Sunday, December 4, 2016

keep & kept

(by Pastor Joe)
The Word for Today: Jude 17-25
mark this: v. 24-25 --
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
God is in the keeping business.
The entirety of Scripture records not only His relentless pursuit of mankind, but also His consuming desire to keep us as well.
Two words: "shamar" and "tereo" litter the Old and New Testament, respectively. They both carry the same basic meaning; they mean to:
- attend to carefully, take care of
- guard
- keep one in the state in which he is
- reserve
From the Garden of Eden, to the restoration of all things, God remains in the keeping business--
After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard (shamar) the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)
Whereas I once saw the flaming sword as a huge "stay out" sign, I now see it as I should, "keep open." God has mercifully left that angel and that sword not only to keep pollution (sinful man) out, but also to keep the way open to redeemed man. Despite our rebellion, God has made sure the way to eternal life stays attended, guarded and reserved.
The rest of the Bible tells the story of God attending, guarding, and preserving, first a man (Abraham) and then a nation (Israel) until the time of the One to come. Jesus Christ is given to mankind to actually reopen that path to eternal life (John 14:6).
He then promises His presence and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to act as the ultimate Keeper in our lives, and that's what leads us to the verse we started with, Jude 24-25. You and I may be lots of things-- dictated by the times and events and circumstances of our lives. But one thing that is even more true of everyone who is in Jesus Christ: we are guarded, we are preserved, we have eternal life reserved for us. We are kept.

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