Tag Archives: Jude

Keepin’ it Holy in 2014

Finishing up my study in Jude today I reread the chapter. A short 25 verse book. 632 words. An average reader could read it in just a few minutes… but if you really want to squeeze the juice out of it, it’ll take you a while. Our modern day letters are usually penned with the purpose of encouraging one, the recipient. But Jude’s letter, through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost has touched countless lives through the ages for eternity. We often read scripture like we write letters, out of duty; and in so doing we miss the blessing.

I had read Jude, but this morning as I re-read it I stopped in verse 5 when Jude said to the reader “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart as clear as day, “I know you’ve heard it before, but stop and savor what I’m telling you. They didn’t listen, be the generation that does.”

Tears welled up in my eyes as I thought of the countless times God has drug me out of Egypt. Falling right back into a habit, path, decision, etc. that leads me away from His divine will. So… I concluded the book of Jude verses 17-25 where Jude again tells us, “I know you’ve heard it before…”

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

How can we possibly keep ourselves Holy in such an unholy world?

Building up yourselves

To build is to form or construct something. The foundation has been laid by the Holy Ghost, it is now our responsibility to build on what He’s given us. Has He given you talents, financial means, a concern or a burden for a project or a people? Now is the time to build on that faith that whatever it is God has called you to do, He’ll equip you with the means. (Philippians 1:6) ~ Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Praying in the Holy Ghost

If you’ve been saved anytime at all you should have long since traded the “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer for a deeper conversation with God. A conversation with God shouldn’t be just once a day, it should be all day. There should be moments where it is one on One, undisturbed by the world, and the rest of the time should be the acknowledging that He sees what you see, He goes where you go, He hears what you hear. Everything you experience, He does too… talk to Him about it.

Looking for the Mercy

When I first read that verse in Jude I read it “Looking for mercy.” Then I realized I’d misread it, God said looking for “the Mercy.” Maybe it’s not mine, maybe I should be looking for someone else’s mercy, or even an opportunity God would call mercy.

Making a Difference

Preceded by “And of some have compassion.” The world needs to see a compassionate Christ in us; not the judgmental organization that we’re often viewed as because of our lack of service and reaching out to those in need. We need to make a difference and that difference is an eternal one.

Jude closed the chapter with another reminder that we are Holy in Him and not in ourselves.  Allow Him dominion over your life and the power will come through Him to accomplish great things in 2014.

Three Issues with the Church

 

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Consider yourself warned

“God never promised to save by miracles those that would not save themselves by means.”

This statement from the commentary of Matthew Henry set off an alarm inside my mind this morning. My third day of studying the book of Jude and I didn’t make it two verses without a “Wow!”

Verses 10-11

But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

Yesterday’s blog was on strife in the church due to debating the sin of homosexuality. The sin was as much in the debate as the act, for it took the message away from the life and death of Jesus Christ and put it onto the depravity of man, which is why Jesus came – to save them.  A debate is only healthy so long as it points back to the cross and not on to the opinions of man which is where we go astray. There are always two sides to a debate, and if a public forum is taken you never know how many people you’ve allowed to be swayed by the other argument. That thought just ran a shiver down my spine, because there is always much debate.

But in verses 10-11 Jude reminds them of three Old Testament acts of treason in the church:

  1. Cain’s jealousy.
  2. Balaam’s greed
  3. Korah’s (Core’s) false teaching.

There are always those who think their way is better than God’s way, but when the matter is searched out there is always an underlying reason, a reward that they believe will be greater than the grace of God. For Cain, his Brother Abel’s obedience with an acceptable sacrifice made him look bad, so “Let’s just get rid of the brother, then I’ll be the favorite…problem solved.” No, the problems had only begun. Now Cain was exiled from family and friends. Judgment came, it always does. There’s always an easier sacrifice in the church, but never a better one than the one God requested.

Balaam’s greed caused him to go against God’s original Word. God’s first answer is His final answer. We need not take the same question back to the Lord when it was answered the first time in hopes of a different answer; nor do we need to “check it out” a little further. What that does is put you closer to rebellion and further away from God. Something King David noted of his own life in Psalm 73:1-3 ~ Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Korah’s rebellion against God in trying to attract Israel away from the leadership of Moses left him being swallowed up in death by the ground. God takes serious those who He has put into positions of authority. He has given them the anointed ability to lead His people and a rebellion against that will be costly.

Those are three very real issues in the church today in the spoiled nation of America. We want God’s blessing but without sacrifice. We want God’s advice, so long as it’s beneficial and we want church leaders, so long as they don’t actually have expectations that we should live right. Whew! That’ll preach! and Preachers, if you’re inclined to use it in your sermon this morning feel free to blame me. But I figure if you’re gutsy enough to preach it, you’ve got shoulders broad enough to bear the load of your congregations.

It appears that Jude was quite the meddler in church affairs, but he learned from the best – his Brother and Lord! God’s given us the Word, it’s up to us to follow it through.