Sunday, December 31, 2017

Life Lessons From Jude - Vigilance

1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)
 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Emphasis Mine

Oxford definition of vigilant – Keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulty (ies).
In this case, there was ongoing danger – Jude 1:4a and he further goes on to tell us the characteristics of the men.

Jude 1:4 (NKJV)
For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Characteristics of the false teachers;
·       Men marked for condemnation long ago
·       Ungodly men
·       Men who say God’s grace permits us to live immoral lives
·       Men who have denied Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior

As you journey through life, it is not an excuse to be unvigilant. If you lose sight of where you are heading, you will head for danger real quickly.  My question to you is this – what are the characteristics of the people you have allowed to creep into your life unnoticed? What are they? Who are they? Can you identify them? Can you tell when the atmosphere of your life changes? It takes a vigilant person to identify those specifics.

What about the things you permit to get in through the gates of your life – like your eye gate, ear gate, mouth gate, mind gate, etc? My encouragement to you is this, live life purposefully and you will enjoy the benefits while on earth for the glory of the Lord. Amen.

Life Lessons From Jude - Priority

The Collins English Dictionary defines priority as the most important thing you have to do or deal with, or must be done or dealt with before everything else you have to do. Jude had to prioritize on whether to talk about salvation or contending for the faith.

If he talked about salvation, it may or may not have sounded like music to their ears. This is because he was writing to Christians and depending on their attitude, it will come across as telling them what they already know.

So he talked about “contending for the faith”. More like telling them to jealously guard what they already have.
Why is prioritizing most important? It is important because the bible says so.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
Emphasis Mine

Certain information have shelf lives and may only be relevant for a particular season. When we prioritize, it does not make the secondary information of less value. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life, you know that salvation is the starting point for all spiritual growthand maturation. Yet, in this case, Jude chose to talk about contending for the faith over salvation.
Jude, in his epistle, is teaching us that, even in our communication, we need to prioritize. Amen.

Life Lessons From Jude - Value of Relationships

Let’s talk about the value of relationships. I have a few questions for you.
-Which relationships do you value most?
-Whom do you keep company with?
-Whom will you rather spend your time with if given the opportunity?
-If given the opportunity to communicate to others about your closest relationship(s), which relationship will take priority in the conversation?

As you reflect on this questions, I do have two suggestions for you. Choose to make God the Father/Jesus Christ/ the Holy Spirit, your closest companion. Value this relationship, nurture it, grow in it, develop a warm relationship with the Father because, He is your true friend - a person you can depend/count on at all times. He will not only keep you company, He will also transform you as well. Either ways, you cannot lose. You will reap more than you sow when it comes to the transformation that you receive as a result of keeping company with Him.

Secondly, my encouragement to you is to let your presence be actively felt in your family. Do not despise family members or family involvement. You belong to an earthly family, find out more about the family and know your place in it.

Jude 1:1 (NIV)
Judea servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,
To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
Emphasis Mine

Jude shows us the value of relationship even as he introduces his Epistle. After identifying himself, he goes further to identify the two closest relationships to him – Jesus Christ and brother James. 

Life Lessons From Jude - Identity

The Epistle of Jude is the one but last book of the New Testament. This book contains one chapter and twenty five verses. The chapter begins by

Jude 1:1 (NIV)
Judea servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,
To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
Emphasis Mine

Let’s take a look at identity. If you were asked the question. Who are you? What will be your response? Would you define yourself by your doing or by your being? As Jude introduces us into his epistle, he begins by identifying himself…Judea servant of Jesus Christ….a brother of James. There is nothing about the statement that tells us about what he does but it has everything to tell us about who he is, whose he is and his family tie.

Society has reshaped our thinking such that when asked who we are, we immediately talk about what we do. We have misplaced priorities when it comes to our identity – the pressures of life have caused us to lose our identity. For most of us, we have refused to know God and we have little or no family value.

We learn from Jude that, it is important to have a sound identity – know who you are, whose you are and identify with your family when necessary. Our identity, our identity in Christ and our family ties are the three most important aspects in life. When we lose connection with those three areas of life, we become lost and confused in society.

The bible tells us of what Jesus approves as the right response to identity.

Matthew 16:15-16 (NIV)
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Emphasis Mine
Two things
-Peter identified HIM by His name - You are the Messiah
-Peter identified HIM by His family tie - the Son of the living God

My encouragement to you is this, irrespective of what you do and where you find yourself in society, purpose in your heart not to lose sight of your true identity and not to misplace your priorities. Purpose in your heart to allow God to take his rightful place in your heart. Allow family to take their rightful place in your life as well. In Jesus name. Amen.

Life Lessons from Jude - Introduction

The character traits you build through the Word are guaranteed to be lasting. The Word of God is the only non-judgmental tool that can be used to build character because it is out to help you not condemn you. The Word of God is that mirror that can be used to self-examine in order to evaluate growth. If you want to know whether or not you are improving in your character traits, use the Word of God as a mirror to make that judgment.

True, stable, quality and lasting change can only come through studying the Word of God and practicing the Word of God. If you want to experience genuine transformation, spend time in the Word. When we experience a character deficiency, we quickly seek the help of counselors. Why not seek help from the counselor instead of a counselor? The Holy Spirit is the best counselor. When you partner with Him on purpose you will be guaranteed a transformed life full of positive character traits.

As we proceed with our studies, we will look at a man called Jude. A man of God who possessed positive character traits. The book of Jude is one of the shortest epistles in the bible. It contains one chapter and twenty-five verses. Yet this chapter is so rich and so full of wisdom. As we study the book of Jude together, I pray that the Lord will open up our ears and eyes to hear and see all that He has for us this season.

The book of Jude is written to Christians. Reminding the church of the need for constant vigilance. Jude refers to himself as a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James.

Father, we thank you for another journey. We pray that you open up our eyes and ears to see and hear all that you have for us this season. As a result, we will grow for your glory and properly represent you wherever we go.
In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.


There is an endless list of individuals in scriptures who served as instruments of change in the lives of others. The frequency of th...