Monday, August 29, 2016

Remain in My Love

Chuckle: "Be nice to your children. Someday, they will choose your nursing home!"
Quote: "The God of love my Shepherd is, And he that doth me feed: While he is mine, and I am his, What can I want or need?" --George Herbert

"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in His love" (John 15:9-10 NIV).
As believers, we all know that God loves each of us unconditionally. His love is expressed over and over again throughout the Bible -- His amazing love letter to you and me. In our passage today, Jesus was teaching his disciples just prior to his being betrayed and crucified. You can sense His indescribable love and compassion for his followers in His tender but pointed words for each of them, and for us.
First, Jesus declares that His love for us is like His love relationship with His Father. This amazing love caused Jesus to choose us and appoint us to "go and bear fruit" (vs. 16). Jesus made the first choice -- to love us unconditionally and to die for us. Now It's up to us to choose to accept or reject His love. If He hadn't made His choice, there would be no choice for us to make. In verse 13, Jesus describes the kind of love He has for us and the kind of love we should have for each other. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Jesus is describing "agape" love which is unconditional, sacrificial, and perfect love. It is the highest level of love -- the kind of love with which God loves us.
Second, Jesus commands us to remain in His love and makes us a promise. "Remain in me and I will remain in you" (vs. 4). I know from personal experience that it is possible to drift away from my Lord and to no longer remain in Him as my source of strength, comfort, peace and encouragement. Here, Jesus is admonishing us to stay put in our love relationship with Him. He wants us to stay connected to Him as a branch is connected to the tree from which flows spiritual life and fruitfulness.
Third, Jesus tells us how to remain in His love -- by keeping His commands. "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching" (John 14:23 NIV). If we love Him by keeping His commands, He will reveal Himself to us. "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him" (John 14:21 NIV). From these words we can see that obedience is the key to remaining in Christ's love.
Fourth, Jesus sets us an example by His relationship to His Father. He wants us to love and obey Him just as He loved and obeyed His Father. If we experience the love of Christ, we are experiencing the love of the Father. From our love for our Lord comes our love for others. ". . . As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35 NIV).
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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