Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hey...Jude?

Image Courtesy of Simon Howden/freedigitalphotos.net
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.  Amen. Jude 1:24-25


Last week I wrote about my wondering if my daughter understands how much Jesus loves her, and if she truly “gets” that he is her constant companion and shepherd; loving her and protecting her at all times and in all circumstances.  I hadn’t necessarily intended to carry on with that “theme” this week, but I sort of stumbled into it.
 
Evie and I have been memorizing the order of the books of the New Testament.  We have sort of a catchy beat that we recite them to, and it’s been fun to giggle along with her when we over-exaggerate Revel-aaaaaay-tions, or when I mix up first and second Thessalonians and first and second Timothy.  But it struck me the other day that I didn’t know what was in Jude.   
So, I read Jude…

It’s short…and who doesn’t like a “short” book?  I bet a lot of people, if given the task of memorizing an entire book of the Bible, would choose Jude due to its brevity.  Or if your Bible Study group was going to delve into a book, Jude would be great, right?  There’s not much there to get through.
But open it up and…”Whoa…”

Hey, Jude?  Come on…I thought you were just going to write a nice letter to us, your fellow believers.  But, well, this is kind of a downer.  Don’t you think?

Of course, I write this jokingly; knowing that clearly Jude was moved by the Holy Spirit to warn his fellow believers that there are seriously evil people out there, that there’s danger in letting down our guard as Christians against the evil in the world, and that there is a spiritual battle going on for our souls.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. Jude 1:20-21 NASB

It’s so hard though.  Isn’t it?  It’s hard to be in the world but not of it.  It’s hard to turn away from EVERY opportunity that Satan has to get a foothold in our heart.  The media bombards us, the internet bombards us, and the chaos of life tears us away from the peace of the Lord.

THANKFULLY, Jude DID give us some good news.  He told us, in his benediction that God is able to keep us from stumbling, and can help us stand in God’s own presence and be BLAMELESS! 
I can HARDLY imagine myself as blameless.  Descent?  Sure.  A good heart?  Maybe.  But BLAMELESS?  

But that’s the amazing part.  This is the promise for everyone who enters into a relationship with our Heavenly Father.  That HE can help us keep from sinning.  That HE can make us blameless. 

Let’s remember to teach our children that this may be a sinful, dying world; that it’s difficult to tune out the secular world and stay immersed in the Holy Spirit, but that GOD, and GOD alone, has the power to stop us from sinning.  We can provide food for them, medicine for them, and a home for them; but only GOD can provide salvation and eternal life for them.  We’d like to think that as parents we can control the condition of our children’s hearts, but we know that in reality we can’t.

Hey, Jude?  Maybe I was a little harsh at first.  I guess I just didn’t know what to do with your bold teaching; with your honesty.  But, now, after reading and re-reading what you have to say, I’m really thankful for your message.  

Pray:  Heavenly Father, please, keep me from stumbling today, and keep me from being a stumbling block for others.  You and you alone are the one who can change my heart.  I want to stand in your presence someday, blameless and joyful.  Help me to remember that you are in control, and that you love our children more than we ever could.  Amen.

2 comments:

  1. Keep at it with teaching and showing her how much God loves her! As the mother of an 18yo daughter with moderate cerebral palsy, it's been a long road building her faith. But, she knows the basics and understands He loves her even more than I do. Love how you share your faith here!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kerith!!! She shows us the joy of the Lord in her praise, and I'm trusting Him to continue the good work in her. An 18 year old? Wow...I guess Evie will be that age too some day. :)

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