Remain in My Love - January 2011
Learning how to Remain in Jesus' Love Day by Day
What follows is really a journal. To fully understand, please read The Cadence of Life first.
Much of last year and really much of my life I have been seeking that activity I could throw my life into with all the determination and resilience I have. Early on in my Christian journey Jesus gave me this activity plain and simple, but sometimes those things that are most simple are the most difficult to practice:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Surely love is at the center of what my life's activity should be and it is further emphasized throughout the Bible, especially in John chapters 13 and 15 as well as the whole book of I John. In fact in I John 3 and 4 alone we are told seven times to love one another.
And In John 13, after Jesus washed the disciples' feet he said:
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
This powerful verse lets us know that loving one another has the quality of spreading the good news and letting others know we are disciples of Jesus.
And there's more. In John 15 Jesus tells us:
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 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. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
So the great activity of my life has been clearly laid out for me, I'm to remain in His love and yield to His abiding Spirit as He loves those around me.
But how do I let him love through me and not let loving others become another task on a never ending task list?
This is the question I bring into the new year and the purpose of this journal - To document my journey as I learn to Remain in His Love.
Over Christmas week me son Michael and I watched the extended edition of all three Lord of the Rings movies. It's amazing to me how many parts of the movie remind me of life's journey, especially my spiritual journey.
At the end of Return of the King Bilbo tells Gandalf as he boards the ship headed to the undying shores that he is quite ready for another adventure.
This is how I look at this new year, an adventure. There are some amazing promises tied into remaining in Jesus' love and allowing Him to love through us:
John 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
I John 4:16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
These are promises way beyond my understanding, only the Lord can reveal to me what these mean. I know I must remain desperate and dependent every moment of this journey. Abiding in Christ, remaining in His love requires and resting and a yielding that is quit beyond my abilities. I'm sure I will fight against wanting to do when the Lord wants me to wait.
Henry Blackaby once wrote: "Just don't do something, stand there."
These are words I must constantly remember. Oh to learn how to rest and not strive, to yield and not initiate.
As I go into the new year, I am most desperate and dependent on Christ. I am fully aware that this new adventure can only happen as I remember my death and yield to His Spirit as he lives in me:
Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
January 1, 2011
My wife and I have four adult kids and the season of our lives is much different than it was even two years ago. Our interaction with our children happens in spurts now.
We had a quite New Years eve watching football and shooting a few fireworks.
We slept late and as I write, the morning is almost over.
By design, we have planned a slow day of reflection and thoughts of the new year.
Our prayer last night was that the chaff of our lives would remain behind in 2010, swallowed up in His love and forgiveness and that the new year would be a year of freshness with the joy of new beginnings.
As I write, the only person I know I will be with today is my wife, so I ask God to love her through me.
Since this is an adventure, I look forward to what the day may bring as I:
Remain in His Love.
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