Summary: A devotion for young believers
“JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID TO HIM, ‘IF ANYONE LOVES ME, HE WILL KEEP MY WORD, AND MY FATHER WILL LOVE HIM, AND WE WILL COME TO HIM, AND MAKE OUR ABODE WITH HIM’.”
It is impossible to assign a certain value to these words. They are spoken by the eternal Christ; the Lord and Creator of all, who loved His own even to the hideous death of a Roman cross.
I’m focusing here on this one verse, but there is so much here that I could not hope to say all there is to say about this verse in a few short paragraphs. Let’s just keep it simple.
First, notice that there are two conditions that must be met. Now, I want to make very clear here that God puts no conditions on our salvation. it is “the free gift of God, to everyone who believes”. But as believers; those who are promised eternal life, God certainly has a right to expect some things, in the same way I expect certain behavior from my own children. I do not expect the neighbor children to help keep our house clean, or our yard looking nice. I do not expect the neighbor children to obey my commands, or behave in such a way that is pleasing to me as a father. But I do expect those things from my own children. So does God. So what are His ‘conditions’?
One is to love Him. In another of His letters, John says “We love Him because He first loved us”. That is, we are able to love Him because He first loved us, and, we are inspired to love Him because He first loved us, and, the love we have for Him comes from Him, because only a divine love can relate to the Divine. I mean, we only have an inkling what love is, because of His presence in us. So love should flow as naturally from us upward to Him, as fruit naturally grows on the branch of a tree.
Secondly, He says “keep my word”. Again, a process that should flow from our relationship to Him. I want my children to obey me out of love and respect, not out of fear. Those who do not know God have much reason to fear Him, because due to sin they are under His wrath (Romans 1:18-20). Sin cannot go unpunished, and if they will reject His provision through Christ, then there is nothing but to let them pay their own price. But for those who are His, the knowledge that He has set us free and given us life should be enough to inspire us to learn of Him (by studying the bible) and talk to Him (prayer), and obey Him.
Then comes His promise, and this you must meditate on and let the Holy Spirit bless you with the fullness of it. “We will come to Him” By “we”, Jesus meant Himself and His Father. Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, He promises that He and His Father will come to the believer. Think about it! We cannot hope to ascend to God. So He will come to us. The great King and Judge of the universe bends to come to His own...and “make (His) home with them”. God visited Abraham as he dwelt in a tent by the Oaks of Mamre; then He departed. But on this side of the cross, He will live in us. Make His home in us. We are His mansions. What an honor, for vessels of clay! He bought us back with His blood; He will raise us and glorify us by His power; but in the meantime He is pleased to actually live with us. God is not “out there” somewhere; He is in us to live with us, so that we may get to know Him intimately.
See where He says “My Father will love him”? What more could we possibly ask?