Yesterday my wife and I drove our two daughters to summer camp where they will both be working for the summer. On the way down I began to feel really proud of them. They are awesome kids, and even though they are going to have a blast this summer, they had to make some sacrifices to work there.
Now work with me for a minute…How twisted would it have been, if as my kids were introducing themselves to their fellow staff members, I butted in and started blurting out their faults. For example, “Oh, I see you met Tracy (the name has been changed to protect the innocent - me!). She’s a great kid, but back in May 2000 she lied to me. She doesn’t really deserve to be here.” Wouldn’t that just be wrong?
Where am I going with this? Well, earlier in the day I had read this verse from the doxology in Jude 1:24:
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joyAfter meditating on this verse for a while, the words “without fault and with great joy” started to really hit me. I envision Jesus, who died for my sin, standing beside me, with scars in his hands and body, presenting me to the Father “without fault and with great joy.” Think about it, put yourself in this position. Jesus says to the Father
This is (put your name in here) I present her/him to you “without fault and with great joy…”
Personally, I can kind of accept and grasp the “without fault” part. I have had that grilled into me since I was a young child in Sunday school, and I am continually thankful for God’s great mercy. Without his love and forgiveness I am lost. I am in great need of his mercy and forgiveness. A lot of the time, I carry around shame for the things I have done and the way I have hurt the people who are closest to me, so the words, “without fault” are a great comfort and relief – even if I “can kind of accept it.”
However, Jesus doesn’t stop there! The words “and with great joy” are just over the top for me. In Godlike fashion his love doesn't just stop at forgiveness, he goes even further. These are the “proud papa” words; this is how I feel driving my kids to work at camp for the summer, or when they do something else great, loving, or unexpected. Like I said above, after all this time in relationship with God, I can kind of grasp that he forgives me, but to think that it gives him “great joy,” to have me in his presence, well that is almost indescribable and drives me to my knees in awe and amazement. What a great God.
learning to pray: 1_ Read and re-read Jude 1:24-25. Listen to what God has to say to you. Rest and be thankful.