Examination Time

Message:  Jude is another one-chapter book (or really a letter) written to the church. Reading it gives the impression that he is talking about unsaved people living in sin but really he is talking about people who identify themselves as believers but continue to live in sin. They know about God and they participate in all of the Christian activity of the church, but their lives have not been changed. I feel like this is the most dangerous place to be because the fellowship and familiarity leads us to believe we are safe, but if we are not surrendered over, we are far from safe. This is often confused with religion or false perfection but it has nothing to do with either of these things. It has everything to do with what we discussed yesterday. When we say yes to Jesus, everything belongs to Him. We relinquish our right to decide for ourselves what is right and we surrender ourselves to him entirely. A book like this can cause one of two reactions. The first is that we look at other people who are in church and living in sin and we deflect our own issues, and the second is that we read this and become immersed in shame. What I am taking away from this is that we first need to look at ourselves and ask God what things in our lives have become non-negotiables. In other words, what areas of our lives have we avoided dealing with because we don’t want God to touch them or ask us to change. This may or may not be an obvious outright sin behavior. It may be a secret sin issue or indulgence, or it may be other deep-rooted mindsets. An attitude of denial or justification, unforgiveness, a prejudice or judgment, issues with authority. We also need to be aware that there are people among us who are living this way and love them with some truth while protecting ourselves from being negatively influenced. Yesterday I found an areas of control that I thought I had surrendered, so today I’m asking God to show me the areas of my life where I am walking in disobedience in any of these areas. I’m also asking God to show me how to lovingly challenge others who are living carnal lives while identifying themselves as believers.

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