by David Brenneman
"and let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." Hebrews 10:24-25 NASB
"Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6:12 NASB
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing." 2 Timothy 4:7-8 NASB
Oh the interesting ways that the Scriptures often connect at this time of the morning.
I have often wondered if indeed the writer of Hebrews was Timothy. To me it seems befitting. That Paul's son in the faith write something. It's certainly not Peter's style and certainly has elements of Paul that one might find from a student.
How hard are we really trying to fight the good fight? How hard are we pressing on to the upward call of God in Christ Jesus?
How hard are we trying to keep the faith?
How hard are we trying to get together to talk about the things of God?
Or is the world taking up all our time, and are we being selfish about what little daylight time we get each day, spending it on ourselves?
Read in the final chapters of Romans and you will see Paul telling those reading it that he has a hope of seeing them as a basically refreshing joy to be with.
In recent years the whole institution of Church gatherings has been under extremely heavy attacks. Both due to the obvious and not so obvious reasons.
Satan certainly does not want Believers gathering at all...and it's a sad unfortunate truth that way too many in the professing Church accommodate him! They don't even put up a fight concerning the whole idea of gathering together. All in the name of this or that. There ARE valid reasons for some not to gather together. Illness, illnesses in friends or family. Jobs. But given some careful thought, people should be spending time with other Believers during the week. We need that fellowship. We need that encouragement. That rest from the burdens of the world.
The day indeed is drawing near concerning the return of Jesus Christ. Are we at all living today as if today were to be that day? Are you expectant or will you be surprised by it?
Are you following along with the plan of God for you? Or have you considered it optional because of the interests you have in this world?
Romans 15:14-17 NASB "And concerning you, my brothers and sisters, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another. But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given to me from God, to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God."
Paul was doing what he was doing with a purpose. We see of his desire that his offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Spirit.
When you survey your life...can you say that you hope your life has fulfilled God's purpose in you? Can you say that you've been fighting the good fight? Can you say that you've kept the faith?
This is a very sobering post. We are in a world far more distracted by temptations than perhaps any time in history after the Genesis flood. Temptations that are easily as crafty as the snake in the Garden of Eden. As subtle as a breeze. We often don't need much coaxing to quit. To not fight. The result is really a lot of stunted growth Christians. We aren't living up to our potential in Christ Jesus.
I look at me and wonder if indeed I am fighting the good fight.
Noah had to fight the good fight hard for over 100 years building the Ark. Additionally he dealt with the constant ridicule of people for building a boat on dry land, no apparent hope of ever seeing water with it. Utterly sinful people around him with no regard for the things of God. Lest we forget...the only one righteous enough to be on the Ark was Noah. He found favor in the eyes of the Lord. It wasn't his wife or family. It was by grace those people were saved.
It's by grace we were saved. It's by grace that we ought to seek out others in the faith to be encouraged and to encourage.
The day is drawing near. When our lives are tested by fire...will you wonder if anything will be left to offer back to Jesus? Is there evidence of a fight between you and the world? Or are you just going with the flow. Not rocking any boats.
We were told in advance that this world would be full of people who are lovers of themselves. The list goes on in 2 Timothy 3:2-8 NASB "For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these." That last part of the verse seems to imply he's talking about people in the Church. People calling themselves Christians who aren't living it. It's a sad truth that indeed 1 second after the Rapture of the Church, churches everywhere will still be full. Full of these kinds of people. People who didn't get it. People who weren't saved.
1 Peter 5:8 says to be sober, be on the alert. Does this describe you? Are you at all aware of your surroundings? Are you at all ready to fight? Most might know the rest of that passage. For our adversary the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Resist him, being firm in the faith.
How firm in the faith are you? How firm do you expect to stand if your training all alone, if indeed you are? There is no such thing as a lone wolf Christian. Where two or more are gathered there Jesus is with them. Matthew 18:20.
Don't you WANT to be in a situation knowing Jesus is there with you?
We need each other in Christ Jesus.
We need to fight to take back what's been lost to the world.
We need to be doers of the Word and not just hearers only.
We owe everything to Jesus and ought to be living lives that reflect that.
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