“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”
“Abide in My love…” Jesus went on to say. Stay in it. His love for us is as intense and amazing as it has ever been or ever will be. He is not imploring us to earn His love. He is saying, “Come close and stay close. You are welcome as near as you want to be.” Our experience of His love intensifies as we come closer to Him and stay close.
He goes on to explain how: “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.”
I’m sure we all know what keeping and abiding is by now. We had to get to verse 9 by meditating on verses 1-8 first. But I will say one thing that perhaps needs to be reiterated here: abiding and keeping are all about relationship. We don’t do those things in order to be loved, we do them because we are. We don’t abide and keep in order to gain a relationship with God, we do it because God has given us the privilege of having a relationship with Him through His Son.
Just like my baby girl looks into my eyes and takes pleasure in me because she recognizes me as her mother who loves her deeply, we need to put our eyes on the Father through abiding and keeping because He loves us and takes pleasure in us.
When you think of keeping, think of the Son’s eyes glued to the Father. He could not do what He saw the Father doing unless He had been first looking. Even more simply, think of a child imitating their parents. They could not imitate unless they had first intently watched. The whole point of keeping and abiding is intimate knowing. Don’t miss that.
If we desire to experience His love more fully, we must treasure the words God speaks. It’s all about relationship. He loves us. We experience this more and more as we keep His words in our heart and walk in obedience to Him. What He speaks is precious to us because He loves us. His love is so intense that when we meditate on His words, His love burns in our hearts and move us to action upon those words.
Dare we think for a moment that being a recipient of such amazing love would make us lazy in our obedience to Him? The nature of His love is that it can’t stay with the one being loved. Jesus Himself is an example of that. “My Father loves me, and with that love –in the exact same way- I love you.”
These are no shallow words. There is an immeasurable depth to this love that we can only experience, but not explain. But that love is not stagnate. It is like a volcano that burns deep within our hearts and then erupts onto all nearby. The more our experience of His love intensifies, the more His love erupts out of our lives onto those around us.
His love is a mystery that only unfolds through abiding and keeping. We don’t meditate on the commands of the Son in order to know more, we do it in order to know Him more. He doesn’t just want us to know how to think deeply about what He says, He wants us to know Him deeply. That love relationship the Son had with the Father while on the earth is ours for the taking.
The most amazing part is, our eyes being glued to the Father brings Him intense pleasure. Can you imagine it? He takes delight in you, dear Christian. But He desires that you experience His delight by looking into His eyes and seeing the pleasure He takes in you as His child! Remember that it’s the Person of Jesus we abide in when we abide in His words.
Lord, We desire to know You…. It is incredible that You -such a holy, all powerful God- take delight in and loves us as Your children because we are Yours. Teach us what it means to walk in this precious fellowship with You through abiding and keeping. We cannot live without You. You are the very life by which we live. Amen.
– Sandie B