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     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 fullJohn 15:9-11(ESV)

     Lord Jesus, this isn’t a “game changer” passage; it’s an everything-changer. How can it be? How is it possible that you love us to the degree, and with the delight, the Father loves you? We are riddled with unbelief.

     Thank you for commanding us to abide in your love—a most glorious and essential command to obey. It was your obedience that earned the fullness of God’s love for us, and it’s our obedience that frees us to enjoy every good thing we have in you.

     Because you perfectly fulfilled the law for us, God’s commands are no longer a burden to us (1 John 5:3). By them we understand how to love others as you love us; and how to live at the pace of grace and by the rhythms of the gospel; and how to steward our freedom and invest our moments.

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

     May your Word, and everything it teaches us, increasingly become more precious to us than fine gold, and sweeter than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb (Ps. 19:10). Indeed, your Word warns us of the insanity of sin, and woos us unto a life of beauty and peace (Ps. 19:7-13). May the joy we find in obeying you be a close second to the pleasure we have in being loved by you.

     And now, as we lean into the demands, delights, and disappointments of this day, we rest in this blessed assurance: We are yours, Jesus, and you are fighting for our joy. So very Amen we pray, in your magnificent and merciful name.

 

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