A Promise for 2010

Years ago, we had a summer student in my home church who always finished off his services with this wonderful blessing from Jude 24, 25.

"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault, and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."

God's word can be intimidating. We are instructed to do, and be, what seems impossible. Who hasn't struggled with verses like "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" —Matthew 5:48.

Faced with such seemingly impossible challenges, we rationalize. "That isn't really what he meant to say," we reason. Then we walk away from the Word somewhat relieved from responsibility, at least in our own minds.

Living the Christian life is not easy and we do people a disservice to suggest otherwise or to withhold information about the cost attached to following Jesus. The promise of these verses relates to that cost. Jude knows that God doesn't say what He doesn't mean. Jude knows that following Christ isn't easy and that others will not understand why our lives look as they do when we follow Him. He urges his readers to persevere, not prevaricate; to react positively rather than rationalize away the truth.

Then comes the promise. God is able to keep us in His path even though the way seems impossible. And as we keep to the path, He promises to chip away at the sharp corners of our lives until, one day, He delivers us perfect into the presence of His Father.

He will accomplish the impossible and do so with joy. We will see the impossible happen in us and be filled with joy.

And God, the Father?

His sacrifice will be rewarded. The presence of creation restored will bring glory to Him, will enhance His majesty, testify to His power and point out His rights over His creation. In this present world there will be glorious consequences. Matthew 5:16 reminds us: "…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

In heaven there will also be glorious consequences. The greatest praise of all will come from the lips of God Himself when we says to us: "Well done, good and faithful servant…Come and share your master's happiness!" —Matthew 25:21.

That's a promise. And that's a blessing worth pursuing,and worth persevering for during this coming year.

Comments

  1. Yes, I was confronted with this thought about 10 years ago. I was asking an older woman advice on being a good mother. She asked me, "Are you trying to be perfect?"

    Immediately I responded, "No! Course not!"

    Later, I thought about it and came to the conclusion "Yes, I want to be perfect, but I won't be until I get to heaven."

    I went back and told the woman what I had learned. She smiled and said, "I wondered how long it would take you to get it."

    ReplyDelete

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