The Good Series: The Good Fight (Part 4)
[ Preached by Pastor Kenneth Chin at Acts Church Malaysia on 10 February 2019 ]
Read | 2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
The Apostle Paul fought and finished well with his faith intact – all for what he declares “a crown of righteousness”. And here’s our great hope: Paul states that the crown isn’t just for him, but also to all who follow the Lord.
The fights we are caught in are truly “good” fights.
Life is one of fighting, but not necessarily the physical kind. We fight against temptation, fight to keep the faith, or fight for marriage, a relationship, or a dream alive.
And a good reward – a righteous crown – awaits those who have fought for the right things. That is what all of us aim for, so how do we ensure we pick our fights well?
FIGHT A REAL OPPONENT
Focus on the source of a problem and not the people around it.
Read | Ephesians 6:12
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
There is always a greater, hidden enemy that continuously tempts us into bad fights that sap our energy and discourages us daily. Address the root cause, and remember – not everything is personal!
FIGHT TO WIN
Read | 1 Corinthians 9:24
The Need for Self-Discipline
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Paul says it pretty plainly: fight with the intent to win!
This means never picking a losing battle, yet many chose to do so, even if they end up losing more than gain.
A winning fight doesn’t cause us losing a spouse or a friend – just so we can keep our pride intact, rather it’s one guided by God’s wisdom. The fact that we are fighting for a righteous crown is that we fight for what’s honourable in His eyes.
Read | 2 Timothy 2:5
Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.
God has rules – His Word, His ways – these are all directed by orderly rules. And when we fight, we too are governed by rules.
One may think that rules confine but in actuality, they define. Imagine the utter chaos of a football game without boundaries. A set of rules must be in place before people can truly compete, fight, and enjoy themselves.
Similarly, only when we follow God’s rules, can we fight well, fight fair, and live an abundant life.
So what’s a good fight look like?
A Good Fight is a God Fight.
That means fighting over things that please God, and not:
- Fighting over differences
- Fighting over what people think or say
- Fighting over gossip
- Fighting over money
- Fighting over position or title
Read | John 13: 3-5
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Jesus shunned titles for the towel in order to serve:
- Fight for God
- Fight for the lost
- Fight for the weak and poor
- Fight against sin and temptation
Fight the good fight, and finish the race. But above all, do it in a way that allows us to keep the faith no matter how tough or bumpy the road has been. That is the path outlined for us toward the crown – the final prize that awaits us at the end of the road.
Written by Writer’s Ink
Edited by Hailey Chung