"Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day...." (Jude 5, 6--NASB)
Please excuse the personal reference here, but I pray that what happened to me last night will happen to you. First, let me say that over the years I have looked at my life from time to time and thought that I have not been "successful," you know, big churches, big ministry, in demand, in other words, how most of unspiritual Christendom measures success and "favor" and anointing and, well, you get the picture. Of course we can say that much of this is flesh, and indeed it is. I am the first to say that from my early days as a pastor I have tended to be too direct, too "in your face," or maybe too little of Joel Osteen. Seriously though, regardless of who and what I have been, there is one thing for certain in my life: I have never been able to get away from the Bible. If I ever tried to be more "acceptable," there was the Bible; if I ever tried to be more like, well, Mr Success, there was the Bible. It has been as though Jesus has had to treat me at times as a child and let me wonder down the fleshly path, only to bring me back to Himself, His Words, His Wonderful, beautiful, "God-Breathed," Words. And make no mistake about it; today's text is in the Bible and is for all people in every generation. By the way, I'm not saying that all big "ministries" are not Biblical, but if anyone is committed to the Jesus Christ and His Words, they will not avoid such passages just to build big ministries.
Our text for today is from my latter half of my New Testament reading. Last evening as I read it, I experienced an intensity in prayer that I have not experienced for a long time. I began praying for my family and others as Paul said, "with groanings which cannot be uttered." If people even come close to believing that Jude is rooted in the "Breath of God," the very, "words of God," then they must believe that this is a warning, a dire, sobering warning to the Church as well as the nations. It is a short epistle, and I encourage you to take the several minutes required to read it and just see if the Holy Spirit does not do the same with you. There was a renewed sense of the, "fear of the Lord," as I read and prayed last evening. May this ever be an integral "part" in motivation to pray, our commitment, "to the ministry of the word," and in our Lord Jesus Christ's command to, "Go therefore and make disciples all the nations."
"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." (Jude 24, 25)
When Peter, an 18 year old Norwegian, "heard the call to evangelize China, on that day he not only emptied his wallet into the collection plate, but included a small note with the words, 'and my life.'"
"Looking unto Jesus"
"Looking unto Jesus"