Mercy and Courage

Rod Shimabukuro

Jude 22 Be merciful to those who doubt;23snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
It’s so interesting to me that Jude, the half brother of Jesus, probably came to faith after Jesus’ resurrection. “Even his brothers did not believe him.” Jn 7:5 But I can see the strength and conviction of Jude, to write with such passion and faith, coming to faith and experiencing doubters and antagonizers like he was. Jude addresses the evil, ungodly deceivers who have slipped into the church to poison their faith.

There’s a healthy, spiritual balance for Christians to love ungodly people while hating their sin clothing. Many non Christians look at church folks as judgmental hypocrites, I think because of our lack of mercy. Yet sometimes, we are seen as spineless, wishy-washy weaklings because “we live as the ungodly live - in sin, careless and void of a righteous life!”
I find myself this morning really evaluating my heart in this area of being merciful and loving to “doubters and weaklings” yet boldly addressing sin stained corruption.

In the convenience of avoiding conflict, I stray at times from addressing lukewarm Christians who are living in sin, whose words speak of of worldliness. Yet on the other hand, I am IMPATIENT to the MAX, when weak Christians, living a lukewarm life are waffling in their faith, doubting God, questioning the existence of God. They should “KNOW BETTER” is what I feel.

Then the reality of where I would be settles in to my heart if others around me were fierce in judgement when I was wavering. Or if I didn’t have caring friends and mentors who avoided my sinful, worldly ways - who didn’t confront me in love? Where would I be?

So I evaluate, confess, repent and am renewed to be like Jude - to obey his teachings and warnings.
Dear God ALL MIGHTY! You really are fierce in judgement, loving in showing mercy. Thank you for not letting me off the hook, for Your prompt warnings of my fleshly behavior, attitudes and heart. Thank you for always showing me mercy and loving me by convicting me of my sins.
Help me to love and show mercy to the fallen, worldly lives around me. To not be judgmental, yet being mindful to NOT avoid the conflict of addressing sin. Jesus fill me, guide me, anoint me - with Your presence!

Devotions for July 02

Isaiah 4,5
Psalms 115,116

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