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4 Things That Define a Man or Woman of God

What are you going to flee from this week? What are you going to pursue?

These are questions we should ask ourselves in our pursuits to be more like Christ. In 1 Timothy 6, we see Paul instructing Timothy on how he should behave and what he should strive for as a believer. Paul was a mentor and spiritual father to Timothy. In this episode, Brody walks through 4 things that define a man or woman of God.

  1. A man/woman of God is defined by what he/she flees from.
  2. A man/woman of God is defined by what he/she follows after.
  3. A man/woman of God is defined by what he/she fights for.
  4. A man/woman of God is defined by what he/she is holding onto.

Believers, let’s run towards something that is stronger than sin and can deliver us. Run to Christ, and fight for the things Christ fought for.

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Welcome to this week’s episode of no Sanity Required. I’m so glad you’re here. We’re continuing in our conversation about what a man of God or a woman of God looks like is defined by. It’s laid out for us in Paul’s words to Timothy. First Timothy 6 and a couple of weeks ago we looked at a profile and courage in the life of Joshua, and then last week we considered Timothy in comparison to the false leaders of his day. Today we’re gonna look at the four things that Paul lays out that define Timothy as a man of God and see how that those things might be applied to our lives.

Are you a man of God? Are you a woman of God? You don’t have to question, wonder and come up with the answer on your own. It’s just simply laid out for us. Here’s a pattern we can follow and you can get to work doing this today. It’s not legalism, it’s not works based Christianity, it’s just, hey, here’s four things that implement these things. It’ll be, you’ll be on your way to a healthier and a stronger pursuit of godliness and holiness and Christlikeness. So I’m excited to get into this content. Thanks for tuning in, thanks for being here. Really appreciate you. Welcome again to no Sanity Required.

Welcome to no Sanity Required from the ministry of Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters, a podcast about the Bible, culture, and stories from around the globe.

The context of Paul’s letter to Timothy is that Paul was a mentor, spiritual father to Timothy. And I wonder if some of our listeners you may, you may be, some of you may have grown up in a situation where you had a strong, godly Christian father. Maybe he wasn’t perfect Of course he wasn’t perfect, nobody’s perfect in this life but he but he honored the Lord and he and he tried to lead you in a way that reflected that. You know. Maybe you grew up in a Christian home. Maybe you grew up going to church as a family. Maybe your dad prayed over the meal, maybe even read the Bible in the home to devotions. I don’t know. I don’t know what your situation might have been, but I know that for Timothy, when we’re introduced to Timothy, there’s this reference to his mom and his grandmother, and I don’t know if his dad was on the scene or not. I just don’t know.

But for sure what we do know is that Paul was very instrumental in Timothy’s spiritual development, and we touched on this in the last episode. But I wanna take a minute here and talk about spiritual growth, development, mentorship, discipleship. One of the things that’ll happen oftentimes here in the ministry at Snowbird is young dudes will say hey, I’d like for you to disciple me. They’ll say that to an older guy. Hear it a lot and some older guys are better at it than others. Most of our listeners are familiar with making a microphone adjustment. Here that’s gonna sound like it just got louder, but I realized my mic was way far off my face, so sorry about that.

Some guys are really good at this. One of the guys that you’re familiar with here in the ministry at Swowe is John Rulow. John comes on NSR a good bit. John is so intentional meeting with guys for coffee, meeting with guys for lunch, meeting with guys early in the morning. Our pastor, joseph Tucker, who I mentioned last week another guy that’s very intentional to invest in guys and that intentionality has there’s like a plan to it. You know like he gets together, goes through a book of the Bible or maybe it’s a. It’s a book, you know, just on spiritual life.

I’ve never been real good at that, never been any good at that. Actually, I have really like I strive to invest in younger dudes, but it’s typically gonna be less an occadence of week to week or less frequently, and more in just a lifestyle investment. So trying to just make myself available to younger guys and to pay attention to what is going on in other guys’ lives. But as the ministry gets bigger you know snowboard’s big man, you know you look at Jesus investing in 12 dudes. We know that Jesus had probably you know I bet there was 100 people, 50 people I’m probably completely off on this and I’m sure that somebody will correct me and knows exactly how many people were traveling with Jesus.

