“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you" (John 15:9-12).
It’s so simple that it’s almost unbelievable. In this climate of disagreement and hatred, Jesus is telling us to LOVE one another? How can this be? Ah, yes, indeed! That’s exactly what He’s saying to us. As people of The Book, we have the Good News. God loves us so much that He GAVE us Jesus, salvation, deliverance, redemption, His presence!
As we study and understand His commandments, we find He never leaves us to figure it out on our own. It’s all about relationship. The Father loves the Son. The Son loves us! Abide in that love. Rest in it! Take it to the bank of heaven! Jesus even boiled it down for us that the greatest commandment is to love one another! Focus on His love and letting Him lay His heart over yours.
Keep His commandments and you will abide in His love. Jesus was obedient to the direction of God, seeking always to walk in His ways. We find an extra reservoir of love as we walk in obedience to the teachings of The Word.
We become infused with JOY unspeakable and full of glory! Joy that gives us strength. Strength for the journey to study and obey. Strength to love one another!
You may be wondering how to let His love flow through you so the world will know Him better. Begin in your personal relationships. First of all, make sure you are walking in His love along the way. Forgive yourself for the places you’ve fallen short of His glory. Forgive others! Totally!
Sometimes, it’s hard to completely forgive. The wounds, the scars, the pain hinder the completion of the process of what God wants to accomplish through you. I keep confessing and blessing, taking those thoughts captive, declaring God’s Word. Of course, every time I think I have arrived, I get an opportunity to learn a new lesson about the power of forgiveness. But there is tremendous joy and a fresh release of love as we practice total forgiveness.
Family relationships. Marriages. I’ve had to pray “Lord, I’m having trouble loving here right now. Love through me. Lead me, guide me.” Be honest! He already knows the situation. He will guide. He will restore. His love covers a multitude of sins. Keep your eyes on the prize. Press in to His love and watch how He heals and redeems.
In a real practical way, hiding someplace alone with God, pouring out your frustrations, letting Him heal and renew you, opens you up to be a vessel of love to those in your life.
Beyond the personal and intimate relationships, there will be times you are blindsided by a new opportunity to either react from pain or respond out of love. I’ve heard many sermons telling us “Love is a Choice.” Choose love.
When you have practiced forgiveness in your life, it will be easier to forgive and love in each situation: church, family, friends, co-workers, strangers . . .
The things He has taught us work. His commandments protect us from the enemy seeking to divide and conquer or even destroy us in life. Keep His commandments. Rest in His love. Love one another! Choose love!
- The Father loves you! Jesus loves you!!
- Keeping His commandments increases your security in His love.
- Choose to let His love guide in your relationships.
- The joy of love will flow through you in fulness as you camp out by this River of Living Love.
--Sarah Lowe, National Area Leader, South Central