By Darlene Melcher
Here is a little quiz. Read the following verse once through:
“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” ~John 15:9
Then answer this question: Without looking back at it, which part of the John 15:9 verse do you remember most?
I wish I could hear your answers! I’ll tell you mine. I always gloss over the first part of the verse and get to what I translate as the action part of the sentence. Yes, I have Martha tendencies; I am a do-er.
However, the other day Jesus stopped me at “I have also loved you.” There are times when I really struggle to believe or receive Jesus’ love because I feel so unlovable. I see the sin in my heart and the failure no one knows. I know that I’d rather sip tea and read a novel than pray and abide in His word on most days.
“Just as the Father has loved Me…” I don’t usually struggle with the idea of God the Father loving His Son, Jesus. I take it for granted. The “family” of the Holy Trinity has never experienced misunderstanding, hurt feelings, selfish ambition or separation due to sin. Never, until Jesus hung on the cross with the burden of our sin on Him. The sacrifice the Father made in sending Jesus away from His heavenly presence and down to a dingy stable, headed to a rough cross had to be more than we can imagine. We need His forgiveness because we need His love. We can receive His forgiveness because He loves us.
From the sinner on the street to the noisy child in the grocery store, our desires are basic. We want to matter. We want to know that someone out there cares that we exist. We want to feel something, to know we are alive. We want to experience something beyond our daily routine. We want to be loved. Whether we push people away or stand on our heads trying to please them, we crave love…
Why is it that we can trust the love of some imperfect person who has given us many reasons to doubt, and yet we struggle to believe in the love of One who has given us so many reasons to believe in His love? To receive love, we must believe Love. Even if someone genuinely loves you, you will not receive the benefit of it if you refuse to accept it. Sometimes we have been wounded by others, or we think we are unworthy, or we’re scared of stepping out in order to receive. We don’t want to make ourselves vulnerable, so fear holds us back. ~ Doors of Destiny Traveler’s Companion
Now I read John 15:9 and this is what I think, I’m loved as much as Jesus is loved by His Father. Whoa. I get chills as I contemplate that. Just as the Father looked upon His Son and declared, “That’s My boy! I’m so pleased with Him,” Jesus looks at us with approval and love. Why should He do that? Because He made us as white as snow. When we ask for forgiveness, we are asking to be cleansed and wrapped in the very righteousness (good deeds and perfection) of Jesus. Whoa again. (Matthew 3:17, Isaiah 1:18, 2 Corinthians 5:17)
By the way, abiding is more like resting than doing, so there goes my drive to be productive! Praying that you make your abode in the amazing Love that Jesus has for you because we have to be loved like Jesus if we are going to love like Jesus.