At the time Jude presented his blessing of peace to his believing recipients, there was much opposition and suffering, even to the point of death. As one of the choicest provisions from God, they were able to experience an inner peace that gave them strength facing death and all the turmoil in the world at that time. Today, we as Christians also face numerous types of opposition, not only from the world itself but also from false teachers and religions; however, upon our trust in Jesus Christ as Savior we can also experience peace within our heart and soul that gives us confidence in the face of these obstacles. Only God can give us true and lasting peace, and it has come to us as the peace that Christ made between us and God through His death on the cross. It is up to us to draw upon that peace by trusting Christ as Savior.
Examine your heart today: are you experiencing the inner peace that comes from accepting Christ as Savior?
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)
The first blessing mentioned by Jude was “mercy,” a provision from God based on His love for each and every one of us. We know God loved us so much “that He gave His only begotten Son,” demonstrating an extremely merciful love. Although it is God’s grace that saves us through our faith in Jesus Christ, it is God’s mercy that delivers us from the judgment our sins deserve. This is also the same mercy that saved Lot from destruction in Sodom, the first time the word “mercy” or “merciful” is mentioned. We can easily see that mercy is one of the choicest blessings that could be conferred on Jude’s recipients as well as upon us as Christians. Through God’s mercy our sins have been pardoned, and we have full acceptance with God.
Before you go to sleep tonight, thank God for His salvation and His mercy that saved you from eternal judgment.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…” (Titus 3:5a)
Jude had a genuine desire for the welfare of those addressed. In his compassion and concern for them, he mentioned three blessings which when combined are the choicest blessings which could be conferred on them. Additionally, Jude expressed the desire that these divine provisions “be multiplied,” stressing the strength they provided in the face of the apostasy and heresy prevalent during that time, just as they provide strength in the face of the heresy taught and believed by so many today. Mercy, peace, and love, the three blessings mentioned, have their distinctions; however, there is a strong relationship between them. They can make a great difference when we understand and apply them to our lives of service for the Lord.
As you serve the Lord, notice and apply His generous blessings provided!
“Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” (Jude 1:2)
When Jude revealed to whom his epistle was written, he did not reveal where they were from but did identify their relation to the Father and Son. He did so by using three words that identified them and their position as believers: called, loved, and kept. These words also describe Christians today, and demonstrate the work of the Godhead in our salvation experience. Our “calling” is through the work of the Holy Spirit; “love” being a continuing manifestation from God the Father toward us; and “kept” describing the ministry of Jesus Christ in providing us assurance of our future. With knowledge that we as Christians are called, loved and kept, we have the peace and power to contend for the truth of God’s Word in the face of the apostasy, heresy, and unbelief we may encounter.
As you contend with the unbelief in today’s world, take comfort in the fact that God’s presence has been, is, and will be with you to provide guidance as you faithfully serve Him!
“To those who are the called, loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:1c – HCSB)
In addition to claiming himself as “the servant of Jesus Christ,” Jude also made the claim of being “brother of James.” Jesus’ brothers initially did not believe on Him; however, after the resurrection they not only believed but gave their life to His service. James became the leader of the church in Jerusalem succeeding Peter, a position which gave him much exposure. Jude served Christ in the shadow of his brother James, much as Andrew played second fiddle to his famous brother Peter; yet, both Jude and Andrew were never discouraged, jealous, or resentful of their brothers. When we are serving Jesus in accordance with His will, we cannot concern ourselves with who gets the credit or let petty jealousies and pride hinder our service and testimony. A “well done” given by God in Heaven is much more valuable than great glory here on earth.
As you serve the Lord, do so as a “servant of Jesus Christ,” not to attain any earthly glory!
“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James…” (Jude 1:1a, b)
The way we speak of ourselves often reveals a great deal about us as Christians. Many Christians rely on family ties for their recognition; however, we see in Scripture two men who had close family ties to the Lord Jesus Christ, but chose to use a special relationship to Him instead. Both James and Jude were brothers of Jesus, and both wrote an epistle in the New Testament. At the beginning of their separate epistle, they identified themselves as the writer by calling themselves “a servant of Jesus Christ.” Their authority to write their epistle was based on their calling, not family relationship with Jesus. Being a “servant of Jesus Christ” was a distinction more desirable than a natural relationship to Christ and a higher honor than any distinction arising from birth or family. When we recognize the lordship of Jesus Christ, we find perfect freedom in our service and devotion to Him.
Is our devotion to Christ based on an earthly relationship or our personal relationship with Him?
“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…” (James 1:1a)
Eternity has no dread for us knowing where and with Whom we will spend it. We can look forward with hope because we have the blessed assurance of Heaven. As Christians we have the Holy Spirit, Who is God, working within us to guide and direct us on our earthly journey; our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is God, allows us to have the certainty of our tomorrow in Heaven. Scripture tells us Christ is coming again to receive us unto Himself, and we should watch expectantly for that to happen; however, He may choose to take us home before He comes again. Knowing our eternal destination enables us to face death with courage, comfort, and an inner peace that can only come from a close relationship with God.
Live today and every day as though the Lord is returning.
“But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.” (Micah 7:7 – NASB)