This devotion was in my inbox this morning. It really touched me and spoke to some places in my heart this morning that needed a reminder.
Remain, My Love
by Micca Monda Campbell
"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." John 15:9 (NIV)
Is it really possible to live in God's constant presence free from fear and sheltered by His love? Miraculously, it is. Living carefree in the love of God is doable and real.
It's the kind of life that Jesus lived on earth and the life He desires for each of us. "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love" (John 15:9).
I want to experience God's love and grace every day. As believers, our life is meant to be wrapped in God's love, but many of us live in fear and defeat instead. Where is our power and victory? Where is our peace that flows like a river? If you and I are in a love relationship with God, why don't we ref lect that?
Many of us are powerless and full of anxieties rather than love because we do not faithfully practice fellowship with God. We simply stand in the shadow of God, but don't draw near. Perhaps we feel confused, abandoned, betrayed, or afraid of God. Or maybe we just stay too busy to draw near. This is not the Lord's desire. He longs to be with us.
To really experience the loving personality and presence of God, we have to spend time with Him. Knowing about God and knowing Him personally are two different things. We can read the Bible and acquire knowledge about God's love, but that doesn't mean we will experience it in an intimate way. Knowing about someone and being involved in a relationship with them are two very different experiences.
Personally, I don't want to simply know about God and His love. I want to share in it. I want to open my heart to God by telling Him about my hurts and my joys. I also want to know what's on His heart too. I desire to hear from Him instead of doing all the talking myself. I want the kind of relationship that Christ had with His Father in heaven while here on earth. And, I can have that through abiding. You can too.
To abide means to stay where you are. Colossians 3:3 tells us exactly where we are to stay. "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
That's our position; we are to stay in Christ. We don't just run to Christ when we're scared or desperate. Abiding in Christ means to remain in His presence daily - during every season and through every turn of life.
Abiding takes more than a token prayer, reading a few biblical words, or singing some praise songs on Sunday. Besides, abiding is not about doing more but about seeking God and connecting with Him. Today that connection may be about basking in his unconditional love. Tomorrow, it may be His strength that you relish. Whatever your need may be, you can find it in God's presence daily.
Is it possible to live a life in constant contact with God and His love all day long? It was for Jesus. Therefore, it must be possible for us too.
Dear Lord, how I long to live each day with You—in Your love, power, peace, and strength. Lord, I will stay in this moment with thoughts on You until I experience Your connection with me. Come, Lord, and meet with me today. Teach me to remain with You always. In Jesus' Name. Amen
Carefully read John 15. Ask yourself, who is the vine and who is the vine-keeper? Who is abiding and why? What is the benefit of abiding?
What distractions keep me from having a deeper relationship with God?
Am I willing to make God my first priority every day? If so, how will it change my relationship with Him?
Deuteronomy 6:5, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (NIV)
Joshua 23:11, "So be very careful to love the LORD your God." (NIV)