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Garde Bien! … guard and cherish your faith

Dear Friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish.
Jude 3 (MSG)
Come back with me in time ladies, back to AD65, back to the desk of Jude. See his furrowed brow. Sense the burden on his heart, the urgency of this, his letter to Jewish Christians everywhere. A mere thirty years have passed since Jesus’ death on the cross, since Jude caught a firm hold on the divinity of his half-brother Jesus. Jude begs!

And why? What prompts Jude’s letter? It is apparent the godless abound, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord (Jude 4). 

Focus in on Jude’s colorful descriptors: These men are blemishes at your love feasts…shepherds who feed only themselves…clouds without rain…autumn trees without fruit…wild waves of the sea…wandering stars (Jude 12-13). The fight for the faith has begun. With everything in them these new believers are challenged to both guard, and cherish, Jesus’ gift of life.

Whew—that was then. But wait a minute—that is now. The religion of the god of this world is percolating once again to the surface. Thankfully our parents, and their parents before them, followed the God of their fathers. Sadly, Jude’s words could have been written today: “There will be people who don’t take these things seriously anymore. They’ll treat them like a joke, and make a religion of their own whims and desires” (Jude 18 MSG). In fact, they follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit (19).   
The crest of the clan Montgomery, my family of origin, hangs inside my front door. Look carefully at the motto: Garde Bien, translated to watch well. Take another look at the rather gruesome image of a maiden resting her right hand on an anchor, the severed head of her enemy held high in her left. We Scots take our heritage seriously.  

As we Christians should. The head of the enemy has been severed. The life of salvation which we have in common is firmly anchored in Jesus. But it is up to us to guard and cherish our faith ladies. Watch well!

Nancy P

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