In today’s confused fallen world, love is a complex and ambiguous word. As I reflect on my life, I am fortunate to have lived in a home where my parents loved each other. Their enduring relationship cultivated an environment of refuge and happiness. My parents’ relationship thrived primarily because they were fortunate to have parents and other relatives’ model love, cultivate it, and express its profound rewards — not merely an emotional reward, but an enduring affection that remains steadfast for a lifetime.
As believers living in a confused culture, we need to know how to express and reflect love, and to experience its abiding joy. Jesus, in his concluding chat with his disciples, defines abiding love and its related affect. First, he assures them that he faithfully loved them the same way his Father loved him. Jesus clarifies his disclosure by emphasizing that abiding in his love means keeping his commandments ― just as he abided in his Father’s love by keeping his commandments. Jesus then assures them that he shared these truths with them so they could experience the relational intimacy of his immeasurable joy ― love’s abiding joy.
So, how do we, in today’s culture, emulate Jesus’ countercultural love model? Simply, we keep his commandments ― not in a legalistic manner, but in a way that honors and reflects our love for Jesus and our Father. Loving the Lord transcends a fleeting emotional experience. Loving him and abiding in his love allows us to experience his joy ― love’s abiding joy!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending the Living Word, Jesus. Teach me your commandments. May your Spirit write them on the tablet of my heart. Empower me to honor you and love you the same way Jesus honored and loved you that I may continually experience the same intimate relational abiding joy. Amen.
Go Deeper ― Jesus wants us to experience the same abiding love as he experiences with the Father. Consider today’s verse and contemplate the following question: Why does Jesus equate keeping His commandments with abiding in His love?
Photo Credit: Andreas Selter