Sunday, January 28, 2018

Life Lessons From Jude - Prayers For You

As we conclude this series on building Godly character traits using the book of Jude as our guide; here are my encouragements to you. As a way of expressing your love towards God, implement the WORD heard into your life and receive the transformation that comes as a result of doing so.
Your life can change. Do not give up.
There is room for improvement. Do not say I am doing a lot already.
You have not arrived your very best yet. Avoid stagnation. Strife for a spirit of excellence in any and everything you say and do. Partner with the helper; the Holy Spirit.

So, Father, you have taught us. We have learned and we are agreeing this day to make changes in order to reflect you more.
-Like Jude, we choose to identify ourselves not by our doing but by our being, by whose we are (and that is You) and when necessary, with our earthly family. We will let our families feel our presence and consciously let our family take their rightful place in our lives.
-We choose to let you shape our thinking, our views and our perspectives concerning any and everything. We choose this day to hold on to your reputation about us. Because our reputation is Christ.
-We will make you priority over anyone and anything else. You are our choice. We value you over anyone and anything.
-You have taught us through the book of Jude that we should be vigilant, keeping watch over the craftiness of the enemy lest we become victims. So Lord, this day we make up our minds to remain spiritually alert and on guard. Using the word as our guide. Using wisdom and discretion from above.
-We choose to keep company with you on purpose; communicating with you always as a way of nurturing our companionship. Today, we are making up our minds to choose those we associate with because we understand that bad company corrupts good morals. We do not want to be corrupted. We want to grow and have a godly influence on those around, below and above us.
-Father, we choose to improve on our acts of responsibility just as we have been taught through your servant Jude. As a way of being responsible, we will not let our lives be destroyed nor the lives of those around us. We will prayerfully identify the problem and use wisdom to resolve the problem.
As a way of being responsible, we will take ownership of our spiritual growth and maturation and also encourage those around us likewise. As iron sharpeneth iron, so one person sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17). We choose to be those responsible irons that sharpen another.
-Father, we declare this day that we are improving our readiness to share the word. When faced with life’s challenges, you Word would be our First Go To because you have the best solutions for us. We will use your word to build others up. We will partner with the helper (who is the Holy Spirit), learning to pray in the power and strength of the holy spirit so that we can build solid lives on our foundation of faith.
-Lord, we will continue to learn through your word how to live within the boundaries where your love can reach and bless us. We want to enjoy the blessings, we want our lives to be full and overflow for your glory.
-We are declaring this day that we will improve on our acts of service, remembering that as servant leaders we can also be of service through our words. As we help others grow, we will be cautious not to become victims of their sinful actions, but properly represent Christ, letting our light shine so bright in order to win them over. For your word tells us that, he who wins a soul is wise. Proverbs 11:30b.
-Father, we declare that we would show reverence and honor to you all the days of our lives. We make praise and worship a lifestyle.
In Jesus Name. Amen!

Life Lessons From Jude - Service and Caution

Jude proceeds by telling us that we can be of service to unbelievers by showing kindness. Jude encourages us to show kindness on purpose. Kindness is a quality of being friendly, generous and considerate.

Colossians 3:12 (NIV)
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Emphasis Mine

When you physically clothe yourselves, do you realize that it is a conscious, purposeful activity? So too it is with kindness. We are told by the above scripture to “clothe” ourselves with kindness. Show kindness consciously and on purpose. It is a useful character trait because Jesus showed kindness to others while on earth. We should do likewise.

Jude also says we should hate every trace of sin, yet help the sinner. In an attempt to help someone deal with certain aspects of their lives, for example, disobedience, stealing, pride, lies telling, vain talk, laziness, etc. It is important that you do not become a victim of circumstance as well.

