” 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.” Jude 3
In this last and little book of epistles or ‘letters’ to the church, we find Jude. He set out to write an encouraging letter about “the common salvation”, but the Holy Spirit changed his mind and instead inspired Jude to write about a battle against the forces of evil in this world. Why? Because it was “necessary” for the believers to know what to expect when they were ‘sent out‘ with their ‘marching orders’.
And so Jude, whose name means “Praise” was anxious to encourage the church in rejoicing and to be thankful for their salvation through Jesus Christ.
However, God had something else in mind for Jude that he, at least at the time of his writing, did not see. In his heart, encouraging the saints was important, but challenging them to know how to ‘contend for their faith’ was both needful and necessary.
I have to admit that I can really relate with Jude; I would much rather encourage the saints than to make a declaration of war against apostates within the church.
I remember a while back when the Lord gave me what I know now as a Word of Knowledge. He revealed to me that when I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, while I was immediately set free from the things of this world, I had actually also made a public declaration of war against the enemies of the Cross. I soon found out very quickly, as I shared the Gospel with unbelievers that in most of the opportunities the Lord gave me, that the Cross was ‘foolishness to those who don’t believe’.
As I grew in the faith, and began trusting God at every opportunity, I soon discovered that all of us sooner or later are going to be asked to, ‘contend for our faith’. That means that sometimes we would be doing the ‘happy, encouraging’ things, and sometimes we would be placed in difficult scenarios where we would have to use a sharper knife to cut away the lies and miss truths that permeate our churches. And that means, we need to know what we believe in, and always be filled with the Holy Spirit who will according to Jesus, ‘Give us a Word of wisdom, that the adversary will not be able to resist or refuse”.
“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. “
The phrase ‘earnestly contend’ is written as a command to the person reading it. ‘YOU”. And so if I am a Born Again Believer in Jesus Christ, I am being given my ‘marching orders’ to ‘struggle’ for the faith that was given to me upon my ‘signing up’ in the Lord’s Army.
The word ‘struggle’ means to ‘contend with an adversary or opposing force’. It is now a task assigned to me to struggle for what is truth with everything left in me. Literally in a war, as a soldier, to fight to the death. I need to be prepared to exert all my strength, striving forward, working hard to free a fellow soldier from false truth that they may be set free.
The Christian Life as Soldier in His Army is a battleground, NOT, a playground. This means that we are to ‘cover each others backs’ against false teaching. We need to ask God every day to give us boldness, and courage, so we can say with confidence what is true and what is not. We need to ask God for wisdom and discernment, that we may speak accurately what God wants of us. We need to ask God to ‘fill us with the Holy Spirit’, and to give us love for the saints, the way Jesus wants for us. He says we are to “Love one another as we love Him.”.
We all have been called to this task. Each of us has the same calling. To some, where we are called to fulfill this calling can be different. To some, it may be at our own place of fellowship. Within our own church. To others, it may be a distant calling. Either way, we must resolve ourselves to accept this calling and not refuse or reject it, leaving it up to someone else, without ever considering that God wants all of us in this battle. A war against the truth of the Words written by God in our Bibles. If you are going to drive a car and you are required to take a written and driving test, what book would you need to have, and study, and memorize? We know that answer don’t we?
It seems we take more of the things in this world to heart, to memory, than the Words in our Bibles that are there for us to know, that when we are in need, we know where to turn, because we are familiar with it.
My wife Patty and I have a friend who we have known for years. She used to come to our home church at Calvary Chapel Southbay in California. She was totally committed and sold out on Jesus Christ and the Words in her Bible. I remember she would always be seen whenever we went out to minister in Downtown Los Angeles Skid Row, or Mission trips to Mexico. She had a huge heart for God’s people as well as the lost.
One day she came to me and asked that I would begin praying for her, because she felt that God was calling her to go out into a distant land and specifically become a beacon of light for the lost and the learned in the faith in that region. Not knowing how to pray for this, I simply asked God to confirm it in her heart, and to give her peace in it.
Well, one day she came up to me and said that she was selling everything she had, that God had asked her to go to Kenya. I still remember the big sendoff we had for her, a great celebration in what the Lord had done and was going to do through her. Well, she’s been there now over 10 years! And her ministry is thriving!
Her name? Joetta Smith. She is now 72 years old, and going strong! She is such an inspiration to Patty and I as we wait on the Lord to see where He is going to launch us!
Here is a little info on her, and rather than me do all the talking, here is her own bio:
|I am called Mama Jo. I have been in Kenya since March 2003. You can see more by going to pikipikimama4jesus.wordpress.com, truthnkenya.blogspot.com, or to faithoncedelivered.com.
I was born in 1941. Truly God has saved the best of my life for the last and I am living proof that God can use ANYBODY if they are willing. I work with Pastor Hosea Otieno.
We have a ministry called TREASURE KEEPERS KENYA based on 2 Corinthians Chapter 4. The vision God has given us is the same as it has been, to preach the true Gospel, make disciples, and contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints. And to stand with Gal. 1:6-9.
We will not compromise with the truth nor with our faith. We disciple and encourage pastors in the interior region. We hold monthly meetings at present. We welcome those who share this same vision. God bless you. Mama Jo
Joetta Smith, a Modern day Missionary for Jesus Christ. She had a heart to answer God’s call and journey to Kenya Africa, where she works among the men and women, and children sharing the Word of God, and serving diligently as a defender of the truth in the Words of God. She didn’t have the money, she was a retired woman living on her monthly social security check, and for all rights , could have been enjoying her ‘Golden Years’ in California, but she had this calling from God, that she couldn’t resist!
She was no stranger to adversity, but came to learn that within her own adversity, cancer, there were seeds of faith to overcome any obstacle.
And so, despite all the ‘No’ signs, at 62 years old she said, ‘Hear I am Lord, send me!” She now serves God in the hometown of Nakura and has become a “Mudagavu” an African, and now has a permanent visa, at a time where ‘Westerner’s’ are not receiving renewals.
Working with nothing in her hand but faith and hope, she has become one of the Chosen of God reaching the unknown, and untrained, and introducing them to Jesus Christ, and leaving them with an accurate account of what the truth of the Word of God really means. As a result, the ‘truth has set them free”!
God is a wonderful God isn’t He? It doesn’t matter who you are, what you are doing, what age you are, whether you’re a man or a woman, God is calling His soldiers out to war.
In closing, I was reminded of a Word of Knowledge a friend gave to me very recently. He has known the Lord and read his Bible for 33 years, and he shared with me that he never knew this. He said that the Holy Spirit told him, that ‘the glory of God is now abiding in your heart. It is the very reason why you do the things you do for the kingdom. Now that you know this, GUARD that glory of God’s!’ Jesus Christ, His Word, His Spirit, the Miraculous virgin birth, His death on the Cross, His Resurrection at the tomb, His coming and return. ‘Make sure you guard it, speak accurately, truthfully of it.’
If you’d like to contact Joetta, you can reach her at any of these two sites. God bless you, and be listening closely as God speaks, and guides you in this journey, that He will be glorified in all you say, and do unto His Name! firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s Today’s Video~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnHtzluF7lM