Jude 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.”
Recently, my close sisters in Christ studied the book of Jude, a single chapter book of the Bible with a powerful 21st century message. (A must read!)
Yet, as I was led to write a devotion on the command to “contend for the faith,” my pen was stuck. My mind could not settle on a single focus. Should my focus be; the faith part? The contend part? The context of Scripture? In this age of fake news, false identities, and false doctrines, the context is important. In this age of social-media the “how” to contend has changed. So, what is my focus?
Then my whole conscious sparked, and I was convicted! Do I know the grace-filled gift of salvation so convincingly in my heart that I am contending for it myself? Or have I been lulled to a slumber in this last hour just like Jesus’ disciples? Have I lost my first love and fallen asleep like the churches of Revelation?
To “earnestly contend” means: to be urgently compelled, to courageously defend, to declare, to insist, to struggle for, to strive. My walk as a Christian should be characterized by urgently professing this common salvation worth dying for and by keeping a constant vigilance of this faith within my family, my church, and neighbors. If I am not doing that, how can I honestly urge others to contend?
When I know that my Savior was wounded and crushed and broken for my iniquities (Isaiah 53), my heart must respond in humility and passionate service. When I believe this truth that while I was still a sinner Christ died for me (Romans 5:8), my heart must sing of the Lord’s great love for me and contend for the faith!
So, now I know why my pen was stuck. My zeal to contend had faded, and I couldn’t go on until my sins were confessed, and I turned to the Spirit for His help, guidance, and breath to awaken these dry bones.
Jesus, you come to me and your church and say, “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1). To another you say, “You have forsaken the love you had at first…Repent” (Revelation 2:4,5). I confess… Thank you for saving us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4). Thank you for never giving up on me. I ask that the name of Christ is exalted in my life as I go and tell! Amen.