John puts forth 3 themes in this chapter that build on each other. The first theme is that of abiding. Abiding means to comply with, adhere to, for a long time. As Jesus abides with us, sticks closer to us than a brother, so we are to abide in Him with a lifelong commitment. When we are in the abiding/life-long relationship with Jesus, we can come and ask for whatever we wish and it will be done because doing so glorifies God!
Out of that abiding love for us, Jesus laid down His life for us because we are His friends, not slaves. We are called to love one another with that same kind of abiding (long lasting, unending, unchanging) love…just how God loves us!
And that abiding love of Jesus sustains us when, like Him, we are persecuted, rejected, hated by the world. Jesus bore witness to the world, and the world hated Him. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are called to bear witness to the world, and often, just as with Jesus, the world will hate us. But that’s ok, because we know who loves us with an everlasting love!
Our culture today is so changeable, so temporary, so focused on the fads. As always, God is not; he is the same yesterday, today, forever. God calls us into that kind of relationship, to abide with him, to be in a lifelong, committed relationship with him. Not one that is fickle, here today, gone tomorrow, but rather constant, steady, unchanging. And God is for us, not against us, and treats us accordingly. His son Jesus considers us friends, not slaves or enemies. He shares with us as his brothers; he is for us, not against us.
In all things, Jesus is our model of how we should live out our lives here on earth. We are called to be in an abiding relationship with God, and with each other, for the long haul. We are to treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, not as strangers. This is especially important when you consider how the world treats us as believers. Often they reject us and reject the God who sent us. How important that as family we should be encourage, support, and uphold each other when the world is raging against us?
Father God, thank you that you know us, love us, and choose to be in an abiding relationship with us. Thank you that you never give up on us, and that you love us as friends, as family. Thank you that you are for us, and not against us. Thank you for the example Jesus set for us of what it looks like to be an obedient son who faithfully bears witness to the world of His Father’s goodness.
Please forgive us when we let unconfessed sin derail us from fully experiencing that abiding relationship with you, or with our brothers and sisters. Help us to freely and naturally bear witness to the world of what you have done is us, and for us. Please strengthen us and our faith when the world rejects us; help us to remember that this very same world rejected you, too!
Posted on Wed, November 11, 2015
by Brian Landers