There is a word in the Epistle of Jude that is worth our time today, BELOVED. Jude uses this word to address his letter and identify those to whom he is sending his advice. The word is written in the perfect tense which indicates that these believers are positioned well within the circle of God’s love. Jude says that these believers are “CALLED” beloved because that is their identity. When you are saved and become a follower of Jesus, you are identified as BELOVED and positioned within the safe harbor of God’s great love. What better circle within which to be included? We are anchored to the secure pillar of God’s love.
Jude also says that we are “KEPT” within God’s love for Jesus’ sake. God’s people are not only “kept” by Jesus, but “kept” for Jesus. Jesus prayed, “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished, but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled” (John 17:12). Not only are we “called” into God’s circle of love, but we are “kept” there safe in the strong hands of our savior. Jesus holds on. The Bible says, “…no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28).
Billy Graham said, “God proved His love for us on the cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’” We are introduced and held inside God’s great circle of love by Jesus himself. We should be able to worship today in great assurance that we do so as the BELOVED who are called and kept as the people of God.
A man went to church one Sunday and was asked by his pastor how he was doing. The man replied, “Pastor, I need you to pray for my hearing.” The pastor immediately put his hands on the man’s ears and prayed. When he was finished the pastor asked, “So, how’s your hearing?” “I don’t know,” the man responded, “It’s not until next Thursday.”
The jury has come in. The verdict is recorded. You can worship this morning in the amazing truth that you are part of the BELOVED family of God. The Bible says, “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesian 2:13). Let the nearness of God’s love and the blessing of His amazing grace hold you safe and secure in the arms of Jesus today.