Urgent: 911

Elwin Ahu

"Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude 1:3)
Jude's letter reads like a "911" call to all the saints sent with an urgent reminder to "contend earnestly for the faith." There was a war against terror being fought, a battle being waged against insurgents infiltrating the church. Many of the saints were being deceived and duped into crossing over to the other side to follow their own lusts and worldly-minded desires.

Jude's observation comes as no surprise: "These are the men who are hidden reefs ... caring for themselves, clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit." They were men who presented an outer appearance that ran inconsistent with their inner being. They presented two faces to the world, no different from thespians who changed their masks to match their on-stage character; different faces for different places - hypocrites at heart.

That same battle still rages on today. There is a deception striking at the hearts of Christian men; families are failing, leaders are falling, almost as if tracking a downward spiral in tandem with the declining economy. But this spiritual warfare has nothing to do with economics. It is, however, directly linked to a lack of character and integrity in men today, just as it was thousands of years ago. It seems as if this disease of the inner man has advanced to epidemic proportions today, especially within the Church. Men seeking their own selfish desires, following after their own lusts, lie at the core of Jude's "911" to today's men. It should be a clarion call of the Church for men to arm themselves, to "contend earnestly for the faith."

That's why letters like Jude's remain relevant today. For me, it serves as a spiritual mirror into which I need to look, daily, to review my heart and expose my own character.
How do I stand before the Lord and what do I reflect to others in my life?
Are my actions, thoughts and desires consistent with my spiritual core values;

What will fail me, and my family, won't be the downturn in the economy, it won't be the rising cost of fuel or costs for goods and services. It will be my lack of integrity. Integrity: either you have it, or you don't. And when it's missing, there should be a "911" alarm triggered in every man's heart. May it be so within me.
Father, forgive me for the battles that I've lost in the past within my mind and my heart. Strengthen my inner man so that I will be able to fight the good fight and finish this race with You. Too many men are perishing today from a lack of integrity. Help me to keep my spiritual core strong and consistent with Your ways.

Devotions for July 02

Isaiah 4,5
Psalms 115,116

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