Jude is a tiny, obscure book towards the end of the New Testament (I think most people actually forget it’s there at all). The topics it speaks of only add to its oddity—at least for me. Jude speaks of Balaam’s error and Korah’s rebellion, both of which require some deep Old Testament comprehension to stay on track with. And there’s some enigmatic argument between Michael the archangel and the devil about the dead body of Moses…I don’t know.
But Jude is a book containing words from God, just like all books of the Bible, so it has truth and value for us as well. Interestingly, it also holds some things in common with the Beatles hit song after the same name…but more on that in tomorrow’s post. For today, hear these words found in the middle of all the odd references and strange statements. There are some deep and significant words here; words of guidance and encouragement for followers of Christ.
Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. Jude 1:21-23
Keep yourselves in God’s love; that statement alone is probably enough to contemplate for today.
I don’t think I’ve ever—or at least not often—thought of it in this way. Keep yourselves in God’s love. At first read the statement almost seems like an unnecessary one. Why wouldn’t we keep ourselves in God’s love?! But the truth is we forget to stay there. We wander off to the listen to the world’s expectations. We drift over to the ways of earning approval and proving value. And we forget.
We forget there is a love that is reserved for us and requires nothing but a simple receiving of it. We forget that it’s a no-strings-attached, unconditional kind of love that will revolutionize our way of living and thinking and seeing the world. We are so prone to forget and to wander.
So the writer of Jude reminds us: Keep yourselves in God’s love. Don’t go through another day without thinking on the reality of a Creator who passionately loves you. Don’t stumble through another series of worries and frets over things you can’t control without falling on the one who will love you though it all. The one whose love makes all the worries seem small and inconsequential in comparison.
Could there be any reasonable reason why we would go through one single day without reveling in the truth we have come to know? The truth is that God loves us with a reckless, untamed love. How is it that we forget that?
Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
The writer finishes that sentence with a reminder of what we are waiting for; what we need the love for. We are waiting for eternal life. We are waiting for Jesus to bring it to fullness in us; to draw us into the never-ending full life. As we wait we’ve been given a glimpse of the eternal that awaits us. We’ve been brought into the love God. Why not stay there?
No one likes to wait. And some days, waiting for Jesus to come again seems intolerable. Why won’t he just come? Why won’t he restore it all and make everything right again? Why does he make us wait? But as we wait, we have the love. Let’s stay in it. Why make this waiting any harder than it is?