An aspect of caution is also observed in Jude’s epistle when he realized that the Christian community had been infiltrated by godless teachers. He took responsibility to provide words of wisdom, advice, and caution on how to deal with the situation without becoming a victim of the situation.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Life Lessons From Jude - Service (cont'd)

Jude illustrates acts of service for a believer towards an unbeliever by saying that a believer should be merciful towards those who doubt. Mercy is simply showing compassion or forgiveness toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or not giving someone what they deserve. It is easy to become very critical/judgmental toward someone who doubts. Especially if they doubt something that you are convinced is very true. For example, when someone doubts God’s gift of Salvation.

Luke 6:36 (NIV)
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Instead of being critical or judgmental, you will be moved with compassion towards them and begin sharing the love of God with them. By so doing, you will be emulating Christ in your actions.

Jude further teaches us to save some, by snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself. By bringing the message of salvation to them, that is how we snatch them from the flames of hell. The message of salvation can cause them to re-evaluate their belief system and now chose to follow Christ. Tell them about the following scriptures and more;

John 3:16-17 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Romans 10:9 (NIV)
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Life Lessons From Jude - Service

Jude 1:22-23 (TLB)
Try to help those who argue against you. Be merciful to those who doubt. Save some by snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself. And as for others, help them to find the Lord by being kind to them, but be careful that you yourselves aren’t pulled along into their sins. Hate every trace of their sin while being merciful to them as sinners.

In these verses, Jude is teaching us how to be of service to others. He illustrates acts of service for a believer towards an unbeliever in the following ways;
·       Help those who argue against you (vs 22a)
·       Be merciful to those who doubt (vs 22b)
·       Save some, by snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself (vs 23a)
·       Help others find the Lord by being kind to them (vs 23b)
·       Hate sin, every trace of it; be merciful to sinners (vs 23c)

How can we help those who argue against us?
2 Timothy 2:23-24 (NIV)
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.  And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
Emphasis Mine

Why wouldn’t you argue? Because it leads to quarrels.
Proverbs 20:3 (NIV)
It is to one’s honor to avoid strife,
    but every fool is quick to quarrel.
It becomes a ripple-effect because arguments lead to quarreling.
Jude is illustrating an act of service here by teaching us that we should help those who argue against us.
Another practical way of helping those who argue against us is by you physically walking away from the environment. This action will help prevent you from saying things or getting involved in an ungodly action.  Amen!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Life Lessons From Jude - Boundaries of Love

Jude 1:21 (TLB)
Stay always within the boundaries where God’s love can reach and bless you. Wait patiently for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you.
Emphasis Mine

The word “boundary” has a negative connotation in our society today because it comes across as restricting, limiting, etc. However, I’ll like us to take a closer look at this word from a different perspective. How do we stay within the boundaries of God’s love?  We are told in scripture that God is Love (1 John 4:8b (NIV)). Scriptures also tell us that love is patient; love is kind (1 Corinthians 13:4(NIV)). Therefore, we ought to keep ourselves in God (by keeping yourselves in God, you are in other words keeping yourselves within His approved standards).
It takes a conscious effort to do so, otherwise, we will stray out of the established boundaries.

John 14:21a (NIV)
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.

It suffices to say here that if you do not keep God’s commandments, you do not love Him. And we can agree that this action takes you out of the boundaries of God’s love. The only time when we can expect to receive His blessings is when we walk in obedience to Him - When you keep His commandants.

Be purposeful and knowledgeable about this Love. Be consistent and persistent in loving. Above all, live in obedience.

Life Lessons From Jude - Build

When we hear the word “build”, we immediately think about a house or an ongoing project. Let’s look at the word from a different perspective.

