How To Fight
A daily devotion for November 18th
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 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. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.
Grace be with you all.
Fight the good fight of the faith... In the sight of God who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession... (1 Timothy 6:12a, 13)
Nothing will help to steel you more for the fight than the vision of God. This is what Paul sets before Timothy. Notice the encouraging things here. First, God is the giver of life.
Do you sometimes feel beaten and dejected, buffeted by more things than you can handle, at the end of your strength? What you need is renewed vigor, vitality, and strength, and that is what you get when you turn to your God and see Him there with you to infuse strength and vitality back into you again. This is the part that prayer plays in our lives. We all have experienced the infusion of new strength and courage from God when we have turned to Him in prayer in a moment of pressure. God is given to us that we might not lose heart when the times of discouragement come. Turn to him as the author of life.
Then, as Paul points out, there is the encouragement of the example of Jesus. Do you find it hard to admit your Christian faith at times in certain groups? Then think of Jesus,
who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession. Pilate examined Jesus and found no fault in Him. Then Pilate asked him a question, and Jesus' answer determined whether He would live or die. Pilate was anxious to set him free if he could because he recognized Jesus to be a righteous, innocent man whom the chief priests had delivered up for jealousy.
Are you the king of the Jews? (Matthew 27:11), Pilate asked Him. Jesus could have said "No," but thereby He would have denied His Messiahship; He was the king of the Jews. He knew that if he said "Yes," there was no way he could escape being put to death because the Jews would then charge Pilate with befriending a traitor to Caesar if he did not put him to death. Answering yes would seal Jesus' fate. He knew it, but He answered with the strongest affirmative Hebrew idiom:
Yes, it is as you say (Matthew 27:11b). That cost Him His life.
Paul is reminding Timothy,
There will be times when you will have to say no; you will want to say yes, and everybody around you wants you to say yes. There will be times when it will be embarrassing to admit you are a Christian, but remember Jesus. He set the good example; he was the 'faithful witness' (Revelation 1:5) to the truth.
Lord, teach me to fight, knowing that You are the giver of life. By Your Spirit who lives in me, grant me the same courage to be a faithful witness that Jesus demonstrated.
Life Application: The world has often fought unjust wars, often in the name of God. As we fight the good fight of faith, do we see God as the Life-Giver?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.