This week’s blog is a little different than usual. It interactive. New year – new idea. I ran across these verses from Jude in my daily study and they really spoke to me. Jude is a small book, only one chapter, and it right before the last book of the Bible (Revelation). Jude was the brother of James and Jesus.
This short book is a warning from Jude to all believers about those who have penetrated the church, but are false teachers. Leading others astray. Here is a look at Jude 1:17-23 in two different translations, with a few questions I reflected on after reading it. I hope you find it inspires you to take On a new perspective on sin and the sinner as we begin this new year.
Jude 1:17-23 (NIV)
17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
Jude 1:17-23 (MSG)
17-19 But remember, dear friends, that the apostles of our Master, Jesus Christ, told us this would happen: “In the last days there will be people who don’t take these things seriously anymore. They’ll treat them like a joke, and make a religion of their own whims and lusts.” These are the ones who split churches, thinking only of themselves. There’s nothing to them, no sign of the Spirit! 20-21 But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life! 22-23 Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.
Questions to reflect on:
1. Which of these verses speaks to you the most? Why?
2. How will you continue to build yourself up in faith this year so you don’t join the “wordly people”?
3. Who are some of the people in your life you feel you need to snatch from the fire by showing them mercy and offering prayer? Write down their names in your prayer journal and make a resolution to pray for them over the next few months or even the whole year.