We know it so well, we've embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God. God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. (1 John 4:16 The Message).
We have come into an intimate experience with God’s love, and we trust in the love he has for us. God is love! Those who are living in love are living in God, and God lives through them. (1 John 4:16 Passion Trans)
It is very clear from John 15 that the journey of a Christian is the way of love. Jesus describes this journey as "abiding in love" and this means so much more than simply 'staying put'. It has a sense of permanence, enjoyment, rest and of being at home. When we abide we are truly content and, I believe, able to relax. Abiding, however, is not a static state as it's a journey where we are rooted in sonship which, in turn, enables us to walk as Jesus walked. It enables us to come to the Father in a greater confidence, knowing that it is his desire to lavish good things on us and to see his will being brought to earth through us.
The consequence of abiding is fruitfulness, it is not productivity. In his commentary on John's gospel, Stephen Hill writes: "Fruitfulness is not to be confused with productivity. Productivity is what we are engaged in when we are not abiding. Productivity is essentially self-generated whereas fruitfulness is generated from another Source." "The fruit of discipleship is to be a son like Jesus."
These words in John's letter are experiential words, the NIV says we know and rely on the love God has for us. Our Father is totally dependable and reliable. His love for us shows us that we don't have to rely on ourselves or our own strength. We don't have to do or be anything in order to be accepted by him. It is his unchanging love for us which draws us into the place of life and the fruit that will inevitably follow.
For a limited period, and while stocks last, I am offering a "Two For One" offer on some of my books.
For only £10 (including postage) you can have any two of: A Father to YOU, Planted in Love or The Depth of Love. To take advantage of this offer click here.
(Due to high postage costs this offer is only available for UK addresses).