To him who is able to keep you from stumbling 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. Jude 24-25
Heavenly Father, the older I get the more I care about finishing my journey well, in this life; and the more I realize finishing well is neither automatic, nor easy. I so wish that with more years came less temptation. I so wish that getting weaker physically magically meant we get stronger spiritually—kind of a gracious tradeoff. But that's not the way it works. The gospel is the end to all merit, but not all muscle.
Every relationship, and a variety of circumstances, reveal that I still need Jesus today just as much as the first day you placed me safely in Christ. Thus I abandon myself to the promises which overflow in this passage—this little waterfall of mercy and grace with which Jude finishes his letter. They are a balm to my being and hope to my heart.
I praise you, Father, that the most important grasp in the gospel is yours, not mine. I don't trust in my love for you, but in your love for me. You will keep me from falling away from you; and when I do falter, fall, and fail, you will lovingly pick me up. You don't love me more when I "do it right"; and you don't love me less when I don't.
As hard as it is to imagine, especially in my times of weakness, one Day you will present me before your glorious presence without fault and with great joy. How many times do I have to hear that good news for my heart to really believe it? Without fault and with great joy . . . without fault and with great joy . . . without fault and with great joy!
Father, in response to so great a salvation, may my heart passionately proclaim, with myriads of angels and countless believers, "to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power, and authority, in this life and in the life to come!"
Lord Jesus, trusting in the life you lived for me as the second Adam; the life you gave for me as the Lamb of God; and the life you now live through me, as my hope of glory, I will finish well—without fault and with great joy . . . without fault and with great joy . . . without fault and with great joy! So very Amen I pray, in your glorious and loving name.