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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
John 15:7-11

Jesus continues the Upper Room Discourse by expanding on the grand theme of abiding in Him. Now He talks about letting His words abide in us: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you”. Abiding in Jesus has something to do with His words. Abiding in Jesus has something to do with receiving His words.

As we read, study, and meditate on Jesus’ words, we draw on the very heart and mind of Jesus. His life will flow into us through His words, shaping our thoughts and conforming our desires to His desires. This means that we can then ask for “whatever” we wish according to the heart and will of Jesus. Soaking up the nourishment of Jesus’ words, we will pray as Jesus prays, and our prayers will assuredly be answered.

Jesus connects answered prayer to His words abiding in us. When we pray, we are not asking God to do whatever we want, but asking God to do whatever He has promised.

Then Jesus expands the theme of abiding once again, inviting us to “abide” in His love. Jesus does not ask us to abide in condemnation and guilt, or abide in our spiritual success, or our fears. As a branch draws nourishment from the vine, so we draw daily from Jesus’ love for us. Be in awe of Jesus’ love for you. Bask in His love. You are precious to Him.

The nature of our oneness with Jesus is love. That means that the nature of the fruit He produces in us is love. As the Father loves Jesus, so Jesus loves us, and His love will flow through us to others. This is what the keeping of Jesus’ commandments in today’s text means: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13:34).

Jesus says these things about love so that our joy “may be complete”. Love is the way to genuine joy. It is the joy of living close to the Father’s heart.

REFLECTION

What are there in Jesus’ words today to know; to feel; to do?

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