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How Do You Recognize a Wolf or a Lion?

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    II PETER:  Peter’s brilliance in helping us to recognize the “wolf at the door” came from long time experience dealing with Apostates – those who would had deserted the cause of Jesus for their own selfish endeavors. And for Peter, EVERYTHING was all about our precious Jesus.  There was no other cause. I love that he juxtaposes the seven Christian graces (virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity) against the harsh, dark backdrop of cleverly disguised destruction.  When sin has the light of those graces cast upon its evil, the contrast is so stark that even the most indolent mind can discern the sinister motives of Apostates.  Leader, have you lost virtue and are you involved with indiscretions?  I must not follow you. Is your knowledge contrary to the Word of God?  I will not listen to you.  Are you full of worldly excesses? That will not impress me.  Do I see you fuss and fight and become easily impatient?  I take heed.  Do I see only a form, a shell, of godliness?  I must be aware and not fall prey.  Are you unkind all the while chastising others with the scriptures?  I am not impressed.  Do I see others walk away from you feeling unloved, scorned?  Then you are nothing close to a Leader/Pastor/Friend of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I will inspect your fruit and act accordingly.  Thanks, Pete, for a clear road to purity and recognizing that I will only know Apostates if I know the Word of God!

    JUDE:  My middle name is Jude and I gave my older daughter this wonderful name as her first name.  It means “Praise.”  This is interesting when you read the doxology at the end of the book, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever, Amen” Jude 24-25.  He expressed the meaning of his name, his very purpose, in that verse.  Jude was a visionary.  He saw the Apostasy for what it was and for what it would be – the extraordinary falling away from the faith in Jesus, germinated from Apostates who “walk about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1Pet 5:8b)  His warnings and teachings gives us a birds-eye view of what false shepherds look like so we can use “the mind of Christ” which we all have (according to 1 Cor 2:16) and then he goes a step further show us how we can contend for The Faith (Jude 20-21).  A short but impactful read whose well never runs dry.

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