Category Archives: Jude

Jeremiah 35,36; Jeremiah 45,46; Jude

To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for[a] Jesus Christ:

Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.  Jude ESV

What does it mean to know myself beloved in God and kept for Christ? Do I see myself held for Him? Kept is such an entrancing word to me. What is the keeping of a body, soul, mind, heart, life for Christ? He is the precious prize; He is the worthy One who loves and He is coming in the clouds- Victorious Savior- am I kept and do I keep myself for Him? Vaguely (as if in a fog, dimly) , I have reflected on how easy it is to lose the precious things- the things of great price that should be treasured and protected. Highly valued. Do I value what He does?  And then the gracious blessing: Mercy, peace, and love in abundance. O beloved one, treasured of Christ, may you, may your life overflow in mercy, peace, and love. May you have more than enough.  The mercy, peace, and love are like a lavish fountain to me- available in Christ, fully refreshing.  Abundance is such a healing word.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Jude ESV

I must be careful not to follow my own instinct or the way of my natural understanding. Following Christ is an abandonment to Him not to the world (the way of Cain), the flesh, idolatry (all that raises up higher than the Lord.) The Lord has been speaking to me about the importance of works. Not to earn salvation; not to prove my goodness or worthiness- but as a witness of His life. Also, as something that is important and pleases God. Godly deeds matter.

A Call to Persevere

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They[f] said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment[g] stained by the flesh.  Jude ESV

Keep yourselves in the love of God. I am captivated. There is a nuance of protection in the word keep; there is a sense of tucking in close, there is choice and there is choosing; we are kept (verse 1) and we keep (verse 21). My focus must be on building up the most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keeping myself in the love God, waiting for Christ’s mercy: this is a large endeavor; it is a full-time focus. Help me to treasure You, Lord- with my life.

Doxology

24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.  Jude ESV

To him who is able to keep….

Lest we/I become to fearful, discouraged, or dismayed- God is able to keep. All  praise belongs to Him. All worship is for Him. Keep me in Your love! The beautiful jubilance of being presented without fault and with great joy! Years ago, we often sang a worship song based entirely on this verse of this beautiful Doxology. I found it here.

Lord, press upon my heart to be kept, to keep for you, in you, by Your love. May I know what it is to hide in the secret place of Your Presence under the wings of  Your profound love. Help me take my days, my obedience, my life seriously and may You sanctify these and create something worthy.  Lord, may I know the utter safety of being kept in Your love, waiting for Your mercy. Amen.

Rebecca( offeringsbecca)

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2 Chronicles 9; Jude 1; Zephaniah 1; Luke 23

Anger.Gratitude. Awe. Wrath.Jealousy. Justice……Hope.

Such a melange of emotions in today’s passages. Luke 23 stirs such anger in me. Ever since I was a child, I could not understand why Jesus had to die in this scene. He was declared innocent. He wasn’t supposed to die. But the mob mentality brought him to a violent death. Never has it been so clear to me – the ugliness of my sin – than in this passage. My sin is represented by that angry mob.

18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)

20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”

23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. Luke 23: 18-24 NIV

He didn’t have to die…but He did it for me.

Lord, I am grateful beyond words for what you did for me. For all.

The Queen of Sheba comes to visit King Solomon in 2 Chronicles 9. She finds him to be beyond her expectations. When she speaks of his wisdom and the splendor of his possessions, it says, “It all took her breath away.” (The Message)

When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, the cupbearers in their robes and the burnt offerings he made at[a] the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed. NIV

Every day I have the opportunity to be overwhelmed with the goodness and mercy of God, along with the beauty of His creation.  For me, a glimpse of a magnificent sunrise or the beauty in a single flower is enough to take my breath away. To stand in awe.

But I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes.

2Chronicles 9:6 NIV

Lord, help me to truly see You everyday.

“When I destroy all mankind
on the face of the earth,”
declares the Lord,
“I will stretch out my hand against Judah
and against all who live in Jerusalem.
I will destroy every remnant of Baal worship in this place,
the very names of the idolatrous priests—
those who bow down on the roofs
to worship the starry host,
those who bow down and swear by the Lord
and who also swear by Molek,[b]
those who turn back from following the Lord
and neither seek the Lord nor inquire of him.” Zephania 1: 3-6 NIV

Jealousy. Holy Anger. This passage is hard to stomach, knowing that God is a loving and merciful God. But God has made it clear that his people are to worship Him and Him alone. God’s sense of justice will not tolerate anything else. How should I react to this? Two things come to mind. 1. Gratitude that my relationship with Jesus covers me, and 2. A heart that breaks for those who worship the idols of today’s world and try to live life without God.

Jude 1 show me how to act accordingly.

22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. Jude 1:22-23

Lord, fill me with compassion for those who do not know you.

A doxology for us.

24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Amen.

