A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus

by Mike Ratliff

Συγκακοπάθησον ὡς καλὸς στρατιώτης Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ. (2 Timothy 2:3 NA27)

Take your part in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (a personal translation of 2 Timothy 2:3 from the NA27 Greek text)

My son and daughter gave me a Kindle for my birthday. Yes, I know my birthday is not until October, but since we are scattered all over this country, we are preparing to celebrate my wife’s birthday, which was in June, my son’s birthday, which is in August, and my birthday, which is in October this up coming weekend. One of the first books I downloaded onto it and have been reading ever since is the biography of John Bunyan. I have been sorely tempted lately by our enemy into despairing of this ministry. Why? This happens as my focus goes inward and with that always comes a sense of my sinfulness and unworthiness to even be called a Christian. I look at those whom God uses to feed me spiritually and I see how small I am. How can God use one such as I? Two things have helped me through this. As I read of Bunyan’s early Christian walk, it soon became apparent that there were some parallels with how God is using not only me, but many others like me in these dark times. The well educated and those with large ministries are more often then not the ones who are on the road to apostasy just as in Bunyan’s day. Bunyan was barely educated and his only education in theology was from the Word of God and sitting at the feet of his pastor. God raised him up to do a mighty work in the Church, but it was one that involved much suffering. The second came as I watched this video. Continue reading