No one wants to stumble; what causes this when it happens? People are not looking where they are going and not watching where they put their feet; or perhaps they have no definite destination in mind and are distracted by things around them. God’s word no longer holds their attention.

I was shocked once when a young man said to me, “This life is all I want, I can’t imagine living forever”. The distractions of today are many we need to read God’s word attentively and develop our own realization of the Divine presence. Job made the point to his friends, “in [God’s] hand is the life of every living thing” (12:10) and David declared of God, “You discern my thoughts from afar … and are acquainted with all my ways” (Psalm 139:2,3).

Our thoughts were triggered by the letter of Jude. It is generally understood that Jude is another son of Mary and therefore a brother of James and a half-brother of the Lord Jesus (verse 1) – not that relationships in the flesh necessarily help. He says, “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (verse 3). It is a failure to maintain a clear vision of understanding of the original faith that Jesus and the apostles taught. That is a main cause of “stumbling” and conflict among those who claim the name of Christ.

“Keep yourselves in the love of God”, he tells them, “waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt …” (verses 21,22). What causes doubts? We have the entire message from God to digest: with it we can build up our understanding as a wonderful foundation for a real relationship with our Lord Jesus and the Father “who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (verse 24). Let us help each other to overcome any doubts.

We “must remember beloved the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 17) wrote Jude, and the remarkable prophecies of God t encourage us to come ever closer to God “who is able to keep (us) from stumbling”.