Called, Loved, and Kept

January 12th, 2021 – Tuesday Afternoon

“Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ…” ~Jude 1:1

Jude identifies himself as the bond-servant of Jesus Christ and as the brother of James. If you dig deeper, though, you realize that Jude was also the half-brother of Jesus (James was as well – see Matthew 13:55 among other places). It might be curious that he intentionally left that identification out, until you consider the ramifications of what Jude did choose for identification and what immediately follows his introduction: To be Jesus Christ’s bondservant is to be His willing slave – a slave who loves his master and wants to be His servant permanently. Jude, while a brother to Jesus, had come to know Jesus as his Savior and Lord (Master) and he recognized that his life was now at the disposal of his Redeemer.

This is clear from what Jude follows his personal introduction with: He is writing to those who (like himself) have been called by God, loved deeply by God, and kept for Jesus Christ. Jude, like all of us who know God, was invited by Him through the Gospel to obtain salvation through Christ. He is deeply loved – preferred, regarded, and shown goodwill – by God. And, he was protected in relationship with and for Jesus Christ (the word “kept” indicates being taken care of or attended carefully to); it is not just that Jude is guarded and watched by God for Jude’s sake, rather, it is so that Jude is kept for Jesus’ sake.

Have you been invited by God to obtain eternal salvation through Christ? Have you accepted that invitation and have come to know the great love that God has for you? Are you being attended to carefully in Him and for Him?