Remain In The Father's Love
In the previous verses Jesus was encouraging his disciples to remain in the vine. In this passage he is encouraging them to remain in his love. Is there any real difference? We will not have the love of the Father if we are not in the vine and if we are in the vine we will have the Father’s love abiding in us.
Jesus gave us some perspective on why some believers do not demonstrate much love. He said, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love.” We could conclude the opposite to also be true – If we don’t obey his commands we will not have his love. Could it be those who don’t love are in disobedience?
It appears that staying connected to the life-flow (remaining in the vine) also keeps us connected to the flow of love from the Father. Look at the way love flows from God: It flows from the Father to Jesus, then flows from Jesus to the believers, and finally, as we remain in Christ his love remains in us. It’s just that simple. If we are in Christ we will have God’s love flowing through us – If we aren’t in obedience to Christ we don’t have God’s love flowing through us.
Then he adds another component to this matrix of the vine, the branches, love and obedience. The new ingredient is joy: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” There you have it. His purpose in all of this is so that we will have complete joy in him.
How is your joy lately? Check out your connectedness to the vine. Evaluate how freely love flows. Maybe your obedience level is hindering the love and joy flow. Something to think about.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be obedient that I may remain in the vine and your love will flow, making my joy complete. Amen
Principle: Jesus tells us to remain in the vine and bear fruit. We remain in the vine by obeying his commands. The test of whether we remain in the vine is if we continue in his love.
Affirmation: I know I am continuing in the vine because I obey his commands and his love is in me.
Reflection: The whole concept of being connected to Christ as a branch is connected to a vine is interesting. An observation: When we see a vine with many branches we do not distinguish between the vine and the branches. We say, "Look at the vine." We don't say, "Look at the branches." We see the vine and the branches as one. It is the same in Christ. We who are in the vine are one with the vine.
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