Be Like ….
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will grant you understanding in everything.” --II Timothy 2:1-7
In this letter St. Paul was telling Timothy what he should be like. This applies to all Christians. As with all human beings we need role models to follow. The apostle Paul gave us three examples we should imitate.
First, we are told to be like a soldier. St. Paul qualified this by saying a “good” soldier. Two characteristics of a good soldier are emphasized. A good soldier is willing to suffer and endure hardship. The Christian life is not an easy life. We are in enemy territory doing battle with the forces of darkness which seek to defeat the work of Christ. This leads to the second characteristic of a good soldier, which is loyalty. He does not get “entangled in civilian pursuits.” That is, he is single minded, seeking primarily to “satisfy the one who enlisted him.” No matter how courageous a soldier is if he is not loyal, he is not a good soldier. Benedict Arnold was possibly the most skilled and courageous officer George Washington had in his army. Arnold 's major defect of course was not a lack of talent, but a lack of loyalty.
The second example St. Paul sets before us is an athlete. The sort of athlete the apostle has in mind is one who “competes according to the rules.” Over the years there have been a number of athletes who have been disqualified because they broke the rules; rules such as not taking certain drugs. As Christians we too follow a standard by which some actions are not acceptable.
An athlete must also have discipline and endurance, which are the result of training. In the book of Hebrews we are advised, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us ….” (Heb. 12:1
The third example St. Paul gives us is the farmer. Again he qualifies the role model as a “hard-working” farmer. Farming certainly is hard work as is the Christian life of following Christ. Part of that hard work is sowing the seed of God's Word and then patiently waiting for it to germinate and grow. St. James tells us, “Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord, Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it until it receives the early and the late rain. You also be patient.” (James 5:7,8a)
Here are three excellent role models for us as Christians. We should be like good soldiers, disciplined athletes and hard working farmers as we live this life.
By Rev. F. M. Levi
The Rev. Deacon Craig H. Smith, Curate at St. Andrew's, graduated from Cranmer Theological House, May 29, 2004, receiving a Master of Divinity. Congratulations on this most significant accomplishment.
George and Cheryl Yapp were formally received into membership in this parish on Sunday, May 16, 2004. We pray the Lord's richest blessings upon the Yapps.
Thank you to the ladies of the Women's Guild for sponsoring the Father/Son Breakfast on Saturday, May 15, 2004. Following a delicious breakfast Rev. Craig Smith gave a brief devotional. All of the men and boys had an enjoyable time.
The Women's Guild held their annual rummage sale on Saturday, June 5, 2004. Thank you to all who worked or contributed items to the sale to help make it a success.
Visit from Rev. William Jerdan
The Rev. William Jerdan, missionary to France , was at St. Andrew's Sunday, June 6, 2004. Bill presented the work and fielded questions during the Sunday School hour and then preached at the service of Holy Communion. Do be in prayer for Bill and his wife Diane as they continue to serve Christ's church in France .
Sixteen children graduated from St. Andrew's Preschool on Friday, May 28, 2004. We wish all of the children and their families the very best. There was also a 3 year old music program on Thursday, May 27, 2004. Thank you to the teachers and staff for their dedicated work this past school year.
St. Andrew's is initiating a pledge campaign to help boost the finances of the parish. We are pursuing a number of new ministries, such as “Shield of Faith” and a new church plant, for which we need your financial support. We are asking every member to fill out a pledge card indicating what you feel you will be able to contribute over the next twelve months. Cards are enclosed which you are asked to return to the church. This will greatly help us in our budgeting for the coming year. Your faithful support in the past and in the future is deeply appreciated.
“Shield of Faith” Television program
As many of you may already know, our new television program “Shield of Faith” is up and running and doing well. We have just finished editing our fifth show. Our program airs every Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. on WJYS channel 62. Copies of all our programs are now available in VHS or DVD format (suggested donation $10). This is an excellent way to build your own library of solid Biblical preaching and exposition. This is also an excellent way for those who may have moved away from the area, to keep in touch with St. Andrew's, and to offer their support for this worthwhile ministry. If you would like to receive a particular copy of our program, or would like to be put on a mailing list to receive every show, contact the Rev. Craig Smith via E-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (708) 614-7404. Your support for this ministry through your prayers, donations, and purchase of videos is deeply appreciated.
Missionary of The Month
Judy King Bible Translation/Discipling. Summer Institute of Linguistics. Amazonas , Brazil