John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” NKJV
John 15:9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” NKJV
One of the most treasured songs for Christians is the one with the lyrics that say, “Yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me for the Bible tells me so.” It is one of if not the first song parents sing to their children and teach it to them. I’m sure that I have sung that song hundreds if not thousands of times from my earthly birth to now many decades later. It is a simple and marvelous song. The Bible tells us clearly in these words, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” None of us are born loving God (the Lord Jesus Christ). In fact it is precisely 180 degrees opposite; we are born enemies of God and are running from Him from the womb.
Romans 5:8-10 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. NKJV
However, the glorious truth is our Lord loves His enemies and came to the earth to seek them out because of His great love (see the article entitled “His Love” www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=74630 ). People run from Him but He is faster and catches them because of love and gives them grace and faith in Him which none of us are born with and none of us deserve. Once we were the Lord Jesus’ enemy but He makes us His friend by making us a new creation a new race of human beings and places us into a new eternal family of recreated people. To know Jesus Christ is to love Him and no one can have an encounter with Him and not love Him. This is why the Apostle Paul said these very stern words, “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!”
Now we must work, not to earn salvation or favor with the Lord, we have that already by what our Lord has done, but we must work to ABIDE IN HIS LOVE. We ABIDE IS HIS LOVE by abiding in His Word. There is no way possible to separate the Word of God from the Love of God in my humble opinion they are twins in the life of Christ disciples. They that love the Lord Jesus are they that burn with love for His Word and for the Holy Spirit and that Word to continually change us day by day.
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. NKJV
The word abide is not a common one that we use in our everyday language and communication, but it is a most powerful word. It is a primary verb and verbs always require action. That is why we have responsibility to act. Of course we always need the Helper (God the Holy Spirit) to energize our actions but He will not act for us it is our job to begin all action. The English word abide comes from the Greek word meno, which means to stay (in a given place, state, relation, or expectancy); to continue, dwell, endure, remain.
Our Lord wants us to strive to stay in His love by loving all of those who belong to Him in the truth. We are to love our fellow brothers and sisters in His mystical body in truth and not by feelings or emotions but the instruction given by the Word of God. This is hard for me I must confess because my old man desires to abdicate when there are differences, deviations, or disputes over doctrine, direction, discipline, and discipleship matters that I believe or think is dishonoring to our Lord and His Word (see the article entitled “Give Me Your Heart” www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=77423). How do we love each other in the truth? The Apostle Peter, Paul, and John all wrote about our loving in the truth or speaking the truth to each other in love. The Apostle Paul (I believe) gives the best explanation of loving one another as our Lord Gives commandment.
Romans 13:8-14 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. NKJV
Finally, when we act to ABIDE IN HIS LOVE, we will purify each other and help each other grow up to maturity in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Also abiding in His love will continually give us the desire (as we are empowered by the Holy Spirit) to live godly in Christ Jesus our Lord. The world of natural men and women will not understand the desire of living godly to Glorify Jesus Christ and will hate the lovers of the Lord Jesus. If the world hated our Lord who always went about doing good, then the same world will hate those who abide in His love because our desire is to please Christ and not subscribe to the false love the natural man or woman of the world believes love to be. Why did the world hate the Lord Jesus Christ? He told us with these words, “It hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.” The life in Christ that we live (because of the Holy Spirit and our obedience to the Word of God) will continue to testify to the world that their works are evil. We must stand firmly in Christ love for us and our love to Him abiding in it to guard fervently against the temperature of our love to Him reducing, evaporating, or cooling off as it is so prone to do as we are fighting daily spiritual battles and dealing with the sometimes hard circumstances of life such as death to loved ones and praying for the salvation of those we love. For it is never His love to us that will dimmer, but it is crucial for us to ABIDE IN HIS LOVE (just lay down in it like a sun bather in the Sun and rest in it) so that our love to Him will be ignited so we can live in fullness of joy.
“He that loveth little prayeth little, he that loveth much prayeth much.” Augustine
“The great thing in prayer is to feel that we are putting our supplications into the bosom of omnipotent love.” Andrew Murray
“He loved us not because we are lovable, but because He is love.” “Love is the great conqueror of lust.” “Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.” C. S. Lewis
“Love and truth must be maintained in perfect balance. Truth is never to be abandoned in the name of love. But love is not to be deposed in the name of truth... Truth without love has no decency; it's just brutality. On the other hand, love without truth has no character; it's just hypocrisy.” John MacArthur
“To love God does not mean to meet His needs, but rather to delight in Him and to be captivated by His glorious power and grace, and to value Him above all other things on earth. All the rest of the commandments are the kinds of things that we will do from our hearts, if our hearts are truly delighted with and resting in the glory of God's grace.” John Piper
“Love is a command, not just a feeling. Somehow, in the romantic world of music and theater we have made love to be what it is not. We have so mixed it with beauty and charm and sensuality and contact that we have robbed it of its higher call of cherishing and nurturing.” Ravi Zacharias
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
Read more articles by Clifford Tate or search for articles on the same topic or others.