Daily Devotion, 12/12/2018, “Worm Issues, Part 1”
Jude 2-4 NLT May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love. Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
As Christ-followers in Christ-following, Spirit-led and biblically based churches, we have a difficult dilemma to dance through. On one hand, we realize that we are all sinners saved only by the “marvelous grace” of God. None of us are perfect and all of us are on a journey of being transformed from our fallen sinful ways into the likeness of Christ. On the other hand, there is a personal holiness, morality and faith defined by the scriptures that we are to live by, promote and, as Jude writes, defend. The dilemma is this, how do we defend the holy moral standards of the scriptures knowing full well that we ourselves have battled or are currently battling the same issues? How do we stand for what is right when we know the wrong that we ourselves have done without sounding self-righteous, hypocritical and unloving? For example, the sexual immorality in our culture has impacted all of us in some way. Pornography, homosexuality, couples living together before marriage, affairs that lead to divorce and remarriage, sexual promiscuity…you get the picture. Most, if not all, in the church have dealt with or are dealing with these temptations at some level. Because of our personal sin history and corresponding need of grace, we tend to minimize the weight of our sin, water down the standards of God and excuse the immoral behavior of others.
Give this all some thought and prayer and we will come back to it tomorrow. In the meantime,“May God give you (and me) more and more mercy, peace, and love.”
You are loved!