But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude 20–21—NKJV)

The strength of every relationship is totally dependent upon the hidden workings within each heart. In fact, the single greatest thing you can do to strengthen the relationships in which you are, is to yield the sovereignty of your life over to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One who gave that life to you. Yielding to His lordship over you gives your life a cornerstone from which everything else in your world finds its place. A life properly yielded demands that your conduct in every other relationship is according to this precept: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.”

It is no wonder that Jude, the earthly and (by God’s grace) heavenly brother of our Lord, concludes his book with four simple actions: building, praying, keeping, looking. Occupying our time with these four pursuits will cause us to stay in love with God, and make our other relationships find new direction and meaning.

In order to build you first must have a foundation. The groundwork is laid when you have come to the realization you are lost from God’s love because of your trespasses and sins. Usually this awareness is because of a growing conviction that you need a Savior, Jesus Christ, who carried your sins and, while upon the cross, died thereby paying the just penalty for your sins. In faith you must receive His proffered grace of forgiveness and own Him as your Savior and, therefore, as your Lord (Romans 10:9–10). Any less of a commitment is half-hearted and its efficacy must be questioned. There is no other foundation upon which to build for eternity (1 Corinthians 3:11). This is the foundation of staying in love with God, for the relationship begins at new birth.

The relationship grows by building yourself up on your most holy faith. This must occupy your devotional walk with God. There are generally three aspects to faith in the Bible. There is saving faith—the channel through which God grants salvation to the repentant sinner; a life of faith—taking God at His word, trusting His promises and obeying His commands; and then there is the body of faith—knowing Him by a diligent study of the entirety of God’s revelation of Himself found solely in the Scriptures. It is this last form of faith which seems to be in focus since Jude styles it as “most holy.” Build up and build upon this growing body of faith. Such knowledge of God transforms your life. Know Him, trust Him, serve Him, and you will naturally love Him all the more.

A life of devotional service is aided by prayer. Praying in the (sphere of the) Spirit is not some mystical form of prayer, rather it is praying along the line of the work of the Spirit of God. Seek to have your prayers arise from Scriptures, to base your practical requests upon what the Lord has revealed is important to Him (generally those things valued in eternity)—and pray requests within the scope of the Spirit’s ministry of conviction, drawing, transforming, and illumining through the Word of God. You will find your love for God strengthening as your prayers labor in concert with His plans.

Building and praying is to be accompanied with a careful guarding of your life so that you remain in the sphere of the love of God. His great desire is that He may shower you with the spiritual blessings of love, joy, and peace from the reservoir of His mercy and grace. Unconfessed and unforsaken sins shunt you away from the fullest of the shower to the outskirts of His blessing. You know His wrath rests upon sin. Treasured sin makes it impossible for you to receive the free flow of the blessings of your loving Lord.

Building, praying, and keeping a warm heart of devotion for the Lord and for His work steadily stoke the fire of anticipation for the cherished return of the Lord for His saints. Are you staying in love with God? Are you seeking to allow His love to envelope you? Is your love for God controlling and transforming your relationships? Trust and obey.