Lovingly Obediently Abiding
Verse 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love.
In our Scripture passage today we see one of the biggest keys to abiding in the Vine and being found healthy in Him.
In verse 9 of our Bible reading Jesus said that we need to abide in His love and in verse 10 He told us how to do that. We tend to find rules as confining and even annoying but Jesus was trying to help His followers understand that to obey Him is to love Him. And to love Him is to obey Him. He went so far as to say that to obey is to abide in His love. But how is obeying a way of abiding in His love?
To answer this question we need to understand the love of obedience. To obey out of obligation is obeying solely because of the law. To obey out of love is to obey because of love for the law giver. This is not about the law as much as it is about the relationship that we should have with Christ as His followers. Relationship is really what abiding is really all about.
In a healthy relationship we look to the other person and do what we can to please them and bring joy to their lives. That is how loving through obedience works. It isn’t about His trying to control us, it is about His using the law to bring us closer to Him. And the closer we are living in Him, the more like Him we are going to be and the more fruitful our lives will be. To abide in Him and love Him through obedience reveals the measure to which we are alive in the vine. A lack of loving obedience proves we are just taking up space and energy.
As Christians we are not just to take up space in the vineyard and as we learned yesterday, God doesn’t allow fruitless branches to continue. To abide is to be active in our relationship with the vine and to be active in our relationship with God means not letting Him do all the work. Of course this isn’t talking about the work of salvation as that is something only He can do but rather is talking about the way of building a relationship in which we have a role and that role is obedience. This is the ultimate way of showing Him that we love Him and that it is our desire to abide in Him.
Making It Personal
How would you rate your loving obedience to the Father? How do you think God would rate you on your loving obedience? What do you need to obey Him in that is currently keeping you from wholeheartedly abiding in Him?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to obey? Should we obey those that we love that are in authority over us? What is something you need to learn to obey God in?
Father, thank You for loving us and laying out the ways that we can show You love in return. Give us an understanding of what it truly means to abide in You with loving obedience. In Jesus’ name, amen.