Abiding in Love

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” (Jn. 15:9)

Abide in love… not just any love – My love! This is a call to live in it continually and stay focused on the fellowship of love, while gaining insight into its various expressions. This is the main exhortation of the Bible. It includes studying it, praying over it, and sharing it… going deep in it and being students of how God feels about His people. Jesus says, “with the same intensity that the Father loves Me, that is the way I love you.” Then He gives what I consider to be the number one exhortation in the Bible, “Abide in this!” He is saying, “Do not move on. Live here. Do not ever graduate from this focus.” So we must never move away from the fellowship of Kingdom love.

At different times we might go deeper into a season with the Holy Spirit where we will highlight a theme in the Bible. You might lock into some topic or encounter some aspect of God’s character, but we never want to move on from the love of God. It is not the sort of thing we do an internship on and talk about for a few weeks or go to a conference about. Jesus said, “abide in My love”! Do not ever move on from this subject. Dwell in love with God – always. Go deep… and stay locked in. Be focused on this reality and share it everywhere. It will even become the way in which you are recognized (Jn. 13:35).

The love burning in God’s heart has at least five distinct expressions that are deeply interrelated.

1. God’s love for God: Each person in the Trinity intensely loves the others with all their heart (Mt. 3:16-17).
2. God’s love for His people: He loves His people with the same intensity that He loves within the fellowship of the Trinity (Jn. 17:23).
3. Our love for God: God’s very own love is imparted to His people by the Spirit (Rom. 5:5).
4. Our love for ourselves: We love ourselves in God’s love and for God’s sake (Mt. 22:39).
5. Our love for others: We love others in the overflow of experiencing God’s love… it begins by “beholding” (1 Jn. 3:1) and grows by “experiencing it” in God (1 Jn. 4:18-19).

The Fellowship of the Burning Heart.

We are called to enter into Kingdom fellowship… an atmosphere of love that burns within the fellowship of heaven. The burning heart of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Holy Spirit as well as the Father. The burning heart is the Father, Son and Spirit… passionately beating for us. God beckons us… “Enter into this fellowship with us!” My friend, this is the essence of what salvation is all about. Salvation is so much more than escaping hell. Salvation is much more than having a ministry or something important to do. No… there is something bigger going on. We are called into the fellowship of the burning heart in this age and in the age to come.

Never Move On!

Love, by definition, demands an expression… to be shared and multiplied. God wanted others to experience the joy of perfect love. God created human beings to participate in this glorious fellowship because He is love (1 Jn. 4:8). God does not lack anything. He has no need, in the way we think of insufficiency… yet His love places a demand upon His heart. He did not create humans, because He was lonely or discontent or had an emotional need. We were created in His image to live in love… to abide within the fellowship of His affection. Perhaps the most freeing revelation, within this mandate to abide in love; is that we will not love God more by “trying harder” but by “seeing more” of His love for us.

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 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.” (Jn. 15:11-13)

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