Explorers or Tourists?
(Shared from a cited source)
There is a basic difference between an explorer and a tourist. The tourist travels quickly, stopping only to observe the highly noticeable or publicized points of interest. The explorer, on the other hand, takes his time to search out all that he can find.
Too many of us read the Bible like a tourist and then complain that our devotional times are fruitless. It is necessary that we take time to explore the Bible. Notable nooks and crannies will appear as we get beneath the surface.
Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively. 1989 (M. P. Green, Ed.) (Revised edition of: The expositor's illustration file). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
Jude appealed for disciples to "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3b). His letter also gave warning of the corrupting influence that false teachers were having by turning the grace of God into a license to sin (vs. 4).
So what were these hard-pressed disciples of the first century to do? How would they successfully stand in a world that often treated them with contempt?
"But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith..." (Jude 20). Success would only come through a firm reliance upon the "most holy faith." It is a genuine and powerful faith. Doctrines, traditions and speculations of men will only bring ruin.
"...praying in the Holy Spirit;" (Jude 20). The evidence of the Holy Spirit in the life of a faithful disciple is not seen through some miraculous manifestation, but rather through the fruit of the Spirit being present in one's life (Galatians 5:16-26). One who prays "in the Holy Spirit" would certainly echo the words of Jesus' prayer, "Not My will, but Thy will be done" as he asks for strength and wisdom. Such a prayer will certainly be graciously answered!
"...keep yourselves in the love of God..." (Jude 21). While God's love is unconditional, the blessings of His love are conditioned upon our continuing to abide in His love. To stand tall we must continue to meet the conditions He has established by His grace to receive the benefits of that grace (see John 15:10).
"...waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life." (Jude 21). Success comes easier for those who look to the final result of faith. Jesus is coming again! He will vindicate the faithful by showing their faith to have been valid. The mocking that had been directed toward the faith and the faithful will then cease forever.
By Warren E. Berkley The Final Page