Welcome to Abiding Hearts at Home’s first series, Abide in My Love. Over the next 9 weeks we will be looking into God’s word and what Jesus meant when he said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love”. (John 15:9)
As we have discussed before, abide means to continue or dwell. If we are called and commanded to live out this love and continue in it, we must know it more fully. We will look at Paul’s definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13 and specific examples of how Jesus Christ shows us how to love through His life and ministry. As it has been said, “The best interpreter of scripture is scripture itself”. More than anything else, I am relying on the scriptures to help us define love and how to apply it to our lives. I am always continually amazed how the Holy Spirit speaks to us through God’s word and moves us to reflection, repentance, and action.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
If we are abiding in his word, we are armed with everything we need to learn, reflect, correct, and discipline ourselves to be doing the work that Jesus calls us to do; love one another. Let’s take a minute here to read some scripture about God’s love and the love we are commanded to give to others. I am assuming that you have read or heard these passages before and are familiar with them and the context they are written in. More thoughts and truths on these verses will be discussed in this series, but for now I want to let God’s word speak directly to you. I encourage you not to skim over them, but pray that the Holy Spirit will help you to see them as if for the first time. Let the words resonate in your heart and ponder the weight and significance of each truth.
You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45)
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 19:19)
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”(Matthew 22:36-40)
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:27-38)
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” (Luke 10:25-28)
No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Luke 16:13)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:15-17)
In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:20-21)
“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. (John 14:23-24)
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 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. (John 15:9-10)
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12)
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another. (John 15:16-17)
Jesus’ love for us is to be the foundation of our love for others.
Love had its perfect expression among men in the Lord Jesus Christ.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. (Ephesians 2:1,4-5)
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:2)
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. (1 John 4:7-9)
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:7-12)
I look forward to this series and what God has to teach us through His word. I am praying that hearts will be changed (including my own) and we will all learn a little bit more about God’s love for us and feel moved to love others in obedience and out of a heart of thankfulness.
Abide in His Love,