Content (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture, fit on one line): 1.U know, bros&sis, our visit2u w/o results (1) 2.we previously sufferd,treatd outrageously in Philippi,w/sos of G we tell u Gosp in face of strong opp(2) 3.appeal we make spring ...

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"WORD up!" - 5 new articles

  1. Homiletics 1 Thessalonians 2
  2. Homiletics 1 Thessalonians 1
  3. Homiletics: 2 Peter 3
  4. The Essential Guide to Prayer by Dutch Sheets
  5. Homiletics: 2 Peter 2
  6. More Recent Articles

Homiletics 1 Thessalonians 2


Content (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture, fit on one line):

1.U know, bros&sis, our visit2u w/o results (1)

2.we previously sufferd,treatd outrageously in Philippi,w/sos of G we tell u Gosp in face of strong opp(2)

3.appeal we make spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying trick u(3)

4.au contraire we spk as those apprvd by G2b entrustd w/Gosp;we trying2pls ppl but G who test <3s font="">

5.u know we nvr used flattry nor put mask2cover greed – G=our witness(5)

6.we were looking 4praise from ppl,tho as apostles of C we could’ve asserted authority(6)

 

7.instead we like young children among u;just as nursing mother cares4her children(7)

8.so we cared4u;bec we lvd u so much we delightd2share w/u not only Gosp of G but our lives(8)

9.surely u remembr bros&sis,our toil&hardship;we workd nite&day 2b burden while preachd Gosp2u(9)

10.u witnesses,so is G,how holy,righteous,blameless we were among u(10)

11.u know we dealt w/ea of u how fr deals w/own children(11)

12.encouraging,comforting,urging u live worthy of G, who calls u into kingdom of glry(12)

13.&we thk G continually bec when u rec’d wd,u acceptd as wd of G which @wk in u who believe(13)

14.4u became imitators of Gs churchs in Judea in JC u suffrd from ur ppl same as churches from Jews(14)

15.who killd L&prophets&drove us out;they displease G, r hostile2evry1(15)

16.in effrt2kp us frm spking2Gents so they saved,in this they heap sins2limit;wrath G on them@last(16)

 

17.when we orphaned by being separated frm u, out of intense longing,made evry effrt2c u(17)

18.we wanted 2cm2u but Satan blocked way(18)

19.what is our hope,joy,crown in which we’ll glry in presence of LJ when He comes?Is u? (19)

20.indeed u our glry&joy(20)

 

Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture/Principles are Aims for each Division):

1.Tell the Gospel and please God (1-6)

Principle: Praise from God is infinitely more valuable than praise from people.

2.Caring for brothers and sisters (7-16)

Principle: God’s people don’t behave like worldly people.

3.Separation, longing and hope (17-20)

Principle: The treasure we store up in heaven is PEOPLE.

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure showing exactly where you are in Scripture):

Paul shared life and Gospel with suffering Thessalonians: his hope.

 

Aim (“To Cause My Audience To…” Know, See, etc.):

TCMATK The people with whom we share our lives and the Gospel are the treasure we store up in heaven.

 

Application (not yes or no question.  Meant to bring about life change):

1.With whom will you share the Gospel this week and how will you plan to share it?

2.What changes will you make today to better care for God’s people?

3.Where have you planted spiritual seeds that you long to check on and encourage growth?  How will you do that today?
 