I don’t know that we know exactly, but seems like there was a crew of folks, because there’s one passage that mentions a list of ladies Joanna Mary, there’s a group of ladies traveling with Jesus and I don’t know how many people were in his inner circle and how many people he invested in. We know there’s like 120 people at the end before the ascension that were gathered. But when you really study the ministry of Jesus, there was those 12 guys that he was most invested in and then three of those guys that he was deeply invested in. So to think that you could really invest in more than two or three guys to me, if Jesus invested in three guys, maybe I could do one, I don’t know. So I think it’s unrealistic to think that you can really mentor and disciple more than a couple of folks, unless you’re gonna do it full time. You know what I mean. Like, if this is what you’re going to give all of your time to, then yeah, maybe. But if you’re going to give your time to the study of scripture and the day to day work of ministry and the community or you know you work a job where you work 50 hours a week or 40 hours a week or like dumb and dumber. Nobody can get a job. Nobody give you a job unless you want to work 40 hours a week or something. I feel like we’ve come full circle and that’s the world we live in now. People don’t want a full time job. That’s another rant. There’s so many of you you need to hire workers, but you can’t find people to work. That’s a real problem right now, not just in ministry, but in the secular world too, in the public square. But anyway, jesus would devote his life to leading discipling I mean, this is where we get the word discipling from. You know his disciples and the way he invested in them, but I feel like a lot of young dudes have an unhealthy expectation of what it is to be mentored, and maybe we’ll do a whole we probably will at some point do a whole episode on discipleship, mentorship, personal investment that’s not what this episode is totally about. But in setting it up, I think it’s good to notice and point out that Timothy was deeply impacted by Paul’s personal investment into his life and I think the word that I have encouragement that I have for young dudes is don’t put an unrealistic expectation on an older guy that you want to have that investment from, but just learn from him. You know one of the guys that was instrumental in my young life so thankful for this was he’s the head track coach at Liberty University.

Now. His name’s Lance Bingham and Lance’s kids, brittany and Cody, both now married and serving in ministry. It is married to blueberry and they are snubbered missionaries serving in Africa. Cody’s a pastor in Lynchburg, virginia, but Lance and Kelly Bingham were super instrumental in mine and little’s lives because we neither one came from families that were dysfunctional completely at the time, but also we didn’t come from families that were real healthy in terms of biblical marriage, biblical headship, like my dad was.

You know, by the time I got married, my dad, my mom and dad were. You know their marriage was busted up and I think when we got married they were technically still married but I mean it was all been over because it let it drug on for several years. And so I, you know, I know what I saw in the home wasn’t healthy marriage life, you know, and didn’t grow up seeing that. And you know I mentioned in the last episode I talked about my stepdad, steve Parker, who I’m so grateful for him. My mom got married after me and little were married. So you know, I didn’t grow up with him as a stepdad but man and my grandkids, my kids, are growing up with him as a granddad and I’m really thankful for that. He’s just awesome.

But but anyway, growing up I didn’t have a real strong idea or example of what marriage was supposed to look like or the home, how, how it should, what should it look like in a Christian home? I knew that. You know, I grew up. In one sense I grew up in a Christian home because we went to church, we said grace, we, we had rules and regulations and but, like you know, looking back and knowing what I know now, there were things that were done well and there were things that were done poorly, and my kids will be able to say the same thing. You know, every generation should get it a little more right and do a little better, better job. The the thing that I again I’m rambling here.

But when, when I got to know Lance and Kelly little and I just spent time with him and Lance never set me down and he’s not that kind of dude he didn’t set me down and say let me teach you about how to be a husband, let me teach you about how to be a father. He in fact excuse me, to the contrary, he would have said, oh, who am I? I don’t, he’s such a humble guy. He would have. He would have pushed back on that if I’d have said, hey, teach me how to be a husband or teach me how to be a father. And he said, oh man, I don’t, he’s just such a humble guy. But so I just watched and gleaned and learned. So I would encourage you to to, as a man or woman who’s younger, pick somebody that’s older and learn from them.

