The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Enjoying A Good Metaphor

"Soldiers of Christ arise and put your armor on; Strong in the strength which God supplies,
Strong in the strength which God supplies through his beloved Son"

John Wesley 1789

We were studying 2 Timothy this past Wednesday (second chapter) and found Paul trying to encourage his protege. In the first few verses, Paul admonishes him to be "strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." Then it's metaphor time....Paul writes; "Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs---he wants to please his commanding officer." The teacher, being the good teacher that he is, asked how being a soldier compared to being a Christian. We looked around the room and all eyes fell on one of our members who had been in the service and is still in the reserves...He did not disappoint us. Metaphors are great when they are able to spring to life. Things like oath of office, obeying the commands of a superior officer and even what GI means were bantered around. Pretty soon we were drawing these wonderful comparisons of how a soldiers life in some ways parallels a Christians'.

We may have even "stretched" the metaphor a bit, but then again, that's what they are for...The obeying orders thing is really a great one. God is our General and Jesus, His Son, is our commanding officer. We take the oath when we decide that we want to be in "His army." Though there is not a specific oath, how about this one; "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength....Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these" (Mark 12: 30 & 31). If you have a concordance, look up the word command or commands. You will find plenty of references. They are all designed to get us following the right path. "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in His love" (John 15:10).

Just as there is a reason to obey commands as a soldier, there are reasons to obey the Lord's commands. We deviate from the metaphor as we search for the reason here. "And this is love; That we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love" (2 John 6). We are to obey the commands of the Lord in order to stay in His love. It is certainly a great place to be and is good enough for me...How about you? Maybe a good challenge for all of us, is to search out this metaphor to a greater degree, and find some other similarities. The next metaphor in 2 Timothy is near and dear to me. That's for tomorrow...

Have a wonderful beginning to your week...Start it off with a RAK.... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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