No Greater One

24 Now to Him …. 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen (Jude).

There is only one God, and we know Him only “through Jesus Christ”—who alone has been “before all time” Lord of all, is “now” still Lord of all, and “forever” will be Lord of all.

There is no greater “glory” than what His glory shines; there is no greater “majesty” than what His beauty displays; there is no greater “dominion” than what His sovereignty wields; and there is no greater “authority” than what His righteousness holds. There never has been, nor will there ever be.

Lord, we praise You This Day simply for who You are, and simply thank You that we belong to You through Your Son Jesus. It just doesn’t get any better than this. Amen.

He Is Able—We Are Not

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy … (Jude).

Perhaps the entire gospel can be said with these few very simple words: Christ is “able”—we are not. If we were indeed able to keep ourselves from “stumbling” into sin, He never would have needed to make Himself an offering for it. If we were able to cause ourselves to “stand in the presence of God’s glory,” He never would have entered this world to stand in ours.

We could never be considered “blameless” apart from the work of the One who is able to make us so. We could never know “great joy” apart from the work of the One who is able to give true reason for it—for the greatest joy comes, not from achieving the difficult, but from receiving the impossible. 

Lord, thank You for being able! Help us this Day to call on Your aide so that we might walk blameless and experience great joy. Amen.

Mercy

22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh (Jude).

The word “doubting” means “to separate or withdraw from”—thus, referencing those who no longer attend their meetings. Those they are “snatching … out of the fire” are the ones in mortal danger of hell itself. The last are those so far gone in their sin that even their clothes have been “polluted” by touching their skin.

The Christian response to all of these is the same: “mercy” and compassion. Mercy is different from grace in that mercy emphasizes the negative, while grace the positive. Mercy is not giving what is deserved, while grace is giving what is not deserved. More specifically, mercy is not judging or condemning, while grace adds to that the giving of a blessing. God shows mercy on us by not sending us to hell for our sin, while he shows grace by adopting us into His own family.

Before we can ever give grace to someone, we must have mercy on them—no matter what vile condition they are in.

Lord, help us This Day to show mercy where it is needed. Amen.

Perspective and Confidence

21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life (Jude).

The “keeping in the love of God” here is not about salvation, rather, it is about experience. It is about sensing God’s love for us, as well as our own love for Him. And just how is this accomplished? How do we keep ourselves in His Love? By keeping an eternal perspective, by looking forward either to His coming to us or our own going to Him.

These two words “waiting anxiously” come from just one word, which I think is better translated “waiting expectantly or confidently.” It cannot possibly mean waiting with any sense of doubt or worry, for the Bible plainly tells us to “be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6). The point is, those who are most confident in their salvation, also most revel in it.

Lord, thank You that we can be confident in our salvation. Help us This Day to revel in it. Amen.

Faith and Prayer

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit … (Jude).

What makes anything “holy” is that it is “set apart” from the common and the mundane. It is set on a pedestal to be honored and cherished. Such is our “most holy faith”—it is set apart from all other faiths. It is not even simply holy—it is “most” holy. There is absolutely nothing else like it.

It is “the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (verse 3). It is the exclusive, one-and-only faith and gospel that has been given to us. It is not a faith that is ours in the sense that we conjured it up—no, it is a faith that we have been given and embraced as our own. It is ours because we have received it, not because we have achieved it.

We entered this faith with prayer, as we confessed our sinfulness and asked God to forgive us—and we continue to “build … up” ourselves in this faith in the same way, by “praying in the Holy Spirit.” Thus, those who are strongest in their faith, are most steadfast in their prayers.

Lord, help us This Day to be strong in our faith by being steadfast in our prayers. Amen.

Still Soon

17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit (Jude).

Jude’s quote here comes directly from 2 Peter 3:3—“Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts.” It would appear Jude believes the “tares” he is writing about are the fulfillment of Peter’s prophecy. 

Thus, from the beginnings of our Christian faith people have believed they were living “in the last days” of the world’s existence—that Jesus was coming back soon. Since He has not yet come back, am I troubled by their miscalculations? No, not all. Why? Because He is still coming back soon—and now, more than ever! That’s because our “soon” is now a whole lot “sooner” than theirs was!

Lord, help us This Day to live like we believe You might be coming back for us even today. Amen.

Hidden Sins

16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage (Jude).

What true believer is willing to suffer the company of such people as these: constant complainers, belittling critics, lustful whoremongers, arrogant boasters, and flattering opportunists? Such are the “tares” in the church Jude continues to describe here. 

How is it even possible for such wicked people to creep into a Christian fellowship unnoticed (verse 4)? It just goes to show how evil on the inside can be hidden on the outside. Amazing. Yet, such deception is only by degree—for every one of us does the same thing. Yes, even the most spiritual among us have sins and evils lurking within, which we keep hidden from the rest. If people only knew some of the things we really thought ….

Lord, thank You for knowing us better than anyone else does—and yet still loving us anyway. Help us This Day to put away sinful thoughts and deeds and to don the robe of righteousness. Amen.

Quoted

14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him” (Jude).

In our Lord’s day The Book of Enoch was a favorite among the Jewish people, though it was not included in their canon of Scripture, nor did Jesus ever quote from it. But our Lord’s half-brother did, right here—from its first chapter in the last paragraph. Does this elevate The Book of Enoch to the status of Scripture? No, but it does elevate the quote, for here it lies, right here in our accepted canon of the New Testament. And just who are these “holy ones” who will “execute judgment” and “convict all the ungodly” of their sins, and when will this happen? Perhaps the answer lies in Deuteronomy 33:2, where it says from Mt. Sinai God “came from the midst of ten thousand holy ones; at His right hand there was flashing lightning for them.”

So, what is my point? My point is, you never know what the Lord may use from us in a great way. Even though what we say and do will never be elevated to Scripture (for the canon is indeed closed)—yet, that does not mean He cannot use those things we do and say in such an incredible way that they might be recorded even in the annals of heaven.

Lord, help us This Day to live our lives so that You might use them in a great way. Amen.

Woe to Them!

10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. 12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever (Jude).

What an indictment we read here concerning “tares” in the church! They are “like unreasoning animals” who go “the way of Cain” through murder (Genesis 4), who fall into “the error of Balaam” by compromise (Numbers 22), and who die in “the rebellion of Korah” (Numbers 16). They are “reefs” that provide no safety, “clouds” that pour forth no rain, “trees” that bear no food, “waves” that offer no rest, and “wandering stars” that give no direction.

Yes, even as the Lord Jesus repeatedly pronounced his “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites” (Matthew 23), so does Jude pronounce his “Woe to them!” to these tares. Oh, we will all experience many woes in this life, but none will be so awful as the woe brought on by the judgment of God to unrepentant sinners!

Lord, help us This Day to be rain-giving clouds, fruit-bearing trees, peace-giving waves, and direction-giving stars. Amen.

Absolute Dependence

9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude).

That Michael “disputed with the devil” concerning “the body of Moses” is a true statement, though its reference is nowhere found in the Old Testament. That its meaning is a mystery to us is also true, since we have nothing else to go on in the Scriptures concerning that event, and thus are left with only conjecture as to its explanation.

But the greatest takeaway from this verse is the plain truth that no one, not even “Michael the archangel,” can stand against the devil in his own strength. If an archangel himself is completely dependent upon the Lord, how much more are we frail children of dust!

Lord, thank You for this reminder of our absolute dependence upon You. Help us This Day to walk like it. Amen.