As we continue our study of Judes powerful and economically precise epistle, we are encouraged to Remain (20-21). To avoid being led astray requires that we continually build Jude 20~But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, (ESV) This is done by Biblical application. Jesus tells us that we are to remain in Him. John 15:4~ Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (NIV) When the branch is connected, life-giving sap flows through the vine. This is indicative of the Holy Spirit. Though unseen, moving on, in and through our lives, His sweet flow produces life and bears fruit. 

If you’ve ever felt spiritually dry or disconnected from God, maybe you are weary from doing the good that God created you for Galatians 6:9 This could be that something has hindered you from your quiet time, perhaps you have lost your focus on God, or something has banded your life, like a rope or chain on a tree than cause abnormal or stunted growth. Notice that Jude also describes Authentic Christians as praying in the Holy Ghost (20b). This means our prayers are prompted and directed by the Holy Spirit. The result is we will always pray according to God’s will. 

Jude 21~keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. (ESV) Keeping ourselves in the love of God doesn’t mean we keep our salvation by our own efforts because that would contradict what is taught in the Bible and later in verse 24. Keeping ourselves in the love of God means that we consistently live for the things God loves. So what does God love? 

Scripture is filled with things God loves and delights in, but perhaps the best place to unpack His love is Proverbs 6:16~There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: (NIV) Solomon goes on to share haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, hearts devising wicked plans, feet running to evil, a liar, and strife spreader. From this list, we look to the opposites to see what God loves. God loves a gaze with humility. God loves a tongue that speaks the truth. God loves hands that protect the innocent. God loves a heart that devises good and righteous plans. God love a trustworthy witness. God loves a believer who spreads peace. God loves when we do good and live right.

Even Jesus commands us to continue, or Remain, in God’s great love. John 15:9~As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (NIV) But how do we do that? How do we Remain in God’s Love? Jesus answers this question in John 15:10~If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. (NIV) Again, God loves when we do good and live right, or according to His holy word. When we obey God’s Word, our works, our fruit, our lives, will abide in God’s love. To be sure there is no confusion about what saves us, Jude writes, Jude 21~… waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. (ESV) It is not our works that save us but the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:9~Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (NLT) Authentic Living in the last days requires us to Remain in Jesus Christ as we learn to walk in the Spirit. Why not take a few moments to ask God for guidance and opportunity. Guidance for the steps you will take and for the opportunity to be an encourager to those you meet.

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