A sermon lead me to this passage. My heart craved to linger on it, to dissect and draw from its words. I learned these words were recorded from the half-brother of Christ, Jude. In a single letter, Jude writes to believers warning them to protect themselves from false teachers and their sins. Instead he called them to focus on the their faith and relationship with God. And in doing this He also called them to minister to others with mercy and with a tender heart. Read the full letter here before we settle in on a few verses.
Can you imagine having personally receiving this letter? How many times would you have read it? Who would you share it with? Did anything stand out for you?
As I stated, a reference of this one verse (the memory/meditation verse above), found within this letter immediately captured my heart. This 24th verse confirmed a message, a repeated impression. This impression grows stronger each time I receive it. It is birthed again out of power found in a few words that I feel warrants the turning of a verse into a prayer.
What was the purpose of this particular verse? What was Jude's intent for this message? To find that out I believe we need to examine the verses before it, especially verses 20-23...
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
Here is the spiritual take I found from this part of Jude's letter...
1. We are called to remain faithful to the impression God lays on our hearts.
(The Message, verses 17-19)
2. What matter in the end is the eternity factor.
But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!(The Message, vs 20-21)
And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.
(New Living Translation)
4. God is the only source and power to carry us in our cause.
The cause He gives us is about His Glory, His eternal plan. The cause is not about you. The godly woman knows this. It is not how much you are behind the growth and success of a ministry or cause and the godly woman accepts this. It is only about what God can do though you to build His eternal kingdom.
Often times the Holy Spirit will impress something on our hearts so much that we cannot escape it. Everywhere we turn, there it is...posted in another woman's blog, mentioned in a sermon, seen in a video on Facebook, caught though a song on the radio. An impression that leads you to your cause...a God-given, God-ordained drive.
So I ask you, what is your cause? What have you been called to? It often changes with the circumstances of our life. Sometimes pain and/or change can open such a window of opportunity which can only be seen when we are resting in God's love and mercy and grace. Embracing such "opportunities" requires one significant goal...an eternal goal..."to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy". Make this your prayer as you live out His cause for your life.
Living in His Embrace~Pamela