I don’t consider myself a fighter. I prefer a slow pace and quiet surroundings, but every time my bible fell open to Jude’s letter this summer, my pulse quickened and God’s word echoed strong in my ears.
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 1:3
Contend for the faith.
Jude’s letter is short, yet weighty. It’s a battle cry, a call to arms, a plea to all believers to contend for the faith.
A contender is well acquainted with difficulties and danger yet shows up ready to fight day after day after day. Contend is an intensified form of the word agonize. Jude summons us to battle and grapple, to resist and stand firm, to struggle and affirm. His word choice reminds us that our struggle is ongoing.
Jude points out all that draws us away from the love of Christ. He labels these people, ideas, and idols, false. The opposite of truth, they are unable to hold us, carry us, or sustain us. We may expect Jude to tell us how to deal with them. We might brace ourselves for his solution or take notes on how to shoot holes in every argument. Maybe we should listen for loud voices to make a big scene. Instead, Jude surprises us with this:
But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. Jude 1:20-21
Remember the God of love. Find Him in the hidden moments of a creation groaning in wait.
I’ve invited some amazing contenders of the faith to unpack these two verses for us this month. In Part I, we’ll discuss building up our faith; in Part II, we’ll explore Spirit-led prayer; and in Part III, we’ll consider our role in waiting for Christ. As you join me for this series, I hope you notice the common chord audible throughout this harmony of voices.
Keep yourselves in the love of God.
More than ever before, we need to anchor ourselves in the love of God, the very center and heartbeat of our Christian faith. My prayer for this series is that we would discover together how to earnestly contend for the faith and keep love our aim. Love is our what and our why. Above all, Love is our who.
Jesus loves you,
A few more things about this series…
Weekly video chats: Follow me on Facebook and tune in for weekly videos every Wednesday for the month of October. Let’s meet midday/midweek to talk more about how we can contend for the faith.
Free download: I’m so thankful that you continue to show up here again and again, so I have a little something for you. Click the image to download this print of the verses from Jude that will guide this series. Place it somewhere special, so you can be reminded of our sacred call to contend for the faith.