Let’s Be Careful Where We Abide

     As the Father has loved me, so have I 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 be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:9-11 (ESV)

Lord Jesus, how can it be? How is it possible that you love us just as much as the Father loves you—to the same degree, with the same delight, for the same eternity?

And thank you for commanding us to “abide” in your love—to make your love our permanent home, not merely our vacation spot or occasional rest stop. Otherwise, we tend to abide in our fears, complaints, lusts, hurts… and the list goes on.

Because you perfectly fulfilled the law for us, God’s commandments are no longer a burden to us (1 John 5:3). We earn nothing by our obedience; we enjoy the fruit of yours. By your commands, we learn how to love others as you love us; how to live at the pace of grace, instead of just racing around just to get more; and how to steward our gospel freedoms, instead of frittering away our days on empty nothings.

Hallelujah! We’re not under the weight and condemnation of the law; we’re in you and under the waterfall of grace (Rom. 6:14). Hallelujah! We’ve been set free from performance-based living, for a life of whole-heart loving. Take us further up and further into the ways and means of grace, Jesus.

May the pleasure we find in obeying you, Jesus, be only second to the pleasure we have in being loved by you. As we lean into the demands, surprises, and pains of this Wednesday in September, we are humbled to know you’ll be praying for the fullness of our joy. What a generous and loving Savior you are. So very Amen we pray, in your magnificent and merciful name.