National Novel Writing Month is back. November 1, 2021, I face the challenge of writing a novel in a month. Some people run marathons and others compete in games. This challenge for authors is our form of competition. But we compete with one’s self. It is a solitary marathon of words with the prize being finishing 50,000 words in a new novel in thirty days.
3 Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. 4 I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. [Jude 1:3-4 New Living Translation]
This passage describes not only the early church, but our churches, too. Jude reminds us to remain faithful to our faith and defend the precepts God has entrusted to us. What do we do when our church leaders lead us down a path that allows for sin to infiltrate the faithful? Jude tells us to defend the Faith. In other words, live our faith as God tells us to live it in His Holy Word.
This is not a popular position. I have to pull myself away from the temptation of the teaching of the age. I find it hard to stand and say “that is not right.” Personally, I prefer to go along with the crowd and not voice my faith. Let them do what they want. It is their responsibility. Whispers in my mind. Don’t create trouble for yourself.
There is a grain of truth in that whisper. It is the other person’s responsibility to follow and hear the call of the Savior, and it is their decision to follow Him or not. But here is the rub. That whisper also reeks of pride and fear. When I fall to this temptation, I become “Holier than thou,” and fearful of other’s reactions to me. This is how I step onto a very dangerous tightrope. I fall every time. Because it distracts me from the calling and talents God has placed on my life. In a few sentences, the evil one removes my focus from God, His Church, His Calling, and His Glory.
Jude calls to us to defend the One True Faith. He warns us to open our eyes to the evil infiltrating our churches and understand that these people do not follow God. That we must stand firm in God’s teachings and know Him. If it doesn’t sound right, then we need to be wise. Take it to God in prayer. Find out what God’s Word says about whatever is being said. Vet everything. Including what you find written here. I am also fallible. Sometimes, I do not have all the facts, understanding or wisdom needed. I’m sorting through this just like you. Writing this blog helps me learn. The truth is in God’s Word. We need to find the truth.
After reading this passage, I understand I need to focus on the gifts God has given me. I need to hone them. I need to do the work God sets in front of me today and follow His call on my life. He has called me to write and to encourage you through this blog and stories. Today I step out in faith to write something new. It is funny that this scripture starts with Jude changing what he is going to write about. A few months ago, I started thinking about what I was going to write for this challenge. I have ideas to written down but, going over them, I couldn’t settle on any one thing. Then my mom gave me a family heirloom to hold for a while. It isn’t a precious thing by the world’s standards. But, it is precious to my family. Driving home, I looked over at the large stuffed bear buckled into the passenger’s seat and I knew I was going to write a family story for this challenge.
This November, I am writing two books in a new series: Heirloom Tales. The working titles are The True Story of a Bear, The Memoir of an Heirloom, and Ruff-n-Tuff a Bear’s Tale, which will be a children’s book. I take a deep breath and remember that Jesus is with me in this marathon of words. The time for me to use my talent is “write now!”
Please pray with me:
LORD God of Hosts, Thank you for Your Grace. You have given us gifts to use for Your purposes. My gift is (insert your gift or calling here) writing. You use each unique gift to draw your people and those seeking truth and grace closer to You. Guide us away from the false teachings and closer to your truth. Guide us to use the talents you have given us for Your Glory. Thank you, Father, for Your blessings on our lives. Help us be patient as we learn Your Ways and walk with You today. In Jesus’ name, amen. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen.