Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Jude 20-23

Jude 20-23
But you all, beloved ones, while building yourselves up by your holy faith, while praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God while waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ into life eternal.  And in one case have mercy on the ones being uncertain, in another case save them while snatching them out of fire, in another case have mercy upon those in fear while also hating the clothing stained by the flesh.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

We need to be very careful that we understand the verb of verse 20-21.  The verb is “to keep.” (τηρέω) All of the other verbs in these verses are circumstantial participles.  They are circumstantial because they set the circumstance of the verb.  So if we look at what Jude is actually saying, he is telling us that our goal in the face of false teacher who come into our midst is to keep ourselves in the love of God.  How do we keep ourselves there?  This is also simple.  We keep ourselves in the love of God by building ourselves up in faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit, and while remembering that we wait for the mercy of Jesus Christ in eternal life.  If you want to never forget the love of God, do those things.

Do you ever feel distant from the love of God?  How effective do you think Jude’s advice in these verses is with respect to remembering the love of God?  How do you put these things into practice?

Second Thought:

Notice the importance that Jude places on mercy in verses 22-23.  In this second list, mercy is the thing that we are to do that he places both first and last.  We are to have mercy upon the uncertain ones.  We are to have mercy upon those who fear.  The honest truth is that following Jesus is a difficult thing to do.  There are many moment of uncertainty.  There are moments we are frozen by the fear of making the wrong choice.  There are moments when we are afraid of doing what is right because of the consequences it will bring in life.  Following Jesus in the path of discipleship is difficult.  Therefore we must have mercy upon those who occasionally struggle with the choices that are before them.

How merciful are you?  Do you tend to meet people’s failure in faith with judgment or understanding?  How does God meet your moments of failure?

Third Thought:

In the middle of mercy we see salvation.  We are snatching people out of the fire of judgment.  When we keep ourselves in the faith, we are able to show mercy.  When we show mercy, we are able to demonstrate God’s love.  When we show mercy, we help other people see why a love for God is important.  When we help create relationship with God, we snatch them out of the fire.

Do you think about your words and actions as snatching people out of the fire?  In what way of thinking is that complete and honest truth?

Passage for Tomorrow: Jude 24-25
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