“Our Upward Focus”

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12

Fighting the good fight of faith is not about putting your dukes up.  It is all about putting your faith up.  It is more about taking a stand than taking a punch.  It’s ordering one’s life and steps according to the will of God for our lives (Psalms 119:133).  It is running the race of this Christian life and competing in this spiritual contest, pushing toward the finish line with every ounce of effort one possesses because there is a wonderful goal up ahead.

While we are pushing forth in the defense and protection and adherence of what we believe, we are doing it with the intent of laying hold of a prize.  Our prize is “eternal life” that we are living for.  At the end of any contest or struggle, there is something wonderful in our view, something magnificent that we are looking forward to.  Our stand through all we are facing today is in light of the victory we are promised to gain at the end, which is “eternal life.”

Heaven belongs to the believers!  Get that in your spirit today.  Life eternal is the ultimate prize for the one who refuses to give in or give up; to the one who does not get entangled by the things of this world others are chasing after (compare 2 Timothy 2:4).  That’s why Jesus taught, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life…” (John 6:27).  We have something better than money; we have something better than the materialistic things and social status’ to lay hold of down here.

Our purpose in being “called” and of having this “profession” of faith is to pursue the things of God.  To be God-focused and heaven-focused, not world-focused and getting caught up in the things we presently see.  It is pushing past every contention here while keeping an upward focus for our future.

(Revised excerpt taken from my previously published article Pursuing the Good Fight of Faith Sunday School Lesson)

*Photo above by Max Andrey on Pexels.com

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Nobody wants to believe the worst . . .

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of any situation.  Think in terms of dangerous weather phenomenon.  The warnings go out.  Sirens blast.  News reports are issued.  Every opportunity presented has been employed to let the populous know that something serious is about to happen and people need to get out of the way and try to avoid it by any means necessary.  Alas, hope that this or that will not come to pass can almost keep one in a state of denial, refusing the facts; refusing the evidence presented before them; refusing the warnings. This analogy can give us peer through of how this can affect us in the physical.

But, what about when spiritual warnings go unheeded.  Reading in the book of Jeremiah this morning, around the 27-29th chapters, and we see where God used Jeremiah as his mouthpiece.  There was impending devastation headed the people’s way.  Because of their sin and rebellion against God, God was sending His people into captivity and people just didn’t want to believe it.  They didn’t want to believe that worst thing possible was about to come upon them and they simply refused there would be retribution by the hand of God for all their wrongs.  False prophets even went so far as to come up with fanciful ideas to combat the true word of God convincing the people they would not be captivity for the prescribed seventy years as Jeremiah predicted as a directive from God. If you read your Bible history you will see that everything played out according to His holy word; nothing failed of all that He said He would bring to pass.

If I may, there is an even a more dangerous situation than this.  Warnings have been blared and people have been urged to take shelter in Jesus Christ.  Why?  Because eternity is real and where we spend eternity is real.  The Bible tells us God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” (2 Peter 3:9).  I have said this before and I’ll say it again, God is your biggest advocate.  He wants you to make it to heaven more than anybody else you could ever think of.  He wants to see you in glory.  He wants to bless you with all the spiritual riches laid up for you in eternity.  God wants us where He is that He might enjoy that long awaited uninterrupted fellowship He has been desiring.

Although God has been patient with us tomorrow is never promised.  If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior today I urge you to take shelter in Him for there is a far greater and more dangerous storm coming.  It speaks of eternal devastation in hell.  Hell is real and Jesus spoke of it often (see Matthew 10:28; 13:42; 25:41 and Luke 16:24, just to name a few).

The false prophets of Jeremiah’s day tried to speak against the reality of God’s word coming to pass.  It didn’t work then and it won’t work today.  They tried to talk people out of where God designed for them to be in that season of their life.  Where God want us to be in the season of eternity is in heaven with Him.  Don’t let anybody talk you out of it.  Heed the warnings.  Listen to the spiritual sirens.  Find shelter in Jesus Christ today.  Let your eternal future be found in Him.

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