*picture by churchofchrist
A thought occurred to me today as I was browsing in the Christian bookstore. I ran in to pick up an item that has been on my list for a few months now, and with a 40% off coupon it was going to finally be in my possession. So I thought. Funny how we have an item in mind that we want, and when the time finally comes to get it we realize – I don’t think I need it at this moment. But, with a 40% off coupon I was determined to get something so I could just use my coupon.
My feet became planted in front of the New Testament Commentaries. My eyes scanned the shelves, all the editions, books, and titles. I picked a few up, looked inside as if to look for colorful illustrations, or scripted scenes, but none would say “You can’t live without me.” Ok, before anyone gets judgmental. I am a huge proponent of study materials. I have more than I actually use. And, I already have a set of commentaries. But still I wondered, which one would grab my attention? Which one would I use my 40% coupon on?
This questions will most likely be geared to the ladies. Have you ever had a coupon that you just wanted to use? You didn’t really need anything from the store, you just wanted to use the coupon? If so, then girlfriend you and I do not need to go to the store together. We would talk each other into buying something we didn’t even need – just to use the coupon.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reading in the book of Jude. It is hidden in the pages towards the back sandwiched between 3 John and Revelation. If you’re not careful you can miss it. Jude is only 1 chapter with 25 verses.
That short book is packed full of wisdom, insight, encouragement, warning, and instruction. For those of us that like short messages Jude is perfect! Basically, he gets to the point.
As I continue to scan the commentaries my eyes travel back to Jude. I noticed that some of the commentaries combined Jude with other books. Yet, in the New Testament Jude stands alone with 25 verses. Combined with no one. Jude is Jesus’s half-brother. You may have known that. I don’t think I ever did until a couple of weeks ago. That’s the awesomeness of God’s word there is a new revelation every time you read and study.
I couldn’t stand in the store any longer, I had a list of things to do and needed to make a decision. What do I buy with my coupon? I had a new bible study in my hands. The coupon did not apply to that. It was my last circle around the store to see if there was anything else that would jump off the shelf and say “take me home!” As I browsed another section I felt in my spirit, that’s what Jude is. In twenty-five verses on a page right before the Book of Revelation stood the last attempt for Christians to stand firm for Christ.
God used the one that grew up with Jesus as a big brother to give the last warning against false teachers. Jude instructs us to defend the gospel. I wonder if he wrote from experience growing up, did he have to defend his older brother? Did he have to go toe to toe with naysayers? How do we defend the gospel if we don’t read and study it?
Jude had a 40% off coupon and instead of getting what he set out to get, he changed his tune.
“Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people.” Jude 3 NLT
With that thought I put my coupon away and headed for the register to purchase my new bible study. My thoughts scanned those twenty-five verses and as Jude reminds his audience about the past and the results that were related.
“So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus…” Jude 5
I was reminded:
Has He entrusted you? If so, to what?
“But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said…” Jude 17
Jude is referencing false teachers and those that will try to deter you from the gospel. Who is it that is trying to deter you? Who is it that when you are trying to study, or read, they distract you? Who is it that tells you God’s word is outdated?
As I paid for my bible study I realized that Jude was preparing me. Preparing me for what is yet to come. The title of my new study is “Entrusted” by Beth Moore. Her study will have us in 2 Timothy, yet I will bring Jude along with me.
As for my 40% off coupon, well, it went in the trash. I left with something far better than I had in mind -the remembrance of being entrusted.
If you too have been entrusted I encourage you to read Jude’s twenty-five verses. I challenge you to memorize them, and be prepared as you stand firm to defend the faith of Christ Jesus!
“…for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News.” Phil. 1:16b NLT
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016
*pictures by printablecolorpages, spanishdict, coolcatteacher