These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh (Jude 1:16-23 New King James Version).
How serious are we about the things of the Lord? How intense are we about God and His kingdom? How much love do we spread around? Do we keep our love and compassion confined to only those we associate with on a daily basis, or do we actually share it with those we meet each day? Do we think we are shiny and salty enough to withstand those who grumble; who walk according to their own lusts and mouth great words flattering others to gain advantage? Could we say we are discerning enough to differentiate a genuine brother or sister in the faith or one who has compromised? Do we walk away from those who grumble, or do we stand firm in our faith sharing truth and wisdom from God’s living Word? Do we compromise for the sake of not wanting to upset someone based on the sharpness and light of Scripture? Do we believe we have nothing to contribute to the kingdom of God because we feel inadequate?
Church, it’s time to get serious about God. It’s time to jump off the fence and pick a side. It’s time to put ourselves and our feelings aside, getting out there and allowing the Holy Spirit to use us. Jesus is coming and we need to be prepared. We do not know the day or the hour; we need to live each moment for Christ as though it were our last. It’s time to press into the kingdom of heaven and use the gifts God has bestowed upon us to further His kingdom. We cannot be concerned with what we amass here on earth; we must be concerned for what we have in the eternal kingdom.
There are many of us within the Body seeking to be self-pleased, self-gratified, and self-righteous; we are concerned with having the largest numbers, the most programs, or the best Sunday services. Many of us are complacent, and would rather someone else rise up and stand firm; while many of us seek to please people so the boat doesn’t rock. Some would rather gain enlightenment of who God is based on someone else’s reading and interpretation of Scripture. Still others own a bible, yet rarely open it up to study. We have become a nation of talking about miraculous signs and wonders instead of performing them with the power of Jesus’ authority. We look to the feelings we had yesterday instead of desiring what God has for us today. The devil’s main goal is to cause separation and confusion within the church. He infiltrates the church, and because of our complacency and compromise, we allow him to move freely. There is a fear within the church body, a fear that no one wants to address…fear of the Holy Spirit, fear of miracles, fear of change, fear of what God can and will do within the Church body; a fear to be different. In case you haven’t noticed, we are different. We are children of a King; the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. This raises us to a higher standard.
We must search ourselves. Dig down deep; ask God to travel the darkest recesses of our hearts, revealing the areas in which we are complacent, fearful and selfish. Rise up! God is calling the Church to pray, to be unified, to be one with Him. He is calling us to reach out in love, to have compassion, to stand. I once had a vision and I have been meditating on it since. It was of a person on their knees, head bowed to the floor and the hand of God covering him, holding him down, yet not touching him. Church, God is calling us to humble ourselves and press in through prayer. Only then will we begin to walk in the power He has given us, only then will we see what He can and wants to do within the church, only then can we be what He has designed us to be.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. ~Hebrews 4:12-13
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, we stand before You thanking You for this precious gift of another day. We know that each morning You grant us is a gift and is not promised to us. We ask for Your forgiveness for becoming complacent, for becoming compromising. We ask for Your forgiveness in not seeking Your face ourselves, but relying on the word and testimony of others. Re-ignite the flame of passion within us, Lord, to press in, to pray, to seek Your face, Your will, Your purpose. Fan the fire of desire to see Your kingdom here on earth, to voice the words that You want for us to say. Re-kindle the light within each of us, and show us how to season each situation, each interaction, each conversation with the salt of Your living word. We stand here asking for discernment and compassion to distinguish those that are lost or misguided. Strengthen us to stand firm in our faith and understanding of who You are. Raise up this generation with Your standard under Your banner. Lord, help us to press in, keep the pressure on us by Your mighty hand to strive together in prayer to You. We thank You for hearing us, we thank You for Your mercy and love. We give You all praise and honor. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Has God put a new song in your mouth? Has He given you words to speak? Are you afraid to speak what He has placed inside you because you don’t want to upset anyone or be rejected? Get over yourself, it’s not about you, it’s about God. Because His word is alive, it’s not meant to always generate happy feelings; it cuts, it burns, it bruises – all so that we can become more Christ-like. So, if God has given you a message which may not be happy-clappy, it’s time to bring it. Seek His face and search His word. He will encourage and embolden you to rise up and stand firm.
Additional Scriptures: Jude; 2 Chronicles 7:14; 1 Corinthians 12: 7-11