“… Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love …”. (John 15: 9b-10a, NLT)
The words sit open before me for several days. They are familiar, no matter the version:
- “Abide in my love.” (ESV)
- “Make yourselves at home” (MSG)
- “Live within my love.” (TLB))
Jesus is telling us to remain in Him which means we already have entered into relationship with Him. In using the Greek word – meno – Jesus is telling to stay in His love. It is in the staying that a profound, intimate, and lasting relationship is formed. It includes the aspect of having patience in the stay, no matter the circumstances.
The only way we will remain in His love is through remaining in His Word regularly. Often. Daily.
Scripture holds power – staying power.
And obedience to His Word is the way we remain in Him. Our lives become formed, shaped, or molded as we read His words of life.
The question which lingered was: Exactly what does Scripture do in my life as we read? The answer was to be found in Psalm 19, where there I read that His Word:
- Revives our souls. “The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul” (verse 7a). His Word will bring us back on the right path. It will set us back in motion when stalled or distracted.
- Makes us wise. “The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple” (verse 7b). His Word helps us to be skilled in the issues of life. This wisdom “denotes an intelligent attitude toward the experiences of life” (Old Testament Lexical Aids).
- Brings joy to our hearts. “The commandments of the Lord are right, bring joy to the heart” (verse 8a). His Word steers and keeps us on course. As truth makes its way into our hearts, life becomes exciting and joy-filled.
- Gives insight. “The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living” (verse 8b). His Word is not hidden from us. He brings understanding (discernment) and lights the way we should follow.
- Brings warning. “They are a warning to your servant…” (verse 11a). His Word will will warn us, or restrain us, when a threat to our well-being comes against us.
- Brings great reward. “.. a great reward for those who obey them” (verse 11b). There are blessings that are the result of obedience, in both this life and the next.
In returning back to John 15, there we find a glimpse of the reward –
“I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:11, NLT)