Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday, 5 April 2013 ~ Roxie

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Josh 1,2; Psalm 69; John 1
Today's scripture focus is Jude 1:24-25

Jude 1:24-25

24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-- 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

I was thinking about this verse all week, wondering what I should write. It is a beautiful benediction, a shout of praise, an affirmation of our faith...and, for this weary heart, it is a reminder that it is not through any of my own works that salvation is is all because of Jesus. 

I must confess that this week has been really tough. My heart has become full of resentment and bitterness, defeat and doubt. Weariness clouds my judgement and colours my reactions. In my testimony, I shared that I moved from a city onto a cattle ranch. Working a full time job here on the farm as I help with calving and then working my half time job at the health centre is sapping my energy, leaving me with little enough grace for my dear husband (who is just as tired and far more stressed)...and little heart for all else.

...and then this verse... “to him who is able to keep you from falling”...

Only You, Jesus, have the ability, the strength to not only keep me from falling, but to lift me back up after I've jumped right out of Your hands into the mud and mire...only to find that I am stuck, sinking deeper with every writhing effort to get myself out...

...until I realize I can't...until I lift my hands back up to the only One who can draw me back out, brush me off and set my feet back on the solid ground. 

And even after all that, He still desires “ present you before his glorious presence without fault”...

...without fault, blameless. All of my short-tempered outbursts; my curt, unfeeling responses; my guilt-inducing sighs and moans; my bitter thoughts; my resentments all washed away. 

I am clean. 

Clean enough to be presented before our perfect, Holy God “with great joy”!!!

All because of Jesus. His blood washed away my sins. His hands healed me. His love lifts me out of the darkness and into the light so that even in the tough, seemingly unfair, energy sapping, tension filled moments of our lives, we can still cry out:

to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

We are saved. We are washed clean. We are lifted up by One who draws us forward into the presence of the Holy Father God and with great excitement, pleasure, joy, says, “Look here, Father, here is the one I love. Here is Your beloved child!”

All because of Jesus. 

He is our everything.

Amen. Amen.

Monday's scripture focus is Habakkuk 1:1-4
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage is Josh 3,4


LaughingLady said...

AMEN, indeed!!!! My favourite part is the "him who is able... to present you before his glorious presence without fault" phrase. Because of Christ, I am perfect and may enter the presence of God. ONLY He is able to make me "good enough" to be there.

It completely blows my mind that though God sees me screw up, sees me sin time and time again, and though my sin grieves Him each and every time, He can still see me as faultless, grants me audience with Him, and WANTS me in His family. I know, I know ~ that's what families are supposed to mirror, but that parallel breaks down when you consider His ABSOLUTE INABILITY to tolerate sin. That's where it all goes so far beyond what our minds can comprehend!

TammyIsBlessed said...

I absolutely loved MacArthur's sermon on this passage - possibly one of my all time favourites.

He made the excellent point that a truly genuine faith has to come with a guarantee that God is able to keep us. Jesus asks us to give up everything in order to follow Him. Who would make that commitment without a guarantee?

After all, our salvation does not depend on us - if it did, we would have no hope. We were dead in our transgressions. Jesus was born, He died, He rose, He offered us forgiveness, He chose us to receive it through the power of the Holy Spirit, He justified us, He regenerated us, He put the Holy Spirit within us. And He will keep us until the end. If it was up to us, no one would ever make it. But thanks be to God, it is not up to us. And He is both willing and able to keep us from falling.

Jude's just told us to go out and reach the misguided, the false teachers and rescue them. If we were not secure in our salvation - who would want to risk that?

Another point he makes that I thought was fantastic was that about presenting us to Him with joy. When you think about it, every single occurrence in the Bible when people come into the presence of God it is an absolutely terrifying experience. Because of our sin and His holiness. It is terrifying. But because of the blood of Jesus, we will go into His presence WITH JOY! Not terror. Joy!

It was such a great sermon, I highly recommend taking the time to listen to it.