FOREVER TRIUMPHANT, Day 28—Lenten Devotional
20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And convince some, who doubt; 23 save some, by snatching them out of the fire; on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh 24 Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, 25 to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever. Amen. Jude 20-25
We share in the victory that Christ has won at his own initiative. We are saved by His grace, not by our effort or deserving. We are sustained in the Christian life in the same way. But we are not reduced to robots. God is pleased to allow us to live the Christian life as a learning experience, and like any learning experience, we learn from our mistakes. This is why Jude exhorts us to build ourselves up in faith, to pray, to convince, to have mercy—while at the same time praising God who, by His own initiative, is able to keep us safe and pure.
FJ HUEGEL. This [life of victory] does not mean that there will never again be tempestuous surgings of the life of self. The so-called “wheel of nature” might be set in motion at any moment by some subtle assault of the enemy. Our frail bark is out on a stormy sea. There are sudden and fierce squalls. It is always possible to get out of focus in this position of utter ascendancy. The reason, of course, is not in our perfect Savior who is “able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” but in us; for, like Peter, we get frightened because of the waves and take our eyes off Jesus, whereupon we begin to sink.
We can always come back to our center, nonetheless. We can reaffirm our position. We remember that we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. We can always wash our garments and make them white in the precious blood of the Lamb. We expect a fresh application by the Holy Spirit of what has been called “the radium of the Cross,” to the freshly discovered cancer of self-life—it is the function of the Holy Spirit to expose sin-“He will convict the world of sin.” A great peace settles down upon our being. We are free once more.
PRAYER: Dear God,
I know that in Jesus I have the victory without effort on my part. Yet, you are pleased for me to experience learning with a sense of effort, and you allow me to experience mistakes and setbacks. Thank you that the assurance I have is that although I may stumble, you will not allow me to fall. As I begin to sink, you will reach out to hold my hand. Thank you for that assurance in Jesus. Amen.