    

Homiletics 1 Thessalonians 1


Content (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture, fit on one line):

1.Paul, Silas&Timothy2church of Thess in G Fr&LJC:grace&peace2u (1)

2.We always thank G4all of u&continually mention u in our prayers (2)

3.we remember b4 G&Fr ur wk produced by faith,labor prompted by lv (3a)

4.&endurance inspired by hope in LJC (3b)

 

5.4we know, bros&sis lvd by G, He’s chosen u (4)

6.bec our gospel came2u simply w/wds,but w/pwr,HS&deep conviction (5a)

7.u know how we lived among u4ur sake (5b)

8.u became imitators of us&L;u welcomd msg in midst of suffering w/joy gvn by HS (6)

 

9.so u became model2all believers in Macedonia&Achaia (7)

10.L’s msg rang out from u only in Macedonia&Achaia, ur faith become known everywhere (8a)

11.T4 we need 2say anything about it (8b)

12.4they rpt what kind reception u gave us;they tell how u turned2G from idols2srv living true G (9)

13.&2wait4Son from hvn whom He raisd, J who rescues us from cming wrath (10)

 

Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture/Principles are Aims for each Division):

1.Paul greets and encourages Thessalonians (1-3)

Principle:  God’s people need to encourage each other

2.Chosen by God to imitate the Lord and welcome His message (4-6)

Principle:  God’s people need to imitate the behavior of Christ

3.A model to other believers (7-10)

Principle:  God’s people are role models

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure showing exactly where you are in Scripture):

Paul to Thessalonians: imitate Christ and model behavior to believers.

 

Aim (“To Cause My Audience To…” Know, See, etc.):

TCMATK Believers are the only “Jesus” some people see.  Is your behavior drawing them closer or pushing them away?

 

Application (not yes or no question.  Meant to bring about life change):

1.What will you begin doing this week to better encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ?

2.How will you change your behavior today to be an imitator of Christ?

3.To whom are you a role model and how will you be more deliberate in your behavior to reveal Jesus’ love to them?


A few notes on 1 Thessalonians 1:

 

(1:1)Isn’t it good to have friends with whom to minister?  Doesn’t it make the workload seem less?  Have you ever been on a mission trip and seen truly miraculous things happen because of how Christ draws people together in His name?  Paul was traveling with Silas and Timothy.  With whom are you traveling?

 

I went to Italy last year with several members of our choir.  We joined up with 4 other choirs to sing in some of the most beautiful places and minister to some of the most beautiful people.  We had 1 rehearsal together before singing our first concert a few hours later.  I was blown away at how well this choir blended so quickly.  The only way this could’ve happened is because of Christ and the unity we have in Him.

 

(1:2)What’s your prayer life like?  Is there anyone you are alwaysthanking God for when you pray?  Is there anyone you continually mention in your prayers?  I want this kind of prayer life!  I sense that Paul was passionate when he prayed.  He didn’t just read off a list of demands as I often do.  Paul’s prayers were precious.  I know my prayers are precious to God as well.  Since Paul was human, I imagine he had dry spells in his prayer life, too.  It’s just that I want to pray with that Holy Spirit power and grace I hear when I read Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians aloud.  Does that make sense?  How do you keep your prayer life more purposeful and passionate and less of a list?

 

(1:3)What do you tend to remember about people: the good things or the bad?  Paul remembered very good things about the Thessalonians:  their work produced by faith, their labor prompted by love, their endurance inspired by hope in Christ.  Who might you remember for such things?  How might you encourage that individual or that group?  Or do you have a problem seeing these things in people because you’re focused on the work driven by their arrogance, their labor prompted by ambition and their endurance inspired by being better than everyone else?  Ouch!  I am preaching to myself, here.  We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds, brothers and sisters!

 

I am generally suspicious of people.  I’ve been praying that I would believe the best and not assume the worst about everyone and in every circumstance.  It’s difficult for me to give this blessing.  But I will never forget receiving this blessing from someone else.  I had really messed up and put one of my ministry partners in an awkward situation.  This occurrence also had the potential of hurting someone else’s feelings.  My thoughtless behavior added a burden to my ministry partner to verify all future action in this area.  But when she approached me to reveal what had happened, she was so gracious and kind.  She forgave before I asked her to.  It didn’t change what I’d done or how it would affect how she did things in the future.  Because of how embarrassed I was, I don’t think I’ll ever make that mistake again.  But what I really learned was what grace looked like.  And God’s grace is even more beautiful.  I would like to be remembered for such grace.

