4 minute read
“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” (Jude 1:3 NIV)
Condition to contend.
No one can defend your faith but you. When an opportunity arises to share your faith, take it. Jude, brother of James, in his brief letter, gives Christ-followers three keys to living a life of faith:
- Obey God, leave consequences to Him (Jude1:4-11 NIV)
- Eagerly anticipating Christ’s return motivates obedience (Jude 1: 14-15 NIV)
- Our power comes from prayer (Jude 1:24-25 NIV)
Conditioning takes daily discipline and work. Rocky Balboa’s training montage in this video is an example of the effort required to prepare for battle. Sylvester Stallone runs, throws barrels, lifts heavy chains, does crazy push-ups with a ball, day after day preparing for the big fight. Finally, the moment arrives when he faces his opponent in the boxing ring. Eventually, Rocky emerges as champion, preparation his key to victory. He conditioned to contend for the prize.
Keep your eye on the prize.
Jude lays out the training plan for each of us. If we’re to contend for our faith, we have to practice the life principles he gives us. First, we must obey God. Only through our obedience will our faith grow. Trusting God for the consequences means letting go of our expectations, embracing His response. We don’t have to understand everything God does to follow His decrees. Faith means not knowing everything, but trusting God does.
Secondly, Jesus will return. The time and date are unknown, but God fulfills His promises. Knowing His return is imminent should motivate us to obey. When your boss gives you a job, he expects it done when he returns. We all know what happens when we don’t do our work, we get fired. God doesn’t fire us, but we don’t receive His blessing if we’re not doing His will. Obeying God keeps us in line with Him and helps us wait anxiously for His return.
Third but not least is prayer. Maintaining an active conversation with God from dawn to dawn is what God desires for us most:
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)
When Rocky Balboa started training for the fight, he started small. He didn’t run up the 72 steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art first; only after months of training did he accomplish that feat. He conditioned daily to prepare to contend. Each day you strengthen your faith muscle when you are intentional about your relationship with God.
Condition today to contend for your faith. Look for an opportunity to go into battle.
Question of the Day:
How can you train today to defend the faith?
Further Reading: Hosea 10-14 NIV, Jude 1:1-25 NIV, Psalm 127:1-5 NIV, Proverbs 29:15-17 NIV