ďAs 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 Fatherís 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. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down oneís life for oneís friends. You are My friends if you do what I command.Ē (John 15:9-14 NIV)
The most beautiful word in life is LOVE. There is no other book other than the Bible which so accurately teaches us what love really means. John 3:16, 1 John 3:1, 1 John 4:9 teach us about Godís love. God is love and His love is the source of the genuine love which is found among His children. 1 John 3:18 tells us about Christian love. Christ taught in Matthew 5:43-48 and in Luke 6:27-36 that we ought to love our enemies wholeheartedly. If we really practice love just as the way the Bible teaches, we are living in fellowship with God and His Son Jesus Christ. The success of life is hidden in following Christ and abiding in His love.
Our scripture passage deals so seriously with the relationship between the terms Ďobeying Christí and Ďabiding in His love.í We know that in order to obey God we first need to love God. If someone really loves God, He will love everyone. If we do not have love, it will be impossible for us to obey the Word of God because all the commands in the Bible are rooted in love itself. But, what comes first? Loving or obeying? You see, there are hypocrites who obey God for sake of material gain. There are those who give tithe just because they want financial prosperity as told in the book of Malachi. But remember, love always comes first. Loving God is more important than obeying Him. If we keep all His commands and do not do that with love, our Christianity isnít genuine.
When we abide in Christís love by obeying Him, we automatically will love everyone in this world. It is possible to love one man and hate another but it is impossible to love God and at the same time hate someone else. This is a supernatural spiritual reality. How much must we love each other? Just as Christ loved us! Seems impossible and unfamiliar? If you have a genuine desire to live a life of success and contentment, having a heart of love is the key.
Have you noticed people who do not practice true love? They do not have the peace of God. Jesus Himself told that He tells us to abide in His love so that His joy may be in us and our joy may be complete (v 11). What does it mean to have Christís joy in us? Such people will have no need to demonstrate their joy, but others will automatically understand it when they praise God in midst of sorrows, when they help those who cheated them, when they guide those who misled them, when they encourage those who had put them down. These are the signs which are more powerful, more effective and more influential than miracles.