Abiding in the Love of the Father and the Son

Twin fawns in our back yard – photo by Michael Clark

And having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God is coming, He responded to them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with observation, nor will they say, ‘Behold— here it is’, or, ‘There it is’. For behold— the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21, DLNT)

All of Israel was waiting for a Messiah who would come and set up an earthly kingdom on Mount Zion, the city of the Great King, and the Pharisees and Saducees were expecting to be made His heads of state and rule with Him. When Jesus made it clear that His Father’s kingdom was not going to fulfill their desires, they had no use for Him and looked on Him as an impostor. Even until the very end He was trying to get His disciples to see that the Kingdom of God was not a government setup like those of men on this earth. Even two of them who were brothers were hoping to sit at His right hand and the other on His left. Imagine what the others felt when they made this request? Is our motivation any different today as we vie for positions on the pastor’s staff or seats of power in our denominations? Jesus told His disciples, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt 10:39, ESV2011). We spend way too much time trying to establish our earthly lives instead of our lives in the Kingdom of God. He went on to say, “The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt 23:11-12, ESV2011).

The Kingdom of God is a family not an organization and He is our Father, the Son of God is our brother and who believe in Christ are all the Father’s children. In light of this consider the following verses.

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:1-3, ESV2011)

Notice that He said, “I will take you to myself, that where I AM there you will be also.” Where was Jesus in that moment? Yes, He was in Jerusalem, but He was IN the Father and His Father was in Him. It was God’s design for us to have the same relationship that Jesus has with the Father for He is the Firstborn of many brethren (see Romans 8:29). In His final prayer for those who would believe into Him He said, “That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21, KJ2000). The sickness of organized religion is manifest in the fact that there are over 41,000 different Christian denominations and sects. Our hope for heavenly unity has to be outside that system if we are to love one another in the unity of Jesus and His Father. The disunity of the Christian religion has destroyed any unity in heavenly love that could be a witness that Jesus is the Son of God.

Jesus was going to the cross in a few short hours from the time He said these words. By dying for our sins and releasing the Holy Spirit to be poured out within us, He was preparing a place in the Father’s “house” for us. The Greek word translated as “mansions” or “rooms” in chapter 14 simply means abode. With that in mind consider His following words:

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:18-21, ESV2011)

We who abide in His love are each the abode of the Father and the Son and it is here that we abide in one another. We do not have to wait until we die to abide with them in their love. All too much of Christian thought and doctrine is all about “pie in the sky, by and by.” The deep truths of the Kingdom of God are always put off in our thinking for another time after we are dead and another place. His kingdom is not on the other side of the universe. It is in the middle of us, in our hearts if we abide in their love.

So many Christians read, “In my Father’s house are many mansions” as I once did and all they can see is their garish mansion they will live in for eternity that is waiting for them. The kingdom of Heaven is a Spirit kingdom, not one made of bricks and boards. We are all members of Christ’s body. The Christian life is all about a loving relationship with the Father and the Son as they abide in us and as such our relationships with one another are filled with their love. Love is our whole motivation when it comes to sharing the Gospel of His kingdom.

Jesus said, “If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23, KJV). Here the word translated “abode” is the same one that was translated “mansions” in verse two. We who love Jesus are the house of God and this experience is totally life changing. He is constantly drawing us ever higher into the reality of heaven here on earth.

Jesus also said, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (John 14:21, ESV2011). Once again we see that in His kingdom ours is a love centered relationship with the Father and the Son. Love is the one unifying force that streams out from the Father for all His creation. Without His love for us and in us, there is no family of God and there is no unity among us as their abode. And how does Jesus manifest Himself to us? It is by His love abiding in us, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35, ESV2011). Yet, there are many cases where Jesus has appeared in visions and dreams and in person to those who love Him and are seeking Him. He is the Light of the World and He is also the Son of Man and in most of these cases, He appears as a bright and shining light in the form of a man who radiates the love of God. One time in the beginning of my Christian walk when my life was being threatened by Satan, Jesus appeared this way to me and immediately that demon was gone. I was most impressed by the tender love I felt radiating from Him for me as He manifest Himself to me. All I had prayed was, “Jesus, HELP!” and Satan was gone.

You might be asking how we keep the commands of Jesus when so much hinges on this? He explained:

As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love. If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:9-12, HCSB – emphasis added)

I know of no greater joy than to be in a relationship with the saints of God who love Him and walk in His love for one another. Yes, it is a rare thing in our culture, but it is truly heavenly when we experience it. I hope you have also known this love and that you are complete in the Father and the Son. Dear saints,

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. (1Thess 3:12-13, ESV2011)

21 comments on “Abiding in the Love of the Father and the Son

  1. dimple says:

    Oh God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you. My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

    I have seen you in the sanctuary, and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live , and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods, with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

    On my bed I remember you, I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you, your right hand upholds me.

