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 NLT
Some of us are friends – not even because we know each other, but because we know Christ. Once we know that our enemies are not flesh and blood, the world begins to be filled with the opportunity of friends – because even those imperfect people doing things we might not agree with, or even those that we find opposing us are just in need of the same rescue, the same grace, the same deliverance that we ourselves accept daily.
And we begin to see that we are meant to build each other up, not tear each other down. We begin to grasp our purpose is to equip and strengthen each other in not just hope, not just dreams – but a holy and righteous faith. And you say, but I do not feel holy, I do not seem righteous when I truly examine my life. Good! Then you are not fallen completely into that deep darkness of spiritual pride, that leaven that steals away good intentions through the ignorance and foolishness about the true ways of God.
But even though we were weak and foolish own our own, and we were once at the whim of wherever the wind might blow us – we are now walking in the power and authority of Christ who lives in us. Our do you not v yet know that you are a vessel made for this purpose – to bring the Holy Spirit of Christ, manifest through your body into the very Kingdom work of God, to see His will be done on earth as it is in heaven – even through you. And this Holy Spirit we are given is not powerless – if you find yourself with little power, then return to how you once loved – return to understand the gift you have been given – find grattitude for the mercy extended to you before it is too late. A righteous man’s prayers are powerful – do you trust the Lord to answer your prayers? Do you believe?
And here is the challenge now that you know the truth, now that you know your purpose in seeing the unseen enemies no longer holding your brothers and sisters as captives, now that you understand that your love and the truth of the Good News is exactly what they need in order to be free, and that your prayers lifted in both the will and name of God have power, that you are protected if you wear the full armor of God, and that the Word of God is the very sword that you practice with to become proficient as a fellow soldier vessel being used by the Lord to demonstrate the victory that has already been won – the challenge is patience. The challenge is seeing this race through to the finish where we will realize the mercy and salvation of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
And what does His mercy provide us? What are the wages of His grace? We know that the wages of sin are death. We know that all of our own efforts and works fall short of the glory of God – so our only option for any wages of His grace, is for Him to use us and for His will to be done, not our own. It is then that He is glorified and we are blessed with the opportunity to being Him glory and honor, when we are no longer walking in the flesh, no longer controlled by the desires of our deceitful hearts – but when we are facing the fiery trials and bearing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control.
There is no victory in your own striving, only the law and the punishment of the law. But there is safety and refuge to be found in the love and mercy of the Almighty Father. For he humbles the proud who look to be exalted, but those who humble themselves will be lifted up, just as He was lifted up into eternal life.
1) make friends with one another
2) build each other up
3) repent, seeking a “most holy faith” keeping you humbled before the Lord
4) believe and learn from the Holy Spirit who lives in you
4) pray with power, as a righteous Child of God
5) be patient and wait, as a humble servant
6) trust in the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
7) know the value of life and blessings eternal
8) keep yourselves safe in God’s love.