Try To Please Your Commanding Officer

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – 2 Timothy 2:1-4): 1 Timothy, my child, Christ Jesus is kind, and you must let him make you strong. 2 You have often heard me teach. Now I want you to tell these same things to followers who can be trusted to tell others. 3 As a good soldier of Christ Jesus you must endure your share of suffering. 4 Soldiers on duty don’t work at outside jobs. They try only to please their commanding officer.

THOUGHTS: God designed us with a sense of choice in life. Parents and church workers teach children the right choices to make in life, but admittedly there are tons of other choices they could make, based on the friends they hang out, both their age and also older child-minders. However, the influence of teachers or daycare workers could also influence a child from a very early age. As adults, we grow up with these earlier age influences and we make choices impacted by the principles we have learned. Paul is teaching Timothy, and ultimately us, that when we become one with Jesus Christ, we are to live in a way that pleases Him. In fact, outside distractions and non-biblical principles will steer us away from the life our Commanding Officer desires of us. I was especially touched by the one command that we are to spread the gospel, not just to any and every one, but especially to those who will then also spread the gospel wherever they go. In fact, my takeaway on this is that I don’t just sit in Bible School and church each Sunday morning to allow the words taught, to tickle my ears, but to allow the Holy Spirit to open my ears of understanding and my eyes to the needs of those around me, so that I might share what I’ve been blessed to learn. I was taught that we are to be careful to whom we allow access to our belief system, as our allegiance to our Commanding Officer might be impeded or seriously distracted. As Christians, we are to practice that although we are in this world, we are not to be of this world and impacted by its sin and destruction. For our allegiance is to be to our Commanding Officer, Jesus Christ. Friends, your output will reflect where most of your input is coming from! Take time to evaluate self and see who has your allegiance today, please? If you need help in turning this around, please use my contact information in the ‘Footnote’. I will be happy to pray with you and give you some additional scripture that might help you realign your allegiance to our Lord and Savior!

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, please show Your favor on us once again today by blessing us with power to overcome the evil of this world and to center our thoughts and allegiance on You. Our news reports are filled with the results of evil in men’s hearts, so I am reminded that it is even the more important that Christians stand firm in our belief and our stand for our Commanding Officer. In the military, many would have been charged with defecting, and I believe that there will be a price for ‘Christians’ to pay when we see You face to face for the many times that we have defected in our allegiance to You. For some have accepted You as Lord (joined the army of Saints) yet never have chosen to learn the rules of engagement, therefore have no idea what they should be doing as a soldier, nor do they have a desire to do it. Some of us know it, but have deliberately chosen to defect. Some of us know it yet we stand wishy-washy in our belief system and in our daily commitment to You. We are ashamed dear Lord. We badly need Your strength, Your guidance and Your patience to make us stronger in our faith and more committed to our decision to be Your child, Your warriors and Your messengers. Please continue to work with us today and every day that we remain on this earth. I ask all this knowing that You are the only one true God and the only One who can give such blessings, in the name of Jesus, my Savior, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Strive for Perfection, Just as Christ is Perfect!

Scripture: Matthew 5

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matt 5:48 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

At the conclusion of a chapter devoted to telling us how to live a true Christ-like life, Jesus tells us that we are to strive for perfection like the only perfect One – Himself. I feel like there are several things to consider here:

  1. In Character: When we continually sin and just shrug it off to excuses like: “Well I’m sorry, after all I’m just human” or “It’s OK, I know that God will forgive me”or “Well, there’s always another chance for me to try and do this right”, then I believe that we are giving in to being a child of this world and accepting the pitfalls and weaknesses of this world rather than placing our faith solidly in the hands of the almighty and striving wholeheartedly to be like Him. Let’s aspire to be as much like Christ as possible. He will see our sincerity and help us through our human flaws;
  2. In Holiness: In striving to be more like Christ, we will find that love for, and service to others, become a priority in our lives. God showed mercy and love even to those who hated Him and chose to fight against Him. Look at how He healed the soldier in the Garden of Gethsemane. Let’s remember that we are chosen by God to carry His love into this sick world and represent Him in all of our interaction with sinners.
  3. In Maturity: Christ-like maturity doesn’t happen instantly. Just like we expect more from a teenager than we do from a child, or more from an adult than we do from a teenager because of the years of maturing into adulthood, so it is as we study God’s Word, learn more about Him and how we can become more like Him. We should be showing signs of maturing more and more each day. Friends, we don’t mature into adulthood strictly by what we learn in school – we learn it from our everyday living. So it is with maturing as a Christian – don’t depend solely on what you may learn from a weekly sermon. Get into the Word (God’s book of instruction) and learn daily what it is that God is teaching you that day to help you mature in Him.
  4. In Love: We must seek to love others with the same love that Christ loved us. He gave His life for us, while we still hated Him, while we plotted to kill Him, while we spat in His face and mocked Him. We weren’t deserving of His love, yet He gave it all to show His love for us. That’s the kind of love we must have for those that we come into contact with daily.

Christ calls us to rise above mediocrity and be perfect even as He is perfect. When we strive for this perfection we stop accepting anything less. One day we will be perfect, just as He is perfect!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that I serve the only perfect one. My desire is to daily grow to be, or mature to be, more like You in every way. This means that I am striving to also be perfect. This requires my daily time on Your Word and my ultimate desire to overcome the things of this world that will distract me in every way possible. However, I have the confidence in knowing that I serve the only One who could give me the strength, wisdom, desire, boldness and power to overcome the sinfulness of this world and strive for ultimate perfection in You. Please give me a constant desire to be more like You so that others may see Jesus in me and want to also know You. thank You for providing such an example for me to follow and mature in.