In the very short book of Jude, the writer warns us about people who divert, disrupt and destroy the work of God. These individuals are said to also “worm their way in,” perverting the grace of God. The writer goes on to describe these people as dangerous reefs, shameless shepherds, empty clouds, wild waves, and wandering stars (Jude 1:12-13). Notice the underlying “form-without-substance” connotation; shepherds caring only for themselves; clouds offering no rain, waves only stirring up foam, etc. All their actions and flattery serve as a means for them to simply get what they want.
Several years ago, when I read that I remembered I…had known a guy. The guy I knew loved Jesus and would never have wanted to pervert the grace of God. He actually had enough understanding to be somewhat productive in the Kingdom of God. He had never set out to deliberately divert, disrupt or destroy anything or anyone. Somewhere along the line though, he lost focus and after some time he found himself willing to cast aside anything holy in his life for selfish gain. The brother didn’t even know why he had become that way.
Thankfully, one day the light of the Lord penetrated that guy’s hard self-centered heart. All the hidden motives were finally exposed. The Holy Spirit began revealing why those motives were even there in the first place; why he seemed driven to do certain things. Quickly godly men responded and chose to rescue that man as though snatching him from the flames. Yes, they brought a harsh rebuke and correction, but they also extended the mercy and love of God to him. Daily they spoke the Word of God into him and over him.
Now, I know this new guy. One who thinks differently, walks differently, and talks differently. This guy strives to snatch others from the flames so that they too can be free. By the grace of God, he responds when others are walking through their own dark days. He chooses to extend the same mercy and grace that he received. The Word of God is spoken into and over the lives of others as it was his. This guy understands WHY it is that freed people want to see people free. He gets why Jude reminds us that we are to build others up in the faith and pray for them in the power of the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20-23).
News flash: God takes seriously anything that hinders His plans and purposes in lives of His people. So let the light of the Lord penetrate down deep and expose any hidden motives in your own life. Because, I’m telling you right now, you don’t want to be another guy who can say…I knew a guy!
“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.” – Jude v24
Kind of makes me want to sing…Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, “thanks” Jude!