Abide in Him

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The moment we become Christian, we have already committed to give all our heart and our soul to Jesus. Receiving Him as our savior is not the full picture of a Christian life. We are saved by grace but our love for Christ needs to act correspondingly to this saving grace. As God loves us relentlessly, we ought to love Him in the way He loves us. Faith without work is dead. Such work can only be accomplished when we fully abide in Him who sends us the Spirit. What does it look like when a person loves God? Is it enough just to sing “Jesus I love you” in our worship songs? Is it enough just to love those who we choose to like? No. A sincere love brings out action and transformations from within. Let us not love in mere words but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything (1 John 4: 18-20). In order to love God, we need to love God alone, actualize our love in everyday action, and rely on the Spirit to do so.

 

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life —is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2: 15-17) First of all, if we cannot focus on God alone, we cannot even start talking about loving Him. He is a jealous God. This means that we can only love Him and no one else. The contrast between His eternity with our brevity, between His mightiness and our frailty should all point us to an indisputable truth: we have all the reason to love God alone. However, our heart is so easily misled; like a lost sheep, we tend to listen to the wrong voice and follow the wrong guide. When we do not have a godly value and priority, our decision makings tend to be swayed by external things. For instance, if students do not set their priorities to saturate themselves in God’s Word every day, the business of schoolwork and extracurricular activities can easily occupy times that should have been reserved for God. In contrast, those who love God abide in Him. While the world can disappoint us by giving us the outcome that does not fit our expectations, God’s will and plan are perfect in His timing. Thus, love Him with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength.

 

As we fix our eyes on Jesus rather than on transient things on earth, we now can abide in Him and practice loving Him in deed and in truth. We feel most loved not when people tell us that they love us, but when they actually do something to show their love. Same logic applies to our love to God. We cannot just worship in words, making empty promises to love and to devote to God, without making changes to our heart and behavior from the inside and out. Our love for Christ can be shown in our attitude in serving Him. Whatever we do, do it in a way as if Jesus is doing it. United in Him in every decision making so that we can do what pleases God. The most beautiful service is manifested by those humbly serving elders, who have laid down their lives for their sheep and who have faithfully assure that each facility is ready to serve God. Despite of their experiences and status, they are willing to do the most trivial and unimportant task. In God’s kingdom, we do not look for fame or success, for our affirmation comes from God alone. We are to be judged by Him based on how much we align ourselves with His will. Thus, we should see it an urgent calling to serve humbly, faithfully in the House of God.

 

What’s more, we are called to spur each other in faith. It is the duty of parents to build a Christ-like family in which children are raised knowing the Bible. It is also each Christian’s duty to keep each other accountable in loving God as we ought to. This will be a continual mark of the spirit in our Christian walk, as John writes: whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. Abide in the truth and the spirit. This can result in a fruitful life that pleases and glorifies God.