Abide in my love
“As the Father has loved me, so have I 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 be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
When I read through this passage, three words stand out to me; Abide, love, and joy. And I order them particularly here in this list.
Let’s take a look at the word “abide”. In this context the word “abide” is meant to mean, “to remain stable or fixed in a state”. So first, Jesus is telling us that we should be stable, we should be fixed, we should be firmly rooted in his love. Abiding in his love means that we are constantly living in the knowledge that we are greatly and graciously loved. We should remember that being in God’s love is a constant, it is a steadfast truth, and when we “abide” we are secure in that love.
Now let’s look at the love that Jesus speaks of in the passage. This love is not any ordinary love, but this love is the form “agape” which in the original Greek is the truest, more pure form of love. It’s unconditional love, love without prerequisite, love without boundaries. This is the love that is lavished on the son by the father, and this is the love that is also given to the believer by the son—“As the father has loved me so have I loved you”. That is a magnificent love! One that we are given everyday without ceasing, one that casts out fear, one that changes the hardest heart of stone to flesh. What a beautiful gift Jesus has given us through this love, through God himself because he is love!
And now let’s turn to joy! Joy is so much more than happiness, ease, or contentment. Joy is the culmination of knowing that no matter the circumstances there is hope, there is a future, there is a purpose. Joy is understanding that everything is guarded by God’s hands and that the ultimate control is His— and not ours. Joy is steadfast, joy is continuous, joy is found in faith. And by abiding in the love of God we are given real, full, complete joy! Joy that is cultivated in the savior himself.
What a beautiful picture of the relationship our God wishes to have with us. One where we are stable in His unrelenting love which leads us to joy. What a gift indeed!
Jesus, we thank you for your constant love. This love that shows us mercy we could never earn, grace we can’t begin to fathom, and peace that surpasses the human understanding. Your love is the way that others are able to see the difference you have made in the believers hearts and I pray that your love would move mightily in the lives of those reading this. I pray that their love would touch the lives of others and be a light in the darkness, your light lord. Your love is what guides us and guards us, may it be a beacon of hope to all that see it. Amen.