And anyway, we we talked about that a little bit last episode, I know, but just Timothy’s investment in, in, in, or Paul’s investment in Timothy is is very evident. It was his spiritual father and he mentored him. I do think it was that relationship that went to the next level. He mentored him personally and I guys in my life that I think that there are those dudes that I feel like I haven’t. I haven’t done it perfectly, but I feel like man, I’ve really poured my my life into this guy over the last 10 years, the last 20 years, whatever.

And I think Paul could say that about Timothy. I think I think Paul had later on he had a lot of investment in John Mark, and so I I think when Paul is challenging Timothy, it’s coming from the reason I’ve I’ve spent, you know, 10 minutes almost explaining this. Is to say, when Paul speaks to Timothy, it’s coming with weight because of his personal investment. So he says you’re a man of God, you know, this is who you are, the. You, timothy, are a man of God. Let’s read these verses First Timothy 6, 11. But you, timothy, are a man of God. So run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. So we said last week there’s four things here, and I’ll give you those four real quick and then we’ll unpack each of them First thing. So so we’re calling this four things that define a man of God and I’m going to put for you in the in the episode notes Maddie will have for you a simple little outline here Four things that define a man of God. And these are the same four things that will define you or me as a man or woman of God.

Number one a man of God is defined by what he flees from. He says you, timothy, are a man of God, so run from all these evil things. Now, what are the evil things he’s telling them to run from? You know what? What? What do you flee from? What do I flee from? I think we ask ourselves that. What’s he telling him? Well, here, he’s telling him to flee from vanity, greed, divisiveness, that’s divisiveness that was so prevalent among the false leaders in the city of Ephesus where Timothy was the leader of the church.

He was the pastor, and you see all that stuff in verses one through 10. We unpacked that last week a little bit. The man of God will be tempted with and attacked in the flesh by these things vanity, self-absorbed, self-centered. Um, god is garter, garter and garter and garter. Greed, greediness, selfishness, divisiveness, argumentative. It just happens, and so Timothy needs to run from those mindsets and those attitudes. Sometimes the most courageous thing, by the way, that you can do is to run away from something, and you’ll see. There’s three other places in scripture where Paul says we’re to flee. The first one’s 1 Corinthians 6, verse 18. There he says flee sexual sin.

I think the best thing you can do is run away from sexual temptation. That’s not something to stand and fight. You know, if my struggle is with pornography, then I probably need a flip phone. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean I’m not going to sin. Doesn’t mean it’s going to go away. Doesn’t mean that I’ve won the day, but it is a form of fleeing, I think is what I would say. So you say well, I got a porn addiction. I can’t get, I can’t stop looking at only fans on my phone. I got an account, I got a. You know a follow a. Follow these pornographic websites, porn hub, and I can’t help it. It’s just, it’s just too easy. Well, if you get rid of the iPhone or the smartphone or the tablet, you can do certain things. I think that would help you eliminate some of that temptation. Doesn’t mean this that you wouldn’t have that temptation in your heart, those imaginations wouldn’t be running wild from the things you have seen. But it’s the point is, you’d be running away from that immediate temptation of having access to it. So, flee sexual sin. It might be asking for, asking for a transfer into another department because you’re you’re inching closer to an adulterous relationship with a person at work, you know. So, hey, can I get, can I get a transfer? Or I got to quit my job, I got to do something else. You know that would be a form of fleeing.

And then in 1 Corinthians 10, 14, he says flee idolatry. And I think that syncs up pretty good with with this 1st Timothy 6 passage. You know, just idolatry in terms of greed for, for money, for stuff, for wealth, for fame, and and let me, let me read that to you 1 Corinthians 10. He’s, he’s, he’s right in the middle of a passage where he’s talking about Israel’s idolatry. But in 1 Corinthians 10, 14, he says so, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. So it is specific in the sense that they’re talking about true idolatry in the church at Corinth. And so when we, when we look at 1 Corinthians 10, 14, and we go, okay, he’s telling them to flee from idolatry, what’s he mean? Well, the idea is like they, these people, were struggling because they were worshiping false idols at the time when there was a lot of ambiguity and, like cloud, the waters were very murky and cloudy between Israel you know old Israelite practices, pagan, roman practices and Greek practices and these new, this new Christianity that people were embracing, and so they were mingling, you know, christianity with idol worship and it’s like no, run away from that, get out of there, don’t, don’t. So you see these.

