I know I said I was going to write about redemptive time…and I was going to…but today it’s on my heart to discuss briefly the meaning of abiding in His love. Stay tuned for an article on redemptive time soon! This post is for people, who like me, have had a really hard time understanding what it means to abide in His love.
“That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full (1 John 1:3-4).”
“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 your joy may be full (John 15:9-11).”
These verses reveal to us that unless we comprehend the true meaning and nature of fellowship within and with the Holy Trinity, our joy will be limited. We know that the trinity is made up of three distinct persons with one unified essence. The relationship holding them together is love. Thus, we can say that God is love.
I want you to think about the person you love the most and who loves you. In a way, you carry them and their love with you wherever you go – it never leaves your heart. Since it is mutual, they do the same. This is how we are able to be in relationship, in communion with one another, even at a distance.
Just as we love someone and that love stays “inside” of us even when we are apart, it is the same with Christ. Christ has a personal love for you and me. A special place in His heart. When we return that love we create a union with Him, a reflection of the union of the Holy Trinity, inside of our own hearts. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me (Rev. 3:20).”
Before Christ, humankind was not able to have this kind of relationship with God because our sins separated us from Him. In His great love and mercy, He sent His Son Jesus Christ (a distinct member of the trinity but with the same essence of God) to pay the price of our sin. This enables us to be united with Him, in this most intimate way.
“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (John 3:16-17).”
Because Christ redeemed us, He is able to come into our hearts through the Holy Spirit and abide in us. Likewise, our union and relationship with Him through the Holy Spirit allows us to abide in Him and His love.
We started this very complicated topic with the promise of joy. You might be thinking…what on earth does any of this have to do with my joy?
This relationship with God is the key to our identity. Consider this: there is a place in the heart of God, before I am ever created (Psalm 139), just for me! How special is that! Many times we believe that God does not truly care for us personally. Yet, how personally He cares for you and me! So personally, He will come and dwell inside each and everyone of us and fill us with His love.
Have you ever seen a newly engaged couple? They are literally alight! There is something about the knowledge of being loved and chosen by someone special to you. There is some sort of pure joy and security in it. It is the same when we abide in Jesus Christ and He in us. By dwelling in His love, we become aware and assured that not only has someone special loved us eternally (Jeremiah 31:3) but this someone is God Himself!
You want to marry a doctor? Your beloved is the ultimate healer (psalm 30:2). You’d like someone creative? Your beloved is the artist behind this whole world of inspiration (Isaiah 40:28). You want someone to understand you?Your beloved knows every word you will say, before you even say it (Psalm 139)!
In your heart is the greatest love story of all time. I don’t believe that having such a powerful and unshakeable love story could make you anything but joyful.
If that is not enough, here’s another reason for joy. There is no more death or loss of loved ones. When we are in Christ and He is in us, He brings the entire community of saints with him:
“Even if it is a question of that invisible Last Supper which Jesus can celebrate at any moment in the upper room of my soul, this room must remain open to all of Christ’s disciples. If I am with Jesus, I have to be with Peter, Andrew, James, John, Paul, and all the apostles, and all those who either in past centuries or today, have been or are the Saviour’s disciples (Jesus. A Dialogue with the Saviour).”
This means you never truly lose someone; you will alway be connected to them through your and their mutual dwelling in Christ. Isn’t this joyful news as well!? Truly Christ has abolished death (2 Timothy 1:10)!
When you come to fully understand the implications of abiding in His love it will change your life. You will see yourself, God, and others differently. It will help you overcome your fears of rejection, abandonment, and even death.
There is a final reason to be joyful (it’s a day full of good things)! We always want to figure out how we can do things PRACTICALLY. You might be thinking, this all well and good but I have no idea on how or where to begin. Faith and trust need to be developed in human relationships, through time and actions, for love to develop. Not with God, God loves us already – there is nothing we can do to earn or deserve His love. He didn’t create us to do exactly what He wanted and destroy us if we didn’t; there would be no mercy in Him or possibility of a real loving relationship between God and man in a world like that. We are given unconditional love. The possibility of abiding in Him and His love is always open to me.
Lord, I pray that your Spirit works in each of us to make us understand this beautiful and irresistible intimacy with you. I pray that you pour out your love in our hearts (Romans 5:5). I pray that we can learn to live inside Your love for us and that we can be a reflection of you to every single person we meet, regardless of our flaws and failures. In your everlasting name, Jesus Christ, and through the power of the Holy Trinity in me. Amen.