Godly Women Blog

“Abide in My Love”

Written by Erica Golden

The enduring love of God is a theme found throughout the Bible in both Old and New Testaments. What does it mean to abide in His love?

Everyone wants to be loved. Actually, everyone needs to be loved. It’s one of the most fundamental and universal human needs. 

From infancy, babies need gentle touch and caressing, the gentle movement of being held and carried and the sounds of gentle singing and talking. Even before we understand what “love” means or know how to ask for it, we can recognize the evidence of love through the nurturing care of our mother and father. 

And we literally cannot survive without it.

The love of Christ

Jesus’ compassion for His disciples and followers was physical and tangible. 

He touched them (Matthew 17:7; Mark 1:41), spoke kindly to them (Matthew 11:28-30), fed them (Matthew 14:16-19) and washed their feet (John 13:5). He held babies and blessed them (Luke 18:15-16). He noticed and cared for people that everyone else ignored or shunned (Mark 12:42-43; 5:32-34; John 4:7-26). 

He spoke of longing to gather up the children of Israel “as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” for protection, comfort and safety (Matthew 23:37). 

His love could be seen, touched, felt and heard. It was not loftily spoken, carefully concealed or easily exhausted. It was real, enduring, generous, patient and visible.

It is real, enduring, generous, patient and visible.

God’s love as a refuge

When Jesus spoke to His disciples shortly before His arrest and crucifixion, He tried to help them understand His love for them and what their response should be.

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love” (John 15:9).

The word abide is not a word we use frequently today. It comes from the Greek meno, meaning to remain, stay, live, continue or wait (NAS Exhaustive Concordance). 

Imagine you are going to live in a foreign country. You don’t know the language, the culture is unfamiliar, and crime is rampant. It’s all a bit overwhelming until an older sibling who lives there tells you, “Please, come stay with me. I furnished my guest bedroom just for you. I want you to live with me for as long as you’re in the country.” 

Imagine the calm that washes over you as you step into your sibling’s home, close the door and feel safe.

The love of God and our Elder Brother Jesus Christ is like that shelter from a harsh and dangerous world—a refuge in which, despite everything around us, we can have peace, hope and joy (John 14:19, 27; 15:11).

Reflecting the love of Christ

Through experiencing that love, we can reflect it toward others (John 15:12-13). That includes our parents, children, spouses, brothers and sisters in the faith, the needy, distressed, ignored and shunned. Reading about Christ’s example and drawing closer to God in prayer teaches us to love as Christ did, “in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18). 

Only by remaining each day in the knowledge of and thankfulness for His love can we thrive—knowing that we need His love to survive, grow and bear fruit.

Resting in God’s love

Zephaniah wrote these beautiful words of God to millennial Israel, but they speak to us of the love we must abide in today:

“The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

This is our God’s absolute, enduring, generous, patient and visible love.

David knew God’s love and the peace that it brought him in his most difficult times: “When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings” (Psalm 61:2-4).

With this in mind, we need to ask ourselves some questions: Is He my peace and refuge? Is He my source of nurturing care? Do I remain, daily and continually, within the love of God? 

For more about God’s love, consider embarking on “Journey 1: Knowing God.”