Flourishing in Faith (Jude 20-21)
Jude 20-21, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
As we learn the Bible and understand its truth, we are strengthened, we grow, we mature, we are built up. Without the Scriptures, there is no growth. Without the Word, there is no maturity. Without the Gospel, nothing of eternal good will last. Like the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat, it is vital that we daily ingest and digest God’s Word and its truth. As believers, we must strive to build ourselves through edification (Jude 20) and keeping ourselves through dedication (Jude 21).
We believers must defend and promote the Christian faith and resist false teaching. We can do this in many ways, here are four:
1. By building ourselves up in our most holy faith. This requires the diligent study of God’s Word and a determined effort to apply the Bible’s teachings to our lives (Acts 2:42; 20:27; II Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 5:12).
2. By praying in the Spirit. We should communicate and interact with God by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit. This means depending on the Spirit to inspire, guide, energize, sustain and help us pray according to God’s will (I John 5:14; Romans 8:26; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 6:18).
3. By remaining under the care and influence of God’s love. This involves faithful obedience to God and His Word (John 15:9-10; I John 5:3).
4. By living with great desire and anticipation for Jesus’ return and the eternal glory that will accompany His return (John 14:1-3).
The thought of building is to strengthen. We are to strengthen, or build, our faith (II Peter 1:5-10). We are never to cease or stand still spiritually. We must always be growing. A growing believer is a healthy believer. These verses have been referred to as “The Believers Building Program”. We are to build on a solid foundation (I Corinthians 3:12; Psalm 127:1; Luke 6:48). We are to build cooperatively (Ephesians 2:22). We are to build on the Word (Acts 20:32). We are to build by preaching the Gospel (Romans 15:20-21). We are to build by praying in the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 14:15; Romans 15:30-33).
As believers, we must take the initiative to grow spiritually (II Peter 3:18). I’m grateful and very blessed that the Lord has allowed me to pastor a wonderful church where His people love Him, His Word, and people. If we are not growing as a Christian, we have no one to blame but ourselves. We need to have the craving to be a better Christian and will be willing to take the sacrificial steps to make that a reality.
When we talk about dedication to task or goal, we must ask ourselves how badly we want to achieve this. Paul was very focused on serving God with his life (Philippians 3:13-14). We need to be focused completely on our service for God and our relationship with him. Too often, God is treated as a low priority and many other things often interfere with serving God.
When we are really motivated, it is amazing what we can do. When I was in Bible College, one quote I have remembered more than any other was, “What you do with the Bible determines what God will do with you”. It has been my life’s desire to read it, study it, obey it, and apply it. My desire has been to serve the Lord and to Love Him, and to find and finish the course He has set me on. Acts 20:24, “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Vance Havner said, “A wife who is 85% faithful to her husband is not faithful at all. There is no such thing as part- time loyalty to Jesus Christ”. I’m truly thankful the Lord has given me a faithful wife who has never hindered me from following Him, but has always encouraged me to pursue whatever the Lord has lead me to do.
Jesus loved us enough to give His life for us on Calvary. It is our responsibility to identify with Him! We live in a day when more and more are refusing to identify with Him or make mention of His name. It is time for God's people to publicly identify with their Saviour and Lord! The imminent return of Jesus Christ motivates us to live a holy life and promotes the purity and separation of the church from the world (Philippians 3:20; Titus 2:13). If we knew for certain the Lord would return tomorrow we would have lived much differently today. Well, the truth is He just might come tomorrow. Live each day as if it might be your last. We have no guarantee of another day and there is still so much to be done.
David Livingstone, the missionary to Africa, walked over 29,000 miles. His wife died early in their ministry and he faced harsh opposition from his Scottish brethren. He ministered half blind. In his personal diary, he wrote, “Send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. Sever me from any tie but the tie that binds me to your service and to your heart”.
Question to Consider:
Do we inspire anyone else by the way we live, love, and labor?
Point to Ponder:
If we do not, then something needs to change in our life so God can use us like he wants to.
PRAYER, Father in Heaven, I know I’m a work in progress, but thanks to Jesus, I’m not the man I used to be. I need Your help, as I continue to learn from You, lean on You, love You and look for You. In Jesus Name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.