Thursday, December 12, 2013

Called, Beloved, Kept

From Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called, wrapped in the love of God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ. May mercy, peace, and love be lavished on you! (Jude 1-2, NET)

Did you see it? It passes so quickly we could easily miss the treasure in the first short verse of this short letter. Jude describes his recipients as "called, wrapped in the love of God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ." Other places in the New Testament apply these terms and ideas to believers in Christ more generally, so I have no qualms about claiming them for myself and for you who are my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What's my point? Whatever you face this day, my friends, whatever circumstances lift you up or weigh you down, you are called. You have eternal significance in the fact that the God of the universe chose and invited you into His family and kingdom.  (See also Romans 8:28-30.) You are beloved. You are "wrapped up in the love of God," as the New English Translation has it. All the hunger in your heart for love and affection, all the hunger to be chosen, treasured, and cherished--all that is granted and satisfied in the love of God. You are not alone. You are not unwanted. You are deeply beloved. (See also Romans 8:35-39.) Finally, you are kept for Jesus Christ. He is our security in an insecure and often threatening world. His return is our hope. He keeps His blood-bought children for Himself until then and forever. (See Psalm 121:3-7; John 10:27-29; 17:11-12, 15; 2 Thess 3:3; Jude 24.)

Carry that with you as waybread for the rest of your day, dear Crumbles. Whatever God's providence has in store for you, you are called. You are wrapped up in the love of God the Father. You are kept for Jesus Christ. The Triune God is enough for us, beloved. May His mercy, peace, and love be lavished on you!

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Thank you for sharing your day with me! Your presence here is a gift. *You* are a gift. Right now I am unable to reply to every comment, but please know I read and pray for each and every commenter. Grace and peace to you in Christ.