Oh, and then Paul tells Timothy in his next letter 2 Timothy 2, 222, to flee youthful passions or lusts. Flee youthful passions. And I think it’s that one’s really helpful, because same guy right into the same guy and then he elaborates on that a little bit and listen to what he says. Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure heart. So, second, timothy 2, 222, I think is very synonymous. He’s saying flee these youthful lusts.


1 Corinthians 10, 1 Corinthians 6, he’s saying flee from idolatry and greed and sexual sin. So in 1 Timothy 6, in our passage, he’s telling Timothy that to run away from these evil things, the evil things of of verses 1 through 10, a true man of God will spend literally his whole life, true woman of God, running from certain things, avoiding certain things. And I think, I think what we have to ask ourselves is what am I going to flee from this week? What in my life do I need to run away from? What in my life do I need to? And it’s not like, what rules do I need to impose it? What do I need to get out of my life and run from it? Because it’s going to bring me down or cause me a relationship? It could be something financial or a hobby or a habit, I don’t know, but the point being the man of God or the woman of God, um, his first is number one here, defined by what you flee from. Number two, um, he says pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. So second thing is a man of God, a woman of God, defined by what he or she follows after what do you pursue? What are you chasing? If I spend my life pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance or steadfastness, gentleness, then I believe that, through the Holy Spirit, I’ll grow in each of these areas. But when I lose focus, then I’ll run back towards those things Paul is warning about. Um, I think an illustration is helpful here, because the principle is you can’t run from one thing effectively without running to something that’s able to save you from the very thing you’re fleeing. So when he says run away from these things but pursue these other things, I think numbers one and two work hand in hand. If I flee youthful lust, idolatry, vanity, greed, selfish, run away from this. I have to run towards something that’s stronger and able to deliver me Well. That’s why he says righteousness, godly living, godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. So I’m running from the one thing that’s stronger than the other thing.

The story that I like to tell, especially when I’m teaching this principle to students, is little, and I once rescued a girl from a dog attack. We heard this girl being attacked by dogs. It’s coming from we were. We were roofing Freedom Cabin’s, the first cabin we finished at, so this tells you how long ago this was, but we could hear this girl yelling and screaming. So anyway, long story short, cause it’s crazy. We’re up on the roof but we go up there, kind of make our way up, cross the road up towards this screaming noise and what it was? A dog was attacking this girl. I mean, it was full on attacking her and she got, as we’re running towards her. She got away from it and kind of climbed up on a deck and the dog couldn’t get to her. She’s laying up on that deck and then dog figured out how to get up on the deck.

I don’t remember what kind of dog it was. I want to. I feel like it was a dog that, yeah, it was like a collie where I was like what in the world? I didn’t know these dogs were aggressive like this. What had happened?

This girl had moved out. She was probably 18. She’d come back home to get something. Her parents had gotten a new dog, if I remember right. Dog didn’t know her. She didn’t know the dog was in the house. She opened the door and the dog attacked her and it’s a bad deal, man. It chewed her up. I mean it tore her up, chewed her up so bad. But she came running when she realized we were yelling. I’m yelling, come, come this way, you know, and we’re maybe 75 yards, 80 yards away as we’re moving towards her, she sees us.

She finally starts running towards us and y’all, when she got to us she was in like shock and I mean this dog had shredded her clothes. She was. She was only about half clothed, like it had ripped her. Most of her top was gone. Her pants were shredded. One pant, one leg of her pants was gone. It was crazy. I mean, it was a crazy thing. And it had chewed on her the back of her arm, like her tricep, where she I think she had put her arm up to protect her throat and that’s where it bit. She was pretty chewed up. But I remember the dog, the girl, the dog’s, coming down the hill chasing after her cause.

