Today, I found out that I’m not a good garage sale person. Our neighborhood is holding their annual garage sale and after having a few items out for about an hour, I had reached the limit of my patience. So, I took the few items we had to my neighbor girls and told them to sell anything they could and keep the proceeds.
We had a mid morning rain storm, instead of our normal evening showers. That threw off some of my plans. This afternoon I did have a massage, which was good following some of my Chiropractic adjustments this week. I returned home to mow the lawn before any more rain hit this afternoon.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “But you, my friends, keep on building yourselves up on your most sacred faith. Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and keep yourselves in the love of God, as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy to give you eternal life.” Jude 20,21
Jude, his short letter, like Peter focuses on warning against false teachers. The risk that false teachers pose is not just leading people astray in what they believe, but confusing people and distressing people to the point of them “losing their faith” at least failing to maintaining a vibrant faith, a true faith in the Lord.
Jude says the our faith must be contended for and not taken for granted. The risk is not those on the outside lobbing attacks, it is from those who work their way into “the church.” “…some godless people have slipped in unnoticed among us, persons who distort the message about the grace of our God in order to excuse their immoral ways, and who reject Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord.” (Jude 4)
Jude reveals the destiny of false teachers. Again like Peter he shows how there have been those throughout time that have opposed the ways of the Lord. Who have brought confusion to people and led them astray in what they believe. The risk of being deceived and abandoning true faith is great.
Jude points out those of the exodus who rebelled and did not follow the Lord. He even points to angels who abandoned their secure position. He calls to remembrance the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, Cain, Balaam and Korah. He even quotes a prophecy from Enoch, one of the ancients, “The Lord will come with many thousands of his holy angels to bring judgment on all, to condemn them all for the godless deeds they have performed and for all the terrible words that godless sinners have spoken against him!” (Jude 14,15)
Jude reveals the character of false teachers. “These people are always grumbling and blaming others; they follow their own evil desires; they brag about themselves and flatter others in order to get their own way….will make fun of you…follow their own godless desires.” These are the people who cause divisions, who are controlled by their natural desires, who do not have the Spirit.” (Jude 16,18-19)
Jude reveals the key to a stable faith. A stable faith is a strong faith. Faith is made strong when it is put into action, just like building of muscles. Jude says to, pray in the “Spirit” – the power of the Holy Spirit. Reliance on the presences and power of Christ makes our faith strong. Then Jude says fix your eyes on the eternal life Christ has promised and that He is bringing about in our lives.
Jude then challenges believers to the actions and attitudes that contribute to a stable faith. “Show mercy toward those who have doubts; save others by snatching them out of the fire; and to others show mercy mixed with fear, but hate their very clothes, stained by their sinful lusts.” (Jude 22,23)
In our present culture we see faith more often mocked than held in esteem. We can see those who “grumble and blame others, brag about themselves and flatter to get their way, while making fun of people of faith.” But we are called to respond with mercy, to take action and rescue those from a path of destruction and to “love the sinner” without participating or endorsing their sin.
Believers throughout time have faced adversity and challenges to their faith, yet they remained strong and faithful. While times change, the challenges of life and faith seem to the same. We can learn from the past and be strengthened in our resolve in the present.