I’ve always loved and appreciated the simple truth of this short epistle written by Jesus’ half-brother, Jude. It appears right at the end of the New Testament before John’s book of Revelation. Jude set out to encourage the brethren in the faith, but suddenly felt compelled to warn them about false teachers, those who were in the church pretending to be teachers and desiring to lead the church and believers astray. These false teachers were wolves in sheep’s clothing, attempting to dissuade believers and destroy the ministry of the gospel. Jude’s message is a solemn and serious warning to ‘contend earnestly for the faith’. As I sat down to write my ‘end of the year’ newsletter last month (which I never wrote) I was pulled away from the task as my bride, Nancy, entered the hospital the day after Christmas struggling with several physical challenges her doctors are still trying to diagnose. She is better now, is home, and making good progress toward recovery, but we still do not fully understand the cause of her illness. God has used these past two months of staying close to home to remind us and show us that despite challenges in life and struggles we need to be standing firm (Gal 5:1). Our enemy’s greatest weapon is discouragement. These physical struggles, the collapse of the moral fiber of our nation, and the ongoing malaise of the pandemic are discouraging, but for us, it only serves to remind us now, more than ever, for us to contend earnestly for the faith!
Contending for Shepherds
One of our greatest needs for the ministry of RSBCE is for qualified men to come and shepherd churches in the West. As real estate and housing prices in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona have risen dramatically over the past few years the opportunity for younger men to relocate, or to begin a new ministry as a faith-based missionary pastor has become a significant challenge. Yet, we know God’s resources are infinite and we are praying and trusting Him to bring men to the ministry in our mission churches in His time. We pray daily for God to move in the hearts of mid-career men who are called to ministry to whom maybe God has blessed with established financial resources. Another opportunity for pastors is that men would serve their pastoral calling as ‘tent makers’ working part-time or full-time while they serve in pastoral ministry. Would you pray with us that God will raise up men for His harvest with RSBCE?