Thursday, March 21, 2024

A Contender of the Faith

A Contender of the Faith 
by David Brenneman

"Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend (assert something as a position in an argument, struggle to surmount) earnestly (with sincere and intense conviction) for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness (willful disobedience) and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." Jude 1:3-4.

This passage was part of the reading that my Bible reading plan took me to. I was then lead to add definitions to some of the words to better understand them.  

Much of today's world in much of the supposed church has people in it that aren't there because they truly believe. Many like the warmth of the few who are in Christ. Many have possibly come to Christ yet embrace the world as if they were free to do so rather than seek a life in Godliness in Christ Jesus. 

Willful willingly embrace or pursue. Choosing to engage. People living in sinful choices of their own choosing rather than turning from those sins. 

The Apostle Paul wrote of this in the book of Romans. Referring to it as a practiced sin. Something willfully done without regard to the consequences. 

Contenders are possibly more well known as combatants in the realm of sports. To contend is to fight for something. Mohammed Ali was known throughout the world as a great contender in the boxing ring. 

In your life, how hard are you contending for the faith within you? How hard are you fighting back against the schemes of the devil trying to ensnare your life? How hard are you preparing for the next battle? Are you contending for others? Fighting on their behalf in prayer?  

If we're not pressing on towards the upward call of God in Christ Jesus...we're slipping behind. It's not anything we can think at all that we can take a break from.  

Our world loves to say we need to spend tons of money on vacations. On those promoted vacations in those ads people are shown to be care free and loose with their inhibitions. In these getaways shown do you see many that are taking Jesus with them? Showing a life that's lived well in Christ? Not very much or often.  

Jesus showed that a life in Him was a life in constant communication with His Father. He would sit down after He went to the cross. 

A rather popular saying that came from a news interview was "Ain't nobody got time for that!".   

Do you have time for Jesus?  
Do you consider time with Jesus optional or an opportunity? 
Do you take the calling with which you've been called in Christ as seriously as you ought to?  

How serious is that you ask? 
He was beaten, whipped, scourged, spit upon, mocked, humiliated, His muscles exposed from the skin that was ripped off by this torture...for you. He uttered nothing in response. Like a sheep before his shearers is silent. He took the punishment that was to be ours upon Himself. 

So my Dear serious ought we be in living life for Our Savior?  

We are indeed sheep. Needing protection and guidance daily because we aren't knowledgeable enough to know what God knows that's best for us.  

Life is full of landmines. Jesus knows where every one of em is located. We don't.

Jude was appealing to those he was writing to to contend for the faith. A Contender, Paul was describing, trains their body for the fights ahead. They don't get lax about the training. In the Rocky movie series where Micky was alive...he often got on Rocky's case for getting soft. For forgetting that he had to keep it up to be a true Contender. He didn't and lost to Clubber Lang decisively. 

We can be the same.
We can also be hoarders of God's blessings that we should be more fervent about sharing with others to bring them freedom to grow n share with others themselves. Too afraid of having to fight again.

Until we cross over at the Rapture of the Church or God calls us home...we are always a Contender. Always in the thick of the fight. Think about the words to Eye of the Tiger. Those who wrote it took the plot of the Rocky movie into consideration in its content.  

Is what Jesus went through for you enough to motivate you to contend for your faith? Is what Jesus fought for enough to motivate you more today than your yesterday?  

I have seen some fight with more fervor considering a sports team than their faith in Christ. Their zeal is fully and totally misplaced. 

I have seen some fight more for their jobs than what they believe in God. Are more concerned about how to get higher in the company or how to better deliver the product than where they stand in their lives in Christ.

They are bench warmers rather than in the thick of the fight. They have no passion or zeal for the one who saved them. 

Jesus would let nothing get in His way of obeying His Father.  

Paul said at the end of his life that he fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith. 

Would anyone, let alone Jesus, say that about you?

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

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