Day 11: Abide in His Love

John 15: 9-14  
"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 one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you."

First, let these words of Jesus sink into your heart and soul, “I have loved you.” Wow - as the Father has loved Jesus, He [Jesus] so loved you! You are loved, you are loved, YOU ARE LOVED. Take a moment to pause and consider that truth!

Now as we take a deeper look into these passages, we see Jesus continue to give us a parallel view to the True Vine; The Father, Jesus, and His disciples. He connects these verses to the previous ones by telling us “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you." We see unity and how the branches abide in the vine. There is a bond of love, intimacy, and oneness that we see reflected in the Triune God. He then commands us to abide in His love. Jesus uses this word “abide” numerous times throughout chapter 15. The Greek word for abide is “menó” and it means to remain, stay, wait; I wait for, await. So Jesus is telling us to remain/stay in His love. But how do we abide in His love? We abide in His love IF we keep His commandments. 

But obedience is not always easy to live out in our everyday life. Obedience is challenging to our “flesh” and “against the grain” of what we want to do. As Christ followers we tend to claim to love God and yet live however we want to live. But Jesus defines love as persistent obedience and abiding in Christ, which leads to fullness of joy -- His joy!

Lastly, we see in this passage how this love is completed; it is done so by loving one another. Jesus commands us to love others with the love He has loved us with. Again, He is the leader and example. His great love is that of laying down His life for His friends. He says if you do what He commands, we are friends. When we choose to obey we are sharing friendship with God; the evidence of abiding in the True Vine!

Prayer Prompts:
  1. Spend some quiet time reflecting on the words Jesus spoke: “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” 
    • Do you know the love of the Father? If so how do you see His love manifest in your life? 
    • If you struggle to know the Father’s love or you want to know more of His love, ask the Lord in prayer to show you His love today. 
  2. The branches abide in the vine - they receive nourishment that cause fruit to grow. Spending time in God's Word is a way we are reminded of truth and receive nourishment from the “true vine.” Prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you through His word today. If you struggle with reading the Bible go to biblegateway.com and find a translation that speaks to you or find another devotional there that challenges your faith! 
  3. Obedience to God is not a chore. It is joy and it is because it is done in love. In your quiet time reflect on these questions:
    • Why do I obey God? 
    • Am I living in His joy or in my own means/ways of happiness? 
    • Am I abiding (remaining) in His love? Or do I ignore or move past it? 
    • How do I love others? 
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