To those who are called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ…
…for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. —I am coming to you, Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one… now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves…I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one—who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.—So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.—As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”—For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. —But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Jude 1:1; Jn.16:27; Jn.17:11,13,15; I Pet.1:5; Jn.17:26; I Jn. 4:16; Jn.15:9,10; Gal 4:6; Rom.8:15; Jude 1:20,21; II Pet. 3:13-14 ESV; Jude 1:24,25 (ESV)
Sunday’s message was based on the book of Jude—an intense one-page letter of reminder and warning sandwiched at beginning and end with reassurances of God’s keeping power. It reads like an ultra-condensed guide to Scriptural and Apocraphal examples of rebellion. Cain is here, and Balaam. Korah and the desert-wandering Israelites. But this is no dry history lesson. It’s embellished with stirring metaphors: hidden reefs at your love feasts, shepherds feeding themselves, fruitless trees in late autumn, wild waves of the sea casting up the foam of their own shame. And Jude’s words are laden with potent name-calling: “These are grumblers, malcontents…loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.” Whew! Jude is intent on getting his reader’s attention.
What is his appeal? Contend for the faith you hold. Don’t let it be subverted by teachers who model sensuality and have rejected Jesus as their Master. It’s not ok to follow your instincts, to run with your natural inclinations, to set yourself up as the authority on the good life. The antidote? Build yourselves up in your most holy faith. Pray in the Spirit’s power, and keep yourselves in the love of God.
This love that has bought our redemption at the cost of His own Son has also laid out the pathway to JOY—a life-time of walking by the Spirit in the path of His commands. Jesus modeled this for us and now empowers us to do it. And lest we succumb to the short-cuts to ‘joy’ that our flesh regularly suggests, Jude closes with a stirring doxology. For our greatest joy will be standing blameless in God’s glorious presence at last! This was Jesus’ request for us, the Spirit is the guarantor and the Father is honored to grant it. We are indeed ‘kept for Jesus’. I love that!
Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ…
*Jn.17:24, Rom. 5:2, Tit. 2:11-13 (ESV)
He Will Hold Me Fast–Keith and Kristyn Getty: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=936BapRFHaQ