Sunday, 9 May 2021

A Called People - Jude 1 - 3

We are taking a look at the short letter of Jude. We don't know for sure who Jude was, or who he was writing to. Yet he is obviously writing to believers, both to encourage them and also to warn them. For us there is rich encouragement from just the first three verses.

Jude starts with first things first: He is a servant of Jesus - his life is based with Jesus as number 1. Notice he even puts that ahead of his blood relationships - his brother gets to be mentioned second. It is a reminder for each of us - things starts when we put Jesus number 1. Of course stuff of life comes along and tries to distract us from that, so it is good for us to regularly re-commit ourselves to Jesus. Hence the key question:

Key Qn: [UP] What is your regular practice to re-commit yourself as a servant of Jesus?
Challenge: Live up to your calling - show Christ's blessing in big ways and small

For all of us in Jesus it means key things. Jude spells these out in verse 2, saying you are called, loved, and kept. That is the status stamped on our lives through our belief in Him. It is the deal we receive and have when we commit our lives to Jesus.

Jude wants to encourage his readers. He wishes mercy, peace and love on them in abundance. It is as if he wants to give them a shower - not with water but pouring the goodness of God on their lives. Continuing that encouragement he wants to write and remind them of the salvation we share. That is a reminder of the bigger picture in which they now live their lives: Jesus has lived, died, and is risen ... so that we can live freely in God's grace.

But Jude does need to warn his readers: there are people who don't get it, and people who mess things up. So we are in a tussle - as if we are always swimming upstream against the flow of culture. So Jude calls on us to contend for the faith: we have to make a stand, we have to lovingly correct people and point them in the right direction.

This faith is not a whim or fancy. No, Jude says it is something once for all entrusted. Remember that God works through people. He has worked through Noah, Abraham, Moses, kings (like King David), and then Jesus ... and now through us. So it is as if God has put the crown jewels in our hands: the fact that God saves and blesses - these most precious truths are put in our hands, it is down to you and me to announce and share it around the world.

Hence the challenge above - to live up to the calling God has placed on each of us, showing Christ's blessings in big ways as well as small.

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