My last post I wrote of abiding in God or withering. And that I’d choose to abide rather than wither.
This past week I pruned our grapevine in the garden, so the sun could ripen the grapes. The cut-offs are frizzling up in the sun, and will be thrown into the compost in a few days. The grapes are becoming ready to pick. Those grapes are the treasure. Not so much the withering pile on the lawn.
Here in John 15:9 Jesus is more specific about abiding. He tells us to abide in His love. So I guess the question for us becomes – how? If I’ve chosen to abide in Him, I definately want to know how. When I first read this passage, and followed this line of question, I didn’t expect the answer.
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.
Keeping His commandments. Simple. Right??
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:12-13
Loving one another. And what does that really mean? That’s a journey I started years ago.. and still on. Discovering what it means to really love others. I mentioned this in an early post ‘A Life Poured Out‘. It’s loving others with a love greater than what we could ever have on our own. It’s loving out of pure motive. It’s risk-taking. It takes our time. Our initiation. It’s loving the least. It’s pouring our life out. It’s not stopping when it hurts. And yes it can really hurt. But I have refused to stop my journey in loving others because of painful experiences.
It’s being practical (see What’s in my hand?). It’s spiritual. Praying for each other. Forgiving.
It’s been a prayer of mine for many years.. that I’d have more of God’s love in me, to understand more of His love.
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 1 John 3-6
It’s having a deep revelation of His love for me. Love others as you love yourself. Hard to do if you struggle with rejection and low self-esteem. So I started with seeking an understanding of His love for me.
I can name the very place where that happened. Back in 1995 I went to a conference in Christchurch where John and Carol Arnott were speaking. I can not remember the actual message, or know who even prayed for me afterwards ( I never opened my eyes to see). But I do remember the encounter I had. As the person prayed for Jesus’ love to wash over me, (and continued to soak me in prayer for what felt like a good hour), I felt the nearness of Jesus. I was taken right back to a wonderful pre-school memory I have. Of playing on a large wooden cable reel in the sunshine, feeling the autumn air, and hearing the birds in the tall trees over the fence. Jesus spoke straight into my heart saying the reason that that was such a beautiful moment in time, (and well remembered) was that He was right there with me. And with that, came a download of His love.
That I know without doubt that I’m loved by my God.