“…keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
This verse gives us the last two items to strengthen ourselves in days of apostasy. We are to keep ourselves in the love of God and to look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
keep yourselves in the love of God,
Now we come to a responsibility, not a privilege, that falls on every Christian.
This phrase does not convey the idea that we need to keep God loving us by good works to maintain our salvation. Rather, God nurtures the Christian as the believer focuses on God’s love for him. We need to let God’s love for us flood our hearts. This is not keeping our love for God in focus but keeping His love for us in view. God’s love is more than sentiment; it is a love of commitment to us.
The word “keep” is an imperative indicating the believer’s urgent responsibility to understand God’s love and apply it to himself. The word “keep” means to attend to carefully, take care of, guard. We are to give careful attention to the love of God for us. We keep ourselves understanding God’s love by (1) building ourselves on the Word of God and (2) praying in the Holy Spirit.
Christians should live their Christian lives with the idea that God loves them.
Faith demands that we accept God’s love for us. It is possible to walk out of sunshine into the shade. It is possible to step out of the sunshine of God’s love for us into the dim realization of it. Keeping ourselves in the love of God affects our priorities and viewpoint on life.
Some of us step out of accepting God’s mercy and love. Keeping ourselves in the love of God is keeping ourselves in the will of God.
God loves us with an everlasting love:
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Je 31:3
The Trinity loves us:
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. 2 Co 13:14
God loves us with a great love:
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us… Eph 2:4
God loved us enough to save us:
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared… Tit 3:4
God’s love toward us is unusual:
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 1 Jn 3:1
God’s essential nature is love:
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 Jn 4:8