Dave Williams speaking on Jude 17-19. He asks us to question where we find our worth and if we are willing to pick up our cross and reveal all that we are to the world so that the world may see Christ.
- Contend for the Faith
- There is an attack inside the church and outside the church.
- One strengthens it and the other seeks to destroy it.
- Jude wasn’t messing around! He demanded that we contend for the faith. Fight for it. Don’t let anything get in the way of it.
- We are Gods beloved sanctuary. What an honor it is for God to dwell in us. We are a representation of God to the world, we should want to show the world who is inside of us.
17But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.
Why this happens
- We have to remember what God has done for us. That Christ died for us. Knowing our ugliness and our sin, he died for us. In all of our mess he calls us beloved; worthy and loved.
- Jude is saying that the Apostles predicted that when God ascended into heaven that there would be division that would take place inside the church. Why did they know that this would happen: because the Apostles fought amongst themselves when Christ was on the earth!
- Mark 9:33
“And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
- They argued for position. Notoriety became a driving force for the reasons they came together.
- We look at our gifting, positions of power, and equate that to why we are worthy of being loved. That works well when you are well but what happens when someone is more gifted, has greater positional authority, comes along. How do you feel? Insecure?
- So what happens next, you withdraw or let your insecurities distort your feelings of worth and love.
- Some of us just try and work harder to prove that we are worthy. Others tear others down to try and prop themselves up. Most do a mixture of both. All because you believed the lie that your worth is based on what you do.
- Look at what that does to the church. We form friend groups with people that often times help prop up our gifting but really don’t challenge us to embrace our weaknesses. And when we feel uncomfortable around others we tell ourselves that it is them not us. They are the judgmental ones, the unloving ones, the uncaring. Yet, we refuse to engage because their unwillingness to engage with you must be intentional so therefore they aren’t worth your time.
- I have had people tell me that they don’t like church or youth group because it is “cliquey”. The problem with that statement is that you are also admitting that you are “cliquey”.
- See Jesus didn’t let “cliques” prevent him to be who He was. He was ridiculed because his circles were full of the rich, poor, sick, well, sophisticated and simple people.
- He became the last of all, the servant of all. Why, because of who we was!
Why rehash this?
- Because of verse: 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.”
- See the key word there: following.
- Guys we are doing one of three things in our walk. Being idle, following Christ, or following our own passion. Only one of those is right.
- Jude says that contending for the faith is following Christ because it takes a consistent effort in believing that Christ is who he says he is. Following Christ is believing you are loved by him and fighting to hold on to that belief.
- See if you are not doing those things you are either idle or following your own passions. You can tell if you are idle because you have stopped caring. Maybe that is some of you tonight. I want to pray with you if it is.
- If you are following your passions, you’re not allowing your worth to be dependent on Christ.
Follow him to the hill
- I want us to think about: Following Christ up the hill.
- See when Christ went to die it was the process that revealed so much to us. He didn’t just die. He was exposed, confronted, his physical body was weakened in front of others.
- Jesus says to pick up our cross and follow him.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
- Which means what: The same thing. Expose truly who we are to God and others and allow the lie to drift away.
- Engage with the hurt and the offense? Ask yourself what is it saying about your worth?
- See if you don’t you will follow it until it turns into ungodly passion. It will drive your decision-making.
- Lord, I find worth in being a hard-worker. When that is threatened by my health I find myself offended and there fore want to hold on to it even more. But the truth is that my worth is not in my action but in you.
- Lord, I find worth in being right, and it kills me if I don’t have an answer. I take pride in that. So Lord I confess that to you.
- Lord, in a very twisted way I find worth in being closed-off to my family. I rarely want to share how I feel because it is like I can “Lord” my feelings over them. It is wrong and when confronted I get offended because it attacks my worth.
- God isn’t shocked. He responds with: I know, and that Dave, is why I love you. As crazy and as dysfunctional as all of that is, that is why I love you.