Reminder – Men’s Fellowship Night is coming up on Thursday, January 11 at 6:15PM! Hope to see you there – visit our website www.americaskeswick.org for more information.
“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” — 2 Timothy 2:1-3 (NKJV)
Those of us who join the march to defend the faith tend to get pretty battle scarred, and I have been no exception. For a decade I’ve been blessed to be able share my thoughts, opinions, and life story with all of you as a member of the Freedom Fighter writing team. Sometimes I’ve hit the mark with you and sometimes…I’ve not. During my time at the Colony of Mercy, it would be fellow writer Rob Russomano who would ask me that, “This new creation stuff doesn’t really come with an easy instruction book does it?” I still have the picture of that moment hanging on the wall as part of a collage of my time at Keswick. None the matter, the bottom line for me will always be “Iron Sharpens Iron!!” C’est la guerre…
But has all this writing really helped me effectively grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ? Well, when I go back through what has been written I see times of conflict, church changes, relationships that were a strain and two job changes. I got enough written for a book full of stuff, and perhaps if my last name was Tozer, Spurgeon, or Wesley I could get some printing done, but these days there are self-publishing opportunities that require a couple thousand dollars up front (maybe when I retire from the work force). I did, however, stumble upon the first Freedom Fighter I wrote. It was titled “Defender of the Faith” and I see that my subject was having true zeal. Here’s an excerpt…
“In 98 A.D. people were shouting “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” in Ephesus. The people were celebrating the feast of Catagogion. It was major money-making feast. And even though Timothy tried to avoid the merriment, he wound up right in front of its procession. He made a stand and was called a blasphemer. He was beaten and died of wounds a few days later. That is true defense of faith. That is true zeal. In front of the crowd, Timothy was quoted as saying, “Do as you please! And what if pleases you is a trap? What if it is a bond that will take your life from you before you have even lived and chain you to regret and dissatisfaction? Jesus came that you might have life and life abundantly! Why accept the chains of sin when you can live free in His Spirit!”
I still agree with Timothy to this day and just might have been standing at his side if given the chance. I used the same verse that day that I am using today, and I think it can sum things up for the last ten years gone by. I have been able to endure hardships because I know all I gotta do is look at The Cross of Christ and see my freedom in all things. No matter what man tried to do to me to discourage my faith in Jesus, it was all turned into me finding strength in Jesus. And as a side note, I always admired those men God put in my life that displayed meekness. Men who told me truth no matter how much hurt was gonna happen.
And even if Psalm 27 is my wife’s “go to” Psalm, I find myself nodding in agreement to what has been written, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; Though war should rise against me, in this I will be confident. One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.” (Psalm 27:1-5)
The one thing that comes out in the ten years of writing is the victory that was found in Jesus Christ in all those circumstances. This is what must have been running through Paul’s head when he charged Timothy. It wasn’t gonna be of anything Timothy could be clever in thought or deed, it was gonna be all of Jesus or it wasn’t gonna work out at all. So, it has been a decade, have I grown? I think I’ll just be content in knowing that the question doesn’t get answered until I hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your LORD.” Until then I think I gotta stuff to write about…and God keeps filling the ink well so stayed tuned. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort.” — A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. — Psalm 16:9