    They who seek my life will be destroyed, they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.

    But the king will rejoice in God. All who call on God’s name will praise him, and the mouth of liars will be silenced. Psalms 63

    Thank you Michael. More cool water.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      You are welcome, Louise. and thank you for this beautiful and timely psalm of praise. It was very fitting for all that is going on around us at this time:

      “My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

      Here in north Idaho it has been hot and dry and the smoke from forest fires was so bad this morning, I had a hard time breathing.

      “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”

      He has been showing me just how great His love is for us and how He longs for us to walk in His love with one another and thus this blog article.

      “On my bed I remember you, I think of you through the watches of the night.”

      All last night I kept waking up with thoughts of just how wonderful it is to walk in His love and how many verses in the Bible speak of it.

      “They who seek my life will be destroyed, they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals.”

      We just got news that our grown daughter has Covid and is suffering from many of it’s symptoms.
      Dear Father, send this plague back where it came from and heal our daughter. Amen

      “But the king will rejoice in God. All who call on God’s name will praise him…”

      Dear Father, please give us leaders who seek you above all else that we might praise you and you alone as our strong tower against the enemy and all of His devises. And give Susanne rest from all the assaults of the wicked one and let her bask in your love. Amen.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Dear Michael,

    Whenever someone meets Jesus for the first time, he is drawn to Him as He really radiates an unconditional and tender love for the human being He Himself created. His love is truly irresistible.

    Later, when we start to follow Him on a much closer walk than before, we detect that this Son of Man is also the Son of God, our Lord, whom we should obey and who is to be feared as well.

    Even though we are all brothers and sisters in Him and thus part of His family, as for me, I do not dare to call Him ‘brother’ on my own any more. The reason is that I saw in the past how this idea of ‘brother Jesus’ in liberal Christian circles led to a false image, depriving Christ of His power and divinity. That was not meant as a criticism, my brother, as I know you meant it differently! I would only recommend caution for these readers who are not that familiar with the person of Jesus Christ.

    Like Louise, I dare to paste something below. I shared this quote with you yesterday already, but I cannot forget the deep meaning of this short excerpt.

    T. Austin Sparks wrote about this divine miracle that only His Love is able to bring us into His rest. That reminds me of Paul who said that love was greater than faith or hope and everything else.

    One of the reasons might be that love never ends. Also, let us never forget when we fail to love as we thought we should have, God loved us first! It has been all His work when we suddenly find His love in our very ❤️❤️❤️ (Rom 5:5).

    Love Builds

    In the light of the Lord’s coming, it is very important to be well instructed and to have all the light that the Lord can give us, but never let us think for one moment that light and truth and teaching are inevitably the building factors, for there are many people with a vast amount of truth and love who are not very large spiritually; they are very small, shrunken and closed up.

    It is love that builds. Moreover, it makes differences in those who exercise it, it brings them into rest. Truth alone may bring a strained look into the face and eyes. Love ought to bring into the countenance some suggestion of quiet strength and restful confidence. (TAS) 🙏🏼💪🏼🕊️😇

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Susanne, when we truly love someone we do not take advantage of their love for us. That is presumptuous sin. Like David wrote in the Psalms, “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” (Ps 19:13, KJV). I have seen much presumption on the part of Christians in different religions. “God is love. He will forgive me” and they go ahead and keep on sinning. To presume on God’s love and grace is the great transgression.

      Yes, love builds up every relationship. Presumption tares them down.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Michael, you said,
        ” I have seen much presumption on the part of Christians in different religions. “God is love. He will forgive me” and they go ahead and keep on sinning. To presume on God’s love and grace is the great transgression.”
        Yes, that reminds me in particular of all these hyper-grace preachers. It is not difficult for them to fill their megachurches with such ear-tickling, sensual messages. But this is neither biblically balanced nor do they preach the whole counsel of God. 😔

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        The whole thing reminds me of 2 Peter chapter 2 where he warns us of the church being flooded with false teachers in these last days. Reading this speaks so clearly as to where these popular preachers and teachers are today. But in the middle of this chapter he wrote, “and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,” (2Pet 2:7-9, ESV2011).

