Title: The Most Precious Keepsake
Purpose: To motivate Christians to deeper faith and fellowship

  1. Mom's house has a lot of keepsakes (including dreaded baby pictures)
  2. Keepsakes are things you keep because they are priceless
  3. There are some priceless things we are told to keep in the Bible
  4. Text: Jude 20-23
  5. We are to keep ourselves .... In the love of God

I. By building up our faith (v.20a)

  1. Faith is what we are justified by (Rom 5:1-2)
    1. Faith involves knowledge
    2. Faith involves trust
    3. Faith involves obedience
  2. How do we build up our faith?
    1. Need to increase in knowledge (Read the Bible through this year)
    2. Knowledge is no good unless it is accompanied with trust & obedience
      1. James 2:14ff
      2. We use this to talk about salvation, but in context, this text in James is specifically talking about Christian living
  3. In short, Faith means letting Go
    1. The man hanging on a limb on the cliff - "Help!!"
      1. God answers and tells him to let go
      2. Is there anyone else up there?
    2. Psychatric institutions have rope courses for people who have a trust issue
      1. Climb up to certain levels and let go
      2. Someone catches you (have to trust them)
  4. You cannot build your faith until you learn to let go
    1. What keeps you from letting go? Fear
    2. Let go of your fear
      1. I know God says to forgive, but . . .
      2. I know God says to seek first his kingdom, but . . .
      3. I know God wants me to let him take the wheel, but I prefer to drive
    3. God will *allow* you to limit him if you don't trust him

II. By giving up our will completely to God (v.20b)

  1. Text says to pray, we need to rely on God
    1. Prayer means talking to God (love someone, you talk to them)
    2. Mt 21:21 - We need to believe God will answer and it will be done
    3. Jas 1:6 - Need to ask without doubting
    4. Jas 5:17-18 - Elijah as an example
  2. The text specifically says to pray in the "Holy Spirit"
    1. The Spirit is what aids us in Christian maturity and discernment (I Cor 2)
    2. Praying to God with a discerning heart is not always easy
  3. Examples
    1. Job (Job 1:15-20; 2:7-10)
    2. Habbakuk (Hab 3:16ff)
    3. Paul (2 Cor 12:7-10) you asked for this, I give you this
    4. Jesus (Mk 14:36)
  4. Praying with a discerning heart (in the Holy Spirit) means accepting God's vision
    1. He may not give you what you ask for (it may be better for you)
    2. Lemon may taste bad, but it is better for you than chocolate
    3. I John 5:14 - If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us
    4. Rom 8:28 - All things work out for good
    5. Pray for God's will in your life (preface all prayers with that)

III. By looking up, waiting for Jesus to return (v.21b)

  1. Text says Jesus is God's mercy
    1. God's mercy (or grace) is what will get us into Heaven
    2. We are waiting for him to return
    3. He hasn't come for the last 100, 1000, 2000 years!
  2. 2 Peter 3:8-13
    1. He will come with no warning
    2. All will be destroyed - house / car / business / stereo / jewelry / bonds / IRA
    3. Therefore: (v.11-12) - Look foward to and hastening his coming
    4. Therefore: (v.17-18) - Do not fall from steadfastness
  3. Some of you have changed-
    1. Living standards, friends, jobs, vocabulary, liesure activity, ...
    2. Don't lose that steadfastness

IV. By standing up for our brethren (v. 22-23)

  1. Satan will do everything he can to cause you to fall
    1. He will drive a wedge between you & brethren to cause you to be isolated
    2. Then you will fall
  2. Text says to do three things
    1. Have mercy on your struggling brethren
      1. Gal. 6:1
      2. Rom 14:1
    2. Snatch your brethren out of the fire
      1. I like the imagery (it suggests you may get hurt in the process)
      2. The imagery suggests sticking out your neck for the brethren
      3. You may get burned, but don't let that stop you
      4. If Satan is luring someone into the fire, grab them
    3. Hate Sin
      1. If you do not hate sin, you probably will not do anything
      2. Hate is part of what motivated Jesus (Heb 1:9)
      3. He was also motivated by love (he loved sinners)
      4. I hope you love sinners (because that means you love yourself)
  3. My home church went from 120 (when I was a teen) to 20. (used to have nearly 200)
    1. There are probably at least 50 - 60 unfaithful members in the community
    2. They did not build up, give up, look up or stand up.
  4. We need to do a better job
    1. We have a long way to go, we are sick
    2. I've left names of unfaithful & erring members on directory on purpose
    3. Leave 99 and go out a bring back the lost sheep
    4. It's the elders responsibility, but this text makes it clear it's everyone's job


  1. So, this is how you keep yourself in God's love
    1. Build up your faith
    2. Give up your will
    3. Look up to Christ's coming
    4. Stand up for your brethren
  2. If you've made no resolutions, here are few
    1. Read Bible through this year, I have handed out the daily reading schedules
    2. Pray 15 minutes every day at a special time
    3. Make a point to call on those who have missed worship