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

The Adventure of a Lifetime!

The Adventure of a Lifetime!

Once when i was eight years old, i went exploring a construction site. A soon to be apartment building made for a great playground in the eyes of my friends and i. Framed in staircases, partially framed walls, and planks across open spaces in the floor made for a grand adventure. Albeit, a dangerous and illegal one. Our mission, to avoid the one lone security guard patrolling the site which included several separate buildings.

Many spend most of their lives doing what my friends and i did at eight. They feel as if they are living a life of adventure because the adrenaline is pumping through their veins. What they don’t realize, often until it’s too late, is they are in constant peril. The danger of a wrong step could lead to severe injury or even death and of course, there is the constant looking over your shoulder in fear of getting caught.

The world would have you think that being a Christian is boring. That life in Christ is the opposite of adventure. However, that couldn’t be any further from the truth. There are countries where being a Christian is illegal, and you could be thrown in prison or killed. Although we live in a relatively safe environment to be a Christian, there is still some great adventure to be had! Just take a look at some of these stories…

  • Rachel from the Axiom has a great story of when she was just starting to get back into the church when she had a confrontation with a girl she had fought in the past. This girl wanted a “rematch” however, Rachel in her now living for Jesus refused to fight. Several years later the girl saw her in church and gave her a big hug, “That day changed my life!” she said.
  • Some local Missionaries the LaGatta’s, were in El Salvador when they were kidnapped at gunpoint, driven to the desert and left. They survived with not only a great story of faith but a memory of great adventure.
  • Then there is this: 9 Year Old Willie Myrick <<< Click the link it’s awesome!
These remind me of some stories found in the greatest adventure story ever written…
  • Acts 9:23-25 tells the part of the story (read below) of Saul/Paul’s escape after many were seeking to kill him.  “After this had gone on quite a long time, some Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul got wind of it. They were watching the city gates around the clock so they could kill him. Then one night the disciples engineered his escape by lowering him over the wall in a basket.”
  • Acts 16:25-26 a story about an earthquake and a none prison break that lead to the jailer coming to know Jesus with his whole family. “Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose.”
  • John 11:1-44 shares the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. It’s insane! Here is part of it:”Then he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And he came out, a cadaver, wrapped from head to toe, and with a kerchief over his face.

    Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him loose.”

If you have accepted Jesus and consider yourself a follower of His, a disciple, rest assured…you are on the adventure of a lifetime!

You are LOVED,
cj