March 29, 2019
We are thankful for our pastoral staff here at Kerwin and it is always good to hear insight from each of them concerning God’s word. As we continue our Bible reading schedule for this year, Enjoy this devotion today from Frank Newsome, our youth pastor.
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
For those of you that are boxing fans, the name James “Buster” Douglas is a familiar one. May 30, 1987 Buster Douglas got his first shot at the IBF Heavyweight championship against Tony Tucker. Douglas was a boxer loaded with potential, but had just barely began to scratch the surface of what he really could accomplish. He finally got his shot in this match against Tucker. For 9 rounds Buster Douglas was up in points, he was winning the fight, he was on the verge of accomplishing a dream of his. Then came round 10, Tony Tucker landed blow after blow to Douglas in round 10. Douglas was hurt, and he did something truly unforgivable in the world of boxing, Buster Douglas by his own admission gave up. He stopped throwing punches, he stopped trying to move, and avoid the punches by Tucker, Buster Douglas stopped fighting, and he lost the match for the Heavyweight championship because the fight became too difficult for him, and he gave up. Fast forward to February 11, 1990 Buster got another title shot against the one and only “Iron” Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson was the best heavyweight boxer of his time, he had been labeled “The Baddest Man on the Planet.” This was a tune-up fight for Tyson because he was preparing to fight Evander Holyfield in the summer of 1990. Going into the fight Mike Tyson was 37-0 with 33 knockouts, this fight was predicted to be a first round knockout by Tyson. The fight began, and on this night there was no quit in Buster Douglas, there was no fear of an opponent that was favored by Vegas at 42-1 odds. He was focused, he had put in the hours training, and working, he was a man on a mission in this fight. Round 8 started and Tyson landed 2 uppercuts and knocked Douglas down. In the past this is where Douglas would have given up, stopped fighting, start thinking it’s too difficult. On this night there was no quit, no giving up by Douglas. He dug deep, harnessed every ounce of energy he could and fought, he fought hard, and smart, and in round 10 Douglas did something no other fighter had ever done, not only did he knock down Mike Tyson he knocked him out. In what is still to this day called the greatest upset in sports, James “Buster” Douglas defeated Mike Tyson and became the Heavyweight champion of the world.
You and I face an enemy, an opponent in our spiritual life that when we look at the tale of the tape we are outmatched in every way. On paper our spiritual battle with Satan is a mismatch of the greatest proportions. We, like Buster Douglas don’t stand a chance in this fight. Our Christian lives are about more than being saved, and getting a trip to Heaven. We were saved to fight, Buster Douglas was going to make a million dollars on this fight win or lose, but on this night it wasn’t about the money for Douglas, he wanted more. Here in this verse we are told to “earnestly contend for the faith.” Which Buster Douglas are you? Do you find yourself wanting to give up when the fight gets tough, do you want to throw in the towel and say well I’m going to Heaven, life is easier if I don’t try to fight Satan in this spiritual battle? My hope is that we will be the Buster Douglas who fought with purpose, with passion, with determination that I am going to shock the world and do the unthinkable. Oh, there’s one little detail I forgot to mention, we don’t even have to fight our own battle. Isn’t that a blessing? God has promised He will fight for us.
22 Ye shall not fear them: for the Lord your God he shall fight for you.
What you and I need to do is to make up our mind that we are going to keep fighting this battle with the help of God. Decide right now that we are going to “Earnestly contend.”