Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Remain Faithful

"But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh." Jude 20-23 

Building up myself in the most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit is a picture of sanctification. To be sanctified means to be set apart for God. Believers are set apart for God by redemption. At the moment they believe, they are saints made holy in God's sight. Believers are sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures. John 17:17 says, "Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth." As I bask in the truths of God's Word and apply them to my life - allowing them to shape me and instruct me how to live - I become more and more like Him. I am transformed into the image and likeness of Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Keeping myself in God's love as I wait for my eternity means obeying His commands; walking in obedience to the things my Lord asks of me. God's Word says in John 15:10, "If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father's commands and remain in His love."

To those who doubt, hesitate or waiver in their faith, God calls me to be merciful. I should encourage them and build them up in the Lord. To those who are going the wrong way - those caught up in the sin and sensuality of the world - I should snatch them from the fire and share the Good News that they might be saved. To the sinner I must show mercy, but make clear that the sin does not please God. The Message version of the Bible puts it this way, "Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin." I should love the person, not the sin.

Father God, thank You for loving me enough to keep purifying and sanctifying my life. Thank You for setting me apart from the world for Your purposes. Help me to walk in obedience and remain in Your love. Help me to have a heart of compassion and show mercy to those who need it, encourage those who are hesitant, witness with my life, and deal tenderly with sinners just have You have dealt tenderly with me when I have sinned. Help me to remain faithful as I serve You. Thank You for empowering me to do such things through the Holy Spirit. In Jesus name I ask these things, Amen.

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