Today’s reading is drawn from Jude.
Jude feels compelled to “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” and to challenge the church to do the same. Believers must remember who they are and actively guard the message of Christ against forces that work to undermine it.
Jude challenges to fellow Christians who have “been called” and are “loved in God the Father.” If we remember who we are (and whose we are), it is much easier to keep our eyes focused on Christ, defend his truth and rely on him alone for strength.
Though Lesley was a three-sport athlete in high school, she focused on softball at Wheaton College. As a freshman, she earned national Hitter of the Week honors. As a sophomore, she was named All-Conference and led her team in many offensive categories. And as a junior, she scored 44 runs while driving in 42 more in only 41 games. With rare numbers like that, she was voted First Team All-American in 2011—the Illinois school’s first softball All-American in 14 years. Everyone wondered what kind of numbers she would put up in her senior season.
One week before that last season began, Lesley spoke at a high school meeting for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “My identity,” she said, “is not softball. It’s not being an All-American or wrapped up in receiving any other award. Who I am is defined by Jesus Christ.” Lesley continued, “None of us know the future. I could tear my ACL, and my career could end quickly. If my identity rested solely in softball, that would be devastating. But that’s not who I am. First and foremost, I’m a child of God, and that is where my focus is.”
Four days later, Lesley tore her ACL in a freak knee injury. With a chance to practice what she preached, Lesley demonstrated the truth of her message. She has proven that her identity remains first and foremost in Christ, and she has inspired coaches, teammates, friends and fans in the process.
When God looks at you, who do you think he sees? How does that compare with verses 1-3 of Jude?
Do you see yourself primarily as a child of God, or does your primary identity lie elsewhere?