Tag Archives: care

Shrink Wrapped by the Father for Jesus! [Book of Jude]

ImageOften we have packages we want to ship or packages are shipped to us in what we have come to know as “shrink wrapping.” Polymer plastic is wrapped around a fragile object and then heat is applied so that the plastic conforms to the image. The NET Bible translates: 1:1 From Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called, wrapped in the love of God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ. Immediately the image of shrinking wrapping came to mind! As a manufacturer applies heat the heat shrinking process begins and the plastic film being used then conforms to the image. How like God to “shrink wrap” me so I can be protected from the elements of this world. His shrink wrapping consists not of plastic but His love and the Holy Spirit’s power. How protective is the Father’s Love!

Jude reminds his readers that they are Beloved of the Father, they are kept in His love. This is a reminder that the Holy Spirit is given to me to keep me, protect me. His protection is lost when wI grieve or quench His power. That is why I must be earnestly seeking to be filled each and every day.  It is the prayer of Jude that I know that the Father has lavished, note that this is past tense, His mercy, peace and love upon these believers and this applies to me as well. And all of this happens inside that shrink wrapping! Do you feel special yet Beloved? I feel so wonderfully protected, how about you, do you feel protected?

But Jude also wants those who are the beloved to contend earnestly for the faith that has been entrusted to them. Paul said much the same to Timothy: “Compete well for the faith and lay hold of that eternal life you were called for and made your good confession for in the presence of many witnesses.” [1Tim 6]

From there Jude builds his message to them with several important reminders:

  1. Build yourselves up on your most holy faith
  2. Keep yourselves in God’s love
  3. Have mercy upon the doubters, save others, snatch them from the grasp of the evil one
  4. Remember is only Jesus that can keep you from stumbling. Only He can make you stand holy and unblemished in His presence with great joy.

As you ponder this very short and powerful letter, contend earnestly, warmly, zealously, with great eagerness. Think about being shrink wrapped in the Father’s love and praise Him for His love and care.

 

1Cor 5 “Teachable Moment of Time Out!”

ImageOnce a parent always a parent. Can you recall long ago when our fathers/mothers disciplined us saying: this hurts me more than you? Now in the role of a parent you see the wisdom of that statement. Parenting skills never go away even when your children are adults. Paul took seriously his role as a parent to the fledgling church in Corinth. “I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel” [1Cor 4:15] and in that role knew that there would come times when as a parent, one must discipline.

How does a parent lovingly discipline? As Paul wrote to Timothy in another letter, he gave us the wisdom of what the Word lovingly does and we can apply that same principle to parenting: “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”[2Tim 3:16]. We are to teach our children, reprove/rebuke them, correct their faulty thinking and behaviors, and train them up “Prov 22:6 Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

When you were naughty did you often anticipate the parent’s return with dread or did you go on with no thought of what lay ahead? That is part of the picture Paul is painting for us as he reminded them that just because he was absent physically he was there in spirit. Jesus too as our head is not with us physically but is with us in Spirit “And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” Paul gently asked them: “Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline or with love and a spirit of gentleness?” If Jesus were to return right now which of these might we want him to administer?

The Corinthian church had a serious problem. One congregant was co-habiting with his father’s wife. As a church they had failed to discipline this man and in fact were accepting it and were proud. Why were they not sorrowing over this serious sin? Why had they not administered discipline?  Paul says this is so serious that not even the Gentiles would think of doing this. What were they thinking of?

Paul then lovingly corrects their faulty thinking/behavior. This sin will infect the entire church just as yeast infects the dough. Remove this evil person from among you! You as a parent might have done it this way: go to your room to think about it. Isolate the child.  For the Corinthians isolation of this man with no participation in the Lord’s Table, no fellowship with individuals, no small groups of believers is Paul’s counsel with the hope that he will reflect on his sin. Further, it is hoped that he will see how it is affecting the whole body and return to the fellowship renewed in spirit, pure in spirit and behavior and willingness to obey.  As a parent or a teacher you have probably administered this same “time out” and seen the effectiveness of isolation.

So how do we apply this today? (1) Lifestyle: keep oneself unstained by the world.  (2) Follow the steps of 2Tim: Teach, rebuke, correct, train both in the home and in the church, (3) Consider that Jesus may return at any moment. Is there any sin within you or the church that needs attention? Remove the evil among you and be ye cleansed. Be ye holy as I am holy saith the Lord. (4) Follow the discipline principles of Matt 18 (one on one, two on one, bring to church). (5) Because you love you will: never give up. And care more for others than for yourself. [1Cor 13 MSG]

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