May 2, 2011

"Keep yourselves in the love of God", Part 3

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. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. Jude 20-23

Last week we began looking at four ways we can “keep ourselves in the love of God”; four logs we can throw onto the fire of our devotion to the Lord to keep it burning brightly, according to Jude 20-23. Here they are again:

1. “building [ourselves] up on our most holy faith”
2. “praying in the Holy Spirit”
3. “waiting anxiously” for the Lord’s return
4. having “mercy” on the doubting and the unbelieving

We took a long look at the first of those practical bits of wisdom in the last article. So let’s tackle the other three today. How do we keep our love for God burning hot?

Secondly, by praying in the Holy Spirit. Again, that almost sounds too simple, doesn’t it? How do we fan into flame our love for God? Study the Bible (#1) and pray (#2)! It sounds like children’s Sunday School, doesn’t it? But maybe children’s Sunday School is more profound than we thought! Maybe if we adults would go back to the basics, we’d be a lot better off! For it really is true that a central key to growing in love with God is just to talk to Him! To set aside daily time for communion with Him. And not just for asking for things! But time set aside to pour out your heart to Him; to confess your sins; and to react to what you just read in His word! This is what we need! And we need it, not only personally, but corporately as well! And so I urge you to please cultivate you own private prayer life, and to please make an effort to be a part of your church's corporate times of prayer … and see if your love doesn’t grow!

But now a third way to keep yourself in the love of God; to fan into flame your devotion – by waiting anxiously for Jesus’ return. I believe that is what Jude means when he speaks of “waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.” For when will “eternal life” be consummated? When Jesus returns, of course! And so what Jude is doing is reminding us that a readiness and an eagerness for Jesus’ second coming will actually fan the flames of our love for Him! By contemplating all that Jesus will do and be for us when we see Him face-to-face, our zeal for Him will grow! And so I urge you to do it! Set your mind on things above, as Paul says elsewhere! Think on the realities of the eternal world – a world bought for you with Jesus' precious blood, and brought to you with Jesus’ second coming … and see if your love doesn’t grow!

And then Jude mentions a fourth way we can keep our love for God lit – by having mercy on sinners, doubters, and backsliders. Isn’t that what he says in verses 22-23? We keep ourselves in the love of God by snatching people out of the fires of hell; by bringing people from doubt to faith! And haven’t you experienced this? Haven’t you seen how encouraging it can be when we see someone come to faith; or come back to the faith? When someone we have long prayed for turns from darkness to light? It revives our own zeal, doesn’t it! It gives us renewed fervor for the Lord’s work. And it reminds us of that time when our eyes were first opened, too! And in all these ways, our love for God is fanned into flame. So get busy trying to win people to Christ; trying to rescue backsliding church-goers; trying to help the doubters … and see if your own love doesn’t grow!


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

thanks for this it is very encouraging and i can feel my love beeng restored as i was reading through