Ann (naturelady)

 

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Jude, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Uncategorized

Genesis 3-5 and Mark 2

God created them Adam and Eve, not nincompoops!  It occurred to me while reading Genesis that when God walked in the cool of the garden with Adam and Eve, He talked with them probably about life to come, about love for one another, about creation, and so many other things spiritual, natural, and supernatural. In other words, Adam and Eve didn’t just shuffle along behind Him in stupefied silence – they talked, listened, questioned, and learned. They hung on His every word.

Likewise, when Jesus began His ministry He also walked with the people and preached to them spiritual truths, how to live rightly, and how to believe even in things to come. Like the description in Genesis concerning God’s presence with Adam and Eve, the second chapter in Mark relates the personable, human side of Christ who ate and drank with His disciples, sharing in their hospitality, showing the heart of His Father toward them. Though the religious leaders could not bear to hear His words, the multitude jostled each other to get close to Jesus. Those that persevered with belief in Christ came to understand how God relates to us and us to Him. Jesus said, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him,” (John 14:7).

Reading about God and His Son walking among men and talking with them makes me envy those intimate moments that people shared with them. I long to be physically close to Jesus my Savior so that I could reach my arm around His shoulder or accidentally bump into Him as we walked side by side.

I have a similar longing when I’m talking with my friend on the phone. She lives too far from me to visit; and when I hear her voice, I just wish we were sitting in a coffee shop sharing dessert and patting each other’s hand as we talk, cry, and laugh together – sometimes all in the same conversation!

There is more, however, to satisfy thirst when in Christ’s presence than what is gained from phileo love or a meeting of the minds. This deeper and more intense relationship with Christ is perhaps the same desire of Adam and Eve after the garden tragedy – what was lost intensified the expectation that all things would be set right with the coming of the Messiah. That is what I long for this year from reading God’s Word, meditating on His truths, and wrestling my needs and wants to the holy ground at God’s feet. I expect that all things will be set right…and how else can I hope to touch Him or to be known by His all-consuming love even now?

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, Jude, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

1 Kings 17-18; Psalm 119; Jude

20So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel. 21Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.

22Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only prophet of the lord who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets. 23Now bring two bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood on the altar, but not set fire to it. 24Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the lord. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed.

25Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “You go first, for there are many of you. Choose one of the bulls, and prepare it and call on the name of your god. But do not set fire to the wood.”

26So they prepared one of the bulls and placed it on the altar. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning until noontime, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no reply of any kind. Then they danced, hobbling around the altar they had made.

27About noontime Elijah began mocking them. “You’ll have to shout louder,” he scoffed, “for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!”

28So they shouted louder, and following their normal custom, they cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out. 29They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice, but still there was no sound, no reply, no response.

30Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the lord that had been torn down. 31He took twelve stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel, 32and he used the stones to rebuild the altar in the name of the lord. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold about three gallons. 33He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood.

Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.”

34After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said, 35and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench.

36At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O  lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. 37O  lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O  lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”

38Immediately the fire of the lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! 39And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The lord—he is God! Yes, the lord is God!” 1 Kings 18:20-39

There is NOTHING weak about God. There is nothing that He can’t do. He is not limited by an earthly body that gets lost in daydreaming, that succumbs to sleep, that needs time to get business done in the bathroom, that goes away and hangs a “be back soon” sign up on the door to heaven. He is everywhere all the time. He sees everything, hears everything, knows everything. He has complete understanding of every moment that every human being – past, present, and future – has ever experienced; He knows every struggle, every temptation, every sin, every sadness and grief, every jealousy, every bitterness, every resentment, every frustration and anger, every love, every joy…

I think sometimes I forget this as day-to-day life tramples over me. When I am feeling out of control, it seems much easier to believe the lies of the enemy instead of Truth. It is easier to make idols of the things around me, looking to others for answers, relying on money to save me, turning to food to comfort me, zoning out in front of the TV thinking that giving my brain a “break” will revive my soul, worshipping my kids (when they’re making good choices and pleasant to be around), and so on.

But, each moment that ticks by, He is calling me back to Himself, calling me by name, choosing me over and over, so that I can know Him. He wants me to know who He is, and who I am in Him. He wants me to experience His love so that fear and hopelessness will be swept away. He wants me to experience His mercy so that condemnation and judgement will vanish. He wants me to experience His grace so that bondage will be replaced by true freedom. He wants me to experience His glory and power, a fire that consumes everything in a flash, so that I will not waver in my belief, so that I will know that He is the only true God, the One who will never leave nor forsake me, who walks beside me in my journey, who provides everything I need to thrive.

