Jude (Part 1)

Jude (Part 1)

Let me start here: if you have not read Jude (an introduction), stop now and go read it . . . it will make more sense that way. However, as a reminder to those who did read it let me refresh your memory. Jude is one of four brothers of Jesus and at some point led the Church in Jerusalem. He came to faith after Jesus’ resurrection. This same Jude then pens this letter and it is powerful! As a call to repentance, as a reminder of judgment, and as a warning to stay alert as we contend for the faith.

He doesn’t waste time with small talk, antidotes, or gibber, he is very matter-of-fact. In the verses, we will look at this week, we will see his heart, and his understanding as the brother of Jesus and leader of the Church. Let’s look at verse 5, “Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.” Here is an interesting point, there are a couple manuscripts out there as well as a few versions of the Bible that use “Jesus” in place of “the Lord”. Could these early manuscripts be more accurate to Jude’s point? i think so. Jude had come to an understanding of who Jesus was and was not ashamed of it.

We love grace, i love grace. We preach grace, i preach grace, and it is glorious! However, we mustn’t lose sight of Jesus. Jesus, actively a part of the Old Testament, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, saves us by His cross. He leads us free from the chains of sin, out of bondage and into freedom. As the Israelites out of Egypt and still, subsequently (lit. the second time) He destroys those who did not believe. Folks, there is judgment. There is a hell and it has been preached since the formation of the Church. Do not be led astray. We must continue to contend for the faith in a world that would pervert the grace of God, even some in the Church.

Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that [e]the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, [f]subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after [g]strange flesh, are exhibited as an [h]example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. (NASB)

Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved[c] a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire,[d] serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (ESV)

Pray with me for insight, for understanding, for fresh revelation into God’s Word. Let the Spirit of God speak to our hearts through these words written by Jude inspired by the Spirit. May we grow in wisdom and faith, as we seek to walk humbly with Jesus, contending for the faith. Until next week . . .

you are loved,

cj

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

The shortest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 117, it is just two verses. Yet these two verses are immensely profound in their simplicity. You want to boil things down to the minimum and just look at the core of human existence? Then here you go:

“Praise the Lord, all you nations! Worship Him, all you peoples! Because God’s faithful love towards us is strong, the Lord’s faithfulness lasts forever! Praise the Lord!”

It doesn’t get much simpler than this, Praise the Lord. Worship Him. Because, He is faithful. His love is strong towards us and He is forever faithful. Thus, we should, Praise the Lord! No matter what you are facing, no matter what difficulties or trials befall you, Praise the Lord! In the good and in the bad, Praise the Lord! In the sun and in the rain, Praise the Lord! In life and in death, Praise the Lord! In sickness and in health, Praise the Lord! In the hardest of times and in the best of times, Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord,

you are loved,

cj

Stinky Projects

Stinky Projects

This week my wife finally had it with the odor that was coming from under the sink. i have to admit that all though i often don’t smell all that she can, she has a very sensitive nose, but i did smell that and it was bad! Jen called the landlord and asked if she could pull out the shelving under the sink, it had sever water damage, thinking that would be the solution. They agreed and she wasted no time. When she started tearing it out she began to uncover an even bigger mess, black mold! Another call to the landlord and i was called in to take out the sink, and cut out the molded drywall. i did.

That project spurred other projects and as we were taking out and putting in the work was hard and i often wondered, “there has to be an easier way”. This morning i finished the plumbing of the new sink after finishing the drywall yesterday and Jen painted last night. i started on laying the new floor while the sink was out, so the new floor is half in and the project continues…there is an end insight but i hesitate in saying that because as we have progressed new projects have popped up. The good news in all this is that the landlord is paying for the renovation and taking rent off for our labor, a pretty good deal if you ask me.

Life is like this project. We often don’t see a need to change until there is an odor. That thing that just begins to stink in our life that makes us say, “I can’t take this anymore, something has to change!” Its at this point that we start tearing into the problem, only to find, more often than not, a bigger problem. The task becomes daunting and our minds wander to, “there has to be an easier way!” Most times there isn’t. Change is hard especially when there is something that stinks.

Here are some truths i have rediscovered as i progress through this project:

1. Change is hard but when its necessary, its worth it!
2. Chances are the more you discover about the “stink” the more “stink” you will find!
3. Tackle one project at a time…it is ok however, to put one aside if it makes sense to do another thing first…like for me and the floor, it was easier while the sink was out to do that part of the floor down, then i finished the sink, now i will finish the floor.
4. Think, Ask Question, and Seek help from those that know or have experience with what you are facing.
5. Set small goals along the way…there is satisfaction in accomplishing parts of the main goal.
Paul writes to the Philippians:
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:12-14) Read the whole chapter here.

What “stink” are you working on this summer?

You are loved,

cj