As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you, Abide in my love. John 15:9-11
February is the “love” month. The stores are filled with read and pink hearts, candies and flowers. I love going to the grocery on February 14th and watching the last-minute-planning men standing in line, laden with flowers, cards, teddy bears and chocolates for their wives or girlfriends. They casually glance at each other to see if they have gotten enough, or maybe too much, as if there is some hidden rule of how much you should spend depending on the depth or longevity of your feelings.
How different is God’s unending love for us. It is not based on feelings or longevity. God doesn’t have a check list or ponders – Hmmm. Let’s see…. I will love her more often because she has been a believer since she was six, or love him more deeply because he reads my Word twice a day, prays often, and volunteers at the homeless shelter.
All of us have the opportunity to abide in God’s infinite, abundant, and generous love. It is freely given, equally and fully, in spite of our emotions or actions.
But, what does it mean to abide? It is more than just accepting it. It is letting it absorb into the very fiber of us like permanent ink. It is a snuggle down, feel secure, dwell in total trust sort of attitude. Here are five steps to truly abiding:
A – Acknowledge He loves us more than we can imagine or love Him back.
B – Be thankful that He loved us enough to take on our sins and die, so we could once again be in relationship with Him.
I – In His likeness, try to love others as He loves us.
D – Dedicate ourselves to His ways being the best, not ours.
E – Establish a relationship with Him through prayer and reading the Scriptures.
Chocolates disappear within days, flowers wilt, cards get stuffed in drawers. Human love ebbs and fades. But there is one gift of love that abides – constant, pure, eternal and faithful – the of love the Father, given through His Son and expressed by His Holy Spirit who dwells in us. All we have to do is accept that gift at any time. No certain day on the calendar, red hearts or check-out lines needed. So, if you don’t get roses or candy this year, know you have a gift that is worth so much more from the One who loves you so much more. It is available to you every single day.
Abide in the love of your Savior this day, this month, and for the rest of your life.