At seven-feet, three inches tall, Connor Vanover truly stands out, as do his two seven-foot brothers! He says it’s a constant reality to be “looked at all the time . . . . Most of the time people are nice about it. . . . It’s just good to have brothers to fall back on.”
Jude had some brothers who truly stood out. Jesus, the Son of God, was born of Jude’s mother Mary—though He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18). And James, Jude’s biological brother, was a key leader of the church in Jerusalem. Jesus died for the salvation of those who would believe in Him. James came to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and was later martyred for his faith.
So when Jude told his readers to “defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people” (Jude 1:3), he was pointing to belief in Jesus that was lived out so well by his brother James. In contrast, some who claimed to believe in Christ were “saying that God’s marvelous grace [allowed them] to live immoral lives.” Known as “libertines,” they were—as Jude wrote—denying “our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4).
Jude had witnessed his brother Jesus’ death for all people—a sacrifice that allowed them to receive salvation and grow in “mercy, peace, and love” (Jude 1:2). So to see those who claimed to be Christians living immoral lives led Jude to make a passionate appeal—those who are believers in Jesus should reflect what He taught.
It can be easy to simply blend in with society. But as those living out the claims of Christ by His power, we’re called to stand out for Him. By His leading, may we live in a way that honors our calling. We “fall back on” Him along with brothers and sisters who are part of His “holy people” (Jude 1:3).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 10:24-48
Read Romans 6:1-4 and consider what it means to live out the fullness of God’s “wonderful grace.”
How are you struggling to stand out from the world? What has Jesus provided to allow you to reflect His ways in the way you live?