THE BLESSINGS IN ABIDING BY GOD’S WORDS
Do we really love God?
And most of us will surely say “I do”. Because Jesus said to His disciples in verse 21 of John 14 “He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me.”
And that is one of the greatest challenges in our lives and in our faith is the challenge of being faithful, obedient, and keeping God’s teaching every day.
Heto yung hamon sa atin sa buhay ay ang hamon ng pananatili at pagsunod.
And I believe that we always struggle in this, how to abide in His Words and show that we truly love God.
Let this reflection once again enlighten and encourage us that even when we struggle every day to remain obedient and faithful to His words, God has promised us an Advocate, a Helper that could help us to remain in Him.
And abiding in His Words will not be in vain because there will always be blessings associated with it.
Today’s topic is “THE BLESSING IN ABIDING GOD’S WORDS”
JESUS COMFORTS HIS DISCIPLES
Chapter 14 of John is a farewell discourse a night before His death. This scene was so emotionally intense as Jesus was talking about His death, about His leaving them.
That is why He started chapter 14 by saying “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places or mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”
Jesus that night was giving them the assurance that wherever He is going, they will go as well. But Thomas asked, “Lord we do not know where you are going, how do we know the way?”
Jesus replied, “I am the way, the truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through me,”
Chapter 14 up to chapter 16 are full of wonderful revelations and teachings that the disciples could not fully grasp at that time.
Jesus understood that the disciples could not yet understand that time the message He wanted to convey to them. That is why He said to them that a Helper will bring to their remembrance all the words that He said.
Jesus on that night intends to deepen their understanding of who He really is, where He is going and what will the future be in verse 29 said: “ Now, I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.”
ABIDE IN HIS WORDS
If we will read the whole Gospel of John, we will notice that the phrase “ If you abide in my words, those who have my commandments” was repeatedly stressed.
Why, because Jesus is trying to make a point that for us to truly express our love to God and to others is for us to be rooted in His Words.
Here are some points that we need to ponder:
1. ABIDE BECAUSE WE LOVE
“We abide in His Words, not for the blessings but because we love.”
The blessings will follow because that is the consequence of loving Him.
In verse 13 “Whatever you ask in My Name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
Love is the fuel that drives us to obey His commandments.
We do it willingly, we obey it freely, and we submit to it fully.
Because doing something that you don’t love is a struggle, but doing it with love, we do it with joy.
I believe that God doesn’t bless us to love Him but because we love Him and He loves us, then we are being blessed.
It is challenging to live daily showing our love for God because it will always be tested.
The more we desire to follow Him, the more resistance we will experience. It attracts a lot of forces to stop us from doing what we desire to do.
But the good thing is that Jesus asked God to send us the Helper to be with us forever (Jn 14: 16). The Holy Spirit, the Helper whom God has given us will bring to our remembrance all the teachings that we learned.
He will download to us the Words that will be the source of our strength, the source of courage and hope in the time that we need.
There is a greater promise that if we abide in His Words, we abide in His love he said in Jn 14: 23 “ If anyone loves Me, he will keep my words and My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our abode in him.”
If God abides in us, we will bear many fruits (Jn 15:5) for apart from God, we can do nothing.
Like a branch that clings to the vine, anyone who will not abide in Him shall be thrown out and dries up and shall be cast into the fire to be burned.
Abiding in His Words, keeping them, and obeying them gives us the joy, His joy so that our joy shall be full. (Jn 15:11)
2. ABIDE BECAUSE WE TRUST
The disciples may not understand during that discourse but what Jesus required them is their trust.
He said in Jn 14:1 “Believe in God, believe also in me.”
In verse 10 He asked them “Do you not believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The Words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His Works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, otherwise believe because of the works themselves.”
We can truly say that we abide in His words when we trust and believe in His Words even, though we cannot understand them fully.
When He said forgive those who sin against you, give your forgiveness even if it does not yet fully sink in. Because later you will understand why. You will have that peace you missed when you live your life in unforgiveness.
Do it afraid, you follow even if you have that fear to step out from your circumstances.
Like what Jesus said, if you want to follow me, deny yourself and carry your cross. We may not yet understand the cost of following Him, but we do it because we trust in His Words that no one who followed Him shall be forsaken.
Abiding in His Words allows us to trust and because we trust, it gives us peace, peace beyond what the world could give.
Verse 27 said “Peace I leave with you; The peace I give to you, not as the world gives to do, I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
We shall abide in His Words because we have that confidence in Him that He shall supply all our needs.
We have the assurance that our prayers shall be answered as He said in Jn 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.”
3. ABIDE BECAUSE WE EXPERIENCE HIS LOVE
The greatest motivation we can have to abide in His Words is because we experience that unselfish love of God.
Yes, we can say we abide because we love, but we cannot fully rely on ourselves to love due to our limitations and weaknesses.
We can easily forget but God’s love endures forever and that great love we experience from Him will continue to keep our desires burning to abide in His teachings and to His promises.
The transformation of St Peter, St Paul, and Mary of Magdala was fully developed not because they are the ones to love Jesus at the start.
It was the experience of Jesus’ love for them that made them a better people.
It was that uncondemning love that brought them to the best version of themselves.
They became a man and woman who abides in God’s Words because of that experience of God.
Like most of us, even when other people say bad things about us, our friends who don’t believe that we truly change; we continue to follow God’s teachings the best we can be because of our experience with God.
“What will make us amaze is His wonderful grace; He loved us even when we were still in our darkest place”
THE BLESSINGS OF ABIDING BY HIS TEACHING
Abiding in His words is not easy as we speak. The more we go for it, the more the pull we have.
Because the enemy will not just sit and allow us to do it without any sweat. We will be tested, we might be disappointed, but God knows our limitations and weaknesses that He already sent us the Holy Spirit to teach us and bring to our remembrance the Words and promises God had given us.
At the end of these challenges, if we overcome them, we can know that we are truly his disciples if we continue in His Words.
“If you continue in words, then you are truly disciples of Mine; you will know the truth and the truth shall make you free”-Jn 8:31-32
His Words are liberating that by keeping and obeying them, living on them, we can truly know who we are and the amazing gifts it brings to our lives.
We cannot be chained anymore by our fear and unbelief.
We cannot be deceived anymore by the many lies that the world is offering us.
There will be a great transformation in the lives of all of us if we will abide in His Words that bring truth, joy, and blessing beyond compare.
God is always true to His Words and promise.
May your happiness be full,