She was on this deck and the dog got up on the deck and then she jumped off the deck. Dog, it took it a minute to figure out what you know to get. They didn’t want to jump off the deck. I mean, she dropped off this deck pretty far into some bushes and then got up and started running towards us. She was like in panic mode. So the dog has to run back down the steps of this porch. This deck is. Maybe it was a flight of steps, maybe half a story, you know, wasn’t even a full story. Maybe maybe it was maybe a six or seven foot deck or something. I don’t know.

Any dog comes down, comes around, comes towards us, and the dog ran right past me because the girl I, when the girl got to us I handed her off to little and she’s kind of panicked. The dog’s like fixated on her and so this. So this little girl 18 year old girl, but she’s teeny she’s running straight at me, she gets to me, she’s like climbing, like you know, trying to almost like get on top of my shoulders and my head. She doesn’t know me from Adam, but she’s freaked out. So she’s trying to climb on top of me to get away from the dog. Little is coming up behind me and so I set her down and little takes her and starts to retreat and the dog.

I’m going to try to deal with this dog, which is not great, because now you know, I don’t know how you’re going to beat a dog up. You know that’s, that’s like rabid practically. But I had my framing hammer in my hand because we were working on the roof we’re setting. I don’t even think we were roofing, I think we were setting joists or trusses or something like that. But anyway I had my frame, my big 28 ounce S wing framing hammer, and that dog. It was just luck in my. It caught me off guard because I’m like bracing for this dog to attack me and I’m just going to try to deal with that while little gets this little girl away, and then the dog literally run dry past me, it’s just fixated on this girl and I hit the dog with my hammer.

Now I’m I’d like to say I was the hero, because I was trying to smash its face in, you know, but I missed, but I caught it just enough that I like I hit it in the shoulder and I think it hurt it pretty bad, like it wasn’t a good solid, I didn’t make a real good like, like roll it up, you know, but I hit it enough that it yelped and it turned and then it like snapped. I guess that snapped it out of what was going on. Then it actually ran away and I kind of chased it for a few steps with that hammer and then it just ran up into the woods and it and it got away. I mean, the dog got away, we got the girl got her, you know called 911, ambulance came. She ended up in the hospital.

It was crazy, but I always that’s the story I think of like you have to run away. Whatever you’re running away from, you’ve got to run to something that’s capable of saving you from that. You know what I mean. Or the power, or Maybe not the power and strength, but like just the ability. You know, like if you run.

We’ve all watched horror movies where you know people. You see that one is it a Gakko commercial? You know that one commercial where they’re hiding from the chainsaw guy where they’re hiding. You know they go, they’re like there’s a running car there and they’re like, no, we can’t get in that running car. And they go and they hide behind the chainsaws. You know, and you watch the old horror movies from the 80s and you’d be like why, why are they doing this? Why don’t they run over here? Why don’t they get the shotgun, or why don’t they get in the truck and leave? But a lot of times people, they don’t run away effectively. And if you can run into a room and and and lock the door, then and you’re safe, you’re in a place that keeps you from that thing. That’s dangerous, but if you you know, but more, even more so if you run to someone or something that’s able to save you. That’s the picture here. So it’s not just what am I running from, but it’s what am I running to. That’s the first two.

A man of God, a woman of God, defined by what I run to, what I run from, what am I after? What are you after? The pleasures of this life are fleeting, but, ladies and gentlemen, eternity is forever. The glory of eternity is forever. The one thing that we know will bring lasting pleasure, and that is eternity with Jesus, eternity with Christ. The obedience to Christ now is the only thing, then, that’s going to provide lasting pleasure. So think of it this way If I obey the Lord now, I pursue these things Faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness, godly life, right. Pursue these things, pursue righteousness, those. That’s a pursuit of something that will last beyond even this life. It’ll last throughout this life and, beyond it, obedience to Christ, the only thing that’ll provide lasting pleasure.

