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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Garde Bien … build yourselves up in holiness

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith. And pray in the Holy Spirit.
Jude 20

Ladies, I don’t know about you but I’m having to do more and more mental calisthenics to bend my mind around today’s slippery slope of decline in morality, ethics, family values—you name it—away from God. What in the world is going on?

Jude had nothing kind to say about those who claimed divine revelation apart from the Spirit. The Message translation is blunt: This is exactly the same program of these latest infiltrators: dirty sex, rule and rulers thrown out, glory dragged in the mud. These people sneer at anything they can’t understand, and by doing whatever they feel like doing—living by animal instinct only—they participate in their own destruction (Jude 8,10 MSG).

Hmmm, demeaning of sexuality—check; rejection of authority—check; dragging God’s glory through the mud—check; doing as they saw fit in their own eyes—check! 2000 years and the world is at it again.

But you, dear friends… Jude’s tone abruptly changes. He is about to paint the world’s canvas of despair with broad brush strokes of hope. Exactly what these first century believers needed—a good dose of hope, and a few godly instructions. And that is exactly what we need today, in the midst of the blatant ungodliness around us.

After all, we have been entrusted with the gift of faith. Yes I believe, or have faith. But Jude was referencing here the body of truth I am to guard, cherish, build myself up in. Call it the sum total of Scripture, the word of God carefully spelled out for me by divine inspiration and then graciously clarified to my spirit by His Spirit. I am to treat it as most holy! I am to read, ponder, and apply it to my life. I am to steep myself in the sacred.

Too big a thing for me to do? Of course. It is the Spirit who reveals truth. Those who do not have the Spirit (Jude 19), do not have truth (1 Corinthians 2:14). No wonder the world is in such a mess.

But we have the Spirit. All we need to learn to do is to rely on the Spirit in us to talk to the Father about all things (Romans 8:26-27). Then truth can be applied to all facets of our lives. Thank you Jesus.     

Nancy P

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