BUILDING UP YOURSELVES…
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God…”
The Book of Jude is a book that is concerned with contending and standing firm in the Faith. It is a book of warning and instruction. It is a book for these days.
Here we are exhorted to be building up ourselves on our most holy faith, praying IN the Holy Ghost. In so doing we are able to KEEP ourselves in the love of God. This is not the Love for God, but the Love of God. Men can have a love for God without realizing that it is a much higher calling to hold the Love OF God in our hearts. If we have the Love of God burning in our hearts then we are able to love the things HE loves with a love that is sacrificial and costly. To have the Love of God in our hearts is to know John 3:16 in a truth and a power that alters the way we live. It is to LOVE His people with a love that is not in word, but a love that is in truth and deed. If it does not produce an extending of our lives unto others it is not a living truth within our lives. Men may say right things, listen to sermons and read books but if HIS love is not producing genuine expressions in terms of obedience, works and deeds it is simply religion; a love that is in word but not in deed nor in power.
“For God so loved the world that He GAVE…”
Love is costly to those who are held in its power. Love produces extravagant expressions because that is the nature and beauty of Love. Consider the men of David how they revealed their love and desire towards David by risking their lives to bring water from the well of Bethlehem. We reveal by what we do what beats within our hearts. To know this power, to be held in its sway, requires a life of prayer. Not just any prayer but a life of prayer that is founded and sustained IN the Holy Spirit. Jude here is exhorting us to keep (guard) ourselves by keeping the Love OF God alive and burning in our hearts.
One of the characteristics that we are warned of in the scriptures concerning this day is that the love of many shall grow cold. The drifting away of a heart is a deceptive thing; it can be gradual in its decline and unnoticeable in its influence. It is why we are warned to provoke one another unto Love and Good Works; where the good works are the product of the Love of God burning in our hearts. If there are no works, there is no love. It is time to guard our hearts from deception. How we need to be objective in our assessment of our lives. Paul exhorts us to…
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be IN the faith;
prove your own selves…”
II Corinthians 13:5
“What does love look like? It has hands to help others.
It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to
hear the sighs and sorrows of men.
That is what love looks like.”
SAINT AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (354–430)