Keep yourself in God’s love

December 25, 2023
Keep yourself in God’s love

Scripture Reading: Jude 1: 20, 21 (NIV)

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Message:  Keep yourself in God’s love

“Building yourselves up”

On social media we find all sorts of interesting quotes - especially this time of the year

I brought along a quote for this message today, but you are going to wait until the end of the sermon to hear it…

What we often miss on social media is looking into who is saying those quotes we so love to share

The quote I’m going to share today is from an organization called “Mindful Christianity Today” 

The beauty of social media is that you can look them up - they usually have what we call a “bio”, describing themselves and what they stand for

For today’s purpose, it is not only the quote, but also the “bio” that is relevant to the message…

So here’s the “bio” of Mindful Christianity Today.  “Spiritual discipline of paying attention on purpose with the goal of being acutely aware of experiencing Christ’s presence

I was struck by this “bio” because in our Scripture Reading we find Jude the words “building yourselves up

Before we go into the big Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations, perhaps this note on which we could close of the time of Advent… preparing for the coming of the Light

“Build yourselves up” are words of mindfulness

It requires discipline and effort - it’s not going to happen automatically

It requires paying attention on purpose - because there’s a good chance for us to miss something amid all the fuss about Christmas

It requires having the intent to experience Christ’s presence - making feeling Jesus a clear goal

Faith and Praying in the Holy Spirit

On Friday we had Doug Thorn’s Memorial Service here at DPC

Some would say “what a tragic time of the year to have a funeral!” - just before Christmas!

I felt sorry for the family to have to do this a few days before Christmas - I guess this Christmas will be like no other for them

In a sense, most of us can relate to something they are feeling this Christmas

Christmas is not just celebration, it is also a time for being together… or being reminded that we cannot be together…

We will be mindful of the fact that we will miss loved ones around our table tonight and tomorrow

The Thorn-family chose a Scripture reading form 1 Thessalonians 4 - where Paul is saying the famous words that we grieve, but like the world who grieves without hope

This where our faith makes a difference in our lives!

It changes the way we miss

It lifts us up from our sadness

It gives us reason to celebrate despite our opposite emotions…

Jude says to build yourselves up through faith and praying in the Holy Spirit

In other words, build yourselves up through practicing your faith

At the internment at the cemetery in Markdale, where Doug was buried next to his beloved Willa, at the moment of a final farewell, I was struck by Doug’s son Rob saying (as he laid down a red rose into the grave) “Merry Christmas Dad!”

That is what it means to grieve with hope!

Keeping yourselves in God’s love

Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent - the Sunday of Love

Throughout Advent we have been encouraged to build ourselves up with hope, peace, joy and today, love

Jude says:  “keep yourselves in God’s love

Take it all in - despite there being reason for you to feel other emotions… take the love of God in 

Be mindful, make a conscious choice, pay attention, do what you need to do to keep yourself in God’s love this Christmas!

Don’t miss out by letting what goes on in your mind and heart take you away from God’s love

Build yourself up by keeping yourself in God’s love

Allow your faith to make a difference - because we are not without hope

And feel the love of God all around you this Christmas

And now for the quote from Mind Christianity Today:  “Each of us is an Inn keeper who decides if there’s room for Jesus

You get to decide if there’s room for Him in your heart!

You get to decide to keep yourself in God’s love this Christmas!


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