“Now remain in my love.” John 15.9
This command makes the wonderful assumption that the love of Jesus is already present with us. Jesus never moves away from us; in fact if anyone does any moving it is us!
So often we grapple with the sense that we have to earn the love of God in some way, but this is simply not true. If it was true, Jesus’ command would be, “Now earn my love”, but it isn’t - it is to remain in what is already there for us.
There are doubtless times when we all feel that the love of God is not there, often when we are concerned that we have not lived up to God’ expectations of us. At such times, it is not that God has stopped loving us but that we have moved away from the knowledge of his love. So it is not a matter of us trying to get God to love us once again, but rather of us coming back to the knowledge that we are loved, despite what we may or may not have done, and knowing that there is nothing that can prevent God from loving us.
When Paul wrote in Romans 8.38-39 that there was nothing that can separate us from the love of God – he meant nothing! Our calling, or actually Jesus’ command to us, is to remain in his love.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission