Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Contending for the Faith

Really what does it mean to contend?
Does it mean to push one’s view?
Does it mean to be argumentative?
Or does it mean to the Bible be true?

Some believers don’t understand,
What you really meant Bro Jude,
So some arguments get out of hand
And some can become rather rude.

As if contending were not enough,
You have asked us to be earnest,
So sometimes we get so frantic
In our attempt to show who’s best.

Sometimes we engage in competition
Out of which comes fierce discussion,
We raise our voices in contention
But conclude with no changed position.

So Bro Jude what do you really mean
When you say to earnestly contend?
It appears one must know the faith
From the point of creation to its end.
What is it that is mostly attacked?
I am sure it is the creation account,
Many scoff and label it a fairy tale,
Evolution’s become their holy Mount.

What we must defend is the faith,
The whole body of Christian truth,
Not somebody’s intellectual opinion,
But all that the Bible gives as proof.
So let us take this verse bit by bit,
It is Jude chapter one verse three,
“Beloved”, must mean the believer
So the context you can clearly see.

Jude had written with all diligence,
About the salvation shared together,
But felt it needful he should write
About the faith that was once delivered.

The saints having received that faith,
Were charged with the responsibility,
Of proclaiming without fear or favour
Creation one, creations two and three.

Creation one, in the beginning God,
He created the heaven and the earth,
Creation two Jesus died and rose again,
And now we can have the new birth.
Creation three is the promise to come,
Of a glorious new earth and heaven,
And forever will dwell God’s beloved,
Meaning those who have been forgiven.

We all share a common salvation,
This every believer should understand,
But the faith once delivered to the saints,
Should be shared by the Christian band.

The Lord entrusts us with His word
That is entire and whole and complete,
So we should deliver it with clarity,
And in tact, should Jude have to repeat?

This we must all do until Jesus returns,
Provoking one another to love and works,
And of course whenever it’s necessary,
Giving a poke to a brother who shirks.

Many today are too bright for the faith,
And have turned to other revelation,
They, listening to voices in and around
Have come to a different conclusion.

This faith once delivered so long ago
Needs no vindication from any man,
Anyone who tries to add to God’s word
Certainly has gone astray of His plan.

In such cases we do need to contend
Earnestly for the faith not with the man,
For we are not called to be contentious
But allow God to do only what God can.

Do note the safeguarding of the faith,
Was not merely given to the leaders,
But each and every saint was equipped
To assist the preachers and teachers.

Every Christian believer is mandated,
That he should earnestly contend,
For the faith that was once delivered,
This is the faith we must all defend.

God the Creator created the world,
This we are told in His inspired word,
From their estate our fore-parents fell,
Consigning all mankind to an eternal hell.

God the Word empathized with our loss
And came to this world to die on a cross,
Then rose from that grave triumphantly,
A sacrifice for sin offered for you and me.

God the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost,
Given by the Father,  promised by the Son,
He now indwells every Christian believer
Whom he has enabled this race to run.

Image result for images of Pentecost

Christ is coming again to judge the world,
I guess by now you have already heard,
“Heard it time and time again,” you say,
Harden your heart and it might go away.

You vigorously attack your only lifeline,
Yet cry out for help each and every time,
You feel your loss each time you lie down,
But on God’s word you continue to frown.

You attack creation’s story with delight,
Blast contenders of the faith out of sight,
Nothing the Bible says seems to you right,
Evolution’s the thing morning, noon and night.
Image result for images of evolution

But Christian believer let us not retreat,
We’re pressing on to victory not defeat,
Contend earnestly for the faith we repeat,
The victory is ours, so grand and so sweet.

Delight yourself in the apostle’s doctrine,
Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone,
The Living Word our example and object,
The Written Word as our direction alone.
Image result for images of Ephesians 2:20

Defending and contending for the faith
Must be spread with urgency and care,
Salvation’s message to the lost is vital
For it is much later than it does appear.

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God our ever-conquering Vanquisher,
And Jesus Christ our eternal Saviour,
Help us to achieve via Thy Holy Spirit
All that you command as we endeavour.

Stewart Russell © 2014

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Visitor

 I had met him before
But not personally
Now he was at my door
Most definitely.

At the most inopportune time
I heard the gentle tap
I was about to dine
So I just opened the flap.

I told him it was late
I wasn’t prepared that day
He said he’d checked the date
That was all he had to say.

I marveled at his timing
Didn’t matter I was dining
His head perceptively inclining
Inviting me to join him.

“Not now!” I insisted
My plea he simply resisted
And though I had persisted
Declared me then enlisted.

I called him an intruder
A rank and total outsider
Telling me what to do
Imposing on me his view.

Of all the things to interrupt
A man’s meal, his drink, his cup
Not even willing to delay
But on me forcing his way.

You’ve no say in the matter
Away with all the chatter
That time has finally come
Signed and sealed, it’s done.

Thought I would entertain him
A good meal to him I gave
Only to find I couldn’t win
His face was stern and grave.
I made another offer
Of someone who was old
He dismissed it as a bother
The night was getting cold.

With dread I tried again
To suggest another name
The drunkard up the street
Would make a better treat.

His head again he swayed
Much to my dismay
“Not the drunkard up the street
It’s you I must repeat.

Well I hoped he wouldn’t deny
If I took another try
That rapist up in prison
Why can’t his life be taken?

Again he shook his head
And then he gravely said
His time will come I am sure
But you must go before.

A glance at the long list
Revealed my name at top
Took a chance I dare not miss
But that became a flop.

Trying the order to bend
I wrote my name at the end
But the order he’d not forgotten
And started from the bottom.

“It’s your time,” he reaffirmed
And your date I have confirmed
Doesn’t matter how you squirm
Tonight ends your earthly term.

No amount of pleading
Will see your time receding
Pay attention to my heeding
Follow me; I’ll do the leading.”

On all the other occasions
I had watched him function
And while expressing my sympathy
Still happy it wasn’t me.

Now my visit had come
Way past the setting sun
Light and life away they ebbed
Soon I’ll lay cold and dead.

Death the fairest equalizer
The most potent tranquilizer
An insensitive family divider
A most unwelcomed visitor.

Doesn’t matter where you are
Could be near or even far
Could be rich or even poor
He’ll walk right up to the door.

Image result for images of death

He called at mine today
How I wished I’d been away!
I could broker no delay
Now cold in the ground I lay.

Stewart Russell © 2014