After a silly previous week of being down for one reason or another, I was glad to have such an encouraging lesson from Bible Study today. We have been studying the book of John, which has been very appropriate during the season of Lent. Today we studied John 15, a very common analogy of the Vine and the Branches. I have read this verse many times before, heard sermons, conversations....yet when you truly study it and break it apart, it can take on much more meaning (I know I should know this by now, but it always amazes me). Anyway, two verses in this chapter gave me particular joy and peace.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. - John 15:9
Can you believe that God loves us as much as He loved His own son? His perfect son that would do anything for Him? So many times I get a woa is me sort of feeling where I feel like no one loves me with all my shortcomings (I know that isn't true, but I'll admit I get stuck in a pity party sometimes). I know deep down that Jesus loves me too, but the fact that He isn't physically here telling me this, is sometimes hard to grasp. But to reread this verse today, and know that God loves me for who I am, despite my many shortcomings is truly an awesome feeling. We are precious to Him and He loves us unconditionally.
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. - John 15:18
This is the second verse that really struck me. We feel so alone when the world rejects us. We feel hurt, angry, insecure. It is hard to get back on your feet after you have been thrown down. So, to know that Jesus was rejected first, somehow gave me comfort. He has been there before. He knows how we feel. He loves us deeply, and wants us to remain in His love.
May all of you remain in His love.