Daily Devotional 7-30-20

Good morning! Today’s devotion I’d like to start in the book of Jude. Jude is a very interesting book because it talks about how we’re supposed to treat those who don’t believe, not only those who don’t believe in God, but those who are openly hostile and antagonistic. And as christian’s, these are probably some of the most difficult people that we encounter, because they challenge us not just for our beliefs, but for who we are as a person. For anyone that can be really difficult.
So if we look at Jude 1:4 (NIV), it says this “For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” And if this doesn’t sound familiar to you, you’re not really paying attention to today’s culture. So many adverse elements have slipped in among us, and they’re trying to change the very fabric of the society in which we live, right?
So how do we respond? This is the question for us as Christians. And so, Jude continues in Jude 1:5 (NIV). He says “Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.” Now this brings up two big issues for us. One, we know that those who don’t believe are under condemnation, but it’s God who does the condemning, not us. And so, we’re supposed to treat others with grace and with mercy and compassion, that’s what we’re commanded to do, and we leave the condemnation to God.
If we go back to the text, we can see in Jude 1:8-9 (NIV), it says “In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Even the archangel Michael wasn’t willing to speak condemnation towards the devil, and that sends us I think a powerful message. Even though we see adverse elements that are speaking against God and speaking against Christians, we’re still not supposed to speak rebuke. Now we’ll condemn sin and we’ll talk about the need for repentance that’s fine, but we’re still called to love one another and treat each other with grace and with mercy and show kindness. And I think it’s an important aspect of Christianity that all too often, I know for myself I forget.
And to conclude, I’d like to skip ahead to Jude 1:17-20 (NIV). And Jude says this “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” We’ll leave the condemnation to God. We’ll build ourselves up as bodies of Christians, that we might live and reflect a Holy God, in our lives, in our words, in our speech, and let our actions be the salt and light to this Earth, that we might proclaim God’s wisdom and His glory in our own actions and words by loving one another, and preaching truth to one another, but in a loving and a kind manner.
So remember this week as you’re on Facebook or social media or twitter talking to your friends, have a kind word. Be encouraging to one another. Let God’s light shine through your encouragement rather than through harsh words. Amen, and I hope you join us this Sunday for service and worship!