Jude 1:20 (TLB)
But you, dear friends, must build up your lives ever more strongly upon the foundation of our holy faith, learning to pray in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit.
Emphasis Mine

There are many ways we can choose to build our lives. Yet, Jude is suggesting to us in his epistle the very sure way to do so. That is when we build upon the foundation of our most holy faith. (This building is guaranteed to be stable, steadfast and productive). He is suggesting that we build upon the gift of God’s faith to us. In this case, saving faith.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Emphasis Mine

Without God’s gift of saving faith, we will not have the Holy Spirit in us who teaches us how to pray. It is important because it is through praying in tongues that we build up our lives. It is impossible to have your life build without the intervention of the Holy Spirit.
So, by implication, for you to even attempt building your life,
·       First, you must be saved
·       You need to acknowledge your salvation as the foundation for your building
·       You need to allow yourself to be taught by the Holy Spirit – he is the best teacher.

One thing is certain when you build your life with the help of the Holy Spirit, you can guarantee that your life will stand firm. For the glory of the Lord. Amen!

John 14:16 (NKJV)
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.
Emphasis Mine

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Life Lessons From Jude – Readiness

A sense of readiness is perceived as we read through the Epistle of Jude. Readiness to talk about the Word of God. As soon as Jude recognized a problem in the Christian community, he immediately began talking to them about the Word of God.

What is your approach when it comes to resolving issues that you identify? Are you most ready to talk about your knowledge about the situation or are you most ready to say what scriptures have to say about the situation?
After identifying the problem, he readily brought to their attention the acts of God, reminding them of God’s character (Jude 1:5-7).

In summary, he told them that the Lord is a savior, the Lord is a just God, the Lord is a jealous God, and there is punishment for sinners who will not repent. Your ability to not only sound positive but Spirit led can only be made possible when you spend 1:1 time fellowship with the Father. Your personal bible study lifestyle will cause your readiness in sharing the Word, to be effortless.

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

How ready are you to divide the Word of truth? You can only be as ready as your study life. Amen!

Life Lessons From Jude – Responsibility

It takes a responsible person to care about the issues and concerns of others. Jude was that kind of person. He cared so much about the state of being, the welfare and more of the Christians. So, in writing his epistle, he began identifying and analyzing the problems that were ongoing; also providing possible solutions.

He identified that false teachers had slipped into the Christian community (Jude 1:4-11 (NIV)) and he further provided the characteristics of the false teachers.

In summary, these are the characteristics;
·       People who live immoral lives
·       People who defile authority
·       People who abuse celestial beings
·       People who mock and curse anything they do not understand
·       People who do whatever they feel like, there by destroying their soul
·       People who tell others that, after becoming Christians, they can do as they like without fear of punishment
·       People who kill their brothers
·       People who will do anything for money
·       People who will disobey God

As a responsible person, Jude went ahead to bring full awareness to the Christian community of who their God is by expounding on the acts of God and the character of God. He even provided possible ways on how to get people to salvation. He encouraged the Christians to stay within the boundaries of God’s love even as they build themselves up in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)). It takes a responsible person to sharpen another. Jude was that kind of person. Let’s learn from Jude by taking full ownership and responsibility for the things that come our way. Giving them full attention and awareness.
My encouragement to you is in accordance with 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NV) - Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

In conclusion - Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act (Proverbs 3:27 (NIV)).

Life Lessons From Jude – Companionship

Jude, in his epistle, comes across as someone who is mindful about his company. Otherwise, he would not have overwhelmed his epistle with words of caution, words of prevention and wisdom on how to deal with false teachers. So, how important is your companionship? Who do you keep company with? Do you choose your companions on purpose? Or do you let yourself mingle and associate with everybody? The Word of God is very keen about companionship. Jesus chose the people he kept company with?

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
Do not be misled: “Bad Company corrupts good character.”

This was a very challenging season for the Christians and Jude recognized that. So, he even went ahead to encourage the Christians on how to maintain their bond and relationships by building themselves up in the Holy Spirit. He further advised the Christians to win the unbelievers to the Lord.

Sometimes, we find ourselves in situations whereby it seems like we are obligated to keep certain companionships by reason of our jobs. In such situations, it is imperative to not allow ourselves to be trapped by their ungodly standards. Rather, remain in prayers and let the light of Christ in you shine so bright such that you win the unbelievers over to Christ


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