Hosea 10:1-14:9, Jude 1:1-25, Ps 127:1-5, Pr 29:15-17
Today is the 8th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is a pleasure and an honor to be here with you as we prepare to close the books, right, close the books on another week and allow it to become a part of our history, but before all that we have to take the next, well, we have to live through this day, but we have to take the next step forward as we move through the Scriptures. And I’ve been mentioning along the way, you know, kind of as we move into the latter part of October and then through November that things kind of speed up. We’re going to the minor prophets which are short. We’re going through some short letters in the New Testament. So, we’re kind of moving rapidly as we move toward the end of the year. So, we’ll complete the book of Hosea today in the Old Testament. And then when we get to the New Testament we’ll talk about Jude because that’s a letter we’re about to read. And we will read Jude in its entirety today, which will pave the way tomorrow for the beginning of the final book of the New Testament. So, that’s the lay of the land and that’s where we are in the year. So, we’ve been reading from the God’s word translation all of this week, which is what we’ll do today. Hosea chapter 10 verse 1 through 14 verse 9.
Introduction to the Letter of Jude:
Okay. So, like we mentioned at the beginning, we just concluded the book of Hosea and we will now be beginning the book or the letter the epistle of Jude and will read it in its entirety. It’s 25 verses long and it may sound a little familiar. Many biblical scholars accept the idea that Second Peter, a letter that we read, just days ago, actually imitates Jude’s letter. And if this is true, then Jude’s letter predates Second Peter, which would mean that Juda dates somewhere into the mid 60s A.D. And if this is not the case then the letter could be as late as the end of Jude’s life, which would be somewhere around maybe 80 A.D. But that might be getting a little ahead of ourselves. I mean, like, who is Jude, and this questions actually been raised throughout the entirety of church history. And it continues to be examined among scholars all the way up until now but if we’re moving in the direction of consensus then the majority of traditional scholars agree that Jude, or the Jude that wrote this letter, was the brother of James and the brother of Jesus. But even though he is the brother of Jesus he wasn’t an apostle, he didn’t believe in Jesus during His ministry. It’s interesting what resurrection will do to your belief. But anyway, no matter the trajectory, Jude definitely did become a part of the church and a voice in the church but it’s just not clear who this letter was addressed to. Like, Jude says that he’s writing to all who have been called by God the Father who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ. And that’s who he’s writing this letter to. So, that could basically be any believe any time ever. And, so, we can certainly apply this to ourselves but we can see like specifically identifying exactly who the intended reader was, that’s a bit ambiguous. If the similarities between Second Peter and Jude are correct then Jude was likely writing the same people that Peter wrote to and that would be the displaced believers who were fleeing persecution or people who had been exiled in generations past, like the stuff that we’re reading about in the books of prophecy, right, the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles when the kingdoms fell. So, here’s the interesting thing about Jude. Jude had been planning on writing a completely different letter than the one that he actually did write. And he says that in his greeting. So, instead of writing a letter of encouragement and rejoicing words of salvation he had to write about defending the faith. And this was brought up because of an issue that was a widespread and it was a false teaching like some of the other letters were aimed at. And this was a teaching about God’s grace. I mean, this particular issue is addressed many, many times in many letters in the New Testament. So, basically what was going on was that the teaching of an unmerited favor, which is grace, bestowed upon us by God has always been a core understanding of the Christian faith. Like, we’re taught in Scripture, this is a gift, it’s not something we can earn. It’s grace, It’s God’s mercy. So, some people began to twist the concept into a license to do whatever they wanted with whomever they chose whenever they liked because, after all, sins no longer held against us and God’s grace can’t be earned anyway. So, we’re good. Like, we can to whatever we want. Jude forcefully opposes this idea throughout most of the letter. And it’s not as if this behavior isn’t still with us. Jude clearly warns us away from that notion, that path. And then in closing, we’re instructed to remember that false teachings we’re something that were foretold, they were predicted. And, so, the community of faith needs to build each other up in the power of the Holy Spirit. And for those who had unfortunately been deceived, then the community was to be cautious but merciful. And, so, like I said, this is the last stop before we move into the final book of the Bible which is known as the book of Revelation. And then that will be moving us in completely different directions. So, let’s remember because this is like our last stop. These letters that we’ve been kind of moving through for a little while, let’s remember what they have told us because they have told us that the story of radical unspeakable grace is actually true but when we partake of that grace we are entering into a covenantal relationship. So, it matters what we do, it matters how we conduct ourselves because our actions are the true statement of our love for one another and for our faith in Jesus. And, so, we begin, and we’ll read in its entirety the book or letter of Jude.
Father, as we close this week we acknowledge that we have three weeks that remain in this year a year of hope and we acknowledge the words in the Psalms today and we take them to heart, we place them deep within ourselves and ask Your Holy Spirit to continually remind us of this. If You don’t build the house it’s useless to work on it. If You don’t protect city. It’s useless to work hard and get up early and go to bed late in our own strength when it is You who feeds us, it is You who loves us and gives us sleep. So, come Holy Spirit we pray as we release another week into our history and look forward to the weeks ahead that remain in this year because we’re not checking out, we’re just acknowledging where we are in the grand scheme of things as we’re moving toward the end of the year, but we’re not checking out. We know that You have much to speak to us and we cling to You. We find our rest in You. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
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And I’ve if you’re using the Daily Audio Bible app you can find out what’s going on around here as well. All of the other things I’m talking about are in the app. But it’s Christmas time. And, so, a few things happen around Christmas time. One is the More Gathering for women that happens every April. Registration opens because it is the most unique and life impacting gift that we know of. Ahhh…when you give this to your wife or your mom and send her and offer her the opportunity to have some time to breathe, a place to go that’s safe but where there’s no obligations or responsibilities and the opportunity to just feel one’s heart beating again and just consider what the future might hold and invite Jesus into that…ohhh…well…that’s the recipe for More and it’s the More Gathering for women. And come. Come. This will be the last time…the end of an era…the last time we’ll be doing this in Georgia. And we’re just praying and waiting on the Lord for what comes next. But this is following the leading of the Lord, to bring to bring that location to an end. So, let’s celebrate together at Sharptop Cove on the top of the mountain one more time. You can get all the details at dailyaudiobible.com in the Initiatives section or visit moregathering.com and that’ll take you to the same place.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.