Wednesday, December 19, 2018
The Joyful Benediction:
“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy- to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”(Jude 24-25)
Jude came to trust Christ after his resurrection and he identified with the church in Jerusalem. Led by the Spirit Jude wrote a letter to focus on the dangerous unsaved people in the church who were teaching false doctrine and turning the grace of our God into a license for immorality. Jude uses vivid metaphors to describe these false teachers and pronounced their ultimate doom. He then tells true believers how to remain faithful and then adds this benediction filled with its promise of security, eternal glory and joy.
Jude’s letter is a warning but within its message to God’s people there is the promise of love and security and the promise of a glorious future. Only those who do not have the Spirit need be afraid. Jude’s instructions for walking safely, starting by remembering the Word of God. As we obey God’s will, the way becomes clearer. We are to keep building our faith and grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus as revealed in the Word, spending time in fellowship with God’s people and training ourselves in godliness. Praying in the Spirit accompanies studying them and this brings balance to them. We are also to look for the return of the Lord so that we may be pure. While we are waiting we should also be serving. For one day we shall see his glory and share His glory and there will be great joy.
Most people pass by this book of Jude because it is very short and often neglected. Yet it is a concise presentation of how we are to live for Christ as we await his return or as we prepare ourselves to be taken up into God’s heaven. Yet Jude gives clear instructions of walking with Christ and as a result of this there will be joy.B ut where do we find the joy in our lives today? As we prepare to welcome Jesus into our lives again this Christmas where do you seek and will you find joy? How do we address this in light of personal losses- unemployment, death of loved ones, wondering of future life?
Jesus Other and You this is how we define joy if we truly believe and have faith in serving him. But are we willing to do this? If you are searching for joy at this time in Advent consider the baby in the manger and how much joy he brought not only to Mary and Joseph but to the visiting shepherds. Can we too get excited and feel the joy?
God of grace and love we praise you and we rejoice in your lover for us. Hep us to find our joy in you. Help us to seek your guidance and peace as we strive to live and show our love for others. Enable us to experience the joy we have in Christ. Amen.
Next Reflection will be Jan 9: “The Benediction of Love” Ephesians 6:23-24 RESOURCE: Warren W. Wiersbe. Bless You: Receiving and Sharing the Blessings of the Lord. Grand Rapids, MI: Our Daily Bread Ministries, 8th printing- 2018. (p161-167)