Time in the Trenches (7 of 8) by Jeff Strite

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Time in the Trenches (7 of 8)
Series: B.A.S.I.C. Training - Being a Servant in Christ
Jeff Strite
Matthew 16:24-27

OPEN: I recently read the true story about a preacher who was standing at the door shaking hands as the congregation departed. He grabbed one man by the hand and pulled him aside.
The preacher said to him, ''You need to join the Army of the Lord!''
The man replied, ''I'm already in the Army of the Lord, Preacher.''
The preacher questioned, ''How come I don't see you except for Christmas and Easter?''
He whispered back, ''I'm in the secret service.''

APPLY: The Secret Service? …I don't think so.

ILLUS: Several years ago, I was exchanging ideas with several people on ''BibleMaster.com''.
In the course of these conversations, I encountered a young man who'd just been called up to go to Iraq, because our nation had declared war on Saddam Hussein.
The problem for this young man was - he didn't want to go.
He explained that he hadn't joined the army to go to war… he'd joined because of the benefits: the pay, the college tuition, the insurance, etc.

Now, something's wrong with that kind of thinking!!
One of the primary functions of the military is to prepare for war.
You've got to know that if you sign up! I'm sure its somewhere in the job description.

Armies do NOT exist to pass out benefits (those are perks).
Armies exists to deal with conflicts.
To defend their people.
To fight the enemy.
And hopefully to contend against evil.

But there are people who actually join up hoping for a free ride.
And that kind of mentality undermines the military of any nation.

That same kind of mentality can also undermine the church.
Too often believers sign up for the benefits. They expect Jesus to ''be there'' for them… but they don't expect to ''be there'' for Him.

That's the issue Jesus is addressing here in Matthew 16.
He's explaining to His disciples that they're part of His army.
He has called them to war, and there's a d ...

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