Summary: Only one life that will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.
“of some have compassion, making a difference.” Jude 22
Not long ago, off the coast of the Dominican Republic, a couple was attempting to break the free-diving record (a sport of testing how deep a person can go on one gulp of air). After Audrey had descended to the predetermined depth of 561 ft, her lift bag tragically did not inflate. What should have been a three minute trip without oxygen, turned into eight minutes of eternity while her husband, Fransisco, watched helplessly from the surface. She would never live again in this life; what a tragedy. Living on the edge to break sporting records… dying in vain.
Only one life that will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.
This year our church will focus on Making a Difference. In order to do so, we must
1. Determine to Remain Close. In Jude 20-21, notice each time the plural pronouns are used: ye, yourselves, etc. We have been brought together by the Holy General (1 Cor. 12:4-18) – and together we must remain. We are not the body of Christ separated. I am not the church by myself – only as I unite and gather with other believers (Heb. 10:25-26). As parents, as a family, as a church, as friends, as a team, as brothers and sisters in Christ – we are called away from the world’s pattern of individualism and self-centered pride (Jude 19) into a community of unity.
If we are to Make a Difference, we must
2. Deliver Compassion. When you think of love, who do you think of? Christ? Another Christian? Jude 22 says that differences are made by compassion. Real love. I recently saw a short video about a street-preacher who packed his box of tracts and went out into the city to preach. He shouted loudly about hell and judgment and sin. He proudly condemned people to hell, especially those who rejected his message. He took the truth to the streets – but he forgot the love and mercy of our Savior. Will we care enough to take time or to spend a dime on someone in need? We are good at talking – can we listen? As two men walked along the beach at low tide, one picked up starfish tossing them back into the deep water. “You’ll never save them all,” quipped the older man. As the younger bent over to pick up another, he said, “Yes, but to this one – it makes all the difference.”
We will not Make a Difference, unless we
3. Dare to Make Contact. Jude 23 implies that we might even have to pull some out of the fire who are at the edge of hell – ready to fall into the pit. But how can we reach a world we never touch? I believe in separation – but many Christians have enjoyed the comforts of isolation instead of the power of real sanctification. Those of a different church, a different color, a different kind, a different background. What will I do to reach those outside of my comfort-zone? What about those who intimidate me with their lifestyle? If I continue to fear, I will not be able to make a difference. Jude 24 reminds me that “God is Able” to hold me up in every thing (Phil. 4:13) and give me all the strength I need. Brother Lot lived in a city where he could really make a difference – but he failed to do so, even amongst his own family (Genesis 19:15-16).