ABIDE IN LOVE
"As the Father loved me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 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. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his life for his friends You are my friends if you do whatever I command you." John 15:9-14
We are told to abide in Jesus' love. Merriam Webster defines the word abide as:
a : to bear patiently : tolerate <cannot abide such bigots>b : to endure without yielding : withstand <abide the onrush of the enemy>
1. 2 : to wait for : await <I will abide the coming of my lord. — Alfred Tennyson>
2. 3 : to accept without objection <will abide your decision>
3. intransitive verb
4. 1 : to remain stable or fixed in a state <a love that abode with him all his days>
5. 2 : to continue in a place : sojourn <will abide in the house of the Lord>
Look closely at definition 4 because this is the form as used in the verse above - remain stable or in a fixed state. I know this is the definition because if we look at the Greek word used it is:
μείνητε (meinēte) - to stay, abide, remain
This abiding in love promises joy, but it requires commitment - commitment to God. We are not capable of this kind of love without Him. Why do I say that? Because we are not capable of love that is unconditional.
Look around you. We put conditions on love all the time. If you do this, if you say that, if you love me back, if you think like I think, look like I look, then I will love you.
"For God so loved the WORLD...." John 3:16 begins. He does not designate a certain part, or people, or culture. He just says world - all inclusive. No conditions are placed on his love. You do not have to accept Him or love Him back. In fact, you can hate Him and curse Him and He will still love you and want you to come to Him. God abides in love, it is a constant state for Him.
Now, here He asks us to do the same. Abide in love. ABIDE IN LOVE.
Earlier in this same chapter of John, it says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5
Again, that word abide - to remain in a stable or fixed state with Christ.
Everyone knows as soon as you pick a flower, it starts to die. Remove any part of a plant from its source and that part will begin to die. It dies because it has been removed from the very thing that provides what it needs to live. Sure, you can stick it in water and prolong the dying process, but it will die and there is nothing you can do to stop that.
What this tells me is if we want to love as Jesus commanded us to love, we must abide in Him, remain in a fixed state with him, stay connected to Him. Without that abiding, that connection, those conditions start attaching themselves to our love and anything that doesn't meet those conditions, well, it gets kicked aside.
What it doesn't tell me is you must agree with everything someone says or does. You can disagree, but you MUST love. You are commanded to love. When you disagree with someone you love, it changes the nature of the disagreement. It changes the desire you have for the outcome. If you love someone, you want a return to harmony, you want peace between you. You may still disagree, but you allow that disagreement and continue to love. You continue to love even if they do not love you back. This is how Jesus loves and how He commands those of us who are abiding in Him to love. That kind of love brings fullness of joy, God's joy, that no man or thing of this world can take away.
One last thought: the bible does not say what color Adam is. It just says God created him in His image. That image is love - the unconditional, constant state of love that results when you abide in Jesus. It has absolutely nothing to do with color or race. Adam's color was not important. We know it isn't because God didn't tell us.
LAST, last thought: If someone claims to abide in Christ and does not love, they are lying. True faith, that abides in Him, loves. It may make mistakes, stumble, and go astray for a time, but it will return to love, acknowledging its mistakes, righting itself, making amends where necessary and return to love.
I believe words are a powerful tool. God's word has the power to save, restore, edify, create and convict. I have been blogging for several years and find now, more than ever the world is in need of the truth as viewed through the lens of God's holy Word.
I love teaching about the Lord in any setting. From behind the pulpit, sitting in a class or writing a blog, I find fulfillment in sharing my faith through teaching.