"As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: abide ye in my love" (John 15:9)
Abide in My love. We speak of a man's home as his abode. Our abode, the home of our soul is to be the love of Christ. We are to live our life there, to be at home there all the day. This is what Christ means for or life to be. And, only He can truly make it so. Our continuous abiding in the Vine is to be an abiding in His love.
You have probably heard or read of what is called the higher or deeper life. It is also referred to as the richer, fuller, or more abundant life. And possibly some have told you about a wonderful change in their lives. Once a continual failure and stumbling, their lives were changed into a very blessed experience of being kept and strengthened and made exceedingly glad. If you asked them how this great blessing came to them, many would tell you it was simply this: they were led to believe that abiding in Christ's love was meant to be a reality; they were willing to give up everything for it, and then were enabled to trust Christ to make it happen.
The love of the Father to the Son is not a sentiment - it is a divine life, an infinite energy, an irresistible power. It carried Christ through life and death and the grave. The Father loved Him, dwelt in Him, and did all for Him. So the love of Christ to us is an infinite, living power that will work in us all He delights to give. The weakness in our Christian life is that we do not take time to believe that this divine love really does delight in us. It will truly possess and work all in us. We do not take time to look at the Vine bearing the branch so entirely, working all in it so completely. We strive to do for ourselves what Christ alone can - what Christ so lovingly longs to do for us.
This is the secret of the change we spoke of. It is the beginning of a new life, when the soul sees this infinite love willing to do all, and gives itself up to it. "Abide ye in my love." In believing that, it is possible to live moment by moment - knowing that everything which makes life difficult or impossible will be overcome by Christ Himself. To believe that divine love really means an infinite longing to give itself wholly to us and never leave us, and to, in faith, cast ourselves on Christ to work it in us, is the secret of the true Christian life.
And how do we acquire this faith? Turn away from the visible if you want to see and possess the invisible. Take more time with Jesus, gazing on Him as the heavenly Vine, living in the love of the Father, who wants to live in His love. Turn away from yourself, your efforts, and your faith, if you want your heart to be filled with Him and the certainty of His love. Abiding means leaving everything else in order to occupy one place and stay there. Come away from all else, and set your heart on Jesus and His love. That love will awaken your faith and strengthen it. Occupy yourself with that love; worship it; wait for it. You may be sure it will reach out to you, and by its power take you up into itself as you abode and your home.
Abide in My love. Lord Jesus, I see it, it was Your abiding in Your Father's love that made You the true Vine, with Your divine fullness of love and blessing for us. Oh, that I may even so, as a branch, abide in Your love, for its fullness to fill me and overflow on all around. Amen