There’s a Puritan writer named Thomas Chalmers and he wrote I don’t want to sound like I’m not trying to sound smart, like I read a bunch of Puritan books. I don’t, I’ve read some. My friend, doug Nicholson, has given me a lot of those Puritan paperbacks and I’m really grateful, and anytime I you know, when I work through one, it’s always such a blessing. But I’m not an academic or an intellectual. I struggle even with the verbiage in a lot of those. But they’re so good and one of my favorites is this little. It’s a lot of them are super short, and this one you can find online easy.

Thomas Chalmers expulsive power of a greater affection is what he talks about. In other words, you need an affection, you need something that’s a, that has great power to not only satisfy you but to drive out the things that this world would provide you with. What are you, what are you pursuing that will that will satisfy you. You know, let’s pursue these things. To do so will require that I’ll be aggressive, that I’ll be focused. Jesus, in fact, said I should cut off my hand or pluck out my eye if either one causes me to sin.

So I think I asked myself the question how ambitious and committed is my pursuit of these things? You know it’s like am I going to pursue this? Partially? It’s kind of like I’m going to, you know, think, take, take, take a diet, for example. Say, well, I’m going to, I’m going to go on this diet where you count calories and you’re not allowed to eat bread and you don’t get to have, you know, sugar or sweets, and I’m, I’m really going to do this diet. You know, and you do it really good for the first day. And then, second day, get up and you’re like, okay, I’m rolling. And then somebody comes into the office with you know, some donuts from your favorite bakery. You’re like, oh man, I’m going to eat one of, just one. I’m just going to eat one of these. I’m going to have one donut, just one. And it’ll be like kind of my cheat day when you know you’re, you’re one day in Like, yeah, I’m just going to, I’m going to have this one treat, I’m going to treat myself here.

Well, if you, if you’re, if that’s your approach to to dieting and you’ve only made it a day or two, you’re probably not going to be. It’s probably not going to be real effective diet and I trust me, I’m not. I am. That would be the way I would do it. I would be good on a diet until donuts showed up.

So it’s how aggressive, how focused can I be in my pursuits? And I’m not. I’m not saying pursuing righteousness means pursuing holistic, healthy dietary living. That’s not. I’m saying. I’m using that example. You know I’m going to you. Could you could apply that to you, could use a lot of different examples. I’m just using that as an example. How focused and aggressive am I going to be at pursuing Jesus? Jesus said I should cut off my hand or pluck out my eye if either one of them causes me to sin. So how ambitious and committed is my pursuit of these things righteousness, steadfastness. Jesus is like it should be this man.

There’s a story that’s you might have heard of this. It’s called the Irish story. It’s an Irish folk story. The red hand of O’Neill, where these Irish clans or these old Celtic clans, I don’t know whether these clans are trying to get to the island, and and the first, whoever touches the island, first gets to claim it for their own, the island being modern day Ireland. I think this one dude O’Neill cuts his hand off because he’s not going to make it. Another ship is is is hitting the shore and they’re about to jump out and touch the island. So he chops his hand off and heaves it, throws it and it lands on the island. So his hand touched the island first. Now that is an aggressive pursuit. You know what I mean. That’s an aggressive pursuit.

So how do we pursue what we pursue? I think that’s the question we got to ask. So, man or woman of God, defined by what I flee from, what I pursue or chase after All? Right, let’s get through the last two. I hope. I hope this is helpful y’all. Sometimes, when I’m doing these things and I’m by myself like when I’ve got guys on the episode you know I got Rob and Spencer, me and Rulo were talking it’s like I feel good about that because I know these guys are a lot of times there, you know they’re, they’re carrying that conversation, but when you’re just by yourself talking into a microphone, it gets a little bit. There’s times when I think am I making sense? So anyway, hopefully this is all clicking. If not, this what you get. So wait till next week, we’ll do better next week. Okay, number three.

