A week or so ago Elaine and I visited a friend. She was babysitting her new grandchild. She said she’d be keeping the baby most of the week. Did you hear the word keep? She did not mean the child would stay at her house 24/7. She used the word keep to mean “watch” the child while the mother worked. Several of our other friends also have grandchildren. They use the words keep and watch interchangeably to describe babysitting. The words stress the protective nature of the care provided.
Keep this in mind when hearing Jude 1:21, which says, “Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (NIV) What does it mean to “keep yourselves in God’s love”? Well it doesn’t mean that our efforts are more important than God’s grace. Did you notice the plural? “Keep yourselves” carries the connotation of Christians watching over each other, of being on guard to protect each other and care for one another.
But there’s more to this story. The same word is used of Jesus keeping us in Jude 1:1, “To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ.” (NIV) Just like loving grandparents watch over their grandchildren, Jesus watches over us. And we should also watch over each other.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.