Contend & Defend

Public DefenderI’m not sure I’d made a good litigation attorney. You must be “quick on your feet” to defend your position. I’ve learned that I need to lean into discernment and clear thinking before responding in certain situations. I have been a Christ follower for a long time and I’ve not been challenged about my faith. I’ve not had my faith questioned. I believe my faith is mostly subjective and personal. There is another side of my faith that is very objective and public. I believe in God. I believe in His Son Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus came and lived a life without sin among us and after 33 years, He was crucified for the sins of all mankind – including me and whoever reads these words.

I believe Jude to be a half-brother of Jesus. I’m confident that he didn’t believe in Jesus right away because he grew up with Him. He obviously changed his view on Jesus after seeing the miracles and listening to His teaching. I love this little one chapter book in the New Testament because He calls it like he sees it. Check this out…

20 But you, dear friends, as you build yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting expectantly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life. 22 Have mercy on those who waver; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; have mercy on others but with fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

24 Now to him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of his glory, without blemish and with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:20-25 CSB)

I want my life to show that I contend for the faith.

I want my life to show that I defend my faith.

I believe in God The Father

I believe in Jesus Christ.

I believe in the Holy Spirit.

And He’s given us new life!

I believe in the crucifixion!

I believe that He conquered death!

I believe in the resurrection!

And He’s comin’ back again! (*”We Believe” by The Newsboys)

I will contend for my faith and defend my faith until the Lord calls me home.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Defend & Rescue

 

baby under blanketI remember when I was a kid, I wanted to be in law enforcement. I wanted to protect and defend others. I also went through a period of wanting to be in the military. I wanted to be part of the world class armed forces of the USA. I wanted to defend our country against all enemies and I wanted to be part of a group who rescued people from danger. To save people who will die otherwise, must be very fulfilling for sure.  I am past those days of thinking I could physically defend and rescue. I do know Someone Who always defends and rescues.

My wife Tina and I kept our little grandson yesterday and as all parents and grandparents do, we “child-proofed” our house some. We also kept a watchful eye on the little guy all the time he was with us.  We were protecting Him and determined to keep him from harm. We were ready in milliseconds to defend and rescue that little guy.  Asaph was calling upon God, the Father to come help his people much like a parent wants to help their kid.  Check this out…

Defend the weak and the fatherless;
    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 82:3-4 NIV)

The Lord is never far away. He knows my predicament.  He knows every situation I face. He is never surprised or “caught off guard” by my circumstances. He has come to my defense before and He will come again. He has rescued me before and He will rescue me again. There are times He rescues me from my own ignorance and stupidity. I get myself in a bad situation and He will still come to defend and rescue.

The more I read in His Word, the more I understand that He never leaves or abandons His kids. He is always near to defend and rescue. I’m thankful for His Presence and Power to always defend & rescue.

No Longer Slaves by Jonathan & Melissa Helser

“You split the sea so I could walk through it

My fears are drowned in perfect love

You rescued me and I can stand and sing

I am a child of God.”

___________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Contend Close By

Hope Words in Sky Faith Belief Inspire AspirationsI have never considered myself much of a fighter. I have learned that I will fight when pushed into a place where that is my only option. There are some people who choosing to fight is their first option. Some people even pick a fight with people who were on their side or in nearly the same position.  I like it best when others fight alongside of me on my behalf. Their presence on my behalf is strong and powerful.

This past week I witnessed a group of people who are walking through the valley of the shadow of death with their pastor. A local pastor’s wife died of cancer a few months ago and the city did a special plaque in remembrance of her service and impact on our community, our schools and our churches. It was a beautiful declaration and tribute. What struck me as I witnessed this event was the number of families who came just because they are contending on behalf of their pastor – they have his back as he grieves. I found myself giving thanks for those families who were there because they feel the loss and they want to be someone their dear pastor can lean upon.

King David was very transparent in the Psalms. If he was struggling, he penned it. If he was celebrating, he shared that too. He asked the Lord to contend on his behalf. Check this out…

22 Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent.

    Do not be far from me, Lord.

23 Awake, and rise to my defense!

    Contend for me, my God and Lord.

24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God;

    do not let them gloat over me.

26 May all who gloat over my distress

    be put to shame and confusion;

may all who exalt themselves over me

    be clothed with shame and disgrace.

27 May those who delight in my vindication

    shout for joy and gladness;

may they always say, ‘The Lord be exalted,

    who delights in the well-being of his servant.’

28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,

    your praises all day long. (Psalm 35:22-24,26-28 NIV)

I need the Lord to contend for me daily. I need Him to contend for me against me – sometimes. I need Him to contend for me against those who want to harm me. I need Him to contend for me again the enemy – satan. I am not afraid when the Lord contends close by on my behalf. His Presence is a “game changer” for sure. I can lift my head and face anything or anyone knowing the Lord is contending close by on my behalf.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Vengeance

 

Businesswoman writing a black listThe word carries with it “punishment or retribution exacted for an injury or a wrong”. Unfortunately I see this a lot in our culture where someone wants vengeance or revenge upon another. This can be quite ugly and sometimes out of control.

The Lord has not forgotten what the people of Midian had done to His people. They camped near them and that where Balaam and his talking donkey got involved. They seduced some of the people to their ways and the Lord punished a large group of them on the spot. The people of Israel are about to move into the Promised Land and Moses will not be allowed to go. Check this out…

1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 ‘Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.’ (Numbers 31:1-2 NIV)

Moses ended up sending about 12,000 fighting men to Midian and the people of Israel completely defeated them. The Lord then gave Moses instructions as to how the spoils of war were to be divided.

Vengeance can be an ugly fit for people to wear. It is most causes blind rage and illogical thinking. The Lord has taught me some hard lessons on this subject. I always want to get even or get back on someone who’s harmed me. The Lord promises that He will handle that. Revenge is often synonymous with vengeance. They can be destructive upon my heart and the Lord promises to help if I will trust Him. Check this out….

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. (Romans 12:19 NIV)

The Lord takes responsibility for revenge or vengeance so that I don’t have to.

He will protect and defend my honor.

He will protect and defend my heart.

I can get into a bad place when I try to handle this on my own. I would be wise to trust the One Who holds the world in His hand to protect and defend my honor and my life. Revenge can destroy me from the inside out. It often comes out of bitterness and hatred and can find a home in my heart if allowed.

I must trust the Lord with this even though it’s much easier said than done.

Pressing On!

Dwayne