“As the Father hath loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love, even as I abide in my Father’s love.” ~ John 15:9, 16
I have a confession to make: I’ve been afraid to write/talk/share on God’s love lately. I’ve read and heard several conversations lately that center around this love. Some of these seem to have taken it to the extreme and made love the thing. “God is love.” “He loves everybody.” All we seem to have to do is realize this love and its ours. And that’s it. It’s as simple as recognizing that we are loved. This is great, mind you, but it falls short of the glorious fulness of our God in Christ. To make love the thing is to miss out on His holiness, His humility, His purity, His integrity, His meekness, His sacrificial life, and I could go on and on – He is an awfully big God, after all. But as I was abiding in Him and beholding Him for this post, He revealed to me that that fear was just another form of self. What was I afraid of? Was I trying to take offense for my God? Was I implying that I was getting it, and others were not? Was I trying to protect my understanding of Him? Do you hear the self in that, saints?
“As example and rule for [our] abiding in His love, [we] have to look to His abiding in the Father’s love. In the light of His union with the Father, [our] union with Him will become clear. His life in the Father is the law of [our] life in Him.
“The thought is so high that we can hardly take it in, and is yet so clearly revealed, that we dare not neglect it. Do we not read in John 6 (ver. 57), ‘As I live by the Father, even so he that eateth me, he shall live by me’?”
I highlighted nearly this whole chapter. I’d love to share nearly this whole chapter with you here in this post. A lot of that is because I believe brother Murray gives a balanced view of what it means to abide in His love, and that’s what I want to do: present a balanced view. But that, again, can be out of fear. Fear of either being misunderstood or being misinterpreted or what have you – it’s all still fear. Abiding in His love is to have that fear cast out. There is no fear in love. There is no fear in Christ. Even as Jesus went through His life on earth in humiliation and suffering, “He tasted the blessedness and strength of knowing Himself the object of an infinite love.” He abided in His Father’s love. He could suffer what He suffered because He knew His Father’s love for Him. He now invites us to abide in His love. Allow that love – love from Father to Son to believer – to be the strength by which we live and move and have our being.
“The Son is not afraid of losing aught by giving up all to the Father for He knows that the Father loves Him, and can have no interest apart from that of the beloved Son. He knows that as complete as is the dependence on His part is the communication of the part of the Father of all He possesses. Hence when He said, ‘The Son can do nothing of Himself, except He see the Father do it,’ He adds at once, ‘Whatsoever things the Father doeth, them also doeth the Son likewise: for the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth.’ The believer who studies this life of Christ as the pattern and the promise of what his may be, learns to understand how the ‘Without me ye can do nothing,’ is but the forerunner of ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.’ We learn to glory in infirmities, to take pleasure in necessities and distresses for Christ’s sake…Dependence, subjection, self-sacrifice, are for the Christian as for Christ the blessed path of life. Like as Christ lived through and in the Father, even so the believer lives through and in Christ.”
And this is my prayer: “Lord, show us Thy love. Make us with all the saints to know the love that passeth knowledge. Lord, show us in Thine own blessed life what it is to abide in Thy love. And the sight shall so win us, that it will be impossible for us one single hour to seek any other life than the life of abiding in Thy love.” Amen.