Today’s Bible reading is Job 7 and Jude.
Called. Loved. Kept. This is how we ought to think of ourselves as disciples of Jesus today. Above and beyond the color of our skin, the level of our education, the size of our bank account, or what we do for a living, “I am called. I am loved. I am kept.”
Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,
To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. (Jude 1-2)
Notice how those first two verses of Jude’s little letter in the New Testament correspond with the last two verses of the letter:
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)
Put it all together and you’ve got a Spirit-shaped lens to help you see as God sees today.
I am called, called to glorify my Creator by recognizing, submitting to, and magnifying his “glory, majesty, dominion, and authority.” He is “the only God,” before all time, now, and forever. I am called–as his creation–to honor him.
I am loved, loved “in God the Father” who loved me first and gave his Son for me so that I–an unworthy sinner–might be presented “blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.” What more could he do to show how much he cares?
I am kept, kept for Jesus Christ my Lord–the good Shepherd who is able to “keep me from stumbling” if I will follow his lead, listen to his warnings, and trust his promises. If he is for me, who can be against me?
Called. Loved. Kept. Above and beyond all the distractions, discouragements, and vanities of the day, this is who my Father says I am. This is how he wants me to see myself. “I am called. I am loved. I am kept.” Today is my opportunity to show that I believe him and encourage others to do the same.