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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Garde Bien … keep yourselves in God’s love

Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you into eternal life.
Jude 21

Keep yourselves in God’s love—now that’s a cool way of putting it. The life we live in anticipation of eternity is within the safe confines of the loving arms of God. Oh, you messed up; or you would have if Adam and Eve had not done so first. But because of the mercy of Jesus, you are back where you belong.

The question Jude raises then is not, “Does God love you?” God is full of love, so full He can’t help but love you. Love is inherent to His character (1 John 4:16). The question then becomes how to keep yourselves in God’s love.

But first of all I’d like to ask Jude how he found himself in the circle of God’s love. I am intrigued with what we know of the family stories. In John 7:1-5 we read how Jesus’ half-brothers, and that would include Jude, tried to embarrass Jesus publicly. They might as well have said, “You are off your rocker, brother.” So, when and how and how many of them were eventually persuaded He was who He said He was? Both James and Jude for sure, considering the passionate pleas each made in their writings.     

I’d love to hear your stories, ladies, as to how you found your way into God’s arms. The good news is that once there, you have the Spirit in you. You have God in you filling you with His love. You just need to let Him.

However, Jesus makes it clear that there is a degree of participation on your part and mine: “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love” (John 15:10). To obey Jesus’ commands I have to know Jesus’ commands.     

Jude continues to pound home the fine points of guarding and cherishing our most holy faith. I love to spend time in the mornings on my porch with the word of God. But as iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17), I’ve found it invaluable to study with girlfriends. That’s when we get down to the nitty-gritty, to the “how do I really feel about what God is saying?” Our combined insights and our varied experiences keep us better in God’s love, and give us hope in light of the daily headlines. 

Nancy P

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