Friday, September 4, 2020

Get Ready - Contending for the Faith Part 2

Friday, September 4, 2020
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.  Jude 17-23

Contending for the Faith Part 2
We are in a fight for our faith like never before. Our own personal faith has been working overtime, trying to make it through 2020 and we are weary. The body of Christ as a whole has literally been under attack. Jude gave some good instructions to the early Christians to contend for the faith and those instructions are exactly what we need for this chaotic year.

How can we contend for the faith like Jude told those early Christians to do? How can we bolster ourselves and build ourselves up so we can contend for the faith in the middle of chaos?  Jude gives us three things to do so that we are always ready: 1.) Build yourselves up in your most holy faith 2.) Pray in the Holy Spirit 3.) Keep yourselves in the Love of God – waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

Build Yourselves Up in your Most Holy Faith - We build ourselves up in the faith by clinging to what we know about God – what do we know, without a doubt?

God is unchanging - His word is true and forever. Who He says He is, He is. What He says He will do, He will do. What He says is true is true, and He does not change His mind. His promises are good for all time. No matter how fast our world changes, He does not. He is immutable. He NEVER changes. His word is living and active – meaning it applies to the world the day it was written, and it applies just as much to 2020.

God has all the wisdom and we can trust Him – divine intelligence. He sees everything – from beginning to end. The whole picture, while we just get the next step, one step at a time. He wants us to trust Him for the rest of the way. Sometimes He gives us 90% and wants us to trust him for the 10%, but way more often it seems as though we get 10% and He wants us to trust Him for the other 90%. We have faced so much uncertainty this year and the future is still uncertain, but we can trust Him because He loves us, and our best interest is His concern.

God is a God of Order – He has divine power over everything, and nothing happens that He does not know about before it happens, even pandemics and riots and all the other chaos of 2020. He has already been here as the bible tells us in Isaiah 45:2 - I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. He has been here, where we are today. He has been in our tomorrows, leveling the mountains and breaking down barriers for us. He is in control, even in a world that is so out of control.

Pray in the Holy Spirit     Praying in the Holy Spirit simply means praying according to the spirit’s leading, which we are always to do. Non-Christians are devoid of the spirit. As Christians, we are given the Holy Spirit as a helper who leads us and intercedes for us when we don’t have the words. 

Keep Yourselves in the Love of God - Keeping ourselves in the love of God is simply obeying God and His commands. Jude is saying take care of your relationship with God. Do what you know is right – get your focus back where it belongs – on Him. Get in the word which gives truth. When there seems to be no truth to be found – the word of God is always true. Pray about it all. And Obey His commands.

We may not be able to control the chaos of the world, but we can have some control over what we choose to focus on. Focusing on God, His truth, prayer, and our relationship with Him is the very best distraction from the chaos of this world. It will strengthen our faith for whatever comes our way and we will always be ready to contend for the faith. Oh yeah – that last sentence is one of my very favorite verses. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fireGet your relationship with God right where it needs to be, contend for the faith, but do not forget our purpose as the body of Christ – snatching everyone we can out of the fire. 

 Lara Cook

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