Building Yourself Up in the Faith: Jude 1:20-21
“20) But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21) keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.” Jude 1:20-21
I value these two verses. They remind me that every Christian needs to assume responsibility for their own spiritual growth. Every Christian needs a daily plan for personal growth and development. We need to follow Judes advice and “build ourselves up in the most holy faith.” Let me take a moment and share part of my daily growth journey with you.
First, I spend daily time reading and studying the Word of God. I read approximately five chapters in the Old Testament and three to five chapters in the New Testament. This is my personal system I’ve built over the years. Let me briefly share how it works for me.
Every day I try to read one chapter from the Law (Genesis – Deuteronomy) Then one chapter from Old Testament history books. (Joshua – Job) Then one chapter each from Psalms and Proverbs. Then I read one chapter from the Old Testament prophets. (Ecclesiastes – Malachi) Then I divide the New Testament into three parts. These parts are 1) The New Testament History books (the four Gospels and Acts), 2) The first part of the Epistles (Romans – Philemon), 3) The Last part of the Epistles (Hebrews – Revelation) Some seasons of my life I am able to double this system daily. It keeps me very fresh and current on the Bible as a whole.
Second, I try to write the Daily Bible Commentary early every morning. This usually takes between one and two hours. I actually do the writing first followed by my daily reading. If I don’t get all of the reading done one day, I pick up where I left off the next day. I record my reading schedule in my schedule book each day. My goal is to be done with my writing and Bible reading by 7:00 AM.
Third, I am constantly slipping into my prayer and communion with God mode. The last several years I have been deepening my walk in the Spirit. I pray and commune with God when I lay down, when I’m driving, when I sitting and chilling out and when I’m basically going throughout my day. I also listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I have discovered that listening is a crucial part of my communion with God.
Forth, I work consciously and constantly at keeping myself in the love of God. By nature I’m an impatient and angry man. I have made Colossians 3:12-17 my pursuit in recent years. I have found it helpful to extinguish anger the moment it flares up. Instant prayer, forgiveness and love are packed together into my personal fire extinguisher. I do fire fighting nearly every day with my inner attitudes. If I don’t extinguish them on the attitude level they slip out of my mouth or become part of my actions. At that point, a forest fire is ignited involving other people.
Fifth, I try to keep myself insulated and unspotted from the world. My life has been a journey of personal freedom from deception, rebellion, anger and bitterness, immoral lusts and sensuality, chemical dependency, pride and greed and any an all footholds of the enemy. These seven area’s are part of the “Ten Steps to Personal Freedom” I teach in my Spiritual Warfare Seminar. I highly value moral purity, a clear conscious and moment to moment communion with God.
Sin grieves the Holy Spirit, so I put narrow and defined boundaries around myself. For me that translates to near zero TV and absolutely zero anything that comes close to being sensual or pornographic. I refuse to open that door or it will ensnare me and destroy me. Gods grace has given me huge victory in this area, but it was a long and hard fought battle.
I am also drug and alcohol free. I basically refrain from all alcohol and try to use good nutrition and exercise as my medication. You have to build you own self discipline, convictions and boundaries, but they are essential for building yourself up in the holy faith. Spiritual, physical, moral and emotional freedom are priceless to me and a pathway to deep and intimate communion with God.
Please understand, I am not talking about a system of legalism. I shun legalism like a terrible disease. There is no joy in legalism. I am talking about walking in the Holy Spirit, living by grace, enjoying personal freedom and a clear conscience. This both opens the door and becomes the byproduct of constant communion with God while walking in the light as He is in the light. (See 1 John 1:3-10)
Finally, Jude ended verse 21 by talking about looking ahead to the return of Jesus Christ. I refuse to get caught up in end time hysteria. Instead, I focus on the new time mysteries that will accompany the return of Christ. I spend abundant time asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to me the glorious mysteries of what Jesus has in store for His Bride in the future. Instead of being depressed and discouraged about the tribulation, I’m jubilant about the unimaginable glories that await Gods people in the future and for all eternity. Changing this focus has paid huge dividends for me personally.
I share my story to encourage you in your walk with God. This is the way I have tried to build Jude 1:20-21 into my life. As Jude stresses in these verses, my greatest breakthrough came when I assumed responsibility to build my own personal walk with God. Then I demolished the standard evangelical box of what a personal walk with God looks like. I want to experience everything Jesus offers His bride in the Bible. I encourage you to do the same.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global
Building Yourself Up in the Faith: Jude 1:20-21