Our discipleship focus is on joining the mission, likened to soldiers serving under a commander. The Apostle Paul appeals to Timothy, join me in suffering by the power of God and join with me in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:8; 2:3
We step into this week celebrating You, Father, as a gracious God who saves us and calls us according to your purpose;
We celebrate You, Jesus, our Commander-in-Chief, Lord of our lives, our Victor in the battle;
We celebrate You, Spirit, who gives us power, love, and self-discipline that we may live a holy life to the glory of God;
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
In Capernaum, a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant… He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” Jesus heard this, was amazed at him, turned to the crowd following and said, “I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then the men who had been sent returned to the house finding the servant well.
...say the word, and my
servant will be healed.
For I myself am a man under authority,
with soldiers under me.
I tell this one,
‘Go,’ and he goes;
~ Roman Centurion
What jumps out at you from this reading? Ask God why…
Onward Christian soldiers! marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master leads against the foe;
Forward into battle, see, His banners go!
Remember: Ten minutes a day to stop and listen, to connect with God in music. Let the Holy Spirit use it to feed your soul.
Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people...
What challenges do you recognize in these bible readings?
Come Follow Me...
To “follow” Jesus means to know him and to come under his authority and direction. We call him Savior and Lord; As Savior, he delivers us from sin, death, and the devil; as Lord, he has ownership of our lives, and we are to submit to his leadership, even denying ourselves to do so (see Luke 9:23). And in this week’s analogy, we are soldiers following orders under the authority of our commander-in-chief, Jesus
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand… And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests; Be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Father God, remind me that I am in a battle, and that I do have an enemy, unseen as he may be. You have said that there are things that war against our souls; I want to be able to stand against the onslaught and to do that, I need You, I need your Spirit, I need your armor, and I need prayer – mine and the prayers of others for me. Help me to be spiritually alert and discerning, to not get caught up in ‘civilian affairs,’ but focused on You. I love you God and I want my soul to thrive under your leadership; in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
If you want to free your soul, you acknowledge that there is a spiritual order that God has designed for you. You are not the center of the universe. You are not the master of your fate. You are not the captain of your ship. There is a God, and you're not him. True freedom comes when you embrace God's overall design for the world and your place in it. This is why in the Bible you see this strong connection between God's law and soul-freedom.
Soul Keeping, Ortberg, p.147
Here is a person to look up to and model oneself after: Look at what this Roman Centurion is praised for among the local Jewish people: His great love and generosity. Then look what this man is praised for by Jesus among those same people: His great faith. And then imagine the attitude of his “valued servant” for whom this centurion sought out the Lord Jesus to effect healing. WOW! This centurion is a man who garnered favor from both God and man, among his own people and those of other ethnic backgrounds. Kudos to him; praise to God!
I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.
Thank You Father for the gifts you have given me, none greater than Your Holy Spirit Himself. May I know Him more! I pray that He teaches me, that he disciples me to live a holy life of power, love, and self-discipline. It is my heart’s desire to live out Your purpose for me under Your grace given to me. Please embolden me to seek the blessing of joining in “suffering for the gospel by the power of God”. This blessing I seek in the name of Jesus, my Lord and commander,