Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen (Jude 24-25, ESV)
Today is April 1. Traditionally known as April Fool’s Day. That day when people, in fun, play pranks or tricks on others. In our world tricks are played on people and not always in fun; more and more the tricks that are played lead to someone’s destruction. Destroying their financial security, personal, or family well-being. I can remember as a child my sisters and I played an April Fool’s Day prank on our mother. It didn’t turn out quite as expected and that was the last time we tried to do that! Being tricked is no fun especially when it concerns serious matters or things that put us at risk in any way.
The promise we have before us today is no prank. God is not fooling or tricking us but telling us the truth. The words of the prophet Jude might be especially meaningful to you today especially if your life has been filled with any number of wrong turns, mistakes, questionable life choices, and poor decisions that you may even be paying a price for presently. If you are concerned about your eternal future or pondered if a way of life will affect your getting into heaven, then what Jude writes may be more than comforting and reassuring.
After living this life as the flawed and sinful humans we are, the understanding and promise that our Lord Jesus will present us before the judgement seat of God as those who have never done anything wrong in their lifetime is more than a miracle; it is pure grace. Think of the sins you have committed in your life, even those things you never talk about or try not to think about (anymore) being as though you never did them at all; as though all your past has been wiped away, cleared out, cleaned up, that is what Christ will do for us on that great day as he stands beside us, before God. Maybe it is at that moment the full implications of what Jesus did on the cross will hit us the hardest. We will finally realize what he meant when he said, “It is finished, complete.” When the full understanding of what the doctrine of justification, atonement, and forgiveness sinks in.
Today, all your sins have been atoned for through the blood of Jesus. The day of judgment will not be a time of nervous anticipation or dread for you, your relationship with God and faith in Jesus is your ticket into heaven. No foolin! Let’s Pray,
Father, in this life there are many things we learn of, hear, read or see that we are skeptical and believe it’s too good to be true, but this is not one of those. What we read in Jude is real, it’s true, it’s not a trick. Thank you, Lord for being truthful with us and not tricking us in any way. Amen
Reflective Questions and Thoughts for Soul-Tending: What feeling comes to mind when you read Jude’s words in 24-25? How will this truth impact your future? How will you incorporate today’s message into your plan of self and soul-care?