Hot off the heels of the kind of criticism and challenge believers are to expect, and the kind of person this will come from, today Jude hits us with another contrast.
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
Straight away we see the contrast, don’t we, but you, beloved. There needs to be a marked difference in your life when compared to the lives of those around you who are not walking with the Lord, who don’t know Jesus, who don’t believe that God raised Him from the dead. This will be our actions, and maybe even more importantly, our reactions.
Jude tells us to keep yourselves in the love of God, to wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life, and we do this by building ourselves up in your most holy faith and by praying in the Holy Spirit.
There is such a personal element to this short sentence, isn’t there. David Guzik writes on this,
“…we are responsible for our own spiritual growth. It means that we cannot wait for spiritual growth to just happen, or expect others to make us grow.”
We must keep ourselves in the love of God, we must wait for the mercy of Jesus, we must build ourselves up in faith, and we must pray in the Holy Spirit.
One of the wonderful things about our faith is that it is lived out in community. The things we must do and the things we are responsible for may seem difficult or even insurmountable some days. This is where a committed, caring, and challenging church family will come into play.
They will be committed to caring for you as you wait for the mercy of Jesus, and they will encourage you and help you to build yourself up in your most holy faith. They will challenge you to do all of those things, and more, all to the ultimate glory of God, and all to the ultimate praise of Him who saved us from darkness to light.
Point to ponder – Am I an active part of a church family? Am I getting this kind of help? Am I giving this kind of help?
Prayer – Father, help us to be different. Help us to live the love that you showed us when you sent your Son to die for us. Empower us today through your Holy Spirit to build ourselves up in our faith, and to support those around us doing the same. Amen.