To those who have been called, who are loved . . . and kept. (Jude 1)

WHAT AN HONOR to be called into relationship with almighty God and to have the privilege of calling Him Father! Jude’s message is for all Christians everywhere, to all those whom God has called to share in the salvation He planned and carried out through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a privilege to be called to follow Jesus Christ, to be forgiven of our sins, and rescued from the bondage of evil. He also kept and preserved us. This means no one can snatch us out of His hands (see John 10:28).

To share in this salvation involves responsibility. It involves obedience to Jesus, dependence upon Him, faithfulness to Him, and boldly sharing the truth about Him. God has set us apart to be sanctified (made holy) and to continue in an intimate relationship with Him.

There is no guarantee that following Jesus will be comfortable. Most of the disciples ended up as martyrs. In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers speaks of sanctification as a way of being brought into fellowship with Jesus’ sufferings: “If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.” If we really love God, we want His will to be done, however He chooses to do it.

Reflect on the meaning of the words called, loved, and kept.

Judith Vander Wege is a member of the worship committee, choir, and praise team at her church and plays the accordion for senior citizens.