As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
John 15: 9 ESV
Can you think of a favorite phrase or quote that makes your heart sing?
For me, every time I hear this one particular verse, a sense of peace and comfort washes over me. It’s as if these words were spoken just for me.
Maybe you’ll feel that way, too.
Imagine Jesus looking into your eyes, speaking words of encouragement over you, saying, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love” (John 15: 9 ESV).
Hearing these words I’m in awe. I experience a sense of overwhelming relief, and gratitude. All I want to do is close my eyes, and lean into the moment.
Recalling these words I envision Jesus’ soft gentle voice summoning and reassuring me that I am cherished. I am precious. I am loved.
I can’t help but linger, savoring these words, hoping this tranquility and inner calm will last forever.
But then something brings me back, and I want to be sure I got this right. This Truth means just as God loves Jesus with an everlasting sacrificial love, He loves each one of us? Even with our flaws, and floundering, too?
I know the answer is yes. I know this to be true. I’ve experienced his faithfulness, steadfastness and unconditional love, but as much as I want and need a love like that, and know God’s love is freely given, it takes my breath away.
Human and divine, Jesus understands. He sees you and I at our best. He walks with you and I through our worst. Jesus’ ministry on earth illustrated this same love to his apostles (Matthew 10: 24), who were ordinary people from all walks of life, too.
Like his early followers, you and I are disciples in training. And with that comes responsibility and commitment.
Jesus continued in reply, “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” (John 15: 10).
Discovering the Greek word for abide means to dwell, endure, live, own, be present, remain, stay or wait, I pondered this Promise further.
And then my A-ha moment came. United with Christ in prayer, resting in his holy presence on a regular basis, and obeying his commandments are all examples of abiding in his great love.
Jesus made talking to God a priority.
“Rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed” (Mark 1: 35).
He often sought his Father, on the mountainside (Luke 9: 28, Mark 6:46).
On another occasion “Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God” (Luke 6:12).
Jesus dwelled in prayer. His desire to be with his Father was greater than anything else.
Shortcomings and all, God calls us to “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37: 3-4).
Anytime at all you and I can envision Jesus’ voice tenderly speaking again, and again, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love” (John 15: 9 ESV).
Continually letting go of any strongholds, whatever holds us back, any false gods that pull us away from becoming our highest self, we experience an inner shift to listen, and love from our heart.
Humbly walking with God, we nourish our souls. Seeking God’s Wisdom, reflecting on, and obeying his Word illuminates our path.
Jesus modeled how to experience intimacy with God.
We see how He often stepped away into a secluded place for privacy to seek the will of the Father (Luke 9: 18). When Jesus did, He was able to do all things.
Integrating spiritual practices into our day keeps prayer front and center, and we can do all things, too.
God’s way becomes our way.
“He makes known the path of life; and his joy fills us in his presence” (Psalm 16:11). Abiding in his love is all we ever need.
Until next time…
May the Spirit of God lead you, the Word of God sustain you, and the promises of God grant you the gift of everlasting peace.
Love and blessings...
I’d love to hear your favorite phrase or quote, and how you keep Jesus front and center in your life. Email me at email@example.com.
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Author of Nourish Your Soul: 7 Secrets for Women Seeking Peace
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