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September 27, 2014

Where to Put Your Energy?

Jude 1:18-23 English Standard Version (ESV)

18 They[a] said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.”19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.

We only have 24 hours everyday. The challenge many of us are facing is where do we put our time and energy every single day. As Christians, the temptation is to put them somewhere that doesn’t matter for eternity.

In the book of Jude, he warns us that in the last days, there will be scoffers (whether religious or not) who would follow their ungodly passions that would cause divisions in the church and who would move in the flesh or do things that would give them reason to sin or cause others to sin even to the point of using Bible verses out of context to justify such behavior.

I have personally seen this with the people who believed in the teaching that the grace of God has forgiven us already so let us sin more to experience God’s grace more. Or let’s sin since we are already forgiven.

Some, to a lighter extent but operating on the same spirit would justify the right of every Christian to drink beer and wine, to smoke a bit but not excessively, to test the boundaries of sexual pleasure (not committing sex but would do everything short of sex) and so on and so forth, if you get what I mean. It is not sin but it is also not wise and beneficial and for some would cause as a stumbling block.

So we see groups of people forming a tribe to fight for their right to party the Christian way – let us smoke, drink, be sexually active but with boundaries. We have read and seen some godly pastors preaching on it is okay to drink but not get drunk and drink for the glory of God and honestly I get the idea but what I don’t get is the way it is communicated. Why make a big fuss about something that won’t even affect history or change people? Recently some churches had to back track on their teaching that drinking is okay because their congregation went too far in applying it in their small groups and personal lives that they start getting drunk.

In the book of Jude, we are commanded where to expend our energies as Christians and it is not on the subject of our trivial passions.

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment[b] stained by the flesh.

1. Build yourselves up in your most holy faith. 

Faith comes from hearing and reading the Word. Exert your energy in building up your faith by devouring the Scripture and applying it. Have a Bible reading plan. Listen to podcast of preachers that preach the Word of God.

2. Pray in the Spirit.

Prayer is essential for a Christian. Prayer is not to get us ready for the battle – prayer is the battle. Through prayer, we wage war against the enemy. Intercede, get a prayer notebook, pray for the unreached people of the world, pray for God to use you to disciple others.

If there is one area where the Scripture tells us to get drunk, it is in the Holy Spirit. Let the Spirit of God overflow in you so you can effectively reach the nations.

3. Keep yourself in the love of God, waiting for His mercy.

Preach the gospel to yourself everyday. Remind your self of God’s grace. Let the love of God define you. Let the mercy of God remind you of who we are before and who you are now.

4. Extend mercy to those who doubt. 

Build relationships and start discipling others who don’t know Jesus yet. Do it with the spirit of grace and mercy.

5. Save others by snatching them out of the fire. 

Share the gospel to those in need. Preach Jesus. Pray and reach out to people whom God has put a burden in your heart. When was the last time you led anyone to Christ? It takes time to engage, establish, equip and empower disciples to make disciples. I think this is where our energy should go.

It’s time we do something bigger than ourselves rather than debating on the latest theological issues or proving that Calvinism is better than Arminianism, or defending your right to drink beer and wine. Let’s get busy doing the right thing.