Take chances. Abandon all the rules. Ditch the recipe. Color outside the lines.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Abiding Place

Abide (v.)
1. accept or act in accordance with

2. (ing) permanent; enduring

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

So much to get excited about in those 14 words of Jesus!  I use to really dislike this verse, which seems silly when you read it at face value there, but it’s located after the passage about Jesus being the vine and us being the branches.  In this analogy Jesus says that God prunes those who are not bearing fruit and tosses them into the fire.  Which, of course, is what pastors always focused on when preaching about this passage, and to me always sounded like God was going to toss me aside if I didn’t achieve enough for Him.

Not only that but most translations of the Bible translate this word as “remain” which makes it sound, to me, like any time I run from him, I’m in danger of being cut off.  That was never great news for me, who even when trying my best to run towards Him, felt most times like I was moving backwards.

BUT this verse is not saying that at all!

It’s saying something much bigger that I’m pretty sure the disciples totally missed at the time (because I certainly did).

Let’s just start out with Jesus’ statement of “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you.” Woah! Wait, what?  Hold on a second there Jesus, are you saying that just like your Father, the God of the universe and sculptor of the heavens, loves you, his perfect, without fault, only Son, that’s the way you love me?!

Surely, you must be mistaken!  Have you even met me?  Don’t you know what a mess I am?

Yeah, that’s right, “As the Father loved me; I also have loved you.”

Broken you.
Messy you.
Unqualified you.
You are PERFECT to me.

That right there… that would be enough.  If Jesus had just done a double chest tap and said peace out after that, it would have been a big enough statement; but, of course, it doesn’t end there.

Jesus says, now that you know that, now that you know how much I love you, abide in that! Accept and act in accordance with it.  Believe and act out of it.  Endure struggles knowing it.  Nail down stakes and set up camp in it. 

Abide. In. My. Love.

See, Christ’s love for us, has absolutely nothing to do with us.  We have no control over it; we can’t escape it; we can’t run far enough that it can’t reach us; we can’t even do anything to lose it because we did nothing to gain it. 

Our only power is in how much we decide to believe in a love that we already have.  Our choice is only whether or not we want to hang out in that one way love or if we’d rather trade it for the piss poor substitute that the world has to offer us.  Even then, our choice doesn’t diminish or amplify his love, only how much we enjoy it.  He is limitless source and we are ravenous need.  The river is always there, our choice is whether or not we drink from it. 

Set up camp in Christ’s love this week.  Let it overtake and overwhelm you in the heights of triumph and the depths of failure.  Be treasured.  Be loved.  Abide. 

1 comment:

  1. You mean that's all I have to do? Abide! Wow! That's so easy! Must be because Jesus is the glue that holds it all together! No more scotch tape, no more duct tape, no more gorilla tape. Whee! I am free! Jesus has made me free and I am free indeed. Thank you Jesus! And thank you Jess for sharing!
    The crazy lady!