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October 31 – Preserving grace

But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. – Jude 1:20-21

Scripture reading: Jude

You might have noticed in yesterday’s reading that Jude bookends his short letter by reassurances that Christians are kept (Jude 1) and that God will keep Christians (Jude 24). That’s God’s preserving grace. But then in verse 21, Jude surprises us by pressing upon the believers the need to keep themselves in the love of God.

What’s Jude doing here? He’s reminding them of what the Holy Spirit reminds Christians of everywhere in the Bible. Christians must persevere in the Christian life. God will finish the work He has begun, and Christians must complete the race they started to run. Christians must work out their salvation with fear and trembling. Or as we see in our reading today, God’s power guards us through faith (1 Pet. 1:5).

God has prepared an inheritance for His people. It will be revealed when Christ returns in glory. But will we be faithful to the end so as to receive what has been prepared? This is an especially poignant question in light of the various trials we face. The Bible answers that we must. The writer to the Hebrews warns us not to shrink back but to live by faith lest we throw away our confidence (Hebrews 10:37). The Bible also answers that we will be faithful. God enables us. God guards us, and He guards us through faith. Oh, how we must have Christ continually placarded before our eyes that we might always put our trust and confidence in Him Who is faithful.

Suggestions for prayer

Praise God that the light of the gospel was recaptured in the Reformation during the 1500s. Pray that God would enable us to be faithful with the deposit that we have been given and that we would continue to cling to Jesus Christ, the one mediator between God and man. Ask God to enable your pastor to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. John van Eyk is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta.

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