keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.Jude 1:21(ESV)
With what frequency and urgency did the Lord Jesus entreat us to "abide" in Him and to remain under the shadow of His wing. With what resolution and insistence did the apostle Paul reiterate the importance of remaining "in Christ" - of maintaining moment-by-moment fellowship with our heavenly Father and taking care not to step outside His protective covering.
Both the Lord Jesus and the apostle Paul were acutely aware of the delight, the strength, the grace and the peace that flows from this blessed communion with our Saviour, when we rest and abide in Christ, and He in us. Both were also profoundly mindful of the dangers that ensue, when fellowship with the Father is broken, knowing that the enemy has a deep-rooted hatred of God's blood-bought children and that he seeks to ship-wreck their loving trust in their Lord, by many subtle means.
Jude also shows an understanding of the devil’s tactics to shipwreck the faith of Christians, through legalism, apostate teaching, worldly carnality, false religiosity or a 'works-related' Christian life.. which is why the apostle instructs us to "build yourselves up in our most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit "- and to "keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life".
The book of Jude may not be a lengthy epistle, but it certainly is challenging, and in a few short verses we are given some important instructions to help protect ourselves from the assaults of the enemy who, like a roaring lion, prowls around seeking who he can devour.
Not only are we called at the beginning of Jude to "earnestly contend for the faith," but as he brings it to a close, we are further instructed to "build yourselves up in our most holy faith"... through spiritual development as we yield to the Lord. And we are also urged to "pray in the spirit".. as we die to our own desires and resolutely cry out, 'Thy will, not mine be done'.
Jude's challenge continues in verse 21 with the command to "keep yourselves in the love of God and eagerly await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life". We must endeavour to remain within the protective sphere of God's never-ending love as we abide in Christ and He in us. We are to be clothed daily and securely protected by the armour of God. We are to be covered completely in Christ's own perfect righteousness and peace, and as we live for His glory and wait in hope and expectancy for His soon return - Whom to know is life eternal.
How important therefore to build up our faith on a sound foundation.. to fight the good fight of faith and keep ourselves in the love of God. How vital to maintain ongoing communion with the Father, by acknowledging our sins, confessing our spiritual poverty and admitting our need of His guidance and grace.
How crucial to immerse ourselves in the word of God and live godly, in Christ Jesus our Lord. How needful to pray in spirit and in truth, for this will nurture our faith, feed our souls, maintain fellowship with our Father and enable us to face the fiery trials that pursue our way.
Father, I know that there are many dangers and difficulties in life that combine to ship-wreck my faith in You. I desire to love You more, to know You better, to keep the Lord Jesus as the centre of my life and to grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Give me the wisdom to discern what is not from You and ears to hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and in Your mercy, keep me under the shadow of Your protection, in Jesus' name I pray. AMEN.