Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Thank you for praying for our prodigals and for revival. God always hears the heart cries of His children.
Recently, I have been studying and speaking on the vast, inexhaustible subject of God’s love. Notice what God’s Word tells us about love:
John said, “See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are” (1 John 3:1).
Jesus said, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other” (John 13:34).
James said, “Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (James 2:8).
Jude said, “But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love” (Jude 20-21).
As God’s children who live in His love, we have the responsibility of not only loving each other but also loving all those around us. The words of Jude remind us that we need to keep ourselves in the sphere of God’s love. The NLT rendering above helps us understand how we can do this. The three things mentioned are building, praying, and waiting. Let’s explore these concepts.
Building each other up in our most holy faith is having a focus that is selfless. It is a deep-rooted concern for the condition of others. Far too often, we are focused on our own needs rather than the needs of others. Personally, I find that when I am absorbed with my own needs at the expense of God’s people, it is much easier to be cold and critical. The more we ‘“love on” God’s people, encouraging them, strengthening them, and pouring God’s love into them, the more we are acting like Jesus and staying closer to His heart of love.
Praying in the power of the Holy Spirit requires a heart that is focused on the glory of Christ. Whether it is praying for believers who are going through trials, or for souls who need salvation, or for the preservation of local churches, when we pray in the power of God’s Spirit, it is not for our own ease and comfort but rather, “What will honor Him most?” As we live for Him, we will fall more deeply in love with Him. It is bound to happen!
Waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ is a reference to the glorious hope of each believer that Jesus is coming again. It is a focus on the future fullness of being with and like the one we love. As we focus on His coming it will be a constant reminder that we are not living for this world but for God’s kingdom. This reality will warm our hearts with affection and devotion to the One who first died for us, and with Whom we will live forever.
As the day gets closer, and we pray with fervency, may we take the exhortation of Jude to heart, and keep ourselves in the love of God.
Warmly in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel