Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Jude, Hey, Jude
Jude continues in warning the Church about the devious interlopers who sneak in and work to destroy God's grace by perversion. This nefarious influence must have been so prevalent, as this warning has come time and again from the various writers of our precious Lord's Word.
Is this any less a true word for us, for me?
In the first century church, the wolves came looking and behaving, at first, like "regular" believers. As they made themselves comfortable in the setting, their true nature became known. Perhaps by that time, these God-haters were such a familiar fixture in the family that they were not immediately identified as the immoral and ungodly sort they were. Perhaps their influence or service was relied upon and the new believers found it difficult to accuse any in whom they felt indebted. They crept in unnoticed...they were in. IN!
I think that the Father has kept our local body in a sort of protective custody; I know He has certainly protected me from and in this kind of external influence. Maybe this is our heads-up that that's about to change. The training wheels are being removed and we are to proceed in our wisdom and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Another consideration comes to me in this scenario of attack; one which involves thoughts and my mind. When the heinous workers of hell send a "me-mail" which creeps into my mind, without me realizing what it is? What if I embrace a pit-designed thought as one of equal merit with the traffic report. Not that I really count on the traffic report...not that it affects me much...but it's in there...and I am, somewhat, mindful of the "info". If I allow either thought to dwell, soon it becomes part of the decor of my mind...my reactions...my plans. I must arrest the offender as it arrives; else it will begin to flourish and defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.
Jude describes what these conniving fiends are (whether physical or spiritual).
These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want. When my thoughts begin to whine and fuss about how I am not getting what I want or need, how significant yet overlooked or speak with intentions which are not pure; I can know I have let something creep in. I must clean my mind's house by demolishing arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and ... take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Jude further instructs me on contending for the faith. The only Wise God is my God and He alone is able to keep (me) from stumbling and to present (me) blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy. Furthermore, I must, in God's tender affection, build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.
I have prayed for you. Now, may mercy, [soul] peace, and love be multiplied to you, my dear spiritual siblings.