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 1:20-21
The apostle Jude, half-brother of Jesus and James, wrote a letter to believers in his day about the false teachers and prophets who crept into the early church spreading false doctrine. He noted that these people wormed their way in to tell the church that grace from God was actually a license to sin and do whatever they wanted. The apostle pointed out that this doctrine was completely false and contrary to the good news of Jesus. He then went on to tell the believers how to stay safe in God’s love by building each other up in the faith and praying in the Spirit and awaiting the mercy of Jesus.
This message is so simple and true in concept. We build each other up in the faith, pray in the Spirit, and await the mercy of Jesus. According to the apostle, these three things are what we do to stay safe in God’s love. Sometimes we hear and believe doctrine that is not necessarily true or fully correct. People come into the church all the time spreading false gospels and false doctrines because they are ministers of darkness that masquarade as ministers of righteousness. Like their father, Lucifer, they can mask themselves in an apparent “light” that is really darkness in order to deceive and lead believers astray. Thus, we must learn to encourage one another in Jesus, pray in the Spirit so we no what we should do for the Lord, and await Jesus’ mercy. Like Paul said, we are one body in Christ with the need for all parts of the body pulling its weight by doing its job. If the human body gets sick, white blood cells come to the aid of the ailing part. We, too, in the body of Christ must come to the aid of brethren in good times and not only bad times. By doing so, we keep each other safe in God’s love and overcome the enemy.
Father, I hear for the first time in a clear and concise way that by encouraging others in the faith, praying in the Spirit (to know your will), and awaiting your mercy that I can be safe in your love. Before this day I never fully realized the power of this short passage in the concise letter of Jude. It was there all this time, but it never spoke to me like it did today. Your Spirit spoke to me about keeping myself safe in your love but also about how to help others in the body of Christ to stay safe as well. Help me to have not only the knowledge to do so but be filled with your love and grace in helping others stay safe as well. In Jesus’ name, Amen.