God’s Love is Abiding
Prepare your Heart
Spend some time reading today’s verses multiple times. Make sure to read them in context of the verses around them, the chapter they are in, and the book they are in. Before beginning today’s devotion, take time to prepare your heart before the Lord in prayer. Ask that God, through His Spirit, would bring to life the truths of today’s verses and help you see how they apply to your life. While this journal is a tool to guide your time with the Lord, nothing can replace the power of personal prayer and preparation.
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.” — John 15:1-10
How can this be? How is it possible that Jesus loves us just as much as the Father loves Jesus—to the same degree, with the same delight? This is too much to take in. We try to believe but need help for our unbelief. Then there is the reciprocal love. We have our part. Jesus commands us to “abide” in His love—to make His love our permanent home, not merely our vacation spot.
Because Jesus perfectly fulfilled the law for us, God’s commandments are no longer a strain to us (1 John 5:3). We earn nothing extra by our obedience; but rather, we enjoy the fruit of Jesus’ perfect obedience. By His example, we learn how to love others as He loved us and how to live in grace, instead of just racing around to get more. We seek to steward our free life in Christ, instead of wasting away our days and moments.
Oh praise the abiding love of Christ! We’re not under the weight and condemnation of the law, but we’re in Christ and under His waterfall of grace (Rom. 6:14). We’ve been set free from trying to earn God’s approval. The chains are set free for us to now live a life of abiding love. May we abide in Him more and more as He works out His abiding love in our lives.
May God’s Word and everything it teaches us, increasingly become more precious to us than fine gold and sweeter than honey (Ps. 19:10). Sin can take us off track, but God’s abiding love woos us back into a life of true freedom and joy (Ps. 19:7-13). May the pleasure we find in obeying Jesus be only second to the pleasure we have in being loved by Jesus.
As you look ahead to the demands, surprises, and pains of this new day, or look back upon the victories and defeats, be humbled to know Jesus will be praying for the fullness of your joy. Wow! What a generous and loving Savior He is.
Questions for Thought:
- Does the abiding love of Christ make your heart sing? If not, why and what can you do about it?
- Abide means to remain in the same place a period of time, to make one's self at home. How are you doing abiding in Christ?
God’s Mission, Your Mission
Abiding is a reciprocal relationship - He abides in us and we abide in Him. Jesus promised in John 14:23: "Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them." To abide in Jesus is not a stagnant relationship but an ever-deepening, joyful, vital personal fellowship with Him.
Abiding speaks of being at home with Christ, comfortable with Him, and enjoying unbroken fellowship. It involves being open, honest and transparent with the One who truly loves you. Abiding means we confess our sins quickly and seek repentance earnestly, ever eager to return to our first love.
Your mission on earth requires that you remain in Christ as He remains in you. Each and every day you need this. The world needs to see Christ in you. You are His ambassador and the only “Bible” they may read. When you abide in Christ, He gives you His words, His compassion, His love, and His mercy. Apart from Christ you cannot do these things well. Abide in Christ and He will abide in and through you!