Wednesday, July 1
Scripture: Isaiah 4-5, Psalm 115-116, Jude
Jude 20–23 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, 21 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.
22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 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.
Jude begins his short letter by announcing a change of intention. He had been intending to write about their shared salvation, but had to pivot and call them to defend the faith against libertines who had wormed their way in and were teaching people that God’s grace was an excuse for immorality. He warns them of God’s judgment against such people.
He concludes with instructions for what they must do while facing this difficult problem, and reminds them of their mutual responsibility to care for each other.
- Build each other up in your faith. They were to edify one another, help one another grow deeper in Christ. Who are you helping to grow in Christ? Who are you connecting with regularly for mutual spiritual growth?
- Pray in the power of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual growth is directly related to prayer. I grow when I pray; others grow when I pray for and with them. These two things are connected: we build each other up by praying together. Who are you praying with?
- Keep yourselves safe in God’s love. Stay deeply rooted and centered in the love and mercy of Jesus. Know and believe His love for you, and live out of that love. “Yourselves” is plural, meaning that we help each other stay in God’s love—again, that mutual responsibility. Who are you reminding that God loves them? Who are you encouraging to stay in God’s love?
- Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. See someone struggling? Christians have been notorious for killing their wounded! Don’t write them off; pick them up! Who is struggling, whose faith is wavering that you could encourage?
- Rescue others, snatching them from the flames of judgment! What a picture! Who do you know who seems to be going down in flames? Don’t just sit by and watch! Go get them! We’re on a search and rescue mission!
These instructions are more pertinent now in this time of crisis and turmoil than ever.
Prayer: Lord, help us understand our mutual responsibility to each other. I’m not just responsible for my well being, but for my brothers and sisters around me.