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Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

Monday, July 9, 2018

“God is Love”

John 15:1-11

To believe in Jesus is to be connected to him.  As he says here he is the vine, we are the branches.  We all know that a broken branch cannot bear fruit.  Jesus confronts us here with the sharp difference between believing things about Jesus and abiding in him.  What does it mean to “abide?”

Dale Bruner says the essential idea here is “to make your home with me.”  This is what it means to abide.  What if Jesus were with us all the time?  What if he went where we go, experienced all that we experience?  In fact this is the case.  Jesus said, “I am with you always to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).

If we really took this fact seriously, how would it affect our daily lives?  For John obeying Jesus is not a matter of following a set of rules.  The law, the specific instructions we encounter in scripture, are just starters.  Jesus is our example.  The Holy Spirit is our guide.

If we abide, are at home, with Jesus, he tells us that we can ask for whatever we wish and it will be given to us.  Yet all too often our prayers focus only on relief from pain and suffering.  This is intercessory prayer and it is important and valid.   Yet we must always remember that if we are truly at home with Jesus we share in his life.  That life included “loud cries and tears” (Heb. 4:7).  This is to say that suffering may be something we’re called to.

Yet even more we’re called to experience God’s love.  That love never wavers or changes.  It is our source of complete joy.

Gracious and loving God and Savior may I truly be at home with you.  Remind me that I can do nothing apart from you.  Increase my sense of your love and give me your joy.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.