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

In our need, by Your care, Thy Kingdom Come

In our need, by Your care, Thy Kingdom Come

As i wrote about last week, hope is a great motivator but what happens when we find ourselves in need? Desperate or otherwise. We must remember the hope that we have in Christ. We also must remember the Lords “will be done.” Sometimes we find ourselves in circumstances that are not of our doing. We suffer through times that have been brought on by others or natural disasters. In those times we can often lose sight of hope. Yet we mustn’t. It is easy to react, not so easy to relax and wait. Patience is a virtue for a reason. It is a skill that is learned, trained, honed.

Some people are born with patience. It seems their feathers never get ruffled. One such person in history might be the most patient of all and that would be Jesus. We understand that although Jesus was fully God He was also fully man. Hebrews 2:17-18 says:

For this reason, He had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for this sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” (NIV)

And in Philippians 2:5-7:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Chris Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (ESV)

i am sure i have written about His prayer in Gethsemane however, i want to look there again as all of human history. Salvation, reconciliation, love, hope, faith, promise, everything you can think of hinged on that moment in the garden. Jesus being fully man felt the weight of the world on His shoulders and He was in desperate need of the Father. Here is the account found in Matthew 26:36-46:

36 “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” (NIV)

In the midst of the greatest struggle in human history. The temptation to seek another means of getting the job done. For sealing our fate in the hope of the cross. Jesus prayed three times, three times He asked, “If there is another way…” Yet, in the end, “Thy will be done” Let us pray in such a way. May it be our heart to pour out but in the end have the hope that God’s way is greater than ours and His will, far better than anything we could ever think or imagine. After all, it is God’s Kingdom now that we are seeking, praying for and can find in the power of the resurrection and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

In our need, by Your care, Thy Kingdom Come.

You are Loved,

cj

In our Home, and in our Family, Thy Kingdom Come

In our Home, and in our Family, Thy Kingdom Come

Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done; On earth, as it is in Heaven.” This is how Jesus opens up His instruction when teaching His disciples to pray. The whole prayer itself (found here) isn’t much longer, but i want for us to meditate on this part. The direction of the prayer, to our Heavenly Father. The recognition of who God is, Hallowed. What should be the desire, “Thy Kingdom Come,” into what should be sought, “Thy will be done; On earth, as it is in Heaven.

The first part is pretty clear. We believe in the Trinity; it is how God chose to reveal Himself to us, in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Obviously, in a family structure, we see the father as the head of the children and the Holy Spirit being God’s indwelling presence in our lives. Three very distinct roles, purposefully placed into the story of life for us to grow in our knowledge and understanding of God.

He chose the family structure for us to understand, this infinite God, desires for us, to know Him as Dad. Dad, some of our dads aren’t the best, sadly this is true. The idea of a loving dad gets lost on some for that reason. If you are reading this with that view of a dad, i would ask you to stretch your thinking. In light of the definition of dad, as found in my Dictionary.com App:
*Dad – Father, “a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector or provider: a father to the poor.” This understanding makes the God of the universe approachable, loveable, desirable; He is our DAD. He is to be revered, respected, obeyed for He is Hallowed, Holy, to be set apart in our hearts and minds.

Jesus chose to describe our relationship with God in terms of family, and we should remember that within the context of our family. As a dad to His children, God the Father provides. The Son to the Father was obedient. In the family structure, this is vitally important. What of the wife? Genesis, i believe fits here, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.’ For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they shall become ONE FLESH.” Of course, in terms of spiritual leadership or the priest of the home, that function as defined in the term “Father” falls on the shoulders of the father of the home. We can also look at the Ten Commandments, “honor your father and mother…”

Within this perspective, and given the next line of the prayer, “Thy will be done…” It should be our desire that what God intended in His Kingdom, come. We then aught to seek His will for our lives and that of the life of our family. In our home, and in our family, Thy Kingdom Come!