 

(1:4)Do you treat every person you meet as a potential brother or sister in Christ?  Let’s look at our author for a moment:  Saul was a murderous persecutor of members of the Way before a life-changing encounter on the road to Damascus.  If Saul were working in the cubicle next to me, I wouldn’t be popping over there to share Christ with him.  I WOULD be praying for him.  What I mean is this:  don’t put yourself in harm’s way on purpose.  Check out Proverbs 22:3.  But don’t write off someone’s ability to be saved because of their behavior.  Ananias was afraid to go to the blinded Saul and pray for his sight to return because of Saul’s brutal reputation.  God Himself spoke to him and told him, to go and not be afraid.  We need to seek God’s guidance and be obedient to His call upon our lives as we share Christ with a dying world.  He is faithful to guide us to keep our distance and pray or go into the lion’s den where He is fully capable of locking their mouths closed.

 

(1:5)How did the gospel come to you?  Did you experience powerful proof of God’s existence before you heard the good news?  Did His power accompany the gospel?  Were you aware of the Holy Spirit entering you?  Were you immediately convicted of your sin?  What sort of experience have you had with God’s power, the Holy Spirit and conviction since?

 

(1:6)How are you imitating Jesus?  Do you read His Word and pay attention to what He does and do the same?  Do you accept and welcome His message with joy even when He says you will suffer in this life?  Do you joyfully take up your cross and follow Him?  What areas of your life look nothing like Him at all?  Where do you need to seek His help in being like Him?  Would someone accuse you of being a Christian?  If all the facts were presented, could you be convicted of being a follower of Jesus in a court of law?

 

My quiet time this morning was spent in Esther 3.  This is the part of the book that describes how Haman approached King Xerxes out of hatred for Mordecai to enact a decree to exterminate all the Jews throughout Xerxes’ kingdom.  He argued that the Jewish people were different than the Persians, that they didn’t honor the king and the laws of the land.  This convicted me and led to some good confession in my prayer time today: do I look like the world or do I stand out as different because I believe in Jesus for my salvation?

 

(1:7)You are a role model to someone.  Maybe your kids look to you as their source of how to act.  Perhaps it’s someone in your church that listens to your answers in Bible study every week and wants to be as knowledgeable as you are.  Maybe it’s a co-worker who knows you’re a Christian and is inspired to see you behave with integrity in the workplace.  We are being watched by some we know and some we don’t.  Are you modeling the behavior of Christ to all who are watching you?  How will you work to improve what you are modeling?

 

(1:8)Are you one of those people who readily praises God and shares what He’s doing in your life?  That is one way our faith is made known.  Are you a quieter witness like the person whose life is falling apart and still shows up for church every week?  What do people know of your faith?  How are you exercising that faith?  Are you sharing your journey with transparency to encourage others?  Are you asking for prayer to help you through struggles with support, encouragement and God’s power?

 

(1:9)Paul said the Thessalonians were remembered for turning to God from idols.  How do you want to be remembered?  Is your behavior such that you will be remembered as you want to be?  How will you change your thinking to remember others well?  How will you come alongside others and encourage them toward love and good deeds so they will be remembered well?  Paul also said the Thessalonians were remembered for serving God.  How are you serving Christ?

 

(1:10)Jesus is coming.  His blood has already saved our souls from judgment and eternal separation from God.  Are you living in such a way that others are coming to know Him and the power of His resurrection through your example?  If you haven’t yet given your heart to Christ, what is delaying your decision?  Don’t wait another moment.  Seek a Christian friend or leader in church and tell them you want to give your heart to Christ so they can pray with you and put you on the path to grow in Him.
    

