Category Archives: Jude

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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Filed under 66 Books, Jude, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament

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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Filed under 66 Books, Jude, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Uncategorized

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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Filed under 2 John, 3 John, Jude, New Testament