Yesappa, Thank You for being my firm foundation, the mountain of strength on which I stand. Thank You for drawing me to You, even in my weakness and shame. Thank You for loving me into who You created me to be and showing me my identity is in You, righteous and holy. Thank You for showing Yourself to me over and over, reminding me of Your goodness, reminding me of who You are. Help me always keep my eyes on you, in the good times and in the struggles of life. Help me always follow You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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2 Chron. 9; Jude 1; Zeph. 1; Luke 23

It’s been on my mind a lot lately, measuring success–as if so  many external factors were the true gauge–when God stopped me with a whisper look at your own heart. If I didn’t take what I learned in my quiet time and try to apply it to life, I would be disappointed if I otherwise didn’t measure up: by charts, graphs, dollars or things. Maybe it’s not the stuff I can show, but the stuff I can’t show.

 20 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,[g] 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.

22 And you must show mercy to[h] those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others,[i] but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. Jude 1:20-23 (NLT)

I honestly don’t think I can do justice to this paring of success and God’s call to go out and love. So I’m just going to stop here. But this is the verse that stood out to me today.

Father, this year you’ve taught me so many things. In this quiet time with you, you’ve prepared me for trials I didn’t see coming. Your Word says you equip people for the job, and while I’m still such a novice at many things, I would have failed completely if I didn’t have your tools to help me stand. I am so very grateful for this time with you, and the safety of your love when things don’t feel safe.

Courtney (66books365)

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Deuteronomy 2; Psalms 83,84; Isaiah 30; Jude 1

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.  For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you…   Jude 3-4…

This is it, the final epistle.  One chapter, a mere 25 verses remain before scripture shifts to a blazing finale of prophecy.  In such circumstances, only a topic of the utmost importance will do.  Jude wanted to write about the salvation we share, but God overruled him.  What is on God’s mind?  A warning to protect the salvation we share, a warning to beware of the corruption of the Gospel from infiltrators within the church.

My thoughts immediately jump to men like Harold Camping.  The Bible says that no man can know the day or hour or Christ’s return.  Apparently God didn’t count on the keen intellect of Camping to piece together the clues and figure it out.

Jesus continually commanded us to fear not.  However, there was one occasion when He changed His tune and told us in no uncertain terms to fear.  He was warning of Hell, and He spoke of it often, even using it as a motivation to turn to God.  No matter.  Pastor Rob Bell openly questions the whole doctrine of Hell.  Pastor Gregory Boyd decries those who use it as a witnessing tool.

In the Bible, God promises His followers trials and tribulations during their earthly life.  No matter.  Pastors such as Joel Osteen amass huge congregations and national followings by teaching that God actually promises to pour out wealth and success on His earthly servants.

I won’t pretend I know enough about any of these men to be certain that they qualify as modern-day targets of Jude’s letter.  However, it’s plain to see that aspects of their teaching legitimize such questions.

There are two thoughts in the closing verses of Jude that I’m particularly grateful that God has included.

Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.  Jude 22-23

Even as this book blasts apostates, God’s heart dwells on those they’ve misled  from the true Gospel.  He commands us to reach out in mercy to them.

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy- Jude 24

Jude reminds us that it is the work of Christ that matters.  He alone keeps me from stumbling.  He alone will present me without fault.  I might exercise my will to follow Him, but even this is only as He enables me to, and I take great comfort that my future is secured because of His work alone.  If I had any part to play, I’d eventually blow it.  He won’t.

Dear God,  lead me away from false teaching, make me an effective advocate for the truth of your Word, and let me always remember your promise that I am entirely and forever secure in You and by You.   Amen.

Michael  (mmattix)

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2&3 John & Jude

Scripture:

Jude 24Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (ESV)

Observation:

This is my last post of the year. There are things in all three of the books assigned to my day that I would like to share with you, but alas I can only do one. I would love to share the perspective of 2 John. The letter the Apostle John writes to a woman leader who is doing an effective job being used to forward the Kingdom of God. I could reflect on the women who have contributed to this blog and the way they have blessed hundreds with their words. I could reflect on the church that met in Gaius’ home and how they supported strangers who went out for the sake of the Name. I cry every time I read that passage, there are so many that have gone out in anonymity for the sake of the name that we will only hear about in heaven, and faithful churches that stood behind them.

But this being the end of the year, these verses of Jude come to my mind.  It’s all about Jesus and what He has done and is doing for us. He keeps us from stumbling. Even though we know we are not perfect, He paid the price so that we could stand before the Father perfect! We are caught-up in an eternal plan that lasts through the ages into eternity. What humbling thoughts when we think of where each of us have come from. And this God of glory cares about each one of us and sustains and keeps us all.

Application:

I don’t think about things the way Jude did. I think of myself and what I get out of life. Jude raises our gaze to the great God of the universe and not only what He has done for us, but what our adoration and praise should be back to Him. And this plan was conceived in eternity past and will carry us into the eternity of the future! What a blessed thought to dwell on as we close out 2009. Blessings on you all!

Prayer:

Thank You Father God for your sustaining keeping power in our lives. We recognize you to be the only wise God who is full of majesty and glory and honor and power before all time, now and forever! I pray these things in Jesus Name, Amen.

dmbaldwin

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