Battle · Faith · The Journey

The Journey Readings: Week 152… and… contending…

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about
our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you
to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated
for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God
into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jude 3-4 ESV
Jude challenges the church…
to contend for the faith…
as a combatant
(according to the Dictionary of Biblical Languages…)
The battle… however… is not outside the walls of the church…
the unbelievers are within…
wearing the guise of Believers… teachers… prophets…
all false…
A timely issue… and one which always has been… and will be…
the enemy planting lies… deception… division… among the faithful…
But too often…
when false teachers are uncovered…
the faithful flee…
making judgments not their’s to make…
taking themselves and their gifts…
out the door…
seeking a new place of worship…
one untainted…  
The problem is…
there is no place untainted…
we’re broken people…
living in a broken world…
under the rule of darkness…
Jude doesn’t counsel the faithful to flee…
he encourages them to fight for the faith…
without judging…
on guard…
prayerful…
in love with God…
and mercy-full…
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 love with 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 17-22 ESV
James… the brother of Jude…
said something very similar…
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 ESV
Darkness creeps in everywhere…
as ones who carry His Light…
we are to stand… contend… fight…
until the enemy flees…
and He turns darkness to light…
When deception seems to prevail…
don’t give in to the temptation to get angry…
and stomp out mad… remember…
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only
but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:2 ESV
The battle is not against flesh and blood…
it is spiritual…
Jesus died for all… and all our sins…
consider each false prophet… each false teacher…
as deceived… a casualty of war…
a potential brother or sister in Christ…
loved by God…
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but in order that the world might be saved through him. …”
John 3:16-17 ESV
Battle with grace…
battle with mercy…
battle with truth…
battle with light…
but don’t retreat…
giving the enemy ground which is not his to keep…
This week’s readings…
Monday                 Zechariah 1-2
Tuesday                 Zechariah 3-5
Wednesday            Zechariah 6-7
Thursday               Zechariah 8-10
Friday                    Zechariah 11-14

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