We are continuing in the series on Abiding in the Lord. Love plays a big role when it comes to abiding in Jesus. Let’s take a look at what Jesus said in John 15:9-17:
9 As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
17 These things I command you, that you love one another.
I am not going to dig into each verse. There are a few key points I want to look at in these verses, especially as they relate to abiding.
In the last post, we talked about abiding in Jesus. In verse 9 Jesus takes it a step further and tells us to abide in His love. If you recall, the word abide means: to stay, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain. We are to dwell continually in Jesus’ love. Think about that for a moment. What a beautiful thought. I can’t think of a better place to be than in the love of our Savior. And what a great love that is!
In verse 10 Jesus gives us guidance on how to abide in His Love – we are to keep His commandments. Perhaps that initially feels overwhelming to think about. We have to be careful about every little thing we do, day in and day out. But the good news is that it isn’t that difficult at all. If we simply spend time with Him daily, our Heavenly Father with mold us and change our hearts. We will naturally become more like Jesus, we will see sin as distasteful, and we will want to walk in obedience.
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that love plays a big role when it comes to abiding in Jesus. And love plays a big role in keeping His commandments. In fact, in Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus told us that the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. And the second commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. When we look at it from this angle, it simplifies everything. If we make it our main mission to walk in love, then everything else will fall into place. We will want to meet with the Lord every day, out of love. We will want to be kind to our neighbor, out of love. We will treat ourselves well, out of love.
In verse 11, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” I want to point out that although this Bible translation uses the word remain, in the original Greek it is the same word we have seen for abide. Jesus wants His joy to continually dwell inside of us. And that joy is right there at our fingertips when we abide in Him. What glorious news this is! Yes, we will face trials in life. But we can still walk in joy when we abide in Jesus and His love.
I understand that some of you may be thinking how impossible it is to have joy when you are dealing with something difficult. I know. I get it. Sometimes our mountains are so big, it can be a struggle to see beyond them. But when we abide in Jesus, it helps us to have an eternal mindset. We will realize how the pain of this world is temporary, and how we have something so much greater to look forward to. When we abide in Jesus, we will know that even in our darkest days, He is beside us and He will get us through our trials. And when we abide in Jesus, we will remember that God works all things together for good.
In the last post, we talked about bearing fruit. And in today’s verses, Jesus mentions fruit again. In verse 16 He said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” Jesus wants us to bear fruit and our fruit should remain. If you are wondering if the word remain here is the same Greek word for abide, you are correct. This should give us a sigh of relief as we consider all we learned about abiding. When we continually dwell in Jesus and His love, good fruit will continually dwell in us.
This doesn’t mean we won’t ever sin or stumble. We are still human and we will make mistakes. But the key is to abide in Jesus. Every day. We need to be intentional about seeking Him and clinging to Him. When we do that, we will see our hearts change. Remember we need to walk this out in the Lord’s strength. Holding onto Him is vital. When we are consistent, we will see the good fruit that Jesus talks about.
Dear Jesus, we are so grateful for You and all the amazing things You teach us through Your Word. We are so thankful to know that when we abide in You, we will have joy in our hearts, and good fruit in our lives. Help us to continually dwell in You and Your love. And help us to walk in gratitude. Because when we abide in You, our eyes are opened to how amazingly blessed we are. Thank You! We love You! In Your precious name we pray, Amen.
Gratitude Challenge for 2022
If you want to end 2022 on a positive note, then perhaps you will consider finding several things you are grateful for each day, through December 31. You can either write them down, or simply say a prayer of thanks. When we walk in gratitude, we are walking in Jesus’ love. When we see how blessed we are, we will see how much our Lord loves us. And our love for Him will grow and overflow.
© 2022 Bridget A. Thomas