Loved and Kept
As the year hastens to its close it is time to look back to all it held and forward to what may lie ahead. As I look back I want to thank all those in different parts of the world who have taken the time to e-mail me, sharing something of their stories or telling me of how material on the website has been an encouragement to them.
When I was in this reflective mood last week, Father spoke to me in His unmistakable way through some verses in the Epistle of Jude. In the opening verse of his letter Jude addresses those who are “Called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ” (NIV) Loved & kept, these words could summarise my experience, not only of the past year, but of all my life, and as I have meditated on them since an overflowing of thanksgiving has risen within, and a strong confidence as we are about to embark on yet another year.
In verse 21 Jude exhorts the recipients of his letter “Keep yourselves in the love of God.”
This my responsibility, day by day to consciously remember and know that I am in the embrace of the love that surpasses all human love, a love that is stronger than death and from which nothing an no one can separate me.
The epistle closes with that magnificent doxology, “Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of His glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Saviour through Jesus Christ be glory, majesty, dominion and authority , before all time and now and forever” What an encouragement for whatever may lie ahead!
In the past year I have still been working through the powerful emotions that separation from my most loved one brought. The level in bottle of tears which Psalm 56:8 speaks of
Has risen and the ache of parting remains. A few days ago when the emotions were once more acute I read again Revelation 21:3-4 “I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,’Behold the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them; He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” That is the sure and certain hope that sustains me as I continue my pilgrimage.