Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Loving God: Basking In His Love
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Loving God: Basking In His Love

Jude 1:20-21 (HCSB) But you, dear friends, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, expecting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.

Intro.: I want to begin by telling you about two men.

  1. Oswald Chambers was a well known Christian leader from the early 20th century.

  2. He was born in 1874 to Baptist parents in Scotland. As a teen, he and his father attended a series of services conducted by Charles Spurgeon. While walking home, he mentioned to his father that if an invitation had been given, he would have gone forward.

  3. That night was where he always dated his conversion – but he struggled. He did not always find his answers in Christianity and found the Bible dull and, personally, uninspiring.

  4. It would take four years of spiritual dryness before he would realize that he could not force himself to be holy. It was only when he finally that Christ had traded His life Oswald's sin that he would experience the renewal that defined the rest of his life.

  5. Oswald's ministry would take him from Scotland, to Egypt, Japan, and America

  6. Now, I have to be honest – today's message, as well as last week's message had its beginnings in a sermon preached by Oswald Chambers December 1916, in Alexandria, Egypt.1


TS The second man I want to tell you about is a bit more obscure.

  1. He is the author of today's text – Jude.

  2. We don't normally think of Jesus as having siblings – but he did – we know the names of two James and Jude.

  3. Scripture suggests that they did not come to faith readily. But at least some of them did and God used two of them write two books of the Bible.

  4. Jude wanted to write a letter discussing the salvation he shared with the rest of the church – but chose to write instead words that prepare his readers for those who would try to destroy their faith.

  1. In the middle of today's passage is a single command: Keep yourselves in the love of God.

    1. God is love” - we learned that last week.

    2. But keeping ourselves in that love is something else.

    3. Most of us have been taught since childhood how to keep warm and as adults, most of us have learned to drive.

    4. But you know, scripture never tells us to keep warm, scripture never tells us to drive a car.

    5. Scripture does tell us to “keep yourselves in the love of God

    6. I find it interesting the “keep” is an active verb. We cannot sit around and do nothing. It requires WORK.

(Ill.) Have you ever watched a child in a pool – I don't know how it works now, but when I was a child, the pool had rules that all the children had to leave the pool for ten minutes every hour. But, if you are a child, you never want to leave that pool. You want to stay in the water.

    1. It requires the focused attention of one who desires to experience God's love.

    2. But what to do, how to do it.

(Ill.) I could almost imagine one of those cartoon characters walking all over the movie screen, “What to do? What to do? What to do?”

    1. And that is the question that Jude will help us to answer – you will notice three phrases each beginning with a participle: building, praying, and expecting.

  1. Building yourselves up in your most holy faith

    1. Building” is an interesting Greek word – the word ep oi kod om e ho refers to a house that has a sturdy foundation, but still needs its walls and roof added to be completed. Occasionally, you will find a building that is left with the foundation but nothing else, but it means that something has gone wrong with the construction – the builder went bankrupt, the required components were not available.2

    2. So recognizing that we are a building in progress, we are to work at building ourselves ... - now wait just a minute. It is a whole lot easier for me to worry about you, than to worry about me. Sometimes, it is easier to worry about someone else, than to care for myself. But, if I am a foundation ready to be built on, then I don't want to remain a foundation all my life – I want to be the building that God wants me to be.

    3. And, like any good builder, God tells us what to build with – our most holy faith.

    4. The first step in keeping ourselves in God's love is building ourselves in our most holy faith.

  2. Praying in the Holy Spirit

    1. To keep ourselves in God's love, we also need to be “praying in the Holy Spirit.

(Ill) Joshua's best friend from Iowa was able to come to his wedding. Now this friend has been dating a young lady for a couple of years and for most people that would sound pretty serious. But you see there is a catch – the girl is moving to Japan for a couple of years to teach English. The problem, and the couple recognize it, is that long distance relationships are very difficult to maintain. I don't know how they will handle it, but when it comes to our spiritual life, the lack of communication will get us nowhere.

    1. Do you want to keep in God's love, keep the communication paths open.

(Ill.) I have a on again, off again love affair with country music. There is a song that I have heard several times this week that talks about the things a son learns from their father. But there is a line in that song that goes like this:

Just this side of bedtime later that night

Turnin’ on my son’s Scooby-doo nightlight.

He crawled out of bed and he got down on his knees.

He closed his little eyes, folded his little hands

Spoke to God like he was talkin’ to a friend.

And I said, “Son, now where’d you learn to pray like that?”

He said I've been watching you dad, ain't that cool

I'm your buckaroo, I wanna be like you.“3

(Appl.) Now there a number of points I could make here, but I want to point out that this son was talking to God as if he were a friend. We can learn to talk to God as our friend – so not only is it not a long distance relationship, it can also be a close relationship. God does not need to be a long way off, God does not want to be a long way off.

    1. When you pray, you are talking to a friend.

  1. Waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

    1. There are some topics I haven't spent a lot of time preaching on.

    2. One of those is the events that are God has planned to bring time as we know it to a close. My problem is that there are so many different schemes that the best of scholars have found woven through scripture.

    3. But, and it is a big BUT, that does not mean that I do not believe that Christ will not be returning. It means that I am not sure how he will do it.

    4. And part of our job is to be waiting – and looking for the fulfillment of Christ's love for us. The day will come that we will spend eternity in His presence.

Conclusion: One command – keep yourselves in the love of God. And then Jude gives us three keys to doing just that -

  1. Build up your faith

  2. Pray in the Holy Spirit

  3. Wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ



2Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (G2026). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.


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