Homiletics: 2 Peter 3



Content (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture, fit on one line):

1.Dear friends,my 2nd ltr 2u, I’ve written both2stiulate u2 wholesome thinking (1)

2.I want u2recall wds spokn by holy prophets&cmd gvn by L&Savior thru apostles (2)

3.above all,undrstd in last days, scoffers cm, scoffing&following their evil desires (3)

4.they say:where is “cming” He promised?  Evrything goes on as it has since beginng of creation (4)

5.they delibr8ly 4get by Gs Wd hvns came into being&earth formed out of h2o by h2o (5)

6.by these h2os world of that time deluged&destroyed (6)

7.by same Wd present hvns&earth resv’d4fire,kept4day of judgmt&destructn of ungodly (7)

 

8.forget this dear friends:w/the L a day=like 1000yrs&1000yrs=like a day (8)

9.L slow in keeping promise; He patient w/you, wantingany1 2perish,evry1 cm repentance (9)

10.but day of L cm like thief;hvns disappear w/roar, elem destoyd by fire;earth laid bare (10)

11.since everything destroyd this way,what kind of ppl ought u b?U ought2live holy godly lives (11)

12.as u lk fwd2day of G&speed its cming;that day bring destructn of hvns by fire&elem melt in heat(12)

13.in keeping w/promise we lking fwd2new hvn/earth where righteousness dwells (13)

 

14.so dear friends since u lking fwd2this,mk evry effrt2b found spotless,blameless,@pc w/Him (14)

15.Ls patience means salv, just as dear bro Paul wrote u w/wisdom G gave him (15)

16.He writes same all ltrs spkg of these matters; ltrs contain things hd2undrstd (16a)

17.which ignorant&unstable ppl distort, as other Scr, to their destruction (16b)

 

18.T4 dear friends,since u forewarned,be on guard u carried away by error of lawless&fall (17)

19.grow in grace&knowl of L&Savior JC;2Him b glory now&forever;Amen (18)

 

Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture/Principles are Aims for each Division):

1.Wholesome Thinking (1-7)

Principle: Christ leads believers to wholesome thinking through Scripture and the Holy Spirit.

2. Holy, Godly Living (8-13)

Principle: Christ makes holy, godly living possible through the cross.

3.Spotless, Blameless and At Peace with God (14-16)

Principle: Christ enables people to be spotless, blameless and at peace with God through salvation.

4.Forewarned, On Guard, Grow in Grace (17-18)

Principle:  Christ forewarns people and empowers believers to be on guard and grow in grace through His Word.

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure showing exactly where you are in Scripture):

Peter’s second letter  challenges believers and ends by glorifying Christ.

 

Aim (“To Cause My Audience To…” Know, See, etc.):

TCMATK Jesus can be the source of our thoughts, life, peace and growth if we choose Him.

 

Application (not yes or no question.  Meant to bring about life change):

1.How has your recent study of Scripture changed your thinking to look more like Christ?

2.What action have you taken through Christ that has resulted in holy, godly living?

3.In what ways does your life reflect that Christ has made you spotless, blameless and at peace with God?

4.Which warnings in Scripture have encouraged you to grow in grace and how have you instilled confidence in others to do the same?


A few notes on 2 Peter 3:

 

Peter says he wrote his two letters to stimulate wholesome thinking.  How have 1 and 2 Peter stimulated wholesome thinking in you?

 

What have you read in the prophets that has stimulated wholesome thinking in you?  What commands of Jesus have accomplished this?

 

What experience have you had (or heard about) with scoffers?  How has this experience changed you?

 

How does the behavior of scoffers affect the church and its people?

 

When have you questioned the delay in Christ’s coming?  How did you regain the hope of His return?

 

How does remembering God’s past track record combat the poison spread by scoffers?  What are your “go-to” Scripture verses that restore your hope?  Do you journal your life with God?  It will help you remember how God showed up on dark days.  If you don’t journal, how do you remember what Christ has done in, through and for you?

 

God’s timing is not our timing.  Can you surrender your timetable to His, knowing that His timing is absolutely perfect?  How can you ease your impatience?

