I can’t help myself. I love sandwiches. I really do. I could eat sandwiches every single day. When I walk into Holly’s Deli, I’m so predictable that they don’t even have to ask for my order: deli club on rye, potato salad, water. I love sandwiches.
My favorite sandwich is from the book of Jude. It’s a “keeping sandwich.” Let me explain.
The Amplified Bible renders Jude 1:
“Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, [writes this letter], To those who are the called (God’s chosen ones, the elect), dearly loved by God the Father, and kept [secure and set apart] for Jesus Christ.”
The top side of the sandwich is that you are kept by God for Christ. You are secure and set apart by God for Jesus Christ. David, the anointed king of Israel, hiding out from Saul wrote: I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. (Psalm 57:2, ESV) When you trust Christ with your life, you get God’s commitment. He will fulfill his purpose for you.
The inside of the “keeping sandwich” is found in Jude 21:
keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. (ESV)
God keeps you. Keep yourselves. This is plural. You cannot keep yourself alone. There are no lone rangers, no solo fliers, no “every man is an island.” God has designed you to need others and to help others. This is why we join Life Groups, why we give and receive love, give and receive correction, give and receive forgiveness. It’s how we keep ourselves.
The bottom side of the sandwich is Jude 24:
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 (ESV)
God keeps us. We keep each other. God keeps us. That’s how the Christian life works. God is able to keep you from stumbling. God’s intent is to present you before his unnaproachable presence with great joy!
We keep because God keeps, not so that God will keep.
Who are you keeping? Who’s keeping you? Are you in a Life Group? Are you accountable to anyone? Anyone accountable to you?