For The Kingdom: Joy-Filled Living In Difficult Days | Day 40

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.” Philippians 2:14-18

H O L D   F A S T … In maritime lore and history, the words “Hold Fast” have had superstitious meaning for many a salty sailor on the open sea.  As the story is told, the belief was that the tattooed knuckles would keep evil forces away and strengthen their grip on the riggings and lines through the fiercest tempests and storms.  Not only did their ability to hold fast in moments of peril impact them, the lives of other sailors, depending on them to hold their line, hung in the balance as well. “Hold Fast” has come to mean different things to different people including: holding on to something securely, staying put in one place, defending your position and lastly, holding on to your beliefs and values, never wavering from your personal convictions and truths.

When Jesus fed the 5,000, He amassed a huge following of fans.  To be certain, there is a big difference between “fans” of Jesus and disciples of Jesus.  As Jesus introduced some difficult to understand and accept truths, many of His fans decided to walk away.  Turning around to His 12 disciples, Jesus asked them directly, “Do you want to go away as well?” For those fair-weather followers, they didn’t understand what Paul meant by “holding fast to the word of life.” Peter and the other disciples did, responding to Jesus’ question, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68. Only Jesus has the word of eternal life.  To hold onto Jesus is to hold onto His Word.

There is no luck or superstition in tattooing the words “Hold Fast” on your knuckles like the sailors of bygone days.  There is, however, great spiritual power for those who hold fast to God’s Word, tattooing His truth onto their hearts and into their minds. King David once said, “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11. Commit to “holding fast to the word of life,” because not only does your life depend upon it, but just like those rugged sailors, your brothers and sisters in Christ are counting on you to hold the line as well.

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