Build Me Up, Then Cut Me Down

 “But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,  and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.” – Jude 1:20‭-‬21 NLT

I had a plan on what I was going to write today, based on verses 20-21, but it seems that God has another plan for today. Previously, I was writing about the dangers of listening to false prophets. Jude expands on this by talking about false teachers. It amazes me to realize that we – humans across the earth – can’t seem to grasp these truths after thousands of years ….. and even more amazed that our LORD, the God Who created us, hasn’t given up on us! Listen closely to what Jude has to say:

  “Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful. And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment. …. In the same way, these people—who claim authority from their dreams—live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings. …. But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses’ body.) …. What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion. …. These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want. …. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.” – Jude 1:3‭-‬6‭, ‬8‭-‬9‭, ‬11‭, ‬16‭‭, ‬18‭-‬19 NLT

It sounds familiar because it is familiar. From the beginning of man’s existence, we have rebelled against God, and to what end? I’ve said many times we have only two choices; two ways to turn in our lives. Right or wrong, good or bad, Love or hate, God….. or satan. What do we do about this; how do we fight against it? Jude gives some great advice here:

  “But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the Power of the Holy Spirit, and await the Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who will bring you Eternal Life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s Love. And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. Now ALL GLORY to GOD, Who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into His Glorious Presence without a single fault. All glory to Him Who Alone is GOD, our Savior through Jesus Christ our LORD. All Glory, Majesty, Power, and Authority are His BEFORE all time, and in the PRESENT, and BEYOND all time! AMEN.” –Jude 1:20‭-‬25 NLT

We MUST build each other up! I wonder if the phrase “Hate the sin, love the sinner” came from reading this passage. As Jude says: “…. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” (Jude 1:23b) In a sense, rhe phrase is correct, but remember his caution as well. It is so easy to be swept into behaviors that we know aren’t wrong, just so we can be accepted by our peers. I certainly can’t tell you how many times I have chosen inaction, only to be drawn into things I knew were wrong, or how many more times it will happen. After sharing my testimony for the first time, I was approached by people that I had known for about a year, and who were friends of a family member. They didn’t known me as THAT sister…. They knew me as a different person than they had heard about, and had judged “that sister” for her actions. Having heard my back story through my testimony,  they realized how wrong their judgment was. They hadn’t know my situation or what led me to the decisions I had made, or the truth of why I had given up my child. I say all this to emphasize what Jude said. Again, read verses 22-23:

  “And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” 

We must show mercy, remembering always the Mercy we have been shown through Jesus Christ. We can’t know what has happened in someone’s life that led them to the decisions they have made, but we can reach out to them with the Love of Christ Jesus. That’s OUR choice as Christians. “Love Mercy, walk Humbly…..” (Mercy Me). 

Echo Canyon Amphitheater, Northern New Mexico 2016

(All scriptures quoted are from http://www.bible.com )

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