Troy Thornton • Pastor of Small Groups and Outreach
When we think about close friendships that we may have, one of the things that often comes to mind is what we have in common with that friend. Common interests and passions are a tie that binds us closely to people. Jude talks about his eagerness to discuss “our common salvation” (v. 3). What an awesome thought! Those who are followers of Jesus are the greatest “commoners” of all – we all share the commonness of redemption. We should be eager to not only discuss this with our fellow Jesus followers, but also with those who do not to follow Him. Our commonality in Christ cannot be a secret!
For Today: Are you eager to share?
As people follow their favorite sports teams, they certainly want that team to be a winner. The problem is that it is a rare thing to win a championship at any level. What we really want is for our team to “be in the mix,” or be a contender with a chance to win each week. Jude urges us to “contend for the faith” (v.3). This doesn’t mean that we have to be some sort of “hero for Jesus.” God doesn’t expect us all to be the next Billy Graham, but He desires us to be in the mix contending for the cause of Christ each day. We must be contend daily in our community to show Jesus to people around us. Let’s not worry about being a hero, but let’s get in the mix!
For Today: Are you in the mix?
Many of us have items that we consider to be of a high value on a personal level. It may be a family heirloom, or an item that holds sentimental value. When we think about giving this type of valuable away, it is usually to someone very close to us, a trusted confidant. God Himself has entrusted Jesus’ followers with a very precious valuable. Jude calls it “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (v. 3). “The faith” is the embodiment of the scripture and truth delivered by the Holy Spirit. We have been set aside to be God’s confidants of the faith. This is no small responsibility. It is our privilege, as followers of Jesus, to live out the faith in such a way as to bring honor to the One who entrusted this precious valuable to us.
For Today: Are you living like a confidant of the King?
Engineers have a term called “scope creep.” This term is used when a project’s scope (essentially size and, or design of the project) creep into something much bigger than originally intended. This “scope creep” happens slowly and, before anyone realizes it, the project is beyond budget and off schedule. In a similar way it is easy to allow our integrity to creep out of the bounds of scriptural principles. Jude warns of individuals that had “crept in unnoticed” (v. 4) in the church to cause damage to the Body of Christ. We can take this warning to heart on a personal level. What areas of our own integrity are we allowing to creep? It is often those “little” areas of compromise that can grow and become very ugly creeping sins. Guard your integrity and keep it from creeping.
For Today: Is your integrity creeping?
“The apple didn’t fall far from the tree!” Often people will use this saying to compare someone to a parent, or at least a close relative. People are implying that the two people compared are of the same family tree and bare the same characteristics. A beautiful thing about following Jesus is that we are of the same family tree as our savior (Rom. 8:17). Jude says that Jesus is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless before the Father (v. 24). Jesus’ sacrifice in our place certainly covers our sins, but we also take it a step further and we can take on His very character (Phil. 2:5). The very One who presents us blameless gives us an example to follow. Let it be said of us and Jesus that, “The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.”
For Today: How far is your apple from the tree?