The author of the shortest book in the Bible manages to cover an astonishing number of topics in just a few verses. The brevity, however, shouldn't discourage seniors from digging deeper into the beneficial lessons this tiny powerhouse contains.
Here are three of the things to take from the Book of Jude and apply to our own lives.
Jude opens his letter by stating what he had wanted to write originally had changed, and he instead guides his listeners through a compelling history lesson on the dangers of following ungodly influences that had entered the church.
These cautionary words remain vital to believers today.
Access to modern technology has placed an abundance of devotionals, books and church programs at believer's fingertips; however, individuals still have to sift through the information and decide what to trust reading or watching for themselves.
In John 10, Jesus declares that He is the Good Shepherd and that His sheep will recognize His voice and follow Him. Christians come to know the sound of Jesus' voice by spending time with Him through praying and reading the Word.
This one-on-one relationship helps Christians understand God's nature so they can spot truth and beneficial teachings and avoid unbiblical counsel.
Jude continues his teaching by reminding the church to remain in their belief and to keep waiting for Christ. The importance of standing firm and persevering is echoed throughout the New Testament, taught first by Christ and then reinforced by Paul, Peter, James and John.
Good and bad experiences can cause a Christian to stumble. When our lives are pleasant, it can be easy to slack off our prayers and studies and let our passion for Christ cool. Hard times, on the other hand, can drain us of our courage and determination.
The key we need to maintain our faith is found just a few short verses later in Jude 1:24:
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. NLT
If we remember that God is the One holding onto us and giving us the strength we need to remain true, it will help us to keep our focus on Him and the eternal hope that He offers to us.
Because we know from personal experience how easy it is to doubt or make mistakes, it's important to be quick to extend love, not judgement, to those around us when they struggle.
Matthew 12:20 applies to Jesus the prophecy of mercy located in Isaiah 42:3:
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory. NIV
Grace can be given in many different forms when seniors see one of their neighbors in our Springfield The Gardens community is unhappy or frustrated.
A few things that you may want to give a try include:
Offering to pray with them
Spending time listening to or talking with them
Sending them an encouragement card
Inviting them to study the Bible together
Speaking with the chaplain and staff about ways to assist them