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 WORDS, and in our SILENCE, Thy Kingdom Come

In our WORDS, and in our SILENCE, Thy Kingdom Come

Ecclesiastes 3:7 says: “…a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” There are a lot of passages that speak about not speaking, of holding one’s tongue, simply put, not talking. Psalm 37:7 – “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” 62:5 – “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” Exodus 14:14 – “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” and finally, although there are plenty more, Proverbs 29:11 – “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

We have all seen that one person who just yells, they yell at pretty much everything, complain about everything and everyone. It is easy to sit and wonder how such a person can ever be happy. Now i don’t mean those occasional conversations where two good friends vent a little. There is something about letting off a little steam once in awhile, but to constantly air one’s disdain for everything is quite another thing. Nobody likes complainers, grumps, and people full of visceral. There is a season, a time, a moment if you will when you may be required to speak up. It may be passionate, full of animation and octaves above your normal speaking voice, just be sure it is warranted and out of character.

If you sit in a meeting with me you will rarely hear me speak. i take two bits of advice very seriously, first, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” (-Unkown) Proverbs 17:28 speaks to this idea; “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” The second piece of advice, “speak softly, and carry a big stick.” (President Theodore Roosevelt) ok, maybe not the “big stick” part but certainly the speaking softly, Proverbs 12:18 “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

Here is my point, we are challenged throughout Scripture to “watch our tongues” and “speak wisely” and “thoughtfully”. To measure our words, to speak only what builds up and not what tears down. To wait until the very last second possible to vent, and then wait, a second more. It is not easy but in our words, we should only build up the Church, not bring criticism and in our silence, we should reveal the heart of Christ not the will of man. So, i say to us, “In our words, and in our silence, Thy Kingdom Come.”

You are loved,

cj