Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals for August 8-9 are provided by Joanna Tzen of GCC.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. 14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
Charles Spurgeon, a British preacher in the 1800’s, describes those who are never content, in a funny and even slightly irreverent way: “They are discontented even with the gospel. The bread of heaven must be cut into three pieces, and served on dainty napkins, or else they cannot eat it; and very soon their soul hates even this light bread. There is no way by which a Christian man can serve God so as to please them. They will pick holes in every preacher’s coat; and if the great High Priest himself were here, they would find fault with the color of the stones of his breastplate.”
We probably can all think of someone like this in our lives and they are not much fun to be around. (No doubt this would include you and me at one time or another.) Jude is saying that discontent is just one way we can tell that we have begun to drift away from intimacy with the Lord and are more caught up in the motions of religion. This passage is directed to those who are already in the Church, not outside of it. He warns the early Church of those among them who only have a “form of godliness” (2 Tim 3:5). These people may have had a great walk with the Lord at one point but have come to a place of self-centeredness and entitlement, thereby not bearing fruit and not trusting the Lord, as reflected in their actions and their beliefs. Jude calls them “clouds without rain,” “trees without fruit,” and “stars that do not guide.” What was once very promising at the outset ended up producing little or nothing. Jude goes on to stress that the Lord will hold those who embody this kind of heart and attitude accountable.
Humbly examine your heart and ask if you are just going through the motions or have a genuine relationship with your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Does the way you live reflect that you put your trust in Jesus? Or does it not look much different from the rest of the world that relies on the self? It’s never too late to come humbly before the Father and ask that He help you stop doing religion and start abiding in Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, forgive me when I only go through the motions of religion and am actually relying on myself. Help me to lay down my pride, fear, self-sufficiency and trust in you instead. I know you are a trustworthy Heavenly Father. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Titus 1-2