Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 18, 2020
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:11-12
Life can be an ongoing fight for what’s right, an exhausting attempt to take hold of eternal life to shape our abundant life on earth. Nine years ago when we became empty nesters, my wife Rita and I sensed we needed fresh resources to prepare us for our next season of service. Spirit-led, we collaborated with four other couples around an Emotional Fitness study that became our common language and lifestyle in how to better follow the Lord. We are working to fight the good fight of faith in a way that is still exhausting, but by learning and loving together—we strengthen one another. Following Jesus requires us to help each other fight a good fight of faith. Fighting the good fight of the faith is not an individual sport, but a team effort focused on God!
Paul reminds Timothy to run from the rancid fruit of love of money: selfish-taking, self-reliance and self-perseverance and rather pursue the eternal perspective of righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Paul nudged Timothy away from passive autonomy to active community: to make his good confession in the presence of many witnesses. Paul knew his protege needed people in his life to protect him from himself, and to help him battle unbelief. A community of Christ followers gives us courage and clarity to carry on in our battles to believe.
Jointly we gain relational life from living truth and wisely resist relational death from living lies.
“I have fought the good fight, I have stayed on course and finished the race, and through it all, I have kept believing” (2 Timothy 4:7, The Voice).
Are you a member of a fight club? What I mean by fight club is an intimate group of Jesus followers who model for you and who implore you to grow more and more in love with the Lord and with each other. To feel supported by people who are authentic, who love you and who help bear your burdens. Humility is the ammunition that clears the way for you to confess your need for God and His people and to shoot down prideful pretense. Like past faithful followers of God, we aspire to fight a good fight of faith, stay on course with Christ, finish the race of life faithfully and through it all keep believing. Fight with love; some may still see you as their enemy, but you will cease to see them the same. Your most effective weapon is love!
Most of all, remember God has already won the war. The Lord Almighty is the greatest tactician of life’s battles who equips you with trust when you feel defeated, who fills you with forgiveness when you feel angry, who marshals your courage when fear stalks your soul and who guards your vulnerable, loving heart with the peace of Christ. Stay in the good fight of the faith. There will be bruises needing bandages, but Jesus heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Only those who fail to fight—lose—so, fight in love, as love eventually wins over all enemies.
“Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the Lord their God, will save them” (Hosea 1:7).
Heavenly Father, humble my heart to engage other Jesus followers to help me overcome life’s battles, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Write down a prayer list of names who might join you in a community of Christ followers who do life together through its ups and downs.
Proverbs 8:12; Ecclesiastes 4:11; 1 Corinthians 3:17, 7:5; Hebrews 10:24-25
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Fight with love; some may still see you as their enemy, but you will cease to see them the same. Your most effective weapon is love! #fight #WisdomHunters #truth #Jesus
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