You and I need to spend a generous amount of time with this breathtaking Scripture. We cannot settle for a microwave version of this one. It’s simply not rushable. We legitimately need to take some long soaks in these words.
Do you see that? Jesus just told you and me that He loves us exactly like the Father loves Him – the same way, the same amount, the same intensity, the same tenderness, the same passion, the same blissful enjoyment, the same exquisite affection… This is flabbergasting. Words fail to say just how flabbergasting.
And then He continues, “Abide in My love.” Come, live in it. Dwell in it. Make your home right here in your belovedness. This is the essence of abiding in Him: learning how to inhabit the place of our belovedness.
He is so kind, so generous. He makes sure to explain how to do this, with His next breath: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love…” Keeping His commandments. This does not mean jumping through hoops to get special access to closeness with Him. It does not mean racking up brownie points by “being good,” in the hopes of earning His approval. Earning His approval is not necessary. You already have it. Right now, He profoundly approves of who you are. He really, really likes you.
What does it mean then? Jesus is describing for us a posture of yieldedness and dependency. He adds, “…just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (v. 10b).
He showed us how. He lived His life on earth in utter, constant dependency on Daddy God. He did nothing on His own. He did not speak one word that He didn’t first hear bubbling up from His Abba’s heart. He did not heal one sick person that Abba didn’t point Him to (John 5:19; 14:10). Absolutely everything He did was an expression of yieldedness to the Father’s directives and empowering. His heart cry, “Thy will be done” was not an isolated event at Gethsemane. It was His lifestyle.
A lifestyle of surrender is a lifestyle of intimacy. We live close to His heart. Entwined with Him, we hear His words communicated to us, Spirit-to-spirit. The movement of His Spirit inside of us directs our every step with utmost tenderness. When we live like this, we inhabit our belovedness. We perpetually walk deeper into His heart. We perpetually learn in increasing measures that we are the one that He loves.
Pause and listen one more time. Linger with this for as long as you can today: “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love…” (John 15:9-10, NKJV).
Is the love of God a general, overarching concept to you, where you know “God so loved the world”; or is it intimate to you? Do you know in your heart that He deeply loves you, personally?