banners go!” So now we can join in as suffering soldiers in God’s army along with Paul and Timothy and our leader, Jesus.

Dear Lord, help me bear up under suffering as I follow your mission to bring good news to the world. Amen.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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