Keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
One obvious way of obeying today’s verse is, of course, to avoid sin. We most plainly “keep ourselves in the love of God” by not stepping out of it into sin. However, another and less noticeable way of remaining in the love of God is to apply to him for mercy when we do sin (as we certainly shall do). It is often sin that tests our pride in unexpected ways, for one temptation we face when we sin is the temptation to pridefully say, “How could I, marvelous and holy I, have sinned? That’s for weaker, lower people! Not for me! How can God ever forgive me? I’m too special, too unique in my lonely awfulness to be forgiven.” In other words, we can compound our sin by vainly imagining it to separate us from the common herd and then using that vain imagination to despair of forgiveness. Rather than pursuing this silly course, it is far wiser to say, with the saints, “Hey! What else should I expect from a schlep like me?” and immediately run to God for mercy and the grace to do better next time. Today, when (not if) we sin, let us wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. It is his good pleasure to give us that mercy if you seek it.