Third thing a man of God is defined by, or a woman of God is defined by Fight the good fight of the faith. Fight the good fight for the true faith is what this new living translation says fight the good fight for the true faith. Or, esv says fight the good fight of the faith. Man of God is defined, one of God is defined by what he or she fights for. Let me tell you something this is a challenge to men. We need men leading churches who fight for the things Christ fought for. We need men leading families who fight for the things Christ fought for. We need men leading marriages who fight for the things Christ fought for. We need men who fight for holiness. We need men who fight for righteousness. We need men who fight to advance the Gospel of the Kingdom. The word for fight is the Greek word agonizumai, which means to agonize, which means to fight, and to the, literally to the death. It’s like the word that is used to describe Greek and Roman boxing matches.

Look, I love to watch a good UFC fight. I love boxing, love any kind of combat sports. I love it. I love, and recently there was an upset in the world of MMA when Izzy Adesanya lost the title to Sean Strickland. I believe that’s a middleweight, I think they’re middleweight fighters. I think it’s 185, I think, and and it was it was. It was real shocking because Adesanya Izzy has been so dominant in that division. Now he got. He got knocked out last year by a dude who’s a savage Alex Perez, a complete savage, like that guy. He doesn’t even look like he fits in that weight class and he whooped Izzy. But then they fought again and Izzy caught him and knocked him out. Now I will say that in that fight it seemed like Alex got a little bit too comfortable and Izzy caught him, but regardless Izzy knocked him out. Well, sean Strickland, I don’t think anybody expected him to be a legitimate fighter, he expected him to be a legitimate contender and man. He whooped Izzy like and it was a decision he didn’t, he didn’t just catch him. You know a lot of times a guy.

I watched a fight the other day. It was a bare-knuckle fight. One dude is dominating the other guy. The one guy comes out. He’s this black dude. He’s jacked man, he’s got Guns and pecs and the big old thick traps and he looks like you look at that dude, you’re like. That guy looks like a linebacker and a boxer rolled into one and then he’s fighting this dude. It looks like he’s a little white guy. He ain’t little, I mean, they’re in the same weight class but he’s shorter. But he’s. He’s just white dude, a little handlebar mustache. He’s like old school, looks like a boxer from those black and white photos you know from the 1910s or 20s, you know where they they kind of put up your dukes and they got their palms facing in and he looks like that old school Boxer, you know. And so you got this just jack dude looks like a street brawler and this guy looks like a 1920s boxer. They’re going at it pretty good and then the handlebar starts to get the better of him and so he’s whooping up on this guy, rolls him up a couple times, knocks him down but not out, and You’re like oh, it’s over.

They stand the, the one dude, the black guy. They stand him up. I don’t know either their names, so I’m describing them as handlebar guy, the black guy. So they stand the the black dude up who Just looks. You know, his face is swollen, he’s got a hematoma on his cheekbone and and the mustache man, handlebar man, comes. He comes crashing in. He’s like I’m gonna finish this right now. And that dude catches him with the right and puts him to sleep. I mean, the black guy catches handlebars. So the black guy is like You’re like, he’s done, it’s over, he won’t make it out of the round and he just throws one short punch and he’s just so strong and so powerful. You know, they say you, they say you’ve got a puncher’s chance. A guy like that. So even if he’s getting out box, he’s got a puncher’s chance. So he knocks guy out.

So there’s those fights and that. That’s what it felt like when Izzy knocked out Pereira. That last fight felt like oh, he called him. Well, sean Strickland dismantled Izzy in this recent fight and it went to distance and went to a decision. Well, greek and Roman boxing matches y’all. I’ve read this and I’m all I can say is I’ve read this, some assuming it’s true, but they would fight. There were boxing matches where they’d fight to the death. So imagine MMA, imagine the UFC fight, where you fight literally till one of the guys is dead or till somebody’s eyes are gouged out. They would gouge dude till they were blind. It was just, it was so. That’s the picture. He it’s not.

You know there’s times where he’s talks about. You know Paul talks about boxing. You know I. You know I train my body and he’ll use physical training as an example of the Christian life. But here he’s using this word agonizum I. What are you willing to fight to the death? What is what is more important to you than life, or is nothing? Where are you willing to die before you’re willing to compromise when it comes to your marriage? Are you willing to die rather than compromise when it comes to your pursuit of holiness? All right, it’s like what are you gonna fight for? And I think there’s a, there’s a an important thing here. To point out the difference between knowing when to flee and when to fight Is important.

