Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy . . . (Jude 24 NASB)
There was a time when the church service wasn’t finished until the minister pronounced God’s benediction over the congregation. However, in today’s culture of individualistic spontaneity, these inspired expressions of praise are often set aside for a more casual prayer.
That’s not the case at Cross Community Church. There is no better way to end a worship service than by declaring God’s Word over the lives of His people as they prepare to go back out into the mission field. However, there is an unfortunate challenge that must be overcome when we do this: that challenge is the familiarity that results from missing the Master’s meaning.
Take another look at our verse for today. What a powerful promise is given to us! And that promise should be a source of cosmic comfort for you today. “Now to Him [the only God our Savior] who is able to keep you from stumbling [that is, committing either sins of commission or omission] . . .” What a wonderful reminder that the power that is at work within us—resurrection power—is greater than any power that can come against us. Jesus is at work within us to keep us from stumbling into the snares of Satan.
But that’s not all! The benediction does not stop with what God in Christ has promised to do for us presently. It goes on to make clear what God in Christ will do for us in our promised future: “to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.” Hear me clearly; if that truth seizes us, we will experience deeper joy and greater freedom in our daily walk with Christ. Why? Because we know from personal experience that, even though Jesus is guarding us from stumbling, we still willfully lurch into sin along the way. And yet our all-too-frequent times of stumbling do nothing to shake the foundation upon which our faith is built: the Rock of Ages.
The glorious good news of the Gospel secures us even in our grumbling, bumbling, and stumbling. God in Christ is perfecting us in our imperfection, and He will not stop short of bringing us into absolute perfection on that day when we stand before the presence of His glory.
I hope you’ll pause right now and remember, regardless of where this message finds you, the glorious words of this benediction over your life . . . To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy . . . You have His Word on that truth!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!