Fight the Fight of Faith

I am not a fighter; at least not one to get into physical confrontations. I can think of only three times in my life when I got into a physical confrontation with someone. The first time was in 6th grade when the younger brother of a classmate cut in front of me in line. For someone reason I got mad and pushed him off the balance beam. Let me tell you, my classmate and his friends were not afraid of physical confrontations. The second was in high school during cross country practice. A guy was taunting me while running ahead of me. I eventually lost it and came up behind him, bear hugged him and then dropped him to the ground. I have never run fast in my life after that one. And the third time was my freshman year in college. We were playing video games in a dorm room and a guy was chiding me over and over again because he was winning. Eventually I whirled around and, with a closed fist hit, him square in the chest; knocking him off his chair. Thankfully the other guys separated us; protecting me from getting pounded by him.

You can definitely see a theme here. I am not a fighter but I am a fighter about things that truly do matter.

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. [1 Timothy 6:12 ESV]

Paul is encouraging young Timothy to fight the fight of faith. This was not a call to get into physical confrontations with people but rather to stand tall and hold firm to the faith he has professed. There are many that are going to resist the message of the Gospel. In that case, you fight the fight of faith by continuing to proclaim the Gospel message without watering it down.

Satan will attack you and attempt to draw you away from God. In that case, you fight the fight of faith through prayer and scripture reading and worship and fellowship with other Christians. You stand tall and not be ashamed of the Gospel; knowing that you are a forgiven sinner through faith in Jesus.

Others will chide you for believing something that is “outdated” or “irrelevant”. In that case, you fight the fight of faith; remembering the Gospel proclaimed to you and the fact that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13).

Still others will try to stifle your exercise of your faith in Jesus Christ. In that case, you fight the fight of faith and not be ashamed of the one who is not ashamed of you; Jesus. But also remembering that there is a place at the Great Banquet table, in God’s kingdom, waiting for you. Therefore you have a hope to cling to in the midst of pressure.

Fighting may not come naturally for you but I am guessing that when it involves something that really matters, you would respond. If someone were to threaten my family I would not hesitate to put myself into a confrontational situation in order to protect them. They matter to me; and so does my faith. So in both cases I will fight for them.

I fight the fight of faith because the Gospel of Jesus Christ means life and salvation and that is something I am not willing to compromise. To compromise my faith; to water down the message; to back down from my proclamation, is death for sinners. I can’t do that and so I will stand tall; asking God for strength to stand.

Jesus fought for you by suffering death on the cross that your sins would be forgiven. So fight for your faith in this Jesus, in whatever form it comes; but do so in love; remembering that God will ultimately fight for you. Don’t push and shove people; don’t verbally attack or put down people, but stand for your faith; giving glory to God through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Holy Father, grant me the courage to stand tall when I am pushed. Grant me the faith to fight back Satan’s attacks. Grant me the peace live in this world in the midst of faith confrontations. And in the end, Oh God, may you be glorified. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Don’t Be a Frog (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you. [1 Timothy 6:20-21]

These verses from my morning Bible reading snacked me in the face; for this spoke volumes about what is going on in our culture and the Church. It’s a warning that desperately needs to be heeded today.

In these verses, the apostle Paul is warning his young companion and partner in the ministry to remember what he came to believe and whom he came to believe in:

guard the deposit entrusted to you.

Paul then goes on to warn Timothy to avoid the “knowledge” that some claim to be biblical and godly; for these people have swerved from the faith. People are trying to distort the Gospel for their own purposes. Some oppose the Gospel and are trying to make it something that it is not. There are many false prophets going around and some claiming to be speaking the truth.

And this is very dangerous. It’s the wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing thing. It looks and sounds good but really it’s irreverent babble and contradictions. As I have preached and taught before, anyone can stand in front of a group of people; wave a Bible around and make godly sounding claims that really have no basis in scripture whatsoever. The sure defense to this, though, is to guard the deposit entrusted to you. Remember what you came to believe and know your Bible. One of the joys of theology is that it does not change. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So if a new thing about God is being taught; be very, very leery. If someone is trying to tell you what the biblical writers “really meant”, run away fast.

And this is exactly what is going on today. Thousands of years of Church teaching is changing. But the problem is that it has been changing at such a slow rate that many in the Church haven’t noticed a thing. Remember how to boil a frog? You don’t throw it into boiling water but rather into cool water and slowly increase the temperature so they don’t notice they are being boiled to death.

The Church is being boiled to death,

but very few people are taking notice. Instead they are engaging in irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,”. We need to guard that deposit and remember what we came to believe in and whom we believe. We need to remember that the Bible (ALL of the Bible) is God’s word. We need to honest with ourselves but more importantly we need to be bold and courageous in our faith.

The time to jump out of the water is now, before it is too late.
Don’t be a frog.

guard the deposit entrusted to you
Remain faithful
Cling to and proclaim THE Truth
Don’t swerve from the faith


Grace be with you.

Holy God, You have entrusted the Church with the Truth of the Gospel. May we cling to that Truth and proclaim that Truth, all the while avoiding irreverent myths and false knowledge. May You be glorified. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Love of money

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” [Hebrews 13:5-6]

And then you have Paul’s admonition from 1 Timothy 6:10 ~ For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

You see, money itself is not evil, it’s just how we relate to money. Jesus never said that a rich man will never get into heaven, only that it would be difficult.

Why? Because this money god is a powerful god.

This god dictates our priorities and decisions; and we’ll do anything to protect this source of peace. Money also is used a status symbol. The more we have the more we can buy. The more we can buy the better we look in the eyes of others. The better we look in the eyes of others, the more money we want so to look better yet. It’s a vicious cycle.

When you worship money you are saying no to God’s provision. You are telling God that you don’t trust that He can take care of you. When you worship the money god you are clinging to a false sense of peace that will eventually let you down. But worse yet, when you place your faith in the god of money, you are on the fast track to eternal death. Money may be able to buy you happiness for a while but it can not finance eternal joy.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I am not saying that if you have a lot of money then you’re in trouble. What I am saying is that there is greater temptation to see that money as your savior rather than God Almighty through Jesus Christ.

It is all a matter of where you put your trust. Will you praise God no matter what? Rich or poor? Healthy or sick? A big house or a cardboard box? A fancy car  or a bicycle? Is God your God or is it something else?

May the Lord be your helper that you may not fear anything this world throws at you or takes away from you. May the Lord be your provider in this life and in the Life to come.

May God bless your day. Amen 🙂

The Pastor -|—