“To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept in Jesus Christ” (Jude 1)
Last night I introduced, by text, two recent high school graduates, heading to the same college. I struggled to choose my words, desiring a substantial, appealing, yet succinct portrayal of each that would connect them. If only I could have consulted Jude! Is there any greater identity, security, comfort, cause for delight and hope than Jesus’s half-brother’s description of God’s children?
We are called! From eternity past, God has always known us. “Thus says the LORD, who created you…’I have called you by name, you are mine.'” “Those he predestined to be conformed to the image of his son…he also called.” “God saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.” (Isaiah 43:1; Romans 8:29-30; 2 Timothy 1:9)
We are beloved! We are God’s “treasured ones,” loved perfectly, steadfastly, now and forever. “You are precious in my sight and honored, and I love you.” “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” “The LORD has chosen you to be his people for his treasured possession, out of all the people who are on the face of the earth. It is not because you are more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you…but it is because the LORD loves you.” (Psalm 83:3; Isaiah 43:4; Jeremiah 31:1; Deuteronomy 7:6-9)
And we are kept! We are held, never to be snatched out of our Lord’s hands. “You hem me in, behind and before.” “Holy Father, keep them in your name. While I was with them, I kept them in your name. I have guarded them and not one of them has been lost. Keep them from the evil one.” “You were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it.” (John 10:28-29; Psalm 139:5; John 17:11-12,15; Ephesians 1:13-14)
These are true truths that hold fast in any wind of adversity, betrayal, doubt, misunderstanding, uncertainty, insecurity, sorrow, flux. These are anchors for our soul.
Father God, You give abundant life that is marked by Your image, is purposeful and secure. Called. Beloved. Kept. Amazing love, how can it be? Allelujah, what a Savior!