Instructions from Jude, Part 5

Jude 17-23, “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.  They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.”  It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.  But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.  And have mercy on those who doubt, save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.”  

Verse 22, “And have mercy on those who doubt,”

A short simple verse, yet it is not so simple to heed.  Many times, mercy isn’t our forte.  As we grow in our faith and as God’s Word changes us so that we are transformed more and more into the image of Christ, do we show mercy more?  Or do we show our own arrogance more?  I think about that a lot regarding things I used to believe and think about Scripture.  Over the decades God has changed many of my beliefs.  Some were minor things I didn’t truly understand, others changed my life drastically.  Not that God’s Word changes but as we continue to study it our understanding increases.

Do we forget what it means to doubt at times?  Not that we want to be unsure in our faith, for Scripture speaks of the assurance we can have in Christ.  Have mercy on those who doubt.  Sometimes that means that I have to be patient with the weaker brother, gently leading him in the things of faith.  Other times, that means I am to lovingly point him to truth of God’s Word and the promises on which we stand.

Psalm 89:1-2, “I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.  For I said, ‘Steadfast love will be built up forever; in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.’”