 

Does it bring you comfort to know God isn’t slow in keeping His promise, but He doesn’t want anyone to perish?  Is He waiting for one of your loved ones to accept Christ?  Have you told your loved ones about Jesus and the price He paid to save their soul?

 

Is there someone who you don’t care whether they get to heaven?  What face or name just popped into your mind?  Are they a believer?  Make things right with them.  Are they not a believer?  Share Christ with them.

 

Are you ready for Christ’s return and the final judgment?  If you’re a believer who is still breathing and Christ hasn’t returned yet, God wants to do something in and through you.

 

What kind of person are you?  As a Christian, what kind of person should you be?  What has Scripture or the Holy Spirit revealed to you this week that you should be doing but aren’t doing?  What’s keeping you from obedience?

 

What does it mean to live a holy, godly life?  You’ve been set apart for a purpose.  Are you fulfilling it?  You’ve been given the example of Christ to follow.  Are you taking up your cross daily and following Jesus?

 

Are you making every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with God?  What does this look like for you?  Are you resting in Him or trying to make this happen through your own effort?

 

Seek guidance from Scripture and the Holy Spirit.  Pray for revelation, clarification and understanding.  Grow in grace.  How can you do that?  By practicing grace.  Know Jesus more each day.  How do you do that?  You spend time with Him.  You speak with Him.  You listen when He speaks to you.  I mean really listen.  If you really love Him, you should be hanging on every word He says.  You should remember the things He reveals to you about Himself.

 

Do you remember what it was like getting to know your spouse, fiancé(e) or current girlfriend or boyfriend?  Did you spend time preparing yourself to see them?  Did you give them your attention?  Did you inconvenience yourself just to be with them?  What sacrifices did you make?  How often did you think about them when you weren’t together?  How much effort did you put into planning your encounters?  Do you still treasure them the way you used to or do you take them for granted now that you “have” them?

 

I’m sure you already know where I’m going with this.  Are you putting this effort into your relationship with Christ?  I promise you:  if you do, you won’t regret a single moment you spend!  Have you been with Christ for so long that you now take Him for granted?  Re-kindle that first love.  It will change your life!

    

The Essential Guide to Prayer by Dutch Sheets

The Essential Guide to Prayer by Dutch Sheets  
The Essential Guide to Prayer by Dutch Sheets
Life-Changing Teaching on the Simplicity of Having a Powerful Prayer Life 

A prayer life with God isn't complex, but sometimes not knowing how to start can be enough to make a person turn away altogether. In The Essential Guide to Prayer, you'll discover that the starting point is to find your motivation for prayer in the power of love by forming a solid relationship with God as Father and friend. As Dutch Sheets lays the foundation for your motivation to pray, he challenges you to reflect with "Did You Understand?" questions at the end of each chapter. Dig deeper into the core of your prayer life by learning to pray effectively both alone and in groups, and by persisting in prayer until you see God's answers.

Dutch Sheets is an internationally recognized author, teacher, and speaker. Based in Colorado, he travels extensively, empowering believers for passionate prayer and societal transformation. He has pastored, taught, and served on the board of directors of numerous organizations. Learn more at www.dutchsheets.org.


Here's my review of this encouraging book on prayer:

First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Dutch Sheets and his publisher for sending me a copy of "The Essential Guide to Prayer" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“The Essential Guide to Prayer” by Dutch Sheets builds the framework necessary for learning how to pray with power and effectiveness.  As it always happens with things ordained by God, this book arrived at the perfect time!  My Sunday school class is doing a Bible study on prayer.  I am spending my quiet time in Colossians and meditating on what it means to be “in Christ”.  I am studying 1 and 2 Peter and warnings about false teachers.  If there’s ever been a time that the church needs to be prayed up, it’s now.

This easily digestible book also answered nagging questions I’ve had about prayer for as long as I can remember such as:  Do our prayers really cause God to heal and save or would He have done it anyway, even without our asking? 

