Contend, Dear Ones

Heidi St. John is a Christian writer and leader of ‘Momstrong International’, an organization focused on equipping moms to raise confident and wise warriors for Christ in today’s sin-sick world. She has a great website which I link at the bottom here, but I wanted to share her thoughts from an upcoming Bible study on the book of Jude. This is like a splash of cold water to the face… a wake up call to never stop contending for truth and faith. Politics will inevitably be mixed into our fight, but Christians must see it all through a Biblical lens. I’d encourage youth take a closer look at this little book in the back of your Bible. Look closer at what is required of a believer of Christ in times of trial. Remain in fellowship with other believers and ask for wisdom in these critical areas. The days of living in a bubble are no more, and we should not be pining away for them. The Church grows and thrives during times like these, if the faithful are willing to contend.

Condemnation, canceling and commanding-you-to-do-what-I-deem-best seem to be attitudes of 2021. As believers in Christ, are we doomed to the confusion and dismay that much of the culture around us is suffering under? Not at all, because we have the plot. In fact, we have the whole screenplay, from beginning to end! As we “walk out these days, it should be clear to those who are part of the Church (those of us who are saved by the blood of Jesus) that we are standing on a battlefield, participants in a war that has been raging since before time began. At this time in history, it appears that all pretense of normalcy has been dropped. So here we stand.

Jude, the brother of Jesus, is an equipper, and by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he fills our tool boxes in just twenty-five power-packed verses!

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). The Book of Jude instructs us to contend for our faith — knowing we are called, beloved by the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ. Contending for the faith is not working to keep our salvation, because the blood of Jesus is sufficient for our eternity — nothing snatches believers from His hand. Rather, it’s striving to walk out our faith while He has us here on this earth. That includes learning to identify defectors from the faith as well as living our own lives in pursuit of godliness.

As Jude teaches us to contend by recognizing apostates (characterized by ungodliness, they pervert the grace of God and deny the Lordship of Jesus) then by default we’ll be strong in our own faith to manage contending in the unbelieving world. Part of this contending is doing life together as the Body. We draw a bullseye on our backs when we are out of fellowship, and yet we are being lulled into believing that staying home and streaming an array of preachers is “gathering.” This is a bad bad deal. The enemy looks to pick off those who are moved away from the flock, and none of us have any business poking our heads above the wall when we are out of fellowship.

This month, let’s contend for the faith together as we become equipped to : “…hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23–25)

Heidi St. John,

Join us this month:

Don’t put a bullseye on your back, and don’t unwillingly become a target for the enemy. Be encouraged by remaining steadfast in the Word and by meeting with others for true fellowship. Hold fast your confession and your hope. Stir up the good things in each other. There’s a chance you will be called to have to yank someone out of the flames, and there’s also a chance they won’t want to be saved. Let’s quit being shocked when the world hates us, and let’s soldier-on in the good works Christ has prepared for us to do.

If you’ve never read the book of Jude, give it a go. It’s short, but packs a punch. Its a bunch of red warning flags waving to remind us once more of the seriousness of this fight. It’s a call-to-arms for believers, and a perfect reminder that none of this chaos has taken God by surprise at all.

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