Friday, June 22, 2018

The Grand Benediction


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, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” Jude 24-25

     There are many great benedictions in Scripture. There is the Aaronic benediction, “The Lord bless you and keep you . . .”. There is the II Corinthians benediction, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” There is the II Thessalonians benediction, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
     This benediction in Jude covers them all. Pause to think about all the areas covered in this closing statement. It includes multiple promises. It includes the power behind those promises. It includes the character of the promise giver. It gives the full weight of eternal power to keep the promises. And it is sealed with the great Amen meaning This is most certainly true. May this benediction be fully realized in the lives of all His saints. Amen

  The Friday Benediction
Until Monday, my friends, may the good God envelop you with His grace; may you prove the common confession of faith, “I believe in the holy Christian church and in the fellowship of the saints”, and may you be enriched with joy and hope as you exercise that confession this weekend.  Amen
 
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Thursday, June 21, 2018

He is Able


  “Now to Him who is able” Jude 24


     Two quick things come to mind when I read these few words. One is the great hymn, “He is Able to Deliver Thee.” This hymn fits well with the previous verse about saving others from sin while preserving us from the same. “He is able to deliver thee, He is able to deliver thee; Though by sin oppressed, go to Him for rest; Our God is able to deliver thee.” (William Ogden – 1887) We all need this message as an ointment for our souls. God has the power to give us victory over living a corrupt life of willful sin.
     The second thought that comes to me is from Ephesians 3.  “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  to Him beglory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” This is a promise, an assurance, that God is able to sustain us in life, deliver us from sin, and empower us for service even when we are humanly weak. Remember, He is able.

Father, Thank You for being able and willing to sustain Your children. Amen


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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Sin is Sin


But others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,” Jude 23

     As humans we have lost sight of a simple truth, all sin is sin. We try to divide it up into categories. We see sin as running a scale from insignificant to unspeakable. God sees sin as sin without our human categories. What is different about sin is how the sinner sees his sin. The pastor rushing to the hospital knows full well that speeding is a sin and knows full well that the police officer is fully right if he gives a ticket. But there is also the person who knows that sin is sin and that he loves being in that sin and has no concern about the consequences.
     Toward such sinners we need to save them with fear. Fear of what? Fear of finding that there is a certain pleasure in their sinful acts that could also entice us. Fear that keeps us from falling into their sinful behavior. Fear for their eternal soul and ours. Hating the sin enough to be very afraid of its consequences in this life and the next.
     Father, Keep me from the love of sin. Amen



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Little Compassion


On some have compassion, making a distinction.” Jude 22

     “I’m sorry, officer, I have an emergency to take care of at the hospital and I lost track of my speed.” Those simple words are a plea for mercy. We fell into the sin of speeding and it looks bleak for us. We know we are wrong and that the officer has every right to judge us, but we could really use his help and understanding.
     People fall into sin and we as believers have a couple of options. First, we can condemn them for their foolishness and turn our back on them for their shameful behavior. Or we can talk to them, love them, encourage them, and forgive them if they are repentant. We can restore them in the hope of Christ. Too often we are tempted by or enemy to turn our back. But that is not what Christ has done for us or we would all be hopelessly lost. Since we are all in the same boat of humanity, we need to have compassion on those who are imperfect like us.
     Father, Thank You for forgiving me and help me love and help others likewise. Amen



Monday, June 18, 2018

Be Prepared


Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Jude 21

     I like to be prepared. Before I go on vacation I like to make reservations where I plan to stay. Before I go shopping I like to have a list. Before I die I want to know where I am going. Jude has made clear from verse one onward how to know where we are going. It has everything with knowing the one who handles reservations. Jesus said, “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man cometh onto the Father but by Me.” (John 14:6) If we have trusted Christ as our Savior, then we know where we are going. If not, then we don’t.
     But we must always remember that it is not our work but His that merits a heavenly home. Jesus, in the grace and mercy of God, died for our sins, the Just for the unjust, the pure for the impure, the Holy for the profane. This is the mercy of God that saves and keeps us and that we need to pass along to others.
     Father, Thank You for mercy and help me to share that mercy. Amen


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Friday, June 15, 2018

The Right Position


Keep yourselves in the Love of God.” Jude 21

     Did you ever hear something you think you really didn’t hear or what you didn’t understand? Our response is often, “WHAT!” How do we keep ourselves in the love of God? Doesn’t He always love us? Well, He loved us enough to send His Son to die for us. So, He loved us when we were truly unlovable.
     A married couple can understand this passage quite easily. We had a great dating time, a wonderful engagement period, and a beautiful wedding where we promised to love and cherish each other as long as both lived. Then comes marriage where it isn’t always the same. We clash with our ideas, our needs, our wants. Sometimes many couples begin to question if they love each other. Of course, they usually do, but it is hard to see. They haven’t left their love, they have left the joy and commitment of their love. Christians sometimes feel estranged from God because they have lived so contrary to His will that they expect only the worst from Him. We are to keep from letting that happen.
Father, We want to truly guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen

  The Friday Benediction
Until Monday, my friends, may the good God envelop you with His grace; may you prove the common confession of faith, “I believe in the holy Christian church and in the fellowship of the saints”, and may you be enriched with joy and hope as you exercise that confession this weekend.  Amen
 
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Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Strong Foundation


Building yourselves up on your most holy faith” Jude 20

     Peter tells us to “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”. (II Pet. 3:18) The psalmist said that for the believer “his delight ourselves in the law of the Lord”. (Ps. 1:2) Paul told Timothy that he should continue in the “Holy Scriptures which will make you wise unto salvation.” (II Tim. 3:15) Since Timothy was already saved and a leader in the church, this makes us understand the words unto salvation means to live like a saved person, not just become saved. Again, the psalmist says, “How shall a young man keep his way pure? By taking heed according to Your word.” (Ps. 119:9)
     The Holy Scriptures not only teach us the way to salvation, they teach us the way to live in our salvation. We must have faith in the word of God, the Bible. Jesus said, “sanctify them in Thy word, Thy word is truth.” John 17:17 We need God’s word for our daily sanctification. If we are to build ourselves up in our most holy faith, then we must be in God’s word each day.
Father, We than You for Your perfect Word. Amen