“The Essential Guide to Prayer” got me excited about praying.  I didn’t realize how much I needed this until the excitement was re-ignited in me.  Since beginning this book, my prayer life has become more genuine and passionate.  My prayer time is less rote (just reading my requests and not really engaging God).  I highly recommend this read for every Christian.  I’m sure I will pick this book up again and again whenever I feel my prayer life getting stale.
    

Homiletics: 2 Peter 2


Content (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture, fit on one line):

1.But there also false proph just as there’ll bfalse tchrs:secretly intro destructv heresies denying L(1)

2.many will follow their depraved conduct & bring way of truth into dispute(2)

3.in greed, these tchrs exploit w/fabric8d stories,condemn hanging oer em, their destruction sleeping(3)

4.If G spare angels when they sinnd but sent2hell,putting em in chains of dkness4judgmt(4)

5.if He spare ancient wrld when brought flood on ungodly,ptoected Noah,preacher of rightness&7(5)

6.if He comdemnd Sodom&Gom by burning2ashes,ex of what 2happn2ungodly(6)

7.if He rescued Lot,rightus distressd by depraved conduct;living among em,tormntd by lawlss deeds(7-8)

8.L knows how 2rescue godly&hold unrighteous 4 punishmt(9)

9.This esp true those follow corrupt desire flesh/despise auth;bold&arrog,heap abuse on celes being(10)

10.even angels tho strngr heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgmt on them from L(11)

 

11.these blaspheme,lk unreasning animals,creatures of instinct,born2b caught/dstroyd,theyll perish(12)

12.theyll be pd bk harm4harm;their idea pleasure=carouse daylt;blots&blemishs,reveling in pleasure(13)

13.w/eyes full adultery,nvr stop sing,seduce unstable,experts in greed,accursed brood(14)

14.they left straight way,follow way of Balaam who lvd wages of wickedness(15)

15.he rebuked4wrongdoing by donkey, spoke w/human voce,restrained propht’s madness(16)

16.these ppl=springs w/o h2o,mists drvn by storm,blkest dkness res4them(17)

17.they mouth empty,boastflwds&by appealing2lustful desires of flesh,entice ppl(18)

18.they promise feedom while they slaves of depravity for”ppl slaves2whatevr mastered them”(19)

19.if escaped corrupt of wrld by knowing LJC,are again entangld/ovrcm,worse than @beginning(20)

20.bettr 2hv knwn rightness than turn bk;of em provn true:dog retns2vomit,sow retns2wallowng(21-22)

 

Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture/Principles are Aims for each Division):

1. God will not spare judgment of false teachers (1-11)

Principle:  Cling to Truth to avoid false teachers.

2.False Teachers: Slaves of Depravity (12-22)

Principle:  True freedom is found in Christ alone.

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure showing exactly where you are in Scripture):

God will rescue the godly and punish false teachers.

 

Aim (“To Cause My Audience To…” Know, See, etc.):

TCMATK All people are accountable to God for their actions.

 

Application (not yes or no question.  Meant to bring about life change):

1.What characteristics mark false teachers and how are you protecting yourself from studying under one or becoming one yourself?

2.How will you protect God’s people from becoming enslaved to false teaching?


A few notes on 2 Peter 2:

 

Just as there were false prophets back in the day, there will be false teachers until Christ reigns eternally.

 

How might one secretly introduce destructive heresy?  Whisper it to one person and let them pass it on?  Spread truthful sounding lies in a convincing way?  Think about it.  Paul mentions in Galatians 2:4 that false brothers infiltrate to spy on our freedom and make us slaves.  So, we believe they’re brothers and we trust them enough to get close to us and influence us.  We need to know what God’s Word says so we’re not fooled by these plausible-sounding lies!

 

Jesus purchased all mankind.  Always remember how precious you are.