If a building was on fire and I was in it, a bomb’s about to go off and I’m in a building, you something like that I would run. I’d get out of there. But in a professional fight, if you run, you’re gonna lose Points, you’re gonna be booed by the fans. There’s a time to fight, there’s a time to run. Me and Laley were in a Sportsman’s uh no, I’m sorry academy sports one time and we were looking she was getting some new soccer cleats. We’re over in the cleats and Heard a gunshot back in the gun department and I grabbed her by the wrist and we got out of the store. I didn’t go running over there to see what it was. I didn’t pull my pistol out and go over there to fire. I was like it’s time to go, let’s go. I got my little girl and at the time she was maybe like 12, like let’s get out of here. And we went to the truck and then posted up at the truck and then Turned out it was uh, it was a round had popped off, but it wasn’t in a gun, it was like a primer had been struck and anyway Nobody was hurt. It was an accident, whatever. But there’s a time to run. In that situation I was gonna run away. I wasn’t gonna go be the hero, I was gonna get my little girl out of there. My first responsibility was to protect her and get her to safety. So no one went to fight. And when to run? I think is important.

The Christian life. Run away from the fight, and I think it’s important. And the Christian life run away from those youthful lusts and sexual temptations. But fight for your holiness and fight against the things that that would tear down your family.

Um number four, the last one, he says take hold of eternal life. So a man of God is defined by what he’s holding on to. A woman of God is defined by what she’s gripping tightly. What are you holding fast to? I love the last verse of 1 Corinthians 15, verse 58. Therefore, my dear brothers, be immovable, steadfast, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. Jesus said no man who puts his hand of the plow and looks back Is worthy of the Kingdom of God. What are you holding fast to? Is your hand on the plow? Are you taking hold of that which is eternal? Are you grabbing the fleeting Moments of this life for instant pleasure and gratification? That that won’t last? So, man of God, woman of God, defined by what they take hold of. So what are you running from? What are you running towards? What are you fighting and fighting for? What are you taking hold of? And I think that fight, the good fight of the faith, I think of the true faith. You say what am I fighting against and what am I fighting for? I think you break that down into two things.

Conclusion let me read something I wrote as a conclusion Life is short, but in another sense life is very long. It may seem like an obvious contradiction, but we need to prepare for the long haul and know that there are going to be wins and losses. Victories and defeats. Good days, bad days, good seasons, bad seasons. Sometimes life will seem dull and boring, other times overwhelming and stressful. Other times it will be exciting.

We will love and we will face loss. We will be faithful and at other times we will find that we have been ourselves unfaithful. We will hold the future, when we hold a newborn son or daughter or grandchild and we will stand over the caskets and gravesides of those who leave us to grieve. We will see some come to faith and others ultimately reject the Gospel we cling to. If our conscience has guide us, we will be misled and we will fall into the great mistake of the people of God during the time of the judges.

If we walk in the Spirit, we will win the day and share in the glory of Christ’s many victories.

His resurrection will be ours.

It will drive our hope, but our own failures may at times take our eyes off of that truth. We will have to live through and work through the consequences of our own actions, and at other times we will feel and embrace the freedom of forgiveness and leave our sin behind. But in the end, when all is said and done, might we lay down our swords and gaze at the face of Jesus, knowing that in all of the gain and in all of the loss, we have counted it, all loss for the sake of knowing Jesus and beholding His face in unblemished glory. We will see Him and know Him as he is and we will be like Him. No more pain, no more suffering, no more questions, no more consequences, no more regret, Jesus and us, and an eternal, everlasting, never ending experience of fullness and grace.

What is on the other side of victory? Nothing but heaven and Jesus. Y’all have an awesome week. Thank you for listening. Pursue the right thing this week, fight for what matters, run to Jesus and take hold of the plow and don’t look back. Plow on this week and do it for the glory of God. We’ll see you in a week.

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October 16, 2023

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