John 15:9-17

Jesus continually opens my mind to what it really means to know him. He said, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you” to his followers. What does it mean to be loved by Jesus in the same way God the Father loves the Son? Again, God loves you like he does Jesus. Let that sink in. Let that get down into your spirit. “God loves me” may be one of the most quoted saying by Christians, but the least lived. To live knowing that I am loved as God loves Jesus means he loves me as if I never did anything offensive.

Here’s the kicker. Jesus calls us to stay. Remain in his love. We can be loved by God and miss all the benefits. You can be loved and never stop to receive that love. You can be loved and miss the joy. You can be loved as God loves Jesus and live oblivious to it. Without remaining near to him, it is as if we are dead branches. The life flow is there, but nothing to show for it. It is like a dead branch ready to be tossed in the campfire. Jesus is saying something like, “I am offering a fresh joyful life and you live life lost in the debris.” Slow down. Let his words go deep. Let your spirit take in his Spirit. There is life there. Let yourself know that you are dearly loved as much as the Father loves his Son.

I think every Christian wants to live a good life. We want to be good people. Jesus says you can, but not without me. You cannot live good and creative lives without knowing you are loved in the same way God loves Jesus. Stay in his love means to love others as if God loves them in the way Jesus is loved. If God so loved them, so I love them. I believe that is where this whole thing of “God loves me” can break down. Love others in the same way Jesus loves you. Love others because God loves them in the way he loves Jesus. Slow down. Let his words go deep. Let your spirit absorb his Spirit. You cannot love others without him. Here is life. Life lived freely and lightly. Let God love others through you as God loves you.

 

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