Thankful for Dedicated Leaders

What if we called a meeting of leaders in our church and we walked in to find an empty meeting room? Without people serving in leadership, our churches would not be able to organize effectively for ministry. This was exactly what Isaiah predicted for Jerusalem and Judah in my Bible reading today. Isaiah proclaimed that tough times were coming, and they would find themselves without leaders. No one would want to lead the “heap of ruins” that Jerusalem would become. I found myself reflecting on my church, and how we have come through some tough times with some good leaders. I am thankful for them and thankful that these words from Isaiah did not come to pass for my church:

The Encouragement of Jude

I have written several posts examining the metaphors in Jude about troublemakers who lead Christians and the church astray. We all have potential to be such troublemakers, but we also have the potential to live out God’s commandments. We might not be able to do so perfectly, but God is there to meet us in our attempt. One comment that was left on my blog reminded me that Jude has some words of encouragement that I should share as well:

Wild Waves of Jude

foamy sea

Jude uses some strong metaphors to describe troublemakers in the church. Anyone who has been around a large body of water can relate to the power and fear invoked by wild waves. Jude says that troublemakers in the church are:

“…wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame;” -Jude 1:13a NRSV

Waves are known for carrying boats to where they need to go. When I read about wild waves, I think of the waves that come from a storm, churning without direction, and threatening to send even experienced boaters to a deep, dark grave. The people that Jude is writing about were teaching a false doctrine that put their own desires over God’s desires. This kind of living is chaotic, like wild waves, and definitely not of God. They were trying to convince people that their leaders were wrong, and taught that it was alright to give into their desires. Like wild waves, these troublemakers were looking to pull anyone they could into their dangerous current.

The troublemakers should have felt shame by their actions and their teachings, but they covered up their shame by warping religious teachings for their own purposes. They were foaming at the mouth. Like wild waves, these troublemakers churned up foam that became so thick it kept innocent boaters from seeing the dangerous rocks and reefs of their shameful teachings. Watch out for wild waves, including the wild waves of our own hearts!

Prayer: Dear God, May your desires be my desires. May your ways be my ways. May your words be my words. Reduce me. Increase you in me. Help me not to churn up foam, but to shine your light.