Daily Devotion for January 18, 2017

'Blind-Folded, Naked, Empty-handed...'

Jude 3b NAS
...Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.

1 Timothy 6:12
Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called...

Jude 20-21
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.

Confession: I am often NOT mindful of the fact that I am to be contending “earnestly for the faith.” That is, I forget I'm in a battle—that I'm instructed to “fight the good fight” (1 Timothy 1:18). Forgetting this is dangerous, however, because my “struggle” as a Believer is “not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:18). Moreover, my “adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8)....

Folks, as a Believer, I need to be MINDFUL of the battle raging around me! I must “contend earnestly for (my) faith” so I am “strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:10)! I must be fully armored so I can “run in such a way that (I) may win” (1 Corinthians 9:24)! I need to constantly discipline myself to live for my Lord!!!

Unfortunately, when I forget to “contend earnestly,” when I neglect to build myself “up” in my “faith,” I'm still in the battle—but I'm like a soldier who has CHOSEN to be blind-folded, naked, and empty-handed! Brothers and sisters, that kind of soldier is a LOSER! That kind of soldier is no asset! That kind of soldier is clueless, unprepared, ill-equipped, useless, defenseless, a danger to others and to self...

Hmm...

Lord Jesus, on behalf of myself and on behalf of the Believers reading this, I ask that you help us STOP CHOOSING to enter the battle as blind, naked soldiers! Specifically, help us increasingly discipline ourselves so we build ourselves “up” and “Contend earnestly for the faith!” To do this, please...

1) Daily draw us to read and meditate on Your Word—so our faith is built upon transforming Truth (not built on what we “feel,” or on popular opinion, or on what the world says!).
2) Daily cause us to pray “in the Holy Spirit”—“at all times and on every occasion”—so we can “stay alert and be persistent in (our) prayers for all believers everywhere” (Ephesians 6:18).
3) Daily help us “keep” ourselves “in the love of God”—for You said “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and my Father will love him” John 14:23).
4) Daily keep our eyes fixed on You—so we “labor and strive” (1 Timothy 4:10) to live righteously and share the Gospel—as we wait “anxiously for (Your) to eternal life!”

We ask this in Your name, Lord Jesus, so we “Fight the good fight of faith” and “take hold of the eternal life to which you were called...” (1 Timothy 6:12a)

AMEN!!!

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