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Abiding in Christ’s Love

May 25, 2014 by

Bible-and-cupJohn 15:9-17

It occurred to me this morning that this word “love” too often, I think, rolls off our tongues in order to help us describe a multitude of things, circumstances, and relationships. I wonder if the word has not lost its true definition, and, in so doing, lost its impact.

In our verses today, Jesus makes a very significant statement about His love—both toward the Father and toward those in close fellowship with Him.

When we think of the Father’s love toward His Son, we cannot imagine a greater depiction of the purest love. On a least two occasions that I recall (Jesus’ baptism and the transfiguration), God vocalized his great pleasure with regard to the Son: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”. The word pleased carries the idea of deep affection rather than happy with.

That being so, Jesus goes on to state that in a similar way those who are in fellowship with Him experience His love. Perhaps, not in the exact same way as with His Father, but still He demonstrated a pattern of real love toward those whom He calls. The proof of this is related in the remaining verses of this chapter.

First, He loved His disciples by laying down His life for them. This is love to the highest degree. What makes this action on His part greatly different from those whom Paul speaks of : “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die” (Rom. 5:7), is the reality that, while others may have laid down their life for a friend, Christ did it for his enemies.

Secondly, Jesus loved his disciples by taking them into a covenant of friendship with himself (vv. 14, 15). Old Testament Scripture relates that both David and Solomon each had one servant in his court referred to as “the king’s friend.” In truth, all followers of Christ have this name.

Third, His love was demonstrated by the fact that He shared all things with them . . . “All things that I have heard of my Father I have declared unto you” (v. 15). And, though many mysteries remain, be assured that Jesus revealed the Father and His desired will to them.

Last, Christ loved his disciples by choosing and ordaining them to be the primary instruments of his glory and honor in the world (v. 16). The Gospel was entrusted to them. Thus, it became their ministry that it should go forward, produce fruit, and bring glory to the Father.

As such, all who follow Christ Jesus are to “abide in [His] love.” How is that demonstrated in our lives? We should continue in our love toward Him; let His joy remain in us and fill us, and show the world our love to him by keeping His commandments (vv. 10-14).

Think about that . .  . I thank my God for each of you.

-Pastor John Roberts

*For your convenience, live links to Bible verses have been created. Just click on the highlighted link to read the Bible verse in a new window.

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Tweet this: “while others may have laid down their life for a friend Christ did it for His enemies”

 

(Heather says) See Amazon for two great books – God’s Love by R.C.Sproul (my current read) and Crazy Love by Francis Chan (an excellent book!). Check out this daily reminder of God’s goodness here.

 

Pastor John

Please welcome our Sunday morning contributing writer, Pastor John Roberts. John is the pastor of New Hope Fellowship in the great Northwest where he resides with his wife.

 

4 Responses to Abiding in Christ’s Love

  1. Rick

    Welcome Pastor John and thank you for this beautiful reminder this morning. What an amazing blessing we have set before us to “remain in His love” and in so doing, bring joy to God and ourselves. We sometimes equate the action of obeying with work and drudgery, but God’s will is perfect and produces in us a grace driven effort that allows God’s sanctification to work in us. He wants us to experience joy and knows that obedience places us closer to Him regardless of our circumstances. If we seek Jesus, not happiness, we will find joy, and be happy!

    • Heather

      I feel for those who don’t want to abide in Christ, or allow Him to abide in them, because they fear that it means giving up all of their freedom. The truth is that the joy and peace that result in a relationship with Him exceed anything we could ever find in this world. Let us remember to pray for those who choose not to “remain in His love”. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  2. bonniesteinborn

    Yes, Love is a word we use much too freely: “I love ice cream,” “I love the ‘Beatles'”.” I love your new outfit. ” We seldom distinguish between – brotherly love, physical love and GOD’S love ( agape love) – totally Unconditional —

    Maybe it is just that we have only one word for love in English — — but you are right . God’s love IS amazing and we need to be so much more IN LOVE with HIM::)
    blessings and HIS Peace.

    • Heather

      That’s so true, Bonnie. There is a big difference between “like” and “love”, yet there really isn’t a good word that fits nicely between the two. Agreed – we do need to be so much more in love with Him. Oh, that we would hunger and thirst for Him like the deer pants for water! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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