Posting from "the most magical place one earth"...Disney World. I am thankful that most favorite time of day (even on vacation) is in the early morning hours, everyone else tucked in bed, coffee in hand, seeking my Maker. I am most thankful that He chooses to speak to my heart, convict me of sin, reaffirm His love for me despite my selfishness through His Word which gives me direction. This morning, found myself in Jude. At the end of the book, verses 20 & 21, I am reminded to constantly check my heart, my faith, standing with God. Jude encourages me to "build up on the faith, pray being led by Holy Spirit, keep myself in the love of God." The song from childhood rings in my ears, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God for God is love. Beloved, let us love one another. 1 John 4:7-8." I may not be like most, but I most often daily need reminding myself that God loves me even though I'm not worthy and do nothing to deserve it. If He can love me that much and even fills me with His power, I need also love others in response to His love for me first and His power in me gives me strength and will to love others. Last, Jude reminds me to "look for mercy." Just last week, God opened the truth about mercy in Proverbs 28:13, that if I confess and forsake my sins I am given mercy.
I am to do these things first. Then, after I've given myself a diagnostic check and repair, Jude teaches in verses 22 & 23, in regards to others, have "compassion with discernment." Perfect teaching, as I navigate Disney theme parks with a tired 4-year old. The engineer and I were just wrestling yesterday how to have empathy for the boisterous one who's exhausted but not lower the expectation of obedience and respect, allowing it to be okay to throw a temper tantrum. Ah, have compassion but "save with fear" (fear of derailment from the faith) "pulling them out of fire" (sin or path to hell) hating their sin but  by your word and actions, loving them. This verse perfectly reaffirmed our parenting game plan in dealing with these stressful parenting moments. I believe parenting is a call to discipleship, and this command in these verses is a warning to be heeded by the discipler, the parent. Thank you God for giving me direction in parenting through Your Word, even when I'm on vacation.

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