Practical Proverbial, from Jude, 9 December 2020 Today’s topic: Jude’s Downer

These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead.  Jude 12 (NIV).

I’m going to admit:   this verse is a bit of a downer.   I mean, when someone splashes cold water on your face and you realize, “hey, they splashed cold water on my face,” after you get over the shock it can be a bit of a downer.   But it still matters.

In our politics, our politicians are self-serving.   That’s nothing new; self-serving nature goes to the very nature of politics.   Yet in our time, when so much money and power are tied to political office, “the little guy” is easily forgotten and overlooked.   It’s almost like politicians today are blemishes, shepherds who only feed themselves, clouds without rain, blown along by the wind, trees that don’t produce fruit and are dead inside.

Or even our churches; yes, I’m going there.   During this 2020 pandemic, so many churches were forced to close.   Sure, we should respect civil authority, but so many churches nationwide are still closed while civil authorities ignore real spiritual crises.   The COVID disease is serious, but churches don’t close for other outbreaks of equally contagious diseases that happen every year.   Yet the leaders of so many of our churches seem deaf, almost as if they’re afraid to defy the secular government instead of ministering to hurting flocks.   Again, blemishes, hungry shepherds, rainless clouds, and dead trees.

Or, yes, our families.   My wife and I were talking about this very thing in one of our devotions this week.   Namely, that our families need to be led to be spiritual leaders.   That our time with God as a nation starts with how we spend time with him as couples and families.   It is 15 days until Christmas, and I wonder how many folks actually anticipate Jesus Christ as the real gift at Christmas instead of the dozens of gifts under the tree.   Do we really have meaningful relationships with Jesus that we are working to pass onto our kids and grandkids, or is prayer just a wish-factory and God is just that thing we turn to when we’re in trouble?   Blemish, lost shepherd, puffy cloud, dead inside.

Where do you find yourself in this?  Jude’s verse here is a downer, indeed, but it’s a sober one, meant to warn us about people whose spiritual apathy (or even antagonism) endangers how we practice our relationship with God.   Like the aphorism says, if we feel distant from God, it isn’t Him who’s moved away. 

For further reading:  Proverbs 25:14, Ezekiel 34:2, Ephesians 4:14, Jude 13

Lord Jesus, strengthen my faith in You to resist those whose conduct tries to distract or hurt me.   Forgive them, but keep them from me.

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Published by aspiringwriterdt

It's about God...it's about the life He gives us...it's about going day by day...it's about you. It's not about me.

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