Week of November 23
Remaining Faithful to the End
As Christians, we know we cannot fall from grace, but we do fall into grace! God's grace is an unearned, unmerited gift to the believer and thankfully, God never reneges on His gift to those who truly believe.
What can we do to stay faithful to our God who loves us so generously and freely? We can purpose to be informed, insulated, and involved. Jude 1: 17-25 tells believers how to remain faithful in their walk with the Lord. The chapter ends with God's exciting promise to keep us safely by His side.
Read Jude 1:17-25
Jude first urges us to be informed (verse 19). When you see those who cause division in the body or arrogantly set themselves up above the Word of God, be on guard. Don't be taken in by smooth talk or new twists. Don't accept anything as a substitute for grace. Test everything by the Word of God.
Secondly, take steps to insulate yourself against unbelief. "Build yourself up in your most holy faith." (verse 20). Devote the time it takes to develop intimacy with God's Word. Books and sermons cannot take the place of time reading the Bible.
Linger with God in prayer. Do not allow anything, not even good things like family or ministry, to take the place of time with God. If you neglect Him, you will find yourself spiritually dry. You will not lose your salvation but you may miss out on some of God's blessings.
When the prodigal son wandered away from his father, he did not lose the father's love, but he suffered. He missed out on the many blessings of living closely and intimately with his father. The prodigal forfeited the joy of daily experiencing his father's love. When you spend time away from the Father, what effects does that have on you, your emotions, or your choices?
Also, insulate yourself from those who knew truth but have turned their backs on it (I Corinthians 5:12-13). Instead, Jude says in verse 22 to get involved with non-believers. "Be merciful to those who doubt." Do not angrily preach the truth, but show them the same mercy and love Christ did. Prayerfully speak the truth in love.
Is your heart moved by the many unsaved in the world around you? Are you involved?
Jude's epistle ends with the best part, God's part, in keeping us safe. Verses 24-25 offer an uplifting description of what God stands ready to do for believers: "To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!"
What is worrying you today? Your finances or health? Politics or breaking news? A relationship with a family member? A lost friend? The Lord will sustain you in your circumstances. Your hand is in God's hand. Like the good father He is, He will not let you go.
Remember that Jesus said in John 6:39 that it is "the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day." One day, He will present you to His Father in Heaven. Until then, He will see you all the way home.
Praise Him for the promise He gives you for your future with Him in Heaven and for the protection and companionship that is yours now as you walk out your faith.
"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."-- Jude 1:24-25
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