“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
Jude wrote this short but powerful epistle to warn about the increasing apostasy that was evident in his day. He exposed false teachers and stirred the saints to continue to grow in the grace of God. In this inspired challenge, he charged believers to “Keep yourselves in the love of God.” He was not making them responsible to keep God loving them, for we have no control over this. The grace of His love cannot be lost. But, we are to keep ourselves fervently loving God. It is very true that we can take His love for granted and allow our love for Him to be abated. In a similar way, Jesus charged the church at Ephesus, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:4).
From time to time, we all need to be revived in our love for God. When Jesus was asked to state the greatest of all commandments, He said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37, 38). This is our foremost duty as Christians. Before we can revive our love for God, we should honestly recognize our sin of not loving Him the way that we should.
Our supreme love for God will have a powerful effect in every other area of our lives. It will be easier to obey Him when we are fervently in love with Him. It will be natural to thank Him and praise Him when we love Him the way that we ought to. Giving our lives and devotion to God is not a problem when our hearts are aflame with love for Him. Serving Him with our time, talents, and treasure is a pleasure when we love Him the way He intends. May we truly find it in our hearts to genuinely repent of the horrible evil of failing to love our Lord.
How might we keep these fickle hearts of ours consistently loving the Lord? We should keep ourselves appreciating His love. “We love him, because he first loved us” (I John 4:19). When we meditate on the marvelous gift of God’s love, the natural response is to love Him in return. Remember the great gift of salvation and eternal life, and the price that was paid for our redemption. Dwelling on the wonderful work that grace has begun, and is performing in our lives, keeps us in love with Him.