        So be encouraged, Susanne, He will rescue you and has rescued you from all this insanity that masquerades itself as “family” and “Christianity.”
        Like Jesus said, “Who is my mother and brother and sisters? They who do the will of my Father are my mother, brothers and sisters.” Ours is a heavenly kingdom IN Christ and the prince of this world has no place there.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Michael, thank you so much for sharing this Scripture from Peter! Very encouraging! 🕊️😇👍🏼

        Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      I have read your reply once again and as usual there is much more in it for deeper contemplation. You wrote:

      “Later, when we start to follow Him on a much closer walk than before, we detect that this Son of Man is also the Son of God, our Lord, whom we should obey and who is to be feared as well.

      “Even though we are all brothers and sisters in Him and thus part of His family, as for me, I do not dare to call Him ‘brother’ on my own any more. The reason is that I saw in the past how this idea of ‘brother Jesus’ in liberal Christian circles led to a false image, depriving Christ of His power and divinity. That was not meant as a criticism, my brother, as I know you meant it differently! I would only recommend caution for these readers who are not that familiar with the person of Jesus Christ.”

      I remember how I acted and thought before He put me into that long spiritual wilderness in 1980. I was so taken with the prophetic gift he had given me and then the attacks came from every corner; lack of work, the banker, food supply, loss of Christian friends and “my ministry”, but the worst was the attacks and lies that came from various Christian leaders. I soon found that no matter how hard I prayed, I felt that I was cut off from God completely. At first I blamed Christians for all my grief, but soon found that, like Saul of Tarsus, I was kicking against the goads from God. I came to respect this warning from God in Hebrews…

      “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb 10:29-31, ESV2011)

      Not only was He bringing me into a sober realization of who He is and realigning my walk with Him as well as my attitude toward Him, but those in the Church who had attacked and maligned me and others and dealt heavily with His flock were dealt with too, some of them heavily (divorces, even death and imprisonment came for some because of their presumption). The Lord was setting His house in order and the judgment of the Lord comes first to the people of God.

      For me it was no more “gentle Jesus, meek and mild…” Even now I know that He can plunge me once again into the wilderness any time He sees that I need it, but it is always because of His love for me. Even the harsher ways He dealt with others was always to correct them and redeem them from their presumptuous ways.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thank you for sharing this confirming Scripture from Hebrews, Michael. I knew that your experiences with Jesus led you to a similar conclusion. What you said about judgment reminded me of what Peter had to tell us.

        “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pt 4:14-17 ESV)

        It seems to me that God sometimes allows all these attacks by the enemy, esp. by other Christians who are driven by the wrong spirits, because He wants to draw us closer to Himself. Any wilderness time we experience can also be a place where He is wooing His bride (away from the power of the enemy unto Himself).

        “Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor 6:17-18 ESV)

        Here we have the divine family again. And our Father is the Lord Almighty!

        Liked by 3 people

      • Michael says:

        I agree, Susanne, and that passage from 2 Cor. really fits.
        Keep listening, dear heart.

        “Let us go forth therefore unto him outside the camp, bearing his reproach.For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” (Heb 13:13-14, KJ2000)

        Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      • Amen to this Scripture, Michael! 🕊️⭐

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        You are so welcome. And thanks for the things you have been sharing with us, ⭐
        Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are very welcome, Michael. 😇👍🏼

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Allan Halton says:

    Michael, thanks for this. I love those passages from John, and read them often. You quoted from the ESV:

    “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you…”

    For many years I read those verses with a pining longing– when would that day come? How I longed to know that communion of the Father and the Son. But then one day I realized that by “that day,” Jesus was speaking of the day of the coming of the Comforter, the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, and in that day the disciples would know that, even as the Son was in the Father, and the Father in the Son, they too would know the communion of the Son being in them and they in the Son.

    And so, if “that day” has come, if the Comforter has come– and He must come to each one of us individually– the coming of the gift of the Holy Spirit means the coming of the Father and the Son to abide, to dwell, so that we may enjoy the same communion, fellowship, of the Father and the Son.

    That “coming” had happened to me; I had already received the Spirit. So with the eyes of my understanding opened further now, I began to become aware that I had already begun to enjoy something that I need no longer pine for– except for more and of the same.

    It’s interesting to note also that when Paul wrote of the love of God being poured out in our hearts, it was because of “the Holy Spirit who is given to us” (Rom 5:5). Just what you are saying.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. We were created to abide in His love. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      So true, Anna., and our Father’s love sometimes includes correction that can be painful. I remember of going through a period of time after many trials in which I did not experience his chastisement. I asked Him if He still love me. He assured me that He did. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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