 

2 Peter 2:2 says: Many will follow the depraved behavior of the false teacher and bring the way of truth into disrepute.  How?  Because people are going to be looking at the behavior of the groups of believers that are being infiltrated and led astray by false teachers and they’re going to think that this is how the body of Christ behaves.  Ouch!  We need to know what the Word says.  What if the person in question really has a heart for God and doesn’t want to do wrong but is being misled?  In Titus 3:10, Paul instructs that we should warn a divisive person.  Then we should warn them a second time.  After that, we are to have nothing to do with them.  A person who really loves God should come around when you’ve warned them.

 

False teachers are motivated by greed.  They make up stories that exploit believers.  Their condemnation is coming.  Their destruction is alive and kicking and moving quickly toward a less than stellar eternity.

 

1 John 2:18-19 says false Christs will go out from God’s people.  We need to be discerning.  We need to look very different that false believers so the lost who are looking to follow someone will have evidence to question.

 

God didn’t spare the angels when they sinned.  He sent them to hell.  The fall of Lucifer is recorded in Isaiah 14:12-7, Ezekiel 28:11-19, and Revelation 12:9 talks about him being hurled to earth with his angels.

 

God brought the flood on ungodly people, but protected a righteous Noah and his family.  Read his account in Genesis 6:9-9:28.

 

Genesis 19:1-29 shows God’s judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah and how He rescued Lot, who was tormented by the lawlessness he lived in the midst of.

 

God knows how to divide the godly from the wicked.  He knows how to spare and He knows how to judge.  And judgment is coming.

 

Judgment is coming for those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.  These are bold and arrogant people.  They are blasphemers.  Like unreasoning animals.  They are creatures of instinct.  Born to be caught and destroyed.  They, like animals, will perish.

 

They’ll be paid back harm for harm.  They are blots and blemishes.  They are blatant, out in the open pleasure-seekers.  Adulterers who never stop sinning.  They seduce the unstable.  So be stable!

 

They’ve wandered off the straight path.  This means they knew the straight path.

 

Read the story of Balaam in Numbers 22.  This prophet took money for wickedness and was reprimanded by a donkey!

 

2 Peter 2:17 says they’re like springs without water.  This is a place where you expect refreshment but find only dryness and dust!  Blackest darkness is reserved for them.

 

They speak boastfully.  They appeal to our lustful desires.  They entice.  They promise freedom but are really slaves of depravity.

 

Galatians 5:20 lists the following heretical behavior: idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions and factions.  These are not harmless in attitude or action.  These are foundational in pitting the bearer directly against Christ.

 

In John 17, Christ prayed for unity between His people, His Father and Himself.  You cannot have unity in an entity that is being divided.  We must seek unity as Christians with Christians.

 

Read Jude’s letter in conjunction with this chapter.  Some phrasing is almost verbatim between the two.  The parallels indicate the importance of the subject matter.  We also see similar language and content in Paul’s epistles.  False teachers are as prevalent and dangerous now as they were then.  Beware!

 

Jude 4 refers to condemned people who have secretly slipped in among believers.  These ungodly people pervert grace into a license to live immorally.

 

Jude 5 reminds us that the Lord delivered His people out of Egypt then later destroyed those who didn’t believe.  Those He destroyed were originally counted among God’s people but they were not true believers.

 

In Colossians 2:1-4, Paul says he contends for the Colossians and the Laodiceans!  He didn’t want them to be deceived by fine-sounding arguments (Colossians 2:4).  Yet, in spite of Paul’s efforts, the Laodiceans may not have escaped that deception.  We see what happened to them in Revelation 3:15!  Christ is scolding them for being neither hot nor cold.  We don’t want to end up the same way.

 

So how do we keep our passion?  We cling to the Truth.  We recognize that true freedom comes from being in Christ.  We acknowledge what we’ve been rescued from.  We treasure what we’ve been redeemed for.  We know we are loved and treasured.  We love and serve because we are loved.  We pray and confess our sins because we are loved.  We meet God daily and allow Him to speak life into us, teaching us who we are to Him.
    

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