“Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way.” (Jude vs2 -The Message)
I love that! I stumbled upon that in the beginning of the new year and it is still calling to me today! In the introduction to the book of Jude in The Message Bible, Eugene Peterson writes that when we are sick physically, the pain draws our attention and we do what it takes to get well – but spiritually, we can be sick and unaware for a long time.
In our family, we are normally blessed with good health and a strong immune system, but over the holidays our little household was hit fast and hard with the flu bug. Oh – we knew we were sick! Experiencing that, and then reading the commentary mentioned above, made me begin to ponder. What if I am – what if we are – sick spiritually and we are truly unaware? And if we are, how can we find this out?
I drank in the book of Jude, and in verse 20 it reads,
“But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in the most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life. Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.” (Jude 1:20-23 – The Message)
This chapter got me thinking. Sometimes we think that the Good News is that we are right! Oh we may not SAY that… but the lines get fuzzy and we can get puffed up and bossy and prideful without realizing it. We lay down rules and set up hoops to jump through, because we don’t want to be soft on sin. And we shouldn’t be, but the Good News is not that we are right, it’s that God is LOVE! We are the ones that make it hard and get in the way, when what we are really called to do is keep our arms open and outstretched… relaxing and resting knowing love is on the way!
So maybe we stop, and look at our hands to see if they are open and outstretched… if we are still amazed by His grace and overwhelmed by His goodness. If our hands are closed, or pointing accusingly, just maybe we are not staying right at the center of His love. Maybe we are not ready for the mercy of our Master. Maybe we are spiritually sick, and numb to our own ailments. If that is so, how do we get well? I have a sneaking suspicion Jude began with the solution and it becomes my prayer:
“May mercy, (soul) peace, and love be multiplied to you.” (Jude 1:2 – Amplified)
Karrilee is a Wife, a Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend… She is a Scrapbooker, Writer, Reader, Pray-er, Photographer, Beach Lover, Laugh Seeker, Life living person, serving God to the best of her ability! She lives in the PNW with her husband and nearly grown girlie and she is passionate about diving in deeper with the Lord and inviting others to discover how personal, how intimate, how abundant His Love is for them! Her life message? Speak Life. Be Love. Shine On. She loves to share what is on her heart and what the Lord is speaking to her at Abiding Love, Abounding Grace.