The Habits: Abiding in God's Unconditional Love
“By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:13-16, NKJV).
God clearly showed His unconditional love for us when He gave us His Son to die in our place. A servant leader who seeks to lead like Jesus must understand what unconditional love is all about and do their best to put it into practice in their life each and every day.
To “abide” means to “stay with” or to “remain close to.” To abide in God’s unconditional love means that we must be in an intimate relationship with Him and His Son. Someone might ask the question, “how can I know that I am abiding in God’s unconditional love?” In the above passage, John gives us three ways to know when we are abiding in His love.
First, John says that we can “know that we abide in Him” and that “He is in us” because He has given us His Spirit (v.13). If we are “abiding” with Him, we will see and feel the Holy Spirit working in our life convicting us, giving us encouragement, and directing us towards His purposes.
Secondly, we can know that we are abiding in His love if we “confess that Jesus is the Son of God” (v.15). Here, confess doesn't simply mean to believe. Rather, to confess Christ is to surrender one’s life to Him.
The third way we can know that we are indeed abiding in His love is to see the visible outpouring of the love of God towards others (v. 16). When we are certain that God loves us unconditionally, then we will pass on God’s love to other people.
Are you “abiding” in God’s unconditional love? To lead like Jesus you must love others like Jesus did and you will never be able to do that until you realize and accept His unconditional love yourself.
Written by Fred Waggoner
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