Open Heavens Devotional: Contending for the Faith – Sunday 21 January 2018
Memorise: But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: – 1 Peter 3:15
Read: Jude 1:1-5 (KJV)
1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
Bible in One Year: Genesis 44-45, Revelation 19:11-20:6
If you possess anything of great value, you must be ready to protect and defend it against the onslaught of thieves who would want to take it away from you at all cost. Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a precious commodity which the devil and his agents desire to steal away from us (2 Peter 1:1). In 1 Peter 1:7, the Holy Spirit describes our faith as being more precious than gold:Open Heavens 21 January 2018 Sunday
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
It is therefore not surprising that the kingdom of darkness will continue to attack our faith until we finish our course in this world. For this reason, you must be ready to continually fight to preserve, nurture and grow your faith. You must be ready to prevent all manner of assailants from stealing, killing and destroying it (John 10:10). This is what the good fight of faith is all about. Those who had gone ahead of us also had to contend for their faith in order to get a good report (Hebrews 11:2). You also must be ready to do all that is necessary to hold on to your faith and ensure that it is not shipwrecked (1 Timothy 1:19). Your ultimate goal should be that when it’s all been said and done, you will be able to declare like Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7 that
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”
Contending for the faith means defending the interest of God’s kingdom when the enemies of the Cross are on the loose. It means speaking up for the Lord Jesus Christ and speaking out against those that would oppose His Person or principles. A classical example of contending for the faith is found in the encounter of Paul with Elymas the sorcerer in Acts 13:6-12. The sorcerer was trying to dissuade a potential convert from accepting the faith. Paul therefore rebuked him and placed him under God’s judgement. The result of this fight of faith is glaring in Acts 13:12:
“Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.”
Beloved, the precious faith which you have obtained is worth defending, if you are determined that the devil will not wrest it away from you. Therefore, watch and pray, and be ready always to give an answer to every man who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15).
Action Point: Make effort to witness Jesus to someone today. This is a profitable way of contending for the faith.
Hymn 14: Onward Christian Soldier
1. Onward Christian soldiers!
Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before.
Christ, the royal Master,
Leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
See, His banners go!
Onward, Christian soldiers!
Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus,
Going on before.
2. At the name of Jesus
Satan’s host doth flee;
On then, Christian soldiers,
On to victory!
Hell’s foundations quiver
At the shout of praise:
Brothers, lift your voices,
Loud your anthems raise!
3. Like a mighty army
Moves the Church of God:
Brothers, we are treading
Where the saints have trod;
We are not divided,
All one Body we—
One in faith and Spirit,
4. Onward, then, ye people!
Join our happy throng;
Blend with ours your voices
In the triumph song.
Glory, laud and honour
Unto Christ, the King;
This through countless ages
Men and angels sing.
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