So Sundays….if I don’t get devotional finished on Sundays before church, I don’t always get back to it. So, here’s yesterday’s devotional today.
Daniel 11-12 Jude
“But dear friends, use your most holy faith to build yourselves up, praying in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the Lord Jesus Christ with his mercy to give you life forever. (Jude 20-21 NCV)
The Church should be an oasis of grace in a world of sin. As Christians, we deal with people everyday who have a different world view. Because they aren’t in fellowship with God through Jesus Christ, they engage in a lot of activities that we believe are wrong, without feeling any guilt about their behavior. In theory, Christians should be able to fellowship in the church with fellow believers where the behaviors of the world, especially sexual sin and wealth sins like greed, don’t prevail and gain strength to live God’s way in a sinful world. Jude deals with a world where the sanctum of the church has been invaded by those who might say the right words, but have no relationship with God, and use their pseudo-faith as a cover for their sins. Jude called for those who still live in faith to grow strong by praying in the Spirit and staying in God’s love until we gain forever mercy from Jesus.
When Jesus described the church, He noted that when a church was built on faith, it would be attacking the gates of hell, and those gates would fall. In Jude’s day, false followers of Christ were infiltrating the church and using their perversion of God’s grace to cover for their sexual sin. It seems that there are really two areas of sin that attack us today: sexual sin and sins of wealth (such as greed.) When you boil those down, they’re all sins of self. People believe that no one, God or human, should stop them from indulging themselves in their own personal pleasure. Our God has called us to throw off the shackles of sin as we enter into His grace and become the people He’s called us to be. Jude called out those people who would use the language of grace as an excuse to indulge themselves in pleasure. We have the same problem today. Some would use grace as a cover for, even a reason to indulge in sins of all types. Grace isn’t a license to sin nor is it to be used as a “get out of hell free” card. Grace should empower us to live lives that honor and glorify God. As we live in grace, we use our faith to build ourselves up. When troubles come, and they will, lives that are built on God’s love and grace will overcome anything.
Lord, I need you. Keep me in constant communication with You through Your Holy Spirit. Let me experience Your grace, love, and mercy as I walk in Your love. Let my life and my words reflect Your mercy and grace so that others will see Your presence in my life.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.