Today we are going to look at a Scripture from the Book of Jude, which is found in our Bibles in the New Testament. The Book of Jude is the second last book found in our Bibles.
Jude says “But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith,” (Jude 1:20). Jude is saying that we cannot live the Christian life alone; many of you Somali Christians think like this: “Now that I am a Christian I want to keep it a secret because one day I want to go back and visit Somali; and if everyone knows I am a Christian I will not be able to go there freely and visit.” So you decide as a Somali Christian to do as little as possible in building yourself up in the most holy faith; but instead, you spend time with your family and friends, but you don’t make it a priority to go to church, attend Bible studies, or spend time with your Christian family. So you don’t grow very much in your most holy faith.
If you are a Christian you need to surround yourself with Christians who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; and who live godly lives; who work for a living with their own hands; who take care of their family and teach them about how to live in the society they find themselves. But as Jude says, most importantly, as a Christians you need to build each other up in your most holy faith.
Notice that Jude says that we as Christians need to build each other up; we as Christians are not supposed to be built up in our faith simply by going to church once a month; or just listening to some sermons and songs online. We as Christians need other Christians to spend time with other Christians, pray with them, cry and laugh with them: we need to be built up in our most holy faith by spending time with other Christians.
We as Christians have been born again. Peter tells us in 1 Peter: “Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory. You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.”
So don’t hang out with people who do not make it their mission to live a righteous life for God in the power of the Holy Spirit. There are people out there – some even call themselves Christians – who believe that they are allowed to sin as much as they want because they are going to heaven. This is a false teaching; it is not from God. Jude tells us to stay away from such people; this is what he says: “some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvellous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Some people call themselves Christians and then go to Christian conferences; but at night they go out to the bars, or get drunk in their hotel rooms, and then go out with prostitutes. This is not Christian behaviour and Jude tells us that such people “are like wandering stars, doomed forever to blackest darkness.”
I have met several Somali Christians and most of them, not all of them, have remained like babies in their faith. Paul tells us in Hebrews 5:12 “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.”
You cannot grow as a Christian if you are spending most or all of your time with your non-Christian room mates and not attending church; you cannot grow as a Christian if you are not being mentored or disciple. How can a basketball player become a star if he doesn’t have a coach or a team to practice and play with; how can a chef become really good if he or she doesn’t have someone to teach them; you cannot grow in your most holy faith if you stay locked up in your apartment with your non-Christian friends and go and watch them do the things they do and maybe even do some of those things yourselves.
So as a Somali Christian you have a tough choice to make.
Jesus said: “So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.” Luke 14:33. That means your family, your friends, your thoughts and beliefs about life, your culture, your country, your language – everything you are and have become because of your upbringing. We were all born somewhere, in some country; and we were all born into some kind of social status and family situation – and Jesus tells us that if we want to be His followers we have to give it all up; we have to offer it up on the altar of sacrifice and follow Him.
It is sad to see and hear of so many Somali believers in Christ who have chosen to live like turtles and hide themselves in their shells because they are too afraid or ashamed of letting others know who they are and what they believe. Many Christians would rather hang out with their old friends that to spend time with their Christian brothers and sisters and grow and mature in their most holy faith.
May God bless you as you live for Him; for there are those of you who want to live for Christ and fulfill His mission and vision that He has for your life. You may have to give up much of what you own and have; but you will be getting so much more in return. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that what you can provide for your own life is better than what God can provide for you if you live for Him.
“Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. “But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”