To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance. Jude 1-2 (NIV)
Most loving heavenly Father, on this April Monday, like every day, we need a fresh encounter with the daily-ness of your mercies, the wonders of your love, and the riches of your grace. This one little passage is full-term pregnant with encouragement, peace, and hope. Who are we, according to Jude? We are your called, loved, and kept children.
Father, you didn’t just invite us to become followers of Jesus; you called us, with all the legal power of a subpoena—a subpoena that led to our adoption and beloved-ness as your children. Instead of whining and grabbing our way through life, we now cry, “Abba, Father.”
Indeed, we didn’t begin this life of grace by merely inviting Jesus into our hearts. Far grander, you gave us a new heart. You raised us from the dead and hid our lives in Christ. You sealed us with your Spirit—who now indwells us forever. For your sovereign grace and irresistible power, we praise, bless and adore you.
And now, through our union with Christ, you love us as much as you love Jesus—as hard as that is to grasp. Indeed, Jesus is our “righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). Father, nothing is more centering, freeing, and transforming.
Because the gospel is true, we’re no longer condemned for our sins or enslaved to foolishness. Because Jesus is our life, we know better than to look to people, success, and stuff for our identity and joy.
Lastly, Father, thank you for securing us as the “kept” ones—secure, wanted, and protected. Nothing can pull us from your hand or tear us from your heart. The good work of salvation you began in us, you will finish for us.
We believe this good news; we want to believe it more than ever, Father. When we’re tempted today to look beyond Jesus for “mercy, peace and love”—forgive us and reel our hearts back in quickly. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ beautiful and sufficient name.