"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)Aren't you glad that HE...IS...ABLE?! I needed that reminder this morning. And maybe you need it too.
Isn't grasping/believing/savoring the truth of Jude 24-25 one means of empowering obedience to the command to
"...lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed" (Heb. 12:12-13)?All so that
"...lay[ing] aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, [we can] run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith..." (Heb. 12:1-2).So, here's the progression. You are feeling weak and weary. Maybe you're discouraged or downcast. Do you just try to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and go straight to the imperative (i.e. the command) of Heb. 12:12-13? NO!
The "grammar" of the gospel is always "indicative before imperative!" So, you take that weakness and weariness to the Strong One. You take that discouragement and downcast soul to the Fountain of Joy. And you listen to what He says:
"Don't you know that I am able to keep you from stumbling? Don't you know that I am able to present you before my presence blameless, with great joy? Don't you know?" (Sounds a lot like Isaiah 40:27-31)
"This is not about your strength and ability to endure. This is not even ultimately about the strength of your will. It's about the strength of my will. I am able to keep you from stumbling (that's the indicative!). I am able to present you before my presence with great joy (another gracious indicative!). If I can do it til the end, I can do it for you today. I can do it. I will do it. I am able. All through Jesus Christ your Lord."
"So, (now the imperative) lift your sagging arms and hands and strengthen those weak knees, my son/daughter that I love. And now, in the strength that I have supplied, run the race that is set before you today, keeping your eyes on my Son whom I love. He loved you and gave himself for you. He is the pioneer that blazed the trail all the way through. He is the perfecter that will finish what he's started. Keep your eyes on him and you'll make it all the way home. I promise."Now to him who is able...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?