Being a Disciple, pt. 2

“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in my love.” – John 15:9

To be a disciple of Jesus is to abide in His love. 

To be a disciple of Jesus is to understand that you are loved with the same love that is between the Father and Son.

“Abide” is one of those words that we don’t really use in this day and age.  As a matter of fact, I can’t think of a single time that I have used “abide” in a casual conversation.  But, in John 15 it occurs 10 times in the first 9 verses.  It meant something.  It gave a clear picture to the first disciples of what it meant to follow Jesus. 

Abide means to stay, remain, live in, make your home in, continue with.  So Jesus is telling us that central to being His disciple is staying at home in His love. If you think about it, whatever “home” is to you, it is a powerful force that shapes the way you see and approach life. 

When we are “at home” in the love of Jesus, He is shaping our lives.  And that’s a good thing.

So what does it mean to experience the abiding love of Jesus?

My junior year of high school was terrible.  Everything terrible about it was my own doing.  I created more personal terror that year than I can capture in 750 words or less….like the story of getting 6 F’s on a report card….not a good moment.

In the heat of my personal, self-created terror I experienced what it meant to abide in love.

It was a really tough stretch for me. I remember feeling like I couldn’t do anything right.  I couldn’t get school right. I couldn’t get friendships right.  I couldn’t make good decisions. 

It all came to a head one evening when someone at our church thought he saw me doing something that was not appropriate.  So he went to my parents and told them what he thought he saw. For the record, I did not do what he thought he saw….

Either way, my mom and dad had every right to believe the man because I had a pretty bad track record at that point in the year. If the tables were turned I would have been mad too. Really mad. They were not happy. That was not a fun evening at home.

Once the “conversation” with my parents ended I went to bed worn out and crying because it really seemed I couldn’t get anything right.  Then something totally unexpected happened.  I felt a hand on my back and someone taking a seat on the side of my bed. It was my mom. She just sat there a minute crying with me and then said something like, “I know there are days when it seems like you are not going to make it.  But we will make it through together.  I am always here with you.  I love you.” 

Wow. That is not what I deserved.

In essence she said, “I love you. Abide in my love”.

That moment had a huge impact on me. As my mom loved me in that moment I have tried to love my children.

To abide in the love of Jesus is to know you are never alone.

To abide in the love of Jesus is to trust that His Word is right and good.

To abide in the love of Jesus is to lean on Him when it seems like you are not going to make it.

To abide in the love of Jesus is to know He is for you even when you fail.

To abide in the love of Jesus is to allow Him to shape your life.

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