“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. 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 20-25 ESV)
I remember a few years ago rock climbing at Joshua Tree National Park in southern California. A group of us were there for the weekend, part of a small men’s group from a Lutheran church in Ontario, California. There we learned, as much as you can in one weekend, how to safely scale some of Joshua Tree’s fantastic stone formations.
As we studied the magnificent rock faces before us, we hung on our expert guide’s every word. A veteran of years of climbing rock structures all over the country, we felt confident in his skills to lead and keep us from falling.
When we began that weekend, everyone in our group was a novice in this endeavor. But by the end of it, after climbing rock faces we never would have dreamt of climbing, we learned how important it is to understand—and apply—our guide’s instructions.
In a small way at Joshua Tree we learned what God does for us. He keeps our life secure and our feet from slipping (see Psalm 66:8-9). Though something as immovable as a mountain may come down around us, God’s love and compassion cannot be moved (see Isaiah 54:10). He is our Guide to keep us from stumbling, to keep us safe in His care.
This is how God shepherds us through life’s rocky outcrops. He gives us His Word for our salvation and His Spirit as a guarantee. As a light unto our path His Word is flawless (see Psalm 119:105), as a guarantee to our salvation His Spirit is sure (see Ephesians 1:13-14), and as Victor over sin, death, and Satan, we have Jesus—”the founder and perfecter of our faith” (see Hebrews 12:2).
Jesus is our sure and steady Guide, the One who has gone before us (see Hebrews 6:19-20), and who knows all too well the pains we have in this life (Isaiah 53:3-12), for He bore every one of them for you and for me on the cross.
Jesus—He alone can keep you from stumbling. Trust in Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to guide and protect us. In His Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. What are the most beautiful rocks you have ever seen? Where were they?
2. Has God ever kept you from stumbling in a major way?
3. What do you do to lean on Jesus for guidance and direction in your life?