For several mornings I have been meditating on the words in John 15:4 “Remain in me, and I will remain in you”. I hear Jesus saying, remain in love with me.
Maybe these words are an invitation not a command.
In the bible I see the love of God inviting into the very essence of who He is. God is all-power, all-knowing, and all-present; but these attributes of God are expressed consistent with who He is; which is love; pure, holy, good, love. And love always makes itself vulnerable. Have you noticed that God refuses to woo us with his power? Instead he woo’s with his love and mercy. What other meaning is there in the cross?
God refuses to woo us with his power
In Matthew 26:52-53 Jesus said to Peter. “Put your sword back in its place” and “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more then twelve Legions of angels? (We’re talking over 50,000 angels) Is he saying? I’m not going to woo and win through displays of power and control; I’m going to woo the hearts of men through a display of love and mercy. I think he is.
The cross was love in action.
As John 3:16 declares; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
God’s plea is ‘see my love, and as you see it come and remain in my love, and experience how my love will remain in you. This is amazing and miraculous.
Remaining in love
The kingdom of heaven coming on earth as it is in heaven, is love. Ordinary people remaining in love with Jesus Christ, as Jesus Christ remains in love with our heavenly Father. As I write these words down, I am awed by the majestic stunning plan of God which invites us into his love. I am humbled, and excited by the potential of remaining in love with Jesus Christ.
As I remain in love with Christ, this is my home on earth; it is mystical and real. My part is to remain in love with Christ and to let God be God, in all I am and everything I do. I am learning as his follower to remain in his love, and to let his word become the truth that shapes me. I no longer try and follow his teachings. Do you see the difference?
As I follow Jesus his word makes my spirit live, restores my soul and renews my mind. All I do is remain in love with Him.
I pray that as you read this you will be free from trying to be a good Christian. I pray that you will be excited by how much God loves you and stirred to love him.
God does not woo and impress us with his power, but as we are impressed by his love and remain in his love he delights in sharing his power with us. So love opens the way for me to remain in Jesus Christ, and for his power to flow into my life, making it possible for me to remain in Jesus Christ. So even my ability to simply remain in him is a gift from him that I receive with a great big thank-you.
His love is safe
As I remain in his love I find myself in a safe place. My sense of home comes from being attached and dependent on Jesus as a branch is attached and dependent on the vine. So staying in love with Jesus looks like staying attached, while trusting Him over the circumstances that are affecting me.
Remaining in his love informs me of who I am and am becoming. I was orphaned from God, but now I am adopted as his child and live and act as a beloved child. I remind myself: am a beloved, desired, delighted in child of the good Father who cares for me.
Remaining is continuing to love. I don’t start with love and continue with duty. Day after day I live by faith in the love of God revealed to me in Jesus Christ. When I feel unloved, unwanted, or over looked; I remind myself I am seen and chosen and wanted by our Father who has demonstrated his love for me in Christ. And I choose to remember and remain trusting his love for me.
Writing this has been good for me, I pray reading it will be good for you. That you will feel the freedom of just remaining in love with Jesus, and say with me: I obey to remain because remaining is so good.