Life on the Vine: Abide in My Love

How many ways would our lives be different if we lived every moment of every day deeply believing…remembering…enjoying God’s love for us?

Just as the Father has loved me,

I have also loved you; abide in my love.  

  John 15:9

 Incredible.

 Stop and think about this. Really think about it.

God, the Father, has loved Jesus, and Jesus loves us with this same, perfect God-love.  God’s love for us is so much wider and deeper, fuller and brighter than we can grasp.  He will always love us saying, ” I have loved you with an everlasting love…” Jeremiah 31:3.

He always has and He always will.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1.

Jesus invites us to abide, to dwell, in His love.  This love of God expressed through Christ is our abiding place—our resting place.

Abiding is about learning to inhabit this love God has for you. 

Live through the love that God has for you.  Be at home in His love for you. 

As we learn to abide in Christ, we become more and more aware that He is our resting place, our dwelling place.  The abiding love of Christ is not something to go in and out of, nor is it  measured out on the basis of good behavior.

We dwell in Christ’s presence—He goes with us and is part of who we are and what we do.

This is the practice of abiding. This life on the vine at its fullest.

As a child, I remember singing, “Jesus loves me this I know…” It is easy to say I believe that God loves me—yet when I functionally believe that His love is for me, my view of life and self cannot help but expand to take in this love-life of God.

Yet how often do we relegate the truth, “God loves me” to cliché, saccharine-sweet with the thoughtlessness that comes with too many words, but too little reality lived in the grit of God-love permeating joys and heart breaks, gains and losses?

Too-often said without the backbone of belief, we live as if we equate the fact of God’s love with fairy tales and fables.

What we miss when we do not take God at His word.

Jesus invites, “abide in my love.”

If only we would.

If only we would nestle into it like a warm blanket  on a cold night.

If only we would rest our heads against the strength and solid faithfulness of Christ’s love.

If only we would drink it in, gulp it down, greedy and ever-thirsty with desire to know the fullness of Christ.

If only we would grab hold of God’s love, refusing to let go when uncertainties dangle us over the edge of faith.

Too easily satisfied, we live in the half-life shadows of partial belief and a portion of understanding. We see dimly, edges blurred black and white, with eyes human and unaccustomed to eternity. We understand only a fraction of the power of God’s love.

For God loved this world so much.

 That He gave

 His only

 Begotten Son

 So that

 Whoever, wherever, whenever…any and all…

 Believes

 In Him

 Shall not perish

 But

 Have life eternal. (John 3:16)

I share with you the challenge God calls to my heart: If I really, functionally believe that God loves me—how will this day be different?

How will I be different?

How will I think, respond, and react differently?

How will you?

 

 Many thanks to Mary Denman for sharing one of her photos. Mary is a talented photographer, writer, and homeschool mama. Enjoy her beautiful photo blog here: marydenman.com.

 

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