“Abide in my love; love one another, as I have loved you.”
Saints, sigh not at what is in very deed the highest token of the Father’s love, that He has called us to be like Christ in our love, just as He was like the Father in His love.
I do not how many of you have tried to love someone in your own strength, I have and it’s hard. I can imagine it’s like trying to catch a slippery muddy pig, it seems to always elude you. Once you think you are loving them they do something else that tests the source of this love. It doesn’t take long before you are tired of “trying to love like Christ.” All the while I am forgetting I can do nothing apart from Christ and that I cannot love, only Christ can. I have found that the Lord will allow these “difficult and trying” people into our lives so we can come to end our of ourselves, stop trying in our own strength, allow our self efforts to drowned, only to discover how to allow Him to love through us. When we stop our self efforts then He can begin do what only He can do.
I also realized this goes for all those things we try to do as well, like being patient, kind, gentle, self-controlled, etc. I know one mind-blowing thing that revolutionized my thinking about these seeming heavy commands; is to come to the reality that Love, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Self-Control are all a person. The person who is the source of all these things is Christ Himself. These are His fruits. He is the only one who can love, be patience, kindness, gentle, and control the self. This was part of what I learned in allowing my self effort to run itself out again, and again, and again. The Lord does not give us these fruits to have or use apart from Himself. That would be against the very nature of the Vine and the branches; that I can have something apart from Christ. He is our source and He is more that capable to meet any situation,with His life, that we encounter.
I love this picture painted by Murray in this quote, which points us to the source of Love Himself:
With Christ abiding in you, the Holy Spirit sheds abroad the love of God in your heart, and you love the brethren, the most trying and unlovable, with a love that is not your own, but the love of Christ in you.
WOW!! The whole and complete person of Christ abides in us and His spirit infuses our hearts with HIS love to enable us to love all who He wants to love through us. The Lord’s Love needs an outlet and He wishes to lavish Himself on others through us. We are only the vessels for the fruit to pass through to all He wishes to lavish His love on.
What say you of this glorious calling to love like Christ? Does not your heart bound at the thought of the unspeakable privilege of thus showing forth the likeness of the Eternal Love?
I like how Murray brings us back to abiding in Christ, who is Love, with this quote:
Understand that He who gave the command in such close connection with His teaching about the Vine and the abiding in Him, gave us in that the assurance that we have only to abide in Him to be able to love like Him.
I don’t know about you but this takes a weight off, the weight of self effort. What a rest we can enter into with abiding and drawing from the Vine all that we need to meet the demands of all He requires.
Abide in Love Himself and He will Love all through us; what and amazing Christ we have living inside of us. Thank you Lord that you are so much bigger than I have ever imagined. Thank you for all that you allow in my life so I may abide even deeper within you.