“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:10-11
We continue exploring promises of Jesus as recorded in the Bible.
Many folks remember Burt Bacharach’s music and Hal David’s lyrics: “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. / It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.” The song asserts that this love is needed, “not just for some but for everyone.”
Humanity’s need for love is an overpowering force. The good news is that we can have love. Additionally, we can have joy. Jesus’ promises of love and joy (see introductory Bible verses) are fulfilled when we faithfully follow him—when we abide in his love and obey his teachings. We “abide” in Christ’s love when we place our trust in him and reside within his redemptive, protective care.
Also stirring our souls are the lyrics: “The love of God is greater far / Than tongue or pen can ever tell; / It goes beyond the highest star, / And reaches to the lowest hell [. . . .]” Written by Frederick Lehman, the song’s refrain declares: “Oh, love of God, how rich and pure! / How measureless and strong! / It shall forevermore endure— / The saints’ and angels’ song.”
As surely as humankind’s need is to be loved, so also surely are Christ’s declarations to provide that love. The Apostle Paul writes the wondrous words that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
From childhood days, we have sung the hymn, “Jesus loves me! this I know, / For the Bible tells me so [. . . .]” Indeed, the Bible does tell us so, repeatedly. Scriptures have long captured our hearts, promising that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Thank you, God. Gratefully, we “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 1:1, NIV) In Jesus, we receive enduring love and joy. Lovingly, “You make known to [us] the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy [. . . .]” (Psalm 16:11). Hallelujah.
Kay Henry is a columnist for the Claremore Progress. All Bible quotations are from “The Holy Bible, English Standard Version” (ESV), unless otherwise noted.