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November 24, 2017

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KEEP YOURSELVES IN GOD'S LOVE

"Build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life."
Jude 20-21

Ungodly men, who have sought to usurp the principles and truth upon which the church is founded, have grievously dishonored the gospel and have attacked the church in every age. It is against this background that Paul challenges the believers "to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Jude says it is imperative that you "build yourselves up in your most holy faith." It is always an effort to build. It takes time, preparation, commitment, and perseverance. God has already laid the foundation: "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11). We cannot rest in complacent satisfaction of being saved without any effort to "grow in grace and in knowledge of Him."

Paul says, "As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk you in him, rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving" (Colossians 2:6-7). Our faith is a "most holy faith," in its nature, in its tendency, and in all its practical effects. It is our responsibility as believers to appropriate all He has provided us in perfecting that which He has begun through the power and enabling of the Holy Spirit.

He adds that we should be "praying continually in the Holy Spirit." We must realize our utter limitations to do anything in this building process: our sufficiency must be of God alone. Thus, we are admonished by Paul to "Pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:18). It is through prayer--our constant communication with God--that He gives us the needed grace and sufficiency for every encounter.

These two elements are necessary if we are to "keep ourselves in God's love." That is not in reference to being snatched from His love, for Paul said "no one is able to separate us from the love of God." Jude is speaking to the believer of having a sense of God's love shed abroad in our heart (Romans 5:5), to have the light of His countenance on us (Numbers 6:26), to be going to Him continually as our Father (Romans 8:15), to walk with Him as Enoch (Genesis 5:24), to commune as Abraham with Him as a friend (James 2:23), to "set him always before us" (Psalm 16:8), to have no wish or desire but to please Him (Colossians 1:10, Hebrews 13:21) and to be "delighting ourselves in Him" (Psalm 37:4) as "Our God, our portion, our eternal great reward." Thus, we will find ourselves drawing from Him strength, grace and all things that will enable us to walk worthy of the Lord and please Him in all things.

As we view the whole of our life, we cannot help but recognize that all we are is by His grace alone. God in His condescending love reached out with His plan for our redemption. Jesus Christ, His beloved Son, paid the debt of our sin through His atonement on Calvary. The Holy Spirit awakened us to our sin and drew us unto the Father, all by His grace. God's mercy withholds the judgment we rightly deserve. His grace gives us everything that we do not deserve. "Oh the love that drew salvation's plan. Oh the grace that brought it down to man. Oh the mighty gulf that God did span AT CALVARY!" Keep yourselves in God's love.

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.


This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-11-24


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