Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

January 09, 2004

Remaining in the Love of Christ

Jesus says, "Remain in my love." [John 15:9] A good word that. Remain. Continue. Stay. Stand firm. And the implication is, no matter what. No matter the circumstances. No matter that it may seem like folly. Remain in the love of Christ. Do not be dismayed, distracted, or discouraged. But remain.

And then Jesus says, "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love." Ah, commands. That's tricky. I don't generally take very well to commands. What are these commands of yours, Jesus?

"My command is this: that you love one another as I have loved you." See, He circles back again to this love-business. First: Remain in my love. Next: Obey my commands. Then: My command is that you love one another. The beginning and the end of your salvation walk is love. Loved walked-out, its consequences accepted.

That's it. I'm to accept the consequences of loving. Some of these might even be painful. I might want to turn back. I might want to shuffle this burden onto the back of another. But remaining in the love of Jesus no matter what is staying the course through every trouble and trial, and the course is love. And isn't that the cross Jesus speaks of here? And the burden he speaks of here?

Now flip over to Hebrews 12:2. It says that Jesus, "for the joy set before Him, endured the cross." Oh my, there's so much here. What was that joy, do you think? I think it was the prospect, the eternal prospect, of what He would achieve by going to that cross. That is, the salvation of many who had been lost. Victory over darkness and death. Forever. For you and me. This was the joyful prospect that Jesus had in view.

And, secondly, it was an act of obedience. Go back to John 15:10--"If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love." Then see what He says next: "Just as I have obeyed my Father's commands, and remain in His love." His trust in the Father was so steadfast, so complete, that He was willing to endure even the Cross. He "remain in His Father's love."

This is really wonderful stuff. God says, Remain in my love. No matter the obstacles, hang on. Yes, it's going to hurt at times, but please trust Me on this. Keep a heavenly perspective. Paul said, "I consider that our present suffering is not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed to us."

Yes, and that how Jesus thought. And that's why He was able to endure. To remain, right to the end, in the love of the Father. His point of view was consistently heavenward. He always kept that big picture in mind, that eternal perspective, and no amount of present suffering could turn Him aside. He remained in His Father's love.

All suffering is not cross-bearing, but when your suffering is a consequence of love, that's a cross. But it is not a burden you cannot carry. It is a suffering that will result in joyful outcomes. Not just momentary joy. Not joy followed by disappointment. But joy forever. Joy eternal. Pleasures evermore. This is the marvelous and miraculous translation that goes on always in the Kingdom of God, as things intended for our harm our changed into things that produce eternal consequences for good. Amazing! But true!

Hallelujah! Praise Him all you saints! He gives us beauty for ashes! He is a steadfast God!


Post a Comment

<< Home