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How to Walk in God's Love (Jude)

…keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

-Jude 21

Jude charges us to keep ourselves in God’s love, with the sense that this should basically be the chief aim of our lives (Jude 1:21). It is something we must continually do between now and eternity, while we are, “looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” 

There are only two instructions given for how we should do this. The first is to be “praying in the Holy Spirit” (1:20). I can certainly testify, and you would likely bear witness, that when prayers are few and far between, our sense of God’s love for us is elusive. When His presence has run thin due to a lack of prayer, or due to resisting the Spirit in some area, we can easily begin doubting the lovingkindness of God for us. We notice the Spirit’s presence diminishing, our spiritual strength draining, and we cannot help but feel that maybe God’s love has changed. In truth, His love has not changed; we simply have not been keeping ourselves in it, so we are no longer tangibly aware of it.

If we are going to experience God’s love consistently, we need a personal prayer life guided by continual fellowship with and submission to the Holy Spirit. There is no other way to enjoy an intimate relationship with God. We need water to make ice, we need heat to make fire, and we need to pray in harmony with the Holy Spirit if we want to keep experiencing God’s love.

In addition, we are called to be “building [ourselves] up on [our] most holy faith” (1:20). In other words, receive and saturate in the truth that God loves you. Stir and direct your own heart to believe the incredible love of God for you. It may mean allowing yourself to believe, because His love is totally free and not a result of your performance. Even the most sincere Christians can find it hard to accept this undeserved gift; we can come up with reasons why we are not qualified to have it.

Contrary to what some pastors and Christian teachers say, keeping yourself in the love of God is impossible without shunning evil and repenting of all known sin. There is no pathway of love that involves embracing what God has called sinful. But the devil loves to trap God’s people and hide the way that leads out of sin and into true victory! You may be able to clearly identify your sin, as well as the way you ought to be living and thinking. But if the enemy of your soul can keep you ignorant of how to actually get there, you will find yourself stuck feeling ashamed and powerless.

If you have fallen in some way, no matter how far, here is your prescription: believe and receive God’s love for you. His unconditional love is the only power that can get you back on the path of life. The distance between our sin and Jesus is too great for us to ever crawl back unaided. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who reveals the love of Jesus to anyone who cries out for forgiveness and cleansing! Remember, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

If you are walking in His ways but do not feel His love, the prescription is the same! Believe and receive God’s love for you. It is not earned by your obedience, but it is able to keep you and satisfy you in the midst of your obedience. Too many prayer warriors, preachers and teachers, and faithfully devoted followers of Jesus Christ find themselves doubting the love of God. We started out serving Him because we were in awe of God’s love for us and for the world. We wanted to love Him in return. Somehow, with the course of time, often inexplicably, we stopped feeling His love. 

“Should I stay up all night praying until it changes?” “Should I fast one more day per week?” “Will I feel His love more if I make greater evangelistic efforts?” These actions are certainly good, but if we do them to earn the love of God, we will be sorely disappointed and only wind up emptier. 

Believe His love for You, because it is true. When we really receive His love for us, it begins to flow back up to Him and to others freely. It changes our prayers. The Holy Spirit helps us in greater measure. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him…” (Hebrews 11:6).

-Pastor Alex

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