The epistle of Jude begins as most epistles do, with greetings and godly salutations. It is headed in the direction of mercy, peace, and love. Jude states that his intention was to write about the common salvation. It appears that Jude was well on his way in writing this little epistle. The author’s early review of his own letter was that it was just common.
Common is good, but it’s not canon.
Canon is the term used to describe the writings that were considered God breathed and met the criteria for placement into the Bible. Canon literally means measuring rod. Canon is eternal. Canon is impactful. Canon is spiritual.
Holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. This is what separates the canon from the common. These are moments when eternity steps into time and changes the course of human history.
Something interrupted Jude’s train of thought. Or should I say, someone? Divinely inspired and directed, Jude produced a powerful, concise book. It is forever read and revered. Revelation litter’s its verses. It was obviously timely.
I have nothing against Jude preparing a message on the common salvation. No doubt that letter would have helped his audience emerge as disciples of Jesus Christ. Preparation is essential. Winging it has no place in the arena we operate in. We are dealing with the eternal salvation of souls.
We must be prepared. Sunday School teachers, worship leaders, sound, and preachers. What are we planning to do, say, give, etc?
The most important question: can you throw out the schedule and go with the flow of the Holy Ghost?
The services that flow with the direction of the Spirit are the services that people remember. They are anything but common.
The sermons that have no prior planning, whose notes are given from the voice of the Spirit, and etched on the heart of the speaker: it is anything but common.
The planned sermon series that includes stage design, correlating songs, small group materials, and hours of compilation; all thrown out and a two week series on prayer and fasting is delivered without the usual style and set-up, but hundreds of people fast and pray and a city is changed. That is anything but common.
That’s worthy of canonization in the catalogue of your churches history.
This kind of shift takes courage and faith.
- Be bold. Be all in. This is water walking faith. Your usual supports aren’t there. So preach – all in.
- Don’t expect this to happen every week.
- Be formatted enough that you are ready for every service. Be flexible enough that when the Spirit does interrupt – you can flow with it.
- Notice that Jude wrote a relatively small book. When the Spirit interrupts your message, quit, when He does.
- There is an extra boldness given to the writing of this book. These God moments elevate our boldness. Speak at the same level the Spirit is flowing. Raise your voice. Exhort the people.
- Let the people know the Spirit has interrupted your schedule. Don’t make any apologies for this. This let’s the hearer know that something special is taking place.
- Say amen to your own preaching. Buy into what you are saying.
- While you are speaking – take time to listen. Talk and hear at the same time. Your flow may be a single verse or point at a time. Don’t leave that particular place until God is done with it.
- Refrain from reverting. Don’t close this message out as you normally do. If He started it – He will finish it. The prayer response to this message should be led by the same sense of direction you’ve been following the whole message. This isn’t the common way of closing.