January 16th, 2021 – Early, early morning
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.” ~Jude 1:20-21
On Tuesday, I wrote a shorter devotional on the glorious nature of our salvation through Christ Jesus. As Jude stated in the first verse of this chapter, believers have been called, are deeply loved by God, and are being kept in and for Jesus Christ. Furthermore, believers are now bond-servants – slaves who love their master such that they never want to be parted from His ownership. Our passage today comes later in that same chapter; it is no less clear or important than that first verse. In fact, it goes hand-in-hand with it.
Read the above passage again. The instructions found in these two verses are straightforward and vital; Jude does not sugar-coat the truth and he does give great encouragement to believers. There are no hidden meanings in this passage; it means what it says: Believers, those who have been called and loved by God and are being kept for Jesus Christ, are saved to an active faith; they are commanded to build up their faith and to be constantly in communion with the Spirit of God. By following through in obedience, believers are carefully attending to their relationship with God, taking care to be in the love of God and living in anticipation of His great mercy. (This way of living is in direct contrast to those mentioned in many of the previous verses in Jude; it would be helpful to go back and read through the entire chapter to see the difference.)
You might have noticed that the word “keep” is used in verse 21. This is the same Greek word used in verse 1 of believers being kept for and in Jesus Christ. He carefully attends to us so that we might be preserved for the Lord Jesus Christ. In turn, we are to carefully attend to our relationship with Him so that we might be preserved in His great love. One way to think of it is as an intimate and boundless love relationship – after all, believers are called “beloved” for a reason!
So, beloved, are you basking in the love and mercy of the King and living in constant pursuit of Him? Let us throw off the weights and the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that lies before us! Keep your eyes on Jesus and your hearts in the love of God.