Monday, September 30, 2013

Merciful Monday: Defend the Faith

Jude 1:3 “Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people.”

 

Jude tells us that as Christians, we have a responsibility that God has entrusted us with, and that is to “defend the faith.” In a way we are like soldiers protecting something sacred and special. We are to protect the gospel “because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives” (Jude 1:4).

 

I’m sure you can think of someone who has tried to get in between you and God, saying that you don’t need to go to church, you don’t need to pray as often as you do, or you don’t need to read the Bible, etc. in order to be a Christian. And a lot of times, it’s those that are close to us, or even in church, that try to deceive us. I’ve heard Christians say that they planned to do something ungodly because they knew that God would forgive them. While it is true that when we ask God forgiveness, he is forgives us without hesitation (1 John 1:9 says, “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins”), he also looks at our intentions. Furthermore, you never know how one moment of disobedience may change your life forever.

 

If any of you have ever seen the Tyler Perry movie, Temptation, you know what I am talking about. If not, ***SPOILER ALERT***…the main character decided that her life was too normal and boring, so she began doing drugs and cheating on her husband. Needless to say, she ended up contracting HIV! This was very real to me, because she was probably just trying to have fun, until her life spiraled out of control. She had lived an immoral life, making many ungodly decisions, and at that point the damage was done to her health.

 

This is fictitious, but very compelling cautionary tale. But don’t worry; Jude gives us the following instructions on how to resist those that try to worm into our churches and cause us to believe that we can act immorally without consequence:

 

  1. Build each other up in your most holy faith-encourage your brothers and sisters in the Lord even when you’re feeling down. Remind them that this life will end, but one day God will reward his people with all heavenly blessings.
  2. Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit-when confronted with naysayers, prayer is the best weapon! Pray for God’s spirit to protect your mind and your heart, the places that are most vulnerable to deception.
  3. Await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life-this involves the thing that I’m sure we all struggle with, PATIENCE. Remember that God doesn’t work on our time, but he shows us mercy as HE sees fit.  At the end of the day, if you follow him you will have everlasting life.
  4. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment- telling someone else about Jesus and about his truth can save them from destruction. Try to dissuade them from believing in their mortality, in government, and in science. You should want your family and friends to join you one day in heaven.
  5. Show mercy, with caution
    1. Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering- not everyone decides to follow Christ on the same schedule. Be patient with your friends that haven’t fully believed yet. Just pray for them and be a constant example of a godly person. Remember to be merciful towards those that try to deceive others, just as God shows mercy upon you everyday.
    2.  Hating the sins that contaminate their lives- My mom always told me that we shouldn’t hate people, but the sin that they commit. Don’t let hate pollute your heart, just pray against the spirit of confusion that tries to take over those that try to deceive others.

 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Jael...excellent post!

    ReplyDelete