John 15:1-27 Most of us are familiar with the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13, but did you know there is another love chapter in the Bible that is just as important? John 15 is that chapter. Here Jesus tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches. The word divine has "vine" in it, and the "di" is short for deity. One could say divine love is God's dependent love. So many of us, including me, try to have the qualities of love listed in 1 Corinthians 13, but we fail miserably. Love is the fruit of the spirit, and the nine fruit of the spirit all radiate from divine love. It is impossible to love as Jesus loved when He walked on earth over two thousand years ago. We can, however, demonstrate His love to others if we are totally dependent upon His Spirit. Jesus tells us to do three things to radiate His love daily:
1. Abide in Him (without Him we can do nothing).
2. Abide in His Word (faith operates through love and is based on God's Word).
3. Keep His commandments (love God with all of our hearts and love others)
Every day I pray, "Lord, help me to love as You love." I have to realize, however, that I have a part to play in continuing in His love. When someone abides with another, he lives in the same dwelling place. Where is your abode? Where is your dwelling place? Our dwelling place must be in the presence of the Lord. I have to remain in His presence through a conscious act of submission and a total act of surrender throughout the day. How do I submit and surrender? My part is to hear, hide and heed the Word of God.
1. Hearing His Word means I must have fellowship with Him (abide in Him).
2. Hiding His Word means I must let the Word have affect on my soul to change me.
3. Heeding His Word means I must obey what I have heard and what I have hidden.
Jesus is with us wherever we go, and He wants to manifest His love through us to the world. The mark of a Christian is His love, which is both compelling and compassionate. There is a passion in God's love for us that can only be conveyed through Jesus Christ His Son. God so loved the world that He gave His Son. Greater love has no man than he lay his life down for another. Jesus laid His life down willingly for the whole world, but if you were the only person existing in the world, He would have done the same. In response to such a great sacrifice, I can only spend time in His presence hearing His Word, hiding His Word and heeding His Word.
Lord, help me to abide in Your presence all this day long. With Your help I will do my part to continue in Your love.
READ: 2 Samuel 9:1-11:27; John 15:1-27; Psalm 119:53-70; Proverbs 16:1-3