First things first!!! We’ll move on to read 1 Samuel 1-6 until next Friday.
If you do not know what Book Review Friday is please check out my sidebar for all the details, and feel free to join in wherever we are! :)
I will have to post a review on Jude tomorrow. My life is busy. I’d like to do a proper review and so I will be late and get it done on Saturday instead of Friday. Bad, I know, but necessary.
Now for my review:
After reading Jude once I realized that maybe we hadn’t read it before in BRF. At least, if we did I don’t remember it at all. It was all new to me. Jude had some major warning for the church. He said that he wanted to write about their faith but ended up having to write them so they wouldn’t lose it. Little by little the church had allowed the ungodly to take root among them. Little did they realize just how bad that would be in the end if they allowed it to continue. Jude reminds them all of the way others before had turned out and how God dealt with their sin. Judgement for the Israelites, Sodom & Gomorrah, even the angels who would dare live outside God’s law. Did they want to be next?
Verse 12 stuck right out to me.
“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves.”
Many people (even many of us ‘Christians’) are spots in our own local church. We allow many unrepentant sinners to join in with us never dealing with their sin, carrying on as if all was right in the world. We allow people to take part in our churches when they have no place there. Many of us are doing things in the church that we shouldn’t be according to scripture. If we are doing that, it means we are spots, rotting away the church a little bit at a time.
I can even be a ‘spot in the love feast’ when no one sees. What I am watching, listening to, how I handle situations in my home. How I care for my home & family can make me a spot too. Do I do it the way Scripture says? How’s my attitude? How do I encourage other believers around me?
And then, by just seeing other spots starting in the body of Christ and not going to encourage them in God’s way I am actually becoming a spot myself. Jude wanted the church to deal with such ones. (Hey people, if I’m a spot tell me, please!) It was important. The fact that those spots could be there unknowingly is scary. We could be one big rotting church and not know it. We could be full of ‘great swelling words,’ sounding spiritual and busy doing ‘ministry’, but be deceived in ourselves. We could actually be working against God and bringing ourselves to judgement in our own spiritual delusions. I think that’s scary. I don’t want to be mistaken and find out too late that I was way off track.
Since I don’t want to be a spot I made sure to look for symptoms as I read so I would know how to avoid it. Verse 12 gave me a bit of a clue with, “serving only themselves”. Even if I am doing the right thing at the right time but not doing it with a humble & thankful heart all for my Saviour, I am just serving myself. That’s a big one.
Another set of clues was in verse 16, “These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.” I never grumble or complain… ever. So that can’t be talking about me…. I’ll just move on to the next part. :) Great swelling words, flattery, advantages…. My! Jude really wants people to start getting to the heart of things. Motives seem to be a big part of a proper relationship with Christ, and in whether our ministry is actually ministry or not.
Another clue there in verse 19, “These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.” My Bible says that word sensual means worldly. So am I a worldly person. Do I care about where I’m at, what I’m doing, what I have, what I can get, who I know, where I can go, more than I care about Christ and His Word? Then I’m worldly. Do I enjoy some things that this world offers that Christ wouldn’t want to be part of? Then I’m one of those worldly people. Jude really wants to make a person think about which direction he’s headed.
That is all the bad news. Verses 20 – 23 gives direction for all of us who read and then want to do something to change. “But you beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith,”Well, that’s what BRF is all about. Reading and studying, giving God lots of ammunition to do battle with my heart. Then, “praying in the Holy Spirit,”comes up. Without prayer all this studying and meditating on God’s word becomes just knowledge. It says in 1 Cor.8:1 that Knowledge puffs up, makes a person arrogant. Prayer is the final weapon that God can use in our lives. We get our knowledge through His Word, then He changes us when we become close to Him through prayer. Thanks for the reminder Jude! Verse 21 keeps on going with direction for those who wish to work on things, “keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” Love. Whether it hurts or not those spots must be dealt with in love. Love for the good of those being led away by sin, love for the whole body of Christ, but most of all love for Christ Himself who gave Himself for us. Another verse I love that could go along with this is in 1 Cor.16:13,14 “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.” Hate everything about sin. Hate it all. Hate what it does, how it affects us, hate the pure evilness of it, but love the people in it all the way to repentance. Don’t let sin get away with itself, deal with it.
And just in case all of this seems to be too tall of an order for lil ol’ me, Jude has another reminder. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,” Just in case you thought it was all up to you, Jude says it isn’t. It’s up to God. Stay close to Him. As Daniel did, I must ‘believe in my God’. He’s the one who saves me, He’s the One who keeps me. He’s the One who does all the work.
Check your motives, keep the faith, pray, love, God’s in control. Chase life, Be ready. :)