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Daily Encouragement - June 15

Jude 1:3, 21

Beloved, while eagerly preparing to write to you about the salvation we share,

I find it necessary to write and appeal to you to contend for the faith that was

once for all entrusted to the saints.

Keep yourselves to the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our

Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

It has become evident over the past few weeks of virus and race difficulties that sitting on the sidelines and feeling uninvolved cannot be a good option for any of us, especially those of us who are committed to be living out our Christian life style. Jude reminds us that there is a reason that he wants us to contend for the faith that has been entrusted to us. He wants us to remember the salvation we share, that we are to keep ourselves to the love of God, and look forward to the mercy of Jesus that leads to eternal life.

In the life application paragraph associated with this part of Jude, we are once again asked to pay attention to the fact that while we may be informed as to the importance of Christian teaching we still need reminders of what is true. There’s a lot of Christian teaching and preaching that is made up of reminders and applications of what we already know. Jude recognizes that understanding, knowing and living the true faith which has been “entrusted to the saints” is definitely not just intellectual awareness but is a commitment leading to transformation. Of course, we also need to be aware that there are a lot of people who will try to twist God’s grace into ways of living that try to deny the reality of who and what Jesus is.

Verse 21 tells us to look forward toward Christ’s mercy that leads to eternal life. My Wesley Study Bible offers an interpretation of eternal life that puts a somewhat different emphasis on how that works out for the now. This is not just simply going to heaven; a blessing which lies on the other side of death. Wesley wants us to believe that eternal life begins in this life. ”It is a present thing, a blessing which, through the mercy of God, ye are now in possession of.” [Sermon notes available on request] Knowing and experiencing the love of God we already begin to share in the quality of eternal life. The kingdom of God begins in this life, “set up in the believer’s heart.” It begins with the first dawning of grace in the soul till it is finished in glory.

Yesterday had a lot to do with call and being sent out. It is safer in the short term to be on the sidelines of life, but we are expected to take an active role in addressing the plight of all marginalized persons. Each of us has something to offer as part of the transformation of those difficulties, and being involved requires each of us to decide what should be our response. One of the requirements for making good choices is to understand the issues. That is becoming increasing difficult as opinions are likely to be stated as facts. Facts are often spun for particular ends that may not be as transparent as we would like. So we all need to get back to some basics. Maybe the words of today’s hymn can help…

Ask ye what great thing I know, that delights and stirs me so?

What the high reward I win? Whose the name I glory in?

Jesus Christ the crucified.

Who defeats my fiercest foes? Who consoles my saddest woes?

Who revives my fainting heart, healing all its hidden smart?

Jesus Christ the crucified.

Who is life in life to me? Who the death of death will be?

Who will place me on his right, with the countless hosts of light?

Jesus Christ the crucified.

This is that great thing I know; this delights and stirs me so;

faith in him who died to save, him who triumphed o’re the grave;

Jesus Christ the crucified.

Pastor David

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