Someone mentioned the Christmas “Wishbook” the other day, a publication Sears has produced for many years. What a flood of memories came back from the days when that catalogue arrived in our mailbox. What a range of gift possibilities, what a selection of toys, clothes and other items, enough to provoke a child to envy!
As Jude pens this one chapter letter to first century Christians, having identified himself and his audience, he now greets them with a desire for their spiritual well-being. This is far more than a “wish” book, it is the heart-felt cry of a leader for those he is leading, the burden of a true shepherd for the flock under his care.
“Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” (Jude v.2)
These three are attributes of God which He delights to share with His family. He supplies them in accordance with His will and purposes and alters lives through their provision.
Mercy – (Vine’s Dictionary definition) – “is the outward manifestation of pity, it assumes need on the part of him who receives it, and resources adequate to meet the need on the part of him who shows it.”
Praise God for His pity shown to people. Needy? Yes, we are! Resources from God for showing mercy adequate? Yes, He has! Resources in abundance from a God who “delights” to show mercy to the undeserving.
Peace – (Vine’s Dictionary definition) – “occurs in each of the books of the NT, save 1 John.
a) harmonious relationships between men; b) between nations; c) friendliness;…”
Praise God for the harmony He brings to people. Needy? Yes, we are! Resources from God for showing peace adequate? Yes. He offers peace, a peace which is beyond human understanding and which settles troubled hearts.
Love – (Vine’s Dictionary definition) – “the characteristic word of Christianity; a) to describe the attitude of God toward His children; b) to express the essential nature of God.”
Praise God for the love He has demonstrated to people. Needy? Yes, we are! Resources from God for showing love adequate? Yes. He offers love, a love portrayed for sinners in that while we were still rebellious, Christ died for us.
So what do you “wish” or “desire” for other believers? Woven into your greetings (emails, Facebook messages, and in person communication) why not add this God-centred request – “Mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.”