Out of the Gray, Part 4

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, May 6, 2017 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

[This is a multi-part blog post series. Please be sure to read the previous weeks, starting here.]

As an artist and a craftsman myself, I enjoy watching other artists do their craft. Forged in Fire is a show on TV where blacksmiths compete against each other to create knives, swords, and other bladed weapons made of steel. They must be functional weapons. The judges test each one to see if it has the quality in the metal work to do what the weapon was originally designed to do. I am always amazed at the "fit and finish" the experienced blacksmiths have on their weapons. And you can always tell who has spent a significant amount of time studying and practicing their craft. Usually, those who have not invested in learning and developing their skills are the first ones to be eliminated from the contest.

It is the same with our faith. We must KNOW and GROW what we believe. In book of Jude, read verses 20-21. (If this is the first post in this series you have read, you may want to read the previous weeks for a better understanding of the context of these verses.)

As we know and grow what we believe, we will also be able to better discern God’s direction and what is good in each circumstance we face. We will begin to see and be passionate about what is really true, not what only sounds true or what is outright false. The amazing thing about Truth is that it is exciting and freeing. Even when Truth doesn't feel good, there is a part of us deep down that somehow knows it is good. When Truth impacts our hearts, we want others to know it too – which also helps us want to contend for the faith (Jude 1-3).

Let me illustrate how this works. Dandy Blend is a coffee substitute made from dandelion root, roasted barley, chicory, and beet root. A friend of ours who loves coffee got Lyme disease. She worked with her doctor and naturalist to recover and be healed from the disease, and while she did, she was not allowed to drink caffeine. Her nutritionist recommended she drink Dandy Blend.

When they visited is one time for dinner, she brought it along and shared it with me. She told me about the benefits, and I became curious. I read up on the amazing properties of dandelions – yes those pesky weeds we all try to kill – and I was surprised at how beneficial they were. I was struggling with how I felt strung out on coffee, so I tried Dandy Blend for a while, and I felt great on it. Now I drink it regularly. And because I drink it, my kids became curious. My one daughter even developed a slogan, completely unprompted by me: “Don’t kill yourself with coffee, heal yourself with dandy blend.” Ok, so this isn’t a plug for the product, nor do i think marketing is in my daughter's near future, but it shows the simplicity of what it means to contend for Truth. In that simple exchange of experience, research, science, and campy slogan writing, contending for the properties of Dandy Blend happened.

It is really that simple when it comes to what we believe. As we build ourselves up in God’s Word and contend for the faith, Jude reminds us that we are not in this for ourselves. The church is not a fortress to be protected, it’s a force to be reckoned with – or at least it should be if we are following God and not our preferences, traditions, or comforts.

Take some time this week and consider this: how are you building yourself up in what you believe? Are you growing in what you know, and are you practicing applying God's ways to everyday living? Who may become curious because of the